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Incredible slow hdd read speed

Last response: in Storage
May 6, 2009 9:46:54 PM

Hi there,

My system consists of a P5Q motherboard, with 3 harddrives:

1: WD 80GB IDE (slave, primary)
2: WD 640GB Black SATAII (boot, primary, active)
3: WD 640GB Black SATAII (primary)

When I run HDTune, both the SATA drives show read speeds of 116MB/s. But the IDE drive shows read speads of 14MB/s?
As a test, it takes 10 seconds to move 1GB from 1 stata drive to the other, but it takes 1 minute to move 1GB from a sata to the ide drive. Oh, and in return it takes again only 10 seconds to move 1GB from the ide drive to a sata drive.

Please tell me that's impossible and something is not setup right :) 

Thanks, greets Rowan.
May 6, 2009 10:19:34 PM

I just found out through Device Manager that my P5Q motherboard automatically sets a DMA mode for this drive. The SATA drives get Ultra DMA 5, and the IDE drive gets Multi Word DMA mode 2.

I rebooted my PC and now the IDE drive recieved Ultra DMA mode 2, read speeds have gone up to 26MB/s.

Any way I can assign Ultra DMA mode 5 to this drive??

Greets Rowan.
May 6, 2009 11:47:29 PM

Toss the old drive in the trash.
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May 7, 2009 6:35:54 AM

Nah, it's a dedicated audio tracking drive.

Ok I have set the jumper to slave, cable select and nothing but to no avail. BIOS only let's me configure the DMA mode on the SATA drives.

a b G Storage
May 7, 2009 7:32:24 AM

What kind of IDE cable do you have on the drive?

There's two kinds - the old, standard 40 pin with a 40 wire ribbon cable and a newer kind with 80 wires. The extra go between the others to act as a shield. Newer (the last few years) motherboards can detect the difference and will automatically assign a higher DMA protocol.

If you have an older IDE cable, replace it with a newer one. It may help. Otherwise, either live with the lack of speed, or replace the drive - about your only two choices.
May 7, 2009 9:32:19 AM

I used the IDE cable that came with my new asus p5q motherboard.

There should be nothing wrong with the drive itself, it has always functioned properly until last week, when I put it in my new PC. HDTune also revealed no errors.

I am going to try an older IDE cable where it was connected with before, maybe there's indeed something wrong with the one I'm using now.

Thanks for your help, greets Rowan.
May 8, 2009 10:37:42 AM

Well, learn from your mistakes I guess. Turns out an IDE cable uses:

color: motherboard
gray: slave drive
black: master drive

I had gray in the motherboard, and blue in the HDD hehe. Fixed that, but it wouldn't recognize the drive on master jumper, so I set it on slave.

Also used the "resetdma" script, so thanks for that.

Now getting speeds of 56mb/s. That's maximum for ATA-100 drives right?

Greets Rowan.
a b G Storage
May 8, 2009 1:57:16 PM

56 is probably about where you would expect a drive that old.
May 8, 2009 3:31:57 PM

leo2kp said:
56 is probably about where you would expect a drive that old.

"That old" as in 'ATA-100' or "that old" as in 'I don't really know but I'm laughing at you using an older drive'?

Greets Rowan