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DG31PR Multiple Hard Drive Issues


Hello, all! I am new to this forum, so be nice! Just kidding. While I am not new to the computer world, I do not know everything!

I have a custom build PC, with an Intel DG31PR mother board. I will list the specs below;

Motherboard: DG31PR v1.0 with latest BIOS from Intel download center PRG3110H.86A.0071.2010.0318.1704, 3/18/2010

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo e8400 @ 3.0 GHz Wolfdale LGA 755 Socket

Graphics: ATI Radeon HD3400 Series


Hard Drive Config:

(I know they are laptop drives, it doesn't seem to matter. The issue persists on 3.5" hard drives).

-SATA 0: Hitachi 250 GB 2.5" HDD

-SATA 1: Western Digital Scorpio Black 500GB 2.5" HDD

-SATA 2: Western Digital Scorpio Black 500GB 2.5" HDD

Optical Drive Config:

-IDE 0: Optaric CD/DVD-RW Drive

-IDE 1: Random CD Drive

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

There are no further modifications to the system, and no other installations. Here is the problem;

My system is severely slow when I have more than one SATA hard disk connected to the board. As soon as I remove the multiple drive(s), it is no longer an issue. This has been going on since I built the system back in 2010. I have tried different hard drives, different configurations, different drivers, operating systems, removed hardware including graphics card, USB ports, and optical drives, etc. The hardware configuration does not matter whatsoever outside of the physical drives, more than one SATA hard drive causes the system to constantly have the drive activity light on, and becomes frequently unresponsive and longer POST times. I have tried replacing cables, and even re-flashed the BIOS just in case there was an error. No BIOS changes to the SATA configuration makes no changes. I am starting to assume that the motherboard's SATA controller is defective.

P.S. The southbridge chip runs quite warm (79°C, 173°F­­). I have seen this as an issue with other owners of the DG31PR, as other users have complained about it here on the forums. I have added a heat sink to no avail to cool down the chip, it runs too hot to touch it physically. I believe these two issues to be related (maybe an internal short?) but it could just be normal. I have also ran a Memtest on my RAM, it checked out okay.

All opinions offered, and I am prepared to accept that I may need to purchase another motherboard with the LGA 755 processor socket. Thanks in advance everyone!

2 Replies

Hi AndrewH,

I am sorry to hear you're having these issues. I would like to confirm some information about your system configuration:

  1. Are you using any type of RAID?
  2. As you mentioned, the HDDs are laptop drives but have you tried a different HDD like a desktop HDD?
  3. If possible test a different HDD if possible with enough space.
  4. Test the drives that seems to be causing the issue separately in SATA ports 0 or 1.

Thank you for your speedy reply!

1. No I am not using any RAID configuration. All of my drives show up individually in windows. The reason for this is I use the 250 GB as an OS drive with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 installed. This drive is in SATA slot 0. Then I use one of the 500 GB in SATA 1 for a media drive. I store all my important data on it. Then the last 500 GB installed in SATA 2 is a backup of drive in SATA 1. I have lost too much data before due to hard disk crashes. So I keep the OS separate, then a backup of everything. This configuration should not be an issue for this motherboard.

2. Yes, I have. In fact, when I build this, I started out with two 250 GB SATA 7200 RPM Western Digital 3.5" hard drives. There is no difference, and it was still slow. They both died though, wound up with sector errors. I figure, a hard drive is a hard drive. They have the same specs and transfer rates as what I took out. ALL of the drives are at 7200 RPM. I cannot tell you the specific /MB per second on them, but they are well fast enough for the SATA controller.

3. Unfortunately, I do not have other drives that I can load up and test to see if any of the drives are going out. I have no data loss, and Windows Disk Check finds no errors. So I figure they are okay. Since this issue happens regardless of what hard drive is installed, just happens when I have more than one, I think the drives themselves are okay. For now. All hard drives will fail eventually.

I forgot to mention a few things. This is also sort of odd. ALL of the drives are S.M.A.R.T. capable. But if I have the option in the BIOS for S.M.A.R.T. enabled, the computer won't POST. So it must be disabled for the computer to POST. Also, if I have the SATA mode set for Native instead of Legacy, it takes 10 minutes for the computer to POST, and the activity light stays steady until it begins to boot.