HP Pavillion dv9657cl loosing access to all internal drives.

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:
Serial ATA Plug-In Version:
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)
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pgwalkerAuthor Commented:
I started the Health Check and got a BSOD 0x8086 error.  I'm verifying both HD's (bad blocks, corruption) and will try the health check again.  I will be away for a couple hours so will continue this upon my return.
nobusbiljart fanCommented:
if the systemlocked up from knoppix, the hardware seems bad.
your assumption about the disk controller can be right.
test also the ram, just to be sure .... : www.memtest.org
3 full passes, or some hours
it can be a heating problem too - clean all fans and vents (probably done already), check the fan and clean it, and replace heatpaste on the cpu.
monitor temps with speedfan :  http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php      
pgwalkerAuthor Commented:
My apologies for abandoning the question.

I agree with the split in points as both contributions helped narrow the problem.

Heat build-up appears to be the principle cause for the problem.  Updated drivers also addressed part of the problem.

My thanks to ComputerTechie and nobus.
nobusbiljart fanCommented:
thanks for  the feedback !
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