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Will upgrading my hard drive make windows start up faster?

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February 16, 2009 1:45:19 AM

Hello everyone, I am a newbie to TomsHardware.....I have some questions regarding hard drives and would greatly appreciate your help.....

Will upgrading my hard drive:

HITACHI Deskstar T7K250 HDT722525DLAT80 (0A31611) 250GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA133 Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

make Windows XPSP2 start faster? It currently takes 2-3 minutes for it to completely boot up. Some games are also slow to load.

I have this motherboard:
ASRock 775Dual-VSTA LGA 775 VIA PT880 PRO ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The motherboard supports the following set-up for hard drives:
PATA 2 x ATA100 4 Dev. Max
SATA 1.5 Gb/s 2
SATA RAID 0/1

I plan on upgrading the motherboard and computer in the future but I would like to upgrade my hard drive first if it will speed up boot time and loading games, etc. The reason is because I am on a budget and built my current set-up only 2 years ago; it feels like a waste to have to spend more money on a whole new system already.

If there is a hard drive that would significantly decrease boot/load time and would transfer to the next new motherboard, how do I do the transfer from my current hard drive without upsetting Windows XP?

Also, is it possible to lower the SATA 3.0 to SATA 1.5 to work with this motherboard and then set it back to 3.0 on the new motherboard? How much am I losing speedwise with only 1.5 vs. 3.0?

I have 2GB of DDRII 667 RAM, a 3.75 clocked Pentium 4(buying an x6800 soon) If you need more info let me know.

Thanks for the help!

Josh

February 16, 2009 2:28:22 AM

my friend had a messed up drive (2-3 minutes boot time). Replacing it sped up his computer instantly. He went from a PATA to SATA on same board. Not to say PATA is that much faster than SATA, but it looks like a similar issue (and I think same board manufactorer). The stats on the drives didn't justify the massive speed increase.

I would use SATA drive just because thats the board's top option and it would fit a new MB, plus be cheaper. RAID 0 (with two SATA) would speed it up more, but I have no experience with this, and its more expensive.

Usually people reformat HD when they get a new board, but some get lucky and don't have to (depends on chipset matching and OS). SATA 1.5 and 3.0 work together, and both have higher throughput than ATA.
February 17, 2009 10:57:11 PM

Yup, I had a hitachi 250 gb and replaced it with a samsung 1 tb. Just added a seagate 1.5 tb today. the Seagate has double the read and write speed of the hitachi
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February 17, 2009 11:49:59 PM

so how do i transfer all of the data to the new hard disk without causing any problems?
February 17, 2009 11:56:07 PM

Your best bet is going to use someting simmilar to "Norton Ghost", you create an image, of your current drive, then put that image on the new drive, tada, go under your bios, select the new drive as a boot drive.
February 17, 2009 11:57:56 PM

Ok, so which drive specifically do any of you recommend for my set-up?
a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
February 18, 2009 12:07:12 AM

Quote:
It currently takes 2-3 minutes for it to completely boot up.

Start by running a virus scan, if it comes up clean, check what programs are starting up via msconfig. And some times, just doing a re-install will help.

Quote:
Also, is it possible to lower the SATA 3.0 to SATA 1.5 to work with this motherboard and then set it back to 3.0 on the new motherboard? How much am I losing speedwise with only 1.5 vs. 3.0?

There is usually a jumper setting to back down to 1.5. Any ways, you really arn't loosing anything at 1.5. There is still enough bandwidth for most HDDs, exception is SSDs where read speeds may suffer a bit on 1.5.
February 18, 2009 12:49:57 AM

I found this drive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, The only difference I see is that it is SATA 3.0(1.5 for my motherboard) vs my current IDE Ultra ATA133. It has 16MB of Cache instead of 8MB. Average seek time is the same at 8.5ms. Would I see any noticable difference?

I found this WD Velociraptor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It is pricey. The only difference is that it is 16MB of cache, instead of 8 and 10,000rpms instead of 7200. The other specs didn't match up(latency vs. seek time. So how much of a difference would I notice with this $230 upgrade vs. the $54?
February 18, 2009 1:24:13 AM

How much difference should be expected for boot-up and game loading? I really appreciate everyone's help!
a b V Motherboard
February 18, 2009 1:39:24 AM

I would start off with what Shadow703793 said,
"Start by running a virus scan, if it comes up clean, check what programs are starting up via msconfig."

Uncheck any programs you dont need for start-up.
I only have 6 boxes checked.

Defrag your HDD

Do a Boot Defrag from "RUN" Copy and paste the following on the line, then OPEN
rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks
It will run the boot defrag


Software that will check for updates every time you start your PC will slow it down.
Like some printer software or any program that you have set to run for automatic updates.
a c 238 V Motherboard
a c 167 G Storage
February 18, 2009 2:12:23 AM

The fastest conventional drive today is the velociraptor by far. I use one, and it DOES make a difference.
Do not worry about sata 1.5 and 3.0. The data transfer rate from the drive platter is much less than even 1.5. Only with multiple concurrently operating drives would you be able to tell the difference.
Use acronis true image to clone your old drive to the new, disconnect the old, and boot from the new. It has worked for me every time.

