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Slow Initial Disk Access

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I have a pretty beefed up computer (custom built by professional company for music work). I have a SATA II (300GB) system drive (connected to VIA RAID chip on motherboard). I have 4 SATA II drives (300GB each) connected to an Adaptec RAID controller (PCI). However, the drives on the Adaptec controller are configured as individual drives, not a RAID array. I also have a 250GB USB external drive.

The problem I have is this. When I first pull up a Windows Explorer window, the first access to a drive is very slow. In other words, I select a drive, click the '+' sign to expand the drive so I can access files, and it takes as long as 10 seconds for the expansion to occur. After that it is usually very fast as I would expect with a system such as mine. This seems to happen regardless of whether I am accessing the system drive, RAID drive, or USB drive. Once everything has been accessed once, it's all very fast. Until I reboot and then it all starts over again.

I will also see this happen when I try to open certain folders on my system drive (i.e. Program Files).

I have 3GB of memory, dual AMD 2.6Ghz processors, and a separate standalone PAGEFILE.SYS drive so it's not just insufficient resources.

I don't remember always having this problem but I can't really pinpoint when it started.

Can anyone tell me where to look to see that might be going on?
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