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High CPU usage for hardware interrupts

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satyabrat View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 November 2005 at 5:20am
I have a PC which is 3 months old.The CPU usage shoots up after about 20 mins of running to 60% when almost no processes are running.I downloaded the Process Explorer and found the usage by Hardware Interrupts is very high,about 99% of total usage.I checked the IDE channels under Device Manager and they are DMA,not PIO.What could be the possible reason?
In the event log,it's event No.9-atapi which occurs at the same time as the shoot-up of CPU usage.Can anyone help?I am under severe mental stress due to this as my system becomes very slow
Regarding the errors in event viewer I get the following errors:
1.Source:Atapi ; Event ID:9 ; Type : Error ;Description:"The device,
\Device\Ide\IdePort0,didnot respond within timeout period"
2.The next error is ditto but for port IdePort2 instead of 0 above.
3.There are some "W32time" errors as well with event IDs 29 and 17 but they don't occur at the same time as when the CPU usage shoots up for Hardware Interrupts.The PC connfiguration is P4 3.0GHz HT processor,80GB HDD,512 RAM.Make:eSys
If anyone has any suggestions,kindly post.
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namrehto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namrehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 November 2005 at 6:02am
The W32Time errors are due to a failure to sync system time with a time server. Either the time server is down or blocked (some corporate gateways block NTP) or you have a network connection failure. Unless the W32Time issue is related to your interrupts problem it's a distraction.

Have you noticed what the machine is doing when interrupts rise? Look in Task Manager for network activity. Use Diskmon to check disk activity.

You've already done the check for PIO. What UDMA mode was the primary IDE channel 0 showing? On the face of it you might have a hardware problem. A first check would be that IDE cables are correctly socketed.
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satyabrat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote satyabrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 November 2005 at 9:41am
Dear Namrehto,thanx for the response.Although I am not worried about the W32Time error at the moment(the other problem is much worrisome for me),it keeps appearing regularly in the Event viewer->System.
Regarding your response in the second para,kindly explain how to use diskmon.Is it in-built in XP or a separate package?There is no other activity except that the HDD spin is quite audible in the backdrop(Like a heavy machine running).(the Hardware interrupt usage is quite high,of course)
Regarding your response in the 3rd para above,the UDMA mode is 5 for primary channel and 2 for the secondary.Can you please explain what is this IDE port and which cable to check?Is it the same as the cable connecting HDD to the motherboard.
Best Regards
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namrehto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namrehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 November 2005 at 10:50am
Diskmon is a Sysinternals tool. http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Diskmon.html. It displays low level disk events. At a rather higher level, Filemon http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Filemon.html would give you more detailed information at a process/file level.

Your UDMA modes sound fine. Yes, the IDE cable is the ribbon cable between the HDD and the motherboard. In view of the errors in the event log you ought to download the disk manufacturer's diagnostics and run those. Some manufacturers provide online disk test utilities that run as ActiveX in Internet Explorer. 
Gil
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satyabrat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote satyabrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2005 at 9:27pm
Dear Namrehto,I am running diskmon.There are many entries with "duration" 0 while writing.Is that an indication of a faulty IDE cable.Is there anything else we can know from diskmon?
Also,when you say "run the disk manufacturer's diagnostics",do you mean the HDD manufacturer?Mine is a Seagate HDD.Or did you mean the Motherboard?
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namrehto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namrehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 November 2005 at 3:58am
The HDD manufacturer. To start with I suggest you go to http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools and work your way through some of the basic tests there. Many run as ActiveX controls within IE for convenience.

Gil
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satyabrat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote satyabrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 November 2005 at 11:10am
I ran all the three SeaTools Online Drive Selftests from Seagate's website through the link provided by you.All three completed without any error.
Any further suggestions?
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namrehto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namrehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 November 2005 at 3:19pm
Good, so at least Seagate tools are happy.

Rewinding to the first post: you said that interrupts shoot up on an idle machine. Are you absolutely sure these correlate with the errors you see in the event log? Have you been able to establish what the machine is doing whilst this occurs, e.g. looking at I/O Delta in Process Explorer, and using Filemon to see what processes are accessing what. The earlier comment of "Like a heavy machine running" wrt the HDD is kind of worrying: modern disks ought to be pretty quiet.

Edited by namrehto
Gil
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satyabrat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote satyabrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 November 2005 at 8:52pm

Dear namrehto,if the Seagate tools are satisfied,does it mean that my IDE cables are fine?

I can talk to the service guys anytime,but the problem is they are not that good in diagonising and will go for blind replacement.I don't want to risk that and want to know the exact cause before contacting them.Sorry for the trouble you have taken so far.

I have not ran Filemon so far.If you suggest,I will do.But the eventlog error(atapi error:event id-9,as described in my first post) exactly coincides with shoot up of hardware interrupt usage not once or twice but everytime.Initially the machine runs alright and quiet for some time.Then it happens.Of course I am not keeping it idle till then.I am either running a web browser,or outlook express or running some songs/videos from hard disk.At that time it happens.Machine freezes for some time.Then comes back.And when I see the log,it's event id-9 with the above mentiuoned errors.In process explorer,Hardware interrupt usage is high.The HDD spins faster and there is a heavy sound from the background-not that audible,but if I listen carefully,I can hear.

After sometime,say 30 mins,the Hardware interrupt usage comes down - slowly.I still have doubt in the IDE cable which I suspect may be faulty.Any suggestions?

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namrehto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote namrehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 November 2005 at 5:43am
Presumably your disk looked okay to the Seagate tools at the time. Somehow I doubt the IDE cable is it, but you could always try a replacement as they're pretty inexpensive. Make sure it's a grey 80-wire.

Other than that, I think you may need to seek manufacturer assistance under warranty. It could be an intermittent motherboard problem, perhaps with the IDE controller.
Gil
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