As others have suggested, see if you can clean up any problems of spyware and unnecessary started programs first.
February 18, 2009 3:48:29 AM

i already to virus checks, defrag weekly, etc. I also have cleaned up windows msconfig programs...
February 18, 2009 12:48:39 PM

I would do a clean install of windows if you dont buy a new hard drive, but i would buy the drive i suggested and of course reinstall windows. Dont bother with the Velociraptor. It offers very little performance increase over the 7200.12
here's a quote from a newegg user.

Other Thoughts: This is probably the fastest SATA drive right now. This drive pretty much invalidates Velociraptor for single user desktop use. Velociraptor superior seek times mean little for a desktop/gaming user, and the price difference doesn't justify buying Velociraptor other than for bragging rights. I bought one couple of months ago and I wish I didn't. I'd have three of these instead. I wish there was 1TB model.
February 18, 2009 12:54:11 PM

Homeboy2 said:
I would do a clean install of windows if you dont buy a new hard drive, but i would buy the drive i suggested and of course reinstall windows. Dont bother with the Velociraptor. It offers very little performance increase over the 7200.12
here's a quote from a newegg user.

Other Thoughts: This is probably the fastest SATA drive right now. This drive pretty much invalidates Velociraptor for single user desktop use. Velociraptor superior seek times mean little for a desktop/gaming user, and the price difference doesn't justify buying Velociraptor other than for bragging rights. I bought one couple of months ago and I wish I didn't. I'd have three of these instead. I wish there was 1TB model.


Will my computer recognize the new drive ok since it is SATA and my current is UltraATA? Meaning, I can go to the boot menu and make it a slave drive at first and then after ghosting from the current drive, I can go back to the boot drive and make it the primary?

Also, how much difference do you think I would see in boot time and game loading time? Example, right now it takes over 2 minutes to boot up(until I can get on the internet)? and some newer games are slow to load...
a c 238 V Motherboard
a c 167 G Storage
February 18, 2009 2:40:38 PM

Homeboy2 said:
I would do a clean install of windows if you dont buy a new hard drive, but i would buy the drive i suggested and of course reinstall windows. Dont bother with the Velociraptor. It offers very little performance increase over the 7200.12
here's a quote from a newegg user.

Other Thoughts: This is probably the fastest SATA drive right now. This drive pretty much invalidates Velociraptor for single user desktop use. Velociraptor superior seek times mean little for a desktop/gaming user, and the price difference doesn't justify buying Velociraptor other than for bragging rights. I bought one couple of months ago and I wish I didn't. I'd have three of these instead. I wish there was 1TB model.


I think you are mistaken about the speed of the velociraptor, particularly about the maximum transfer rate. In the storagereview.com benchmarks
http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/bench_sort.p...
the maximum transfer rate of the velociraptor was 127mb/sec, second only to the segate 15k cheetah at 135. Some of the 7200rpm 1tb drives come close like the wd caviar black at 110. It is not such a bad idea to plan on using only the fastest 10% of such a drive. It won't be quite as fast, but it is not as expensive either.
Looking at the sata vs. ide drives on the office drivemark benchmarks, the best drives will be twice as fast as the ide drives.

Boot times, I suspect will not be cut in half because some of that time is consumed by bios startup. Look at the bios options, and cut out any unnecessary options. Do you check ram at startup for instance? Instead of booting all the time, can you not sleep to S3 state instead?

The wd black 1tb will cost you $130.
the velociraptor150gb will cost $160, and $200 for the 300gb unit after rebate.
Is the difference worth it?
You probably get fair value whatever you pick.

Master and slave are used to distinguish between two ide drives on the same cable. Since you have only one ide drive, it must be the master. No need to change it.


As to how to introduce a new drive:

1) Install the new sata drive. XP should recognize it.
2) Go to drive management and partition it as you wish. I prefer the simplicity of just one partition.
3) Clone your current os ide drive to the new drive. I use acronis true image. Ghost should work, but it is a messier program.
4) disconnect your old ide drive.
5) Power on to to bios and set the new drive as the boot drive.
6) boot to windows. It should set everything up.
7) Do what you wish with the old ide drive. Either reconnect it, or delete it from the device manager.
February 18, 2009 7:49:51 PM

those benches are old geo, my seagate 1.5 tb max transfer is 129.7 according to HDtune, Seagate claims 160 for the 7200.12 but it has been benched at 130 both beating the velociraptor at about 1/10 the price, making it a no brainer
February 19, 2009 11:38:24 PM

I appreciate all of the help, if it is the best choice to choose the seagate, then I will do so.

What is the cheapest way to clone the hard drives?

I appreciate all of the help!
a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
February 21, 2009 2:39:20 AM

Recommend going with the Sata 300 as this would transfer over to your new computer. There is not much diff between the PATA, Sata150, or Sata 300 currently as most HDD are not fast enough to fully utilize the BW.

Use to be partial to Segate, However they have recently had some problems with one of their models. My next pair of HDD will be the WD 640 Gig Black ed w/32mb cache
It does pretty well in the bench marks.
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682213631...

On cloning your HD, May have a problem if going from a PATA (IDE) drive to a Sata drive. After conning you new drive will have the IDE drivers, but not the SATA drivers and may not boot. Recommend unplug your old drive and install operating system and programs. Then plug in your old IDE and transfer your files over. Reformat your old drive and use it for Back-up, or added storage stace.
February 21, 2009 4:49:31 AM

I took a gamble on the Seagate 1.5 tb having read all the horror stories, but for 82 bucks i had to take the chance, After one week, so far so good Seagate website claims my drive is not on the problem list. only wish i'd bought two.
!