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Blue Screen Again
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-31-2011
Location: St. Paul
Message 1 of 7 (8,957 Views)

Windows 7 hanging because of hard drive use

I have a model 4318CTO W510 running Windows 7 x64 with a 128GB SSD that up until last Friday morning was running excellent.  When I got to work Friday I put it on the docking station, opened the lid and started it up as I always do.  To my dismay it took nearly 10 minutes to boot to the user login rather than the 20 seconds it normally takes.  During this whole time the hard drive light was on solid from the time Windows began booting until the login appeared.  Again, throughout the day while doing my normal tasks the hard drive light would turn on solid for a few minutes at a time rendering the computer useless.


I managed to get Resource Monitor open and watched what was going on.  During the hard drive usage the CPU remained idle but the hard drive went to 100% Highest Active Time though there was no disk I/O, no data was being read or written.  This made me think of when a disk has bad sectors and it keeps trying to read the same sector over and over until it times out.


I saw the threads about video drivers causing issues with external monitors plugged into docking stations but I have had this happen without it being on a docking station and with nothing plugged into it, using both the 135W and 90W power supplies.  It will always boot when undocked, and has a lower chance of the hard drive going nuts but it has still occurred.


Things I have tried:

CHKDSK - no errors

Lenovo Toolbox diagnostics - no errors

Fresh Windows 7 install - hung on first boot

Different RAM - still occurred

Thinkvantage System Update - up to date

Windows updates - up to date

Reseated the hard drive


I've put a ticket into Lenovo with the suggestion of running the Toolbox diagnostics but that has since returned no errors.  At this point I'm at a loss and this is beginning to really hinder my work.

Token Ring
Posts: 224
Registered: ‎07-19-2010
Location: Colorado
Message 2 of 7 (8,914 Views)

Re: Windows 7 hanging because of hard drive use

[ Edited ]

I had almost the exact same issue, except I never use the dock. It turned out my hard drive had indeed failed and I needed to get a new hard drive and Windows 7 DVDs and reinstall Windows on the new drive. Luckily I had an image from not too long ago to load up.


It was a pain.


EDIT: I just realized you have an SSD. I didn't, so I don't know if my reply is even relevant to your issue. But in the event someone else has the same issue with a standard HDD, this was my experience.

What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-09-2011
Location: US
Message 3 of 7 (8,796 Views)

Re: Windows 7 hanging because of hard drive use

I've had the same problem for over a year, and basically from day one of installing Windows 7 in November 2009

(system was shipped with XP)


R61 CTO7732  (original HDD) 3GB RAM, Intel PM965/GM965 graphics

Windows 7 Pro 64  Retail clean install (No ThinkVantage sw).

Initially, most drivers automatically found by Windows.  Slowly added Lenovo drivers only where needed, or where I thought it might fix this problem.


ESET Anti Virus  (Windows Firewall).  I run as a Limited user and try not to run unneccesary background tasks.

For example, I never install applications that come with hardware such as cameras, printers, etc., just the drivers required to use the device.

That said, I have installed: Cisco VPN client, VMware Workstation. WAMP, but those have all been in the last eight months and I've been troubleshooting this problem much longer than that.


I have Hard Disk Sentinal installed it reports HDD is in perfect health.

I've been leaving Resource Monitor running.

As others have reported, when the problem occurs the symptoms are similar to when a HDD is having trouble reading.

Resource Monitor reports HDD is 100% active, queue depth is zero, bytes read/written are zero, HDD LED is lit solid.

Mouse is responsive and I can often switch applications, but not much else will work until the freeze passes.  The freeze usually lasts 30 to 90 seconds.  Upon unfreezing disk I/O and queue spike quite high until everything that was waiting gets done.  Even though this appears to be a disk issue, someone recently suggested watching the Summary or CPU tab of Resource Monitor and watching for Unresponsive processes (they show in red under CPU). Further if you right click on the Unresponsive process, you can choose 'Analyze Wait Chain' to see what it's waiting on.  On a couple occations recently I have caught Thunderbird (v2.0.0.24) as unresponsive and the Wait Chain said it was waiting on the network. So yesterday I installed the Generic Intel drivers for my Pro1000 (82566MM).  Intel had drivers updated this year, while Lenovo's were several years old.  I extracted the files and upgraded from Device Manager, so No ProSet or any other Intel Apps.

So Thunderbird is suspect, but I swear I've see the problem with Thunderbird closed.

Most of the time I am running: UltraEdit, Thunderbird, Chrome, Pidgin, & Windows Explorer.

I almost always have an external monitor connected, but I don't own a docking station.


Hoping if enough of us contrubute enough clues, we can lick this devil.


SSmiley Happy

Blue Screen Again
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-31-2011
Location: St. Paul
Message 4 of 7 (8,742 Views)

Re: Windows 7 hanging because of hard drive use

I forgot to reply to this, but I reseated the hard drive for a second or third time (forgot how many) and everything has been fine since. It's been just over a month now without any issues.
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-21-2010
Location: Ohio, USA
Message 5 of 7 (8,607 Views)

Re: Windows 7 hanging because of hard drive use

You're lucky it worked. I couldn't get mine to work with several hard drives.

Lenovo refused to fix it, finding "no problems."


Won't buy another Lenovo (posted from an X61)

Posts: 9,456
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: CA
Message 6 of 7 (8,601 Views)

Re: Windows 7 hanging because of hard drive use

Are you having the same issues with an SSD drive?
W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
Punch Card
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎06-26-2009
Location: S. Cal.
Message 7 of 7 (8,554 Views)

Re: Windows 7 hanging because of hard drive use

Crucial has just released new firmware to try and fix the hanging problem.


What is you SSD?  Do have the latest Firmware?  What drivers are you running?



W550s I5 QHCD, W520, I7 2720QM, M4 512 GB SSD OS/Program Disk, C300 256 GB Data Disk in Ultrabay Caddy; X220, I7 2620, Samsung 256 GB SSD, Intel 310 mSata Drv, T61, ancient but working, Asus MoBo, I7 2600k overclocked
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