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A question about HDD speed

This is a discussion on A question about HDD speed within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have recently built a new machine. It SEEMS to be working just fine and I've not noticed anything out


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Old 02-28-2005, 08:11 PM   #1
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I have recently built a new machine. It SEEMS to be working just fine and I've not noticed anything out of the ordinary since I got it working. However... I went to a site called pcpitstop.com and tested it. My machine did good at everything, EXCEPT for HDD speed. A couple of days ago when I tested it, it showed that my new SATA drive was functioning at 54MB/sec. Today when I tested it, it says that I am only working at 11MB/sec. I retested a couple times thinking that it might just be a glitch or something, but it repeated almost exactly the same results.

What would cause this instant and drastic change in HDD speed? Anyone have any thoughts?

So far, I tried replacing the SATA cable with a more well shielded one, and making sure that it was not hanging around any nasty power wires. I made sure the drive is seated nicely and is screwed securely to the frame. I don't know what might cause this. Is this site reputable? Anyone have any experience with them?
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:04 PM   #2
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I recommend downloading Sisoft Sandra and testing your harddrive with that. That program has a great reputation and in my eyes is a lot more reliable than that internet site.
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:03 PM   #3
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i second that
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:54 AM   #4
 
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Do you have any other programs or uneccesary services runing in the background?
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:12 AM   #5
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Smile

As you use your drive it will become fragmented. When you delete something it doesn't remove it, it just removes the location pointer. It doesn't take long when you install and delete files for it to become fragmented. That will slow it down. This is one of the big reasons for partitioning. Set up a partition for OS and updates only. Other partitions for everything else.

This way it doesn't take long to clean up your drive with the OS.

So I would suggest that you clean up and defrag your drive. Then run the test again. My guess is that it will be back up to 54.
Charlie
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:39 AM   #6
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Sarkast, good point. Second opinion may be warranted. I downloaded Sandra but it crashed my computer when it was running, so I uninstalled it. I don't think it likes that my HDD is SATA. Sandra didn't recognize it as a drive and it crashed out when trying to do disk test. I'll try to find a different benchmarking tool for my second opinion tonight. Got any other suggestions?

crazijoe: No, I rebooted and shut everything down but necessary processes before I ran it the last three times, thinking that might have been it, as well.

charliep1: It's definitely not fragmentation. It's a brand new drive with almost nothing on it at this point. Right now, the only things I've installed are Windows XP Pro, SP2 and all patches, Acrobat Reader, Half Life 2, and... that's it. I haven't even put any anti-virus on it yet because I've just been fooling with it to get it up and running right. I tried to install Office the other day, but the installation failed for some reason. I had a similar problem with Windows at first, as well, but I was able to resolve that and I don't think it was related to the HDD. I only just built this thing a couple days ago, so it really hasn't had time to get crazy and start deteriorating in performance yet.

The drive is a Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB SATA drive. I partitioned 10GB for the System drive, 50GB for apps and stuff, and another 20GB for file storage. None of the partitions are any more than 3% fragmented and the defrag tool said they didn't need to be defragmented. I did it anyway... but it didn't make a difference. Could there be something wrong with it that might cause these problems?
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:55 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedBard
I downloaded Sandra but it crashed my computer when it was running, so I uninstalled it. I don't think it likes that my HDD is SATA. Sandra didn't recognize it as a drive and it crashed out when trying to do disk test.
This may be an indication of a faulty drive. You may want to download WD Datalifgaurd tools and run a diagnostics against the drive.
Also another test you could try is HDTach.
https://www.simplisoftware.com/Public...request=HdTach
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:16 AM   #8
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Thank you, crazijoe! I will give those a try. Honestly, I'm not even SURE there's a problem. In reality, everything seems to be working fine, so I am hoping that one of these will confirm that the pcpitstop test is faulty. That has been the only indication that something might be awry. I only ran the test again because I had added a new cooler to my video card and wanted to see if the video score was any different (as I suspected, it wasn't LOL, but the lighted fan and copper heat sink sure are pretty LOL)

I have been playing HL2 with no issues (came with my new processor, woohoo!), CS: Source with no issues, playing music off the drive with no issues, etc., etc. And it doesn't seem to be slow... but then I upgraded to this machine from a P3 500 with a 5400 rpm IDE drive. So perhaps even hamstrung this would feel seriously fast to me. So if the test is true and it could be even faster, all I would have to say at that point would be... Holy Cow! LOL
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Old 03-01-2005, 03:05 PM   #9
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Alright, I am home. I booted my computer back up and it actually gave me the "Windows has recovered from a serious error" error message when I booted. I went and downloaded WD's Data Lifeguard Tools and when I run the first test, it said that I failed a cable read test. I have 5 SATA cables (four that came with my MB and 1 that I bought myself). I changed to one of the other ones... same error on the test. Ack! I wonder if it is motherboard or HDD??? I tried to move it to the SATA 2 connector instead... and it booted, but still the same error.

Ack!! I guess the stupid pcpitstop site found the error early. Shocking, huh? If anyone has any ideas about how to determine whether this is a drive or a motherboard problem, I'd sure like to hear!

Thanks!!
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:43 AM   #10
 
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I would have to say it would be a HD problem. If you have another computer, you might try and test it there. You may even want to email or call WD tech support. If the drive is bad I would definitly have it RMAed.
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:51 AM   #11
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I sure hope it's the HD and not the MB! That would suck. Unfortunately, I have two other computers, but neither of them have any SATA connections. One is ancient and the other is just ancient enough not to have an SATA connection. LOL.

I'll give WD a call today and see what to do (I have some kind of hideous cold which has caused me to lose my voice, so maybe I'll wait until tomorrow when I can speak. LOL) or I'll see if I can do the whole thing online somehow.

Thanks again for all of your help!
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