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Slow HDD

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August 26, 2009 9:49:16 AM

Hi all

I have a 1.5 years old hdd with some bad sectors (it has bad sectors since a year). It works fine with Windows 7, but it's very slow with XP, only 3-5mb/s. I tried everything to make it faster, like resetting IDE channels, forcing udma, but with no success.

I uploaded some images:
XP 1
XP 2
Win7
Win7
Bad sectors

I know i need a new HDD, but i want to use this for backups and downloads, or maybe as a backup operation system.

I have the latest drivers.

My PC:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L,
Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 @ 2.88ghz,
Western Digital WD2500AAKS-00VSA0 (250gb), running in AHCI mode
nVidia GeForce 8600GT
2GB RAM

Someone please help me :( 

Sorry for my bad english :D 

More about : slow hdd

a b G Storage
August 26, 2009 1:07:45 PM

Have you tried remaking your partitions on the HDD? This of course would mean you have to back up your data, delete the partitions remake them, reformat them and re-install your OS. Not all bad sectors are necessarily physical disk problems, sometime they can be a problem with the partition table. Sometimes third party software packages can fix these problems without the need to go through all this, but it's still advisable to back up the data you can't afford to lose.

If it turns out that it is a physical disk problem, I would definitely not count on it for back up purposes. By definition any medium you use for backing up data should be (as far as you know) free from defects.

If it's not too much of a hassle I would try to do what I mentioned above. Back everything up and start from scratch. Re-formatting is not enough, you actually want to recreate your partition(s). If you are running Windows 7 and Windows XP from separate partitions, it could mean that the damage (whether logical or physical) is isolated to the partition you have Windows XP on. However if the damage is physical, don't expect it to remain isolated to that partition indefinitely.

Just out of curiosity, if you do have you HDD partitioned for both Windows XP and Windows 7, which is on the first partition and how much is each partition?
a c 415 G Storage
August 26, 2009 4:14:02 PM

Have you checked to ensure that the controller you attach the drive to is not running in PIO mode in XP? A symptom of this would be very high CPU usage while doing I/O to the drive. To check, go into Device Manager, right-click