09-04-2010 11:10 AM
Hello WW_dagger, first of, thanks for the input you have provided on these forums, they have definitely helped me in my troubleshooting.
I wanted to let you know, that I have been having the exact same issues as you, double momentus XT on a raid controller, stuttering issues, bordering to unplayable and unuseable system.
So, my symptons seem now to have completely stopped, although the solution was not what I had hoped for, it still provides me with the origirnal idea of using 2 momentus XT harddrives in a raid 0 setup (striping).
Having updated my drives to the latest SD23 firmware version, i used crystalmark 3.7 and HDDscan 3.3 to disable APM (advanced power management). As described by yourself, rebooting resets this value back to "ON", and using hardware raid controller will not provide you with easy means to reset it back to "OFF".
Using the 2 drives outside the hardware raid controller, will keep the setting "OFF", and I would therefore advice you to use software to run the raid setup. I use Windows 7 and it supports software raid just fine, with a pretty good speed (although nowhere near hardware based). My motherboard has both Marvell 9128 and a ICH10R raid controller. I'm currently running 3 drives on the ICH10R controller, in AHCI mode. With 2 of them being momentus XT, configrued into a striped raid setup by Windows 7.
Until seagate allows us to keep APM switched off, the above solution is the only way i have found to have a useable solution that provides me with working raid capabilities.
Speed wise, I would advice it as well, at least much better then having to use each drive in single mode.
12-08-2010 01:42 AM
Wow, I'm glad I finally checked back in here to see your reply... I will give it a shot. Hopefully this issue will actually be acknowledged, let alone fixed by Seagate... someday...
12-09-2010 01:48 AM
I just wanted to note that hardware-based controllers, unless of a very good quality with fast chips and memory... are generally SLOWER than OS implementations (at least on Linux that is my usual SW-RAID platform).
The major benefit of a hardware controller is that it off-loads the IO tasks of actually writing/reading to the disks to the card instead of the system's CPU, essentially freeing it up to do more important tasks (like handling a database etc).
The major disadvantage of hardware controllers is that you need to use the same vendor and sometimes model of the card to read/write to the disks... so in case of a hardware failure of the card itself it produces a big problem until another one to replace it is found.
In general, for home/enthusiast use... I would probably recommend sw/hw assisted cards like the ICHR9/10...
02-24-2011 09:53 AM
I just recently got my Asus with 2 500g hybrid hdds and was having the same problems. I followed your write up and turned off the APM with Crystal Disk program and it seems to have done the job. Also I am not running my hdd's in a raid config just 2 separate drives.
However I was wondering can't I just turn this off in the bios?
Hi, I will spare you the several weeks long worth of details and troubleshooting that led me to finding this problem and get right down to the issue.
I have 2 Seagate Momentus XT 500Gb hard drives, a Corsair C300 256Gb SSD drive, an Asus Rampage III extreme mother board with an Intel i7-930 CPU, 6GB Mushkin DDR 1600 RAM, an Nvidia Zotac GeForce 480 AMP edition graphics card, a noctua CPU cooler, Corsair 1000HX modular power supply, and 20 years of PC troubleshooting background.
The C300 is my C: drive with Windows 7 64-bit on it. The 2 Momentus XT drives are my D: drive in a RAID 0 configuration.
I have a problem when running programs (applications show it, but games make the problem shine) where the PC will frequently and suddenly freeze up for 3-4 seconds at a time on a seemingly random time frame. The hard drive light turns solid (on) during this freeze up and then every thing will return to normal after the few second "pause". I read in a support forum of people with this same problem and one of them mentioned it could be that the drives are spinning down and the pause is caused when the PC access them to get data and has to wait for them to spin up.
I have verified that this might be the case.
Using Crystal Disk Info (http://crystalmark.info/?lang=en) I un-raid my drives, reboot, and turn off "AAM/APM" on each drive using the disable button in the program, reboot my PC with my drives re-raided in RAID 0, and the pausing problem is GONE. Crystal Disk Info shows you the HEX setting the drives are set to as default and the new setting after you disable the Advanced Power Management and Automatic Acoustic Management features. (off=01h) I have to un-raid my drives to do this because Crystal Disk Info will not recognize raided drives.
Now... My PC is good and happy until I power it off and back on. After it comes on the pausing problem is BACK! Using Crystal Disk Info with the above method I see that the original settings are back and APM is turned on. I thus have to repeat the above procedure to fix this issue... every time I hard reboot or power off and back on.
The problem also manifests itself in other normal activities, like when I click an internet link to download a file to my D: drive... wait.... wait... wait... wait... OK it finally decided to download! (because the drives had to wake up)
I am certain you can replicate these results. There are many people in various PC forums that have complained about this issue and I would like to know what Seagate is going to do to fix it. The problem makes using my computer unbearable.
Please reply concerning this.
-Thank you, Mike Carlson
02-27-2011 03:33 PM
04-14-2011 01:00 AM
I also installed the momentus xt 500 gb into a macbook pro 2010 and noticed annoying disk spin downs.
