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Slow Hard Drive Speeds


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#1
Troy

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HD Tune: SAMSUNG HD300LJ Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 2.3 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 3.1 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 3.1 MB/sec
Access Time : 14.8 ms
Burst Rate : 3.1 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 47.8%

Hi geeks, my hard drive is not doing too good from the looks of this report.

I wanted to speed up my computer - in particular the bootup time. Stemming from this, I have been certified clean of malware, I have run "sfc/ scannow" and also "chkdsk /r" from the recovery console on my XP cd 3 times, it finds and fixes errors every time. I remember reading one of these threads about the chkdsk scan and the helper (maybe wannabe1) was asking if it jumped back a lot, yes it did all 3 times. It went very quickly to 75% and then jumped back to 50% and went painfully slow to the finish, did this exactly the same all three times... So I ran HD Tune test and it was taking forever (I stopped it, it was pathetic), so I ran the benchmark and posted it above. Any ideas what this could be? The hard drive is about 6 months old, but I only have been using it about the last 4 months (so still under warranty). I personally think the issue might be the motherboard SATA connection or controller, I have an ASUS P5S800-VM (no longer under warranty) and it's very average. I'd love to just buy all new stuff and start again. So give me your ideas, and I have no money so don't tell me to buy stuff :whistling:

Thanks
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#2
happyrock

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sounds like the drive switched from DMA mode to PIO mode ....check in the bios and be sure its set to AUTO or DMA..
with that said I just had to RMA a Seagate 300GB 7200.10 that is only 3 months old...
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#3
The Skeptic

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Try to download and run Samsung's test program (bootable for DOS). This will give you a defenitive answer about the disk's condition.

Try this link. For some reason I couldn't connect to it at the moment but that's the one I used a short time ago.
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#4
Troy

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sounds like the drive switched from DMA mode to PIO mode ....check in the bios and be sure its set to AUTO or DMA..
with that said I just had to RMA a Seagate 300GB 7200.10 that is only 3 months old...


Okay happyrck first, here is the entire page for my hard drive under "BIOS Setup Utility":

First up, this is just information, no menus here:

Device: Hard Disk
Vendor: SAMSUNG HD300LJ
Size: 300.0GB
LBA Mode: Supported
Block Mode: 16 Sectors
PIO Mode: 4
Async DMA: MultiWord DMA-2
Ultra DMA: Ultra DMA-6
SMART Monitoring: Supported


Then a page divider, and this bottom section has menus. Options are in square brackets with option set in bold:

Type [Not Installed, Auto, CDROM, ARMD]
LBA/Large Mode [Disabled, Auto]
Block(Multi-Sector Transfer) M [Disabled, Auto]
PIO Mode [Auto, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4]
DMA Mode [Auto, SWDMA0, SWDMA1, SWDMA2, MWDMA0, MWDMA1, MWDMA2, UDMA0, UDMA1, UDMA2, UDMA3, UDMA4, UDMA5, UDMA6]
SMART Monitoring [Auto, Disabled, Enabled]
32Bit Data Transfer [Disabled, Enabled]


Okay so any ideas what I could change it to? Everything is set to Auto except for 32Bit Data Transfer which is Disabled, should I Enable it? Does it make much sense to you?

Thanks for your response. I wish to point out that this wasn't a sudden thing, it's just gradually getting slower and I reckon it could be faster than what it is.

Cheers :whistling:

Edited by ruthandtroy, 10 July 2007 - 06:10 PM.

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#5
Troy

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Try to download and run Samsung's test program (bootable for DOS). This will give you a defenitive answer about the disk's condition.

Try this link. For some reason I couldn't connect to it at the moment but that's the one I used a short time ago.

Okay The Skeptic next, I have followed this link and eventually found a download tool. It gives me a .zip file, which unzips two files: hutil.exe and hutil203.cfg so I ran the .exe thinking it would help me create a DOS bootable disk. All it did was open and close (pretty much instantly) and created this .txt file in the same folder. It is called this: SSIDE.TXT

So that means absolutely nothing to me, no sense at all. I then extracted the two files (again), this time to a good floppy disk and rebooted, but I just got the error message saying I had to remove it and press a key, which of course XP booted. So I'm totally confused about that.

Any ideas?

Thanks for your help. :whistling:

EDIT: Here is the link I found the program, hope it works.

Edited by ruthandtroy, 02 September 2007 - 09:42 PM.

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#6
happyrock

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32Bit Data Transfer which is Disabled, should I Enable it?


yep

get HD tune here...
run the benchmark...note the results..
run the error scan...but first put a checkmark in the ..quick scan... box
if you get ANY errors take the check out of the quick scan and rerun the test..
click on the health tab...look in the status column..does it say ok for everything on the list
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#7
The Skeptic

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You may use this link. At the top of the page you will file a download link to "hutil bootcd (for cd rom )drive. zip. Download, unzip and burn an ISO file. Then you will have the bootable utility.
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#8
happyrock

