Long story short, I was trying to watch a movie on DVD and the computer was completely frozen until I ejected the disk.
To be precise, it seemed like if the dvd reader was draining life from other SATA devices (controller issues?)
Sometimes it even worked.. for some time.
Then as soon as 10 minutes later, MPC-HC, VLC, handbrake, everything, no matter what hanged the computer.
Other times Windows couldn't even recognize there was something inside (but it didn't stick at least)
Disk surface is smooth as silk and clean as if it was stamped yesterday.
Moreover on my 2001 PATA-compliant pentium 4 rig playback was flawless thanks VMR-7!
I tried every frigging firmware version, but the only variable for this situation seemed to be.. rebooting.
Anyway, I found some words about Upperfilters and lowerfilters.
Whatever that means, it solved nothing for me, but there are too many people reporting it did work for them that I'd say it must be a reliable fix.
EDIT: this perhaps?
I should check if it also happens in linux EDIT3: seemingly yes
EDIT2: a similar phenomena also happens sometimes when system decides to wake up some hdd from sleep (because w/e): until platters have finished to spin up windows, taskbar and sometimes even cursor are stuck
EDIT4: can possibly be reliably reproduced by changing network sharing permissions to huge folders (50 GB and 240k files in my case)
EDIT5: possibly the second most discussed linux bug could be of some clue