Has my NEC AD-7170S wrecked my hard drive?



I bought an OEM AD-7170S 2 months ago to try and make a completely SATA system at last, and I’m extremely concerned that it may have wrecked my Western Digital HDD.

About a week after installing the 7170S, I noticed that the HDD light on the computer case was blinking once every second, accompanied with the grinding noise of the drive itself. Using Taskman, Filmon and Diskmon to check, it seemed that it was a combination of lsass.exe and csrss.exe which were actively writing to the drive every second that Windows was loaded. I can’t begin to describe how irritating the noise was coming from an otherwise silent PC. I’ll note now that the 7170S itself has never exhibited ANY unusual activity, and reads/writes normally.

This week I finally got tired of it enough to reinstall Windows. First off I installed keeping the 7170S in the PC, and sure enough as soon as Windows was installed it began grinding away. Biting a second bullet, I decided to go back to the old DVD/CDR combo drive I’ve been using for the past year on the same PC with exactly the same hardware and…most importantly…NO hardware issues :slight_smile: I even went to the length of another fresh XP install, just to make sure that all traces of the 7170S were removed.

Now here’s the biiiiiiggggg problem…it’s still doing it. Admittedly, after about 10 minutes it stops, but any hard drive activity at all from any program forces the drive back into it’s old ways and the once-per-second grind begins again. About 70% as irritating as it used to be, and still pretty unbearable.

Now I know that HDD grinding can be caused by all sorts of other issues; viruses, spyware, too many programs running, anti-virus software etc. But 2 things to bear in mind. 1) there’s a marked difference between when I use a SATA optical drive and an IDE optical drive…meaning that the SATA drive must at least be affecting the problem, if not causing it. 2) I’ve done a completely clean XP SP2 install, with no network at all active let alone the internet, so I can’t see how it could be anything third party. Plus over the past few weeks I’ve run every scan under the sun: Kaspersky, AVGfree, NortonAV, SuperAntiSpyware, HJT…the list is endless. Not one positive result at all though.

My next line to take is to burn an .iso for “Killdisk” and completely scour the Western Digital HDD and pray that it solves it for the next XP install. I’m completely stumped at how a fresh XP install on a supposedly blank HDD can still have problems, and the only change I’ve made since making the PC last year has been the 7170S SATA DVD Burner. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I have a massive concern that Sony, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that since they can’t install DRM via the software route, they are filling their hardware with DRM that can bring an otherwise healthy PC to it’s knees.

Any help is greatly appreciated :slight_smile:


Welcome to the forum.
It’s probably more coincidence than anything else. Hard drives do fail or become noisy too.


That’s a possibility. But weighing it up, it’s strange that apart from this issue the drive works as it should, with encoding, video playback, browsing, games etc. Disk Monitor is showing that something is writing to the drive, but unfortunately Task Manager and File Monitor don’t show it up. Plus the fact that the problem changes according to the presence of either a SATA optical drive or an IDE optical drive leads me to think that it’s not the fault of the hard disk itself, but of some outside agent.

Also, up until Windows loads the drive is completely silent and unused; surely if it was a drive fault it wouldn’t just be happening when the OS is loaded, but all the time?

Many thanks for the suggestion though :slight_smile:


I think accesses to the pagefile are not listed with File Monitor. Could this be the reason maybe?


I see, but what can I use to identify the thread or program which is accessing this pagefile? It appears to me that whatever is causing this issue is data which is loaded with Windows. As it’s possibly linked to hardware, I’m erring towards either drivers or corrupted firmware (eithr BIOS, Optiarc firmware or some other kind of driver).