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My computer is home built with the following components:

  • BIOSTAR A780G M2+ SE AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • AMD 64 X2 6000
  • Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

Dual Monitors. The HD 3450 uses crossfire with the motherboard card

  • HIS H345H512NS Radeon HD 3450 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
  • HIS H155F256EDNP Radeon X1550 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Video Card
  • SATA DVD Burner
  • 160 GB SATA HD (C:\ Drive)
  • 1 x SILVERSTONE ST60F 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Raid 1 with AMD SB700 on the motherboard for

  • 2 x Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s

I'm using Vista 64 Ultimate.

The issue: The 2x500 GB serve as the D drive which I use as a file server. Mainly, it's a development machine, but does some light file serving on the LAN. When copying files (particularly large files) to the Raid Array (D Drive, the computer tends to freeze up). I'm forced into a hard reboot.

Things I've investigated and tried:

  • Ran Vista included memory tester
  • Event Log shows nothing relevant, or close to the time frame of the lock up
  • Currently running GRC's SpinRite on drives while not in Raid mode.
  • Up to date with all Microsoft Updates
  • Raid Drivers are listed as up to date, and device manager does not find any newer when searching the internet
  • I have had an occasional freeze while playing games (TeamFortress 2, for example), but that has been more rare.

Other changes (not attempts to fix) -changed a few days ago to AMD Phenom X4 3000Ghz

So my questions are:

  1. I understand there to be Vista File copying issues, and was considering a move to Win 7. Can anyone confirm or discount the chances that would improve the situation.
  2. I have not found any known issues with SB700 chipset (780g) and my setup, does anyone know of any?
  3. I believe my power supply is sufficient for the devices I have. However, Is it possible that this could be a symptom of insufficient power?

Any thought or insight are appreciated. Thanks!

UPDATE: The computer has passed a spin-rite run and memtest86.

UPDATE 2: I'm replacing the power supply and going to try out the HD tester. If neither of those produce anything, I may move to non-raid and do scripted xcopy in order to keep the 3rd drive as a backup.

RESOLUTION: The power supply did not do it. However, while replacing, I noticed that the 3 hard drives were all in the same SATA grouping, while the dvd drive was on it's own. This got me thinking that the raid controller knew nothing about the dvd rom drive, and I was always uncomfortable with the main drive being listed in the raid setup but not in a raid mode.

I moved it to the other grouping, and noticed that the bios listed it as it's true self (a maxtor sata drive) and the raid card no longer listed it. Now copies of large files look great.

It's unclear if that was an issue with the raid setup, or the fact that such a copy would put heavy load on 3 HDDs on the same sata controller. But either way, I'm fixed and can recommend a better setup for users of that raid southbridge controller.

share|improve this question
How big are the files? If really that big (more than 10GB at a time) I'd use Rich Copy from Microsoft (…) I use it to copy our backups to an external drive I use. – Hondalex Dec 3 '09 at 21:07
stuff the size of iso images, like 600MB – Tim Hoolihan Dec 3 '09 at 21:11
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Have you run any stability checkers on this machine? You need to rule out ram / cpu / high load which results in breakdowns, I would also run a HDD stresser / checker. That way you should be able to 'crash' your machine by your terms, and replicate the issue.

I would recommend something like:

  • memtest 86 - for memory checking
  • Prime 95 - for stressing / loading the CPU
  • HD Tune - for benchmarking / stressing the hdd's

After you run those, you should get a better idea of what the cause is. So until you can safely replicate the hdd issue as the hard cause of your crashes, I would say run the tests.

share|improve this answer
thanks, I'll check out HT Tune and Prime 95. I forgot to mention I had run the Vista memory tester that involves a reboot etc. It came up clean. Is that sufficient or is memtest86 still warranted? – Tim Hoolihan Dec 3 '09 at 20:46
I would run memtest86 as it is a very thorough scan. – Troggy Dec 3 '09 at 21:22
but realize memtest86 (or any other test) just tells you that memory passes its tests, and that's not the same as telling you there's nothing wrong with it. – quack quixote Dec 7 '09 at 5:02
still having problems, but this is the path to solving, so i wanted to give credit. – Tim Hoolihan Dec 9 '09 at 18:50

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