Why does my slow PC work fine when I unplug a few HDDs?

Man of Honour
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My guess is it's an issue with HDD. I've seen similar issues with very old/dying HDDs. For example I have an old knackered laptop that will inexplicably be running at 100% disk or 100% CPU and going really slow.

Run a full CHKDSK on all drives. Also clean up some space on all drives.

Worth checking SATA cables too. Bad SATA cables can cause huge slowdowns (manifests the same way as HDD faults).

In terms of OS I really wouldn't stick with Win7 but if you must, has it been reinstalled since you built the system in 2009?

I wouldn't rule out power either, it might not be total wattage that is the issue more having 6 power connectors loaded.

Finally you might want to consider consolidating HDDs. By which I mean start removing the oldest ones which are presumably pretty small, maybe you've got some under a TB in size still in there?
 
Associate
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14 Jan 2017
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So the thing that I would check is temperature, since that is a specific error you're seeing on boot. When you say it doesn't matter which HDD(s) you unplug it always works it seems like the lower power draw and thus less heat is the fix you're seeing here. I would certainly argue cleaning it out would help and you can never add too many fans - but if you do add more fans make sure that the flow of the air through the case is linear and not flowing in multiple directions. Some pictures of the inside of the case would certainly help diagnose this issue.

Check with the case open and see if any fans do not spin up when your machine starts. How do the fans sound? Any whiny bearings? There are good fans and not so good fans so look for something nice within your price range.
 
Soldato
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To answer your question, yes, I seem to add a new HDD every couple of years when I run out of room! :D

HDDs have a lifespan. Buy yourself a new super-large HDD (or two), copy everything to it, and retire the old HDDs.

I would also pay heed to the temperature warnings. THey may in fact be about one or more HDDs overheating if you have them stacked close together. There's a reason why server racks sound so loud!
 
Associate
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Kent
Can anyone explain what's happening here?

Half the time my PC works fine, the other half it randomly slows right down so nothing works. It also sometimes boots real slow, reaching a black screen with non-moving cursor. I sometimes also get "CPU over temperature" error at boot, even when things don't seem hot.

The strange thing is that if I start unplugging HDDs, the PC starts working again, guaranteed. It doesn't seem to be any one drive causing the slowness, just seems to be when I have all 6 SATA ports connected to HDDs.

I should mention that Safe Mode ALWAYS works fine. Oh and my PC is 12 years old now. Could there be incompatibility with my modern HDDs?
Not HDD s indexing all together?
 
Caporegime
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He's run into more trouble. Gamed fine for a little while but now he gets no GPU signal when launching anything that needs the GFX card. Reseated, new drivers and a new install - still persists.


Edit - @lsg1r correct :o
 
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Soldato
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He's run into more trouble. Gamed fine for a little while but now he gets no GPU signal when launching anything that needs the GFX card. Reseated, new drivers and a new install - still persists.
Going to take a guess you might have posted this in the wrong thread....
 
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