I found a refernece to hdapm ( http://mckinlay.net.nz/hdapm/ ) at http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageI
11-19-2011 07:39 PM
I'm going to revive this thread because it is relative to my problem. I've been trying to play CS for the last 2 months and was constantly disrupted by lag spikes where I could move and the sounded repeated and when it ended I was usually dead. I tried desprately to figure out what was causing, I ran diagnostics,virus scanned, eleminated background application. I had a ticket open for steam support for the last two months trying to figure this out. They had me run a program called VTrace that monitors the systems funtions and logs them and I can even put markers on it when my problems occur so I did this while playing the game and making markers when the lag happened. They determined it was the harddrive spinning down and taking a long time to spin up again.
So I did some reasearch and found out how to turn the APM off with Crystal Disk Info and tried it again. It didn't work I was very disappointed. Further research brought me to a program called HDTune which while didn't involve much with the APM had function to scan the HD which I used and came up with nothing that I could see. But I also decided to run the benchmark tool it had, I thought nothing of it, but decided in a werid idea to run it while playing the game. For a solid 5 mins the game ceased to lag at all my ping in ms stayed almost a solid 25 ms something I have never seen before. So the question is, is this because they benchmark is requiring the harddrive to spin up? And if that is the case then why didn't turning off APM fix the problem? I'm currently running SD28 firmware for the harddrive. My best solution is to keep the drive spinning up, and somewhere I read that using the firmware SD26 would turn off the SSD part of the harddrive and make it so it wouldnt spin down, although I had to not use the main function of the harddrive, if it will let me play games then I might just do it.
12-05-2011 07:49 AM - edited 12-05-2011 08:10 AM
Bakuryu wrote:Further research brought me to a program called HDTune which while didn't involve much with the APM had function to scan the HD which I used and came up with nothing that I could see. But I also decided to run the benchmark tool it had, I thought nothing of it, but decided in a werid idea to run it while playing the game. For a solid 5 mins the game ceased to lag at all my ping in ms stayed almost a solid 25 ms something I have never seen before. So the question is, is this because they benchmark is requiring the harddrive to spin up? And if that is the case then why didn't turning off APM fix the problem?
There are multiple levels of APM that need to be turned off.
1. At the BIOS / Drive level
3. Some apps.
What you are showing is that it got turned off some level with Crystal Disk but not all.
Running HD tune somehow negated all of them.
You are on the right track --- very good diagnostics --- and now you have a workaround (with HD Tune).
The question --- how do you do what HD Tune is doing manually.
Someone need to code a small little applet.
The basic engineering problem is when the XT cache is doing its job, it is caching the most frequently used data and sharply reducing the amount of conventional HD access.
Problem is, part and parcel of APM design is assumptions about the "normal" rate of HD Access --- and it is used as a metric in determination of when to deep sleep / power down / etc. the Hard drive.
The reason I haven't run into this problem is on my gaming computer (Alienware M17), I keep it in High Performance Mode of Windows 7 x64.
That way --- I do not get any drive spin downs --- (that can also be manually set).
What is being interpreted as a "lag / stutter etc" is actually the drive power down and restart cycle.
Solution --- adjust the default parameters in the APM routines (from Drive / Bios / Software) to reflect much longer waits.
A Seagate implementable "fix" that will raise the power consumption of the drives would be to allow users to optionally select a switch (maybe via Seatools) that disables APM drive spin down even when the request is filled from the Flash cache.
Not a simple problem to fix unless all the vendors (Seagate / XT all the way to BIOS to OS / App) are talking to each other.
That is a "to do" in the version of the TRIM command needed for systems to properly support hybrid hard drives.
12-07-2011 11:09 AM
Wow, very nice post. I need to check out my BIOS then and see if I can find some solution there. My battery options give me options for performance and stuff I ended up creating a custom one, for the harddrive setting I told it to never shut off, not sure if this is the solution to shutting APM off on the OS as I still had problem with the stuttering. Used Crystaldisk like I said earlier which is Software APM? So that only leaves BIOs.
Unfortunately just got a really bad virus that I am still cleaning up after so my diagnosis from here on can be sqewd. An applet would basically just have to constantly read a file from the harddrive to keep it spinning, I don't think that's good for the harddrive though lol.
I also have a gaming laptop Asus G72GX so this kinda stuff isn't foreign to this laptop, but my original harddrive was borked so it was replace by the Geek Squad *shivers* with this Hybrid drive. Which them not thinking probably didn't think it would be a problem. I would have replaced the harddrive myself had the whole thing not been free for me I got there service plan in case something more difficult to replace in the laptop was need as I don't know my way around the inside of a laptop as good as a desktop. Kinda hoping I can get them to replace the drive again with something different. Problem is Asus in their infinite glory gave me corrupt restore disks and refused to replace them without a fee. Making reinstalling the OS very difficult, but not impossible XD