I'm working on an HP Pavillion dv9657cl laptop equipped with 2 internal SATA drives. The system boots and operates normally for about an hour. At some point, access is lost to both internal drives. This causes all open windows to hang.
For a while after this, I can still change windows focus, but eventually that stops working.
During a visit to a retail shop, the drives were found to be corrupt. This resulted in the C: partition being reformatted and the O/S files reinstalled. The second drive (F:) was replaced and had it's files restored as well.
S.M.A.R.T. info on both drives shows them to be healthy. I've had the replaced drive attached to a Linux box which has shown no access problems during an 8 hour read test. I think the retail shop fixed a symptom but not the actual problem.
My belief is that the SATA controller is failing (possibly due to heat), causing loss of access to the drives.
I booted the system off a Knoppix 6.0 disk and was able to run that for 6 hours straight w/o a problem. I was able to access both internal drives.
However, on two occasions while running Knoppix, the screen blanked and I could not get the system to respond. All status lights were normal, but the screen would not turn on and I got no response from the CD-ROM drive.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
The system is configured with:
Vista Home Premium
Intel Serial ATA Controller: Intel(R) ICH8M SATA AHCI Controller
Driver Version: 126.96.36.1990
Serial ATA Plug-In Version: 188.8.131.520
Port 0 - Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00 160Gig HD w/o NCQ support (C:\ w/OS files)
Port 2 - Seagate ST9250827AS 250Gig HD w/ NCQ support (F:\ w/User profiles)