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if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files go here and get burncdcc ..a small FAST no frills iso burning program...make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....when you click on burncdcc a small window will pop up...click on browse...find where the image is..(I save my .ISO files on the desktop)..anyway..once your in the area the image file is in...toward the bottom of the window that opened start typing the name...usually burncdcd will auto complete the file name..DON'T HAVE A BLANK CD IN YET...click on open..check to be sure the right cd burner is in the device box...then click start...the burner drive will open the tray for you...put in a blank cd...click on ok it will burn in just a minute or so
put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....
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#9
Troy

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Okay here's what I've done since I last replied: I formatted a floppy disk to be an MS-DOS disk, then I also copied the two Samsung files onto the floppy, rebooted, and then at the DOS prompt typed "hutil.exe", and IT RAN! I did the FULL SCAN (took 3hrs 10mins) and my hard drive is all good. There were no errors. I also noticed that it said it was in mode UDMA6, which I assume is the fastest (3.0GB/s), but my motherboard does not support SATA 3.0GB/s (only 1.5GB/s), so do I need to change anything there? My thoughts are that I should buy a SATA 3.0GB/s controller as a PCI card add-on, do they work? Does PCI allow for that speed?

I should also mention I have tried using different SATA cables and also the other port on the motherboard, with no difference. Temperature ranges from 30 - 35 degrees celcius, which is very good.

Many thanks to The Skeptic and happyrck for your help here. And yes, happyrck, I have many linux distro cds burnt from .iso files, but I've always just used Nero for it, I've never tried that program before. I might have a look at it sometime.

HD Tune results are at the top, I could do it again if you like. Under the Health tab, Status all indicate Ok. Speedfan SMART tab also says the same thing. I just noticed under the Info tab it says UDMA Mode 7 (Ultra ATA/512) is supported, but only UDMA Mode 6 (Ultra ATA/133) is active. I think I'm going to have to learn about UDMA modes...

Next thing to do is run the error scan with "Quick Scan" enabled, hopefully that won't take too long. Then I will ENABLE 32Bit Data Transfer.

Cheers :whistling:
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#10
Troy

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Okay Quick Scan came through with no errors, so then I rebooted, entered BIOS and enabled 32Bit Data Transfer. Boot time was just as long (this was my initial goal, remember) and I have the following benchmarks:

Without 32Bit Data Transfer enabled:

HD Tune: SAMSUNG HD300LJ Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 1.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 3.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 3.4 MB/sec
Access Time : 14.8 ms
Burst Rate : 3.4 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 49.0%


With 32Bit Data Transfer enabled:

HD Tune: SAMSUNG HD300LJ Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 2.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 3.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 3.4 MB/sec
Access Time : 14.8 ms
Burst Rate : 3.4 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 49.4%


And just to compare, this is the results for my PATA hard drive (for linux):

HD Tune: QUANTUM FIREBALL CR4 Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 9.0 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 14.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 12.5 MB/sec
Access Time : 14.2 ms
Burst Rate : 29.0 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 0.9%


So yeah, thanks for reading, any ideas?
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#11
happyrock

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did you notice the cpu difference's .09 % up to 49 %...BTW that 49 % should only be 2 or 3 %
PIO mode uses the processor more...DMA means direct memory access ( using less cpu cycles)...so the question is...if its not running in pio mode what is causing this...

did you burn a cd of memtest86 and run it yet..if not do it...

my motherboard does not support SATA 3.0GB/s (only 1.5GB/s), so do I need to change anything there?


try setting the bios on that drive to UDMA mode 5 then rerun HD TUNE benchmarks
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#12
Troy

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sure, I'll do this as soon as my wife has finished emailing, I'm using the "OLD BEAST" currently (with Ubuntu), so I'll just have to wait. Yes I did notice the different processor %'s, very interesting. The Quantum Fireball is only 4GB, very old and I'm pretty sure runs at 5400rpm (slower). So there definitely is something up...

I have run memtest86 on quite a few occasions, I like to make sure my memory is going good. Previously I had faulty RAM and it caused all sorts of dramas, since I put better RAM in I have had no problems like what I had. So I can run memtest86 again if you want, but it wasn't that long ago last.

How can you tell if the drive is in PIO mode? I'm sure there was a way to find it within Windows XP, but when I go to Device Manager and select properties of my hard drive, it's not there. I can't remember where to find it...
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#13
happyrock

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your SATA drive should see results like mine...
HD Tune: WDC WD360GD-00FNA0 Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 33.8 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 55.0 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 47.5 MB/sec
Access Time : 8.5 ms
Burst Rate : 88.3 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 5.2%
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#14
happyrock

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Ultra DMA also introduced the use of cyclical redundancy checking or CRC on the interface. The device sending data uses the CRC algorithm to calculate redundant information from each block of data sent over the interface. This "CRC code" is sent along with the data. On the other end of the interface, the recipient of the data does the same CRC calculation and compares its result to the code the sender delivered. If there is a mismatch, this means data was corrupted somehow and the block of data is resent. (CRC is similar in concept and operation to the way error checking is done on the system memory.) If errors occur frequently, the system may determine that there are hardware issues and thus drop down to a slower Ultra DMA mode, or even disable Ultra DMA operation
I think this is whats happened
for more on udma go here...

Edited by happyrck, 11 July 2007 - 11:11 PM.

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#15
happyrock

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one last thought before I call it a nite ...try downloading your chipset drivers and reinstall them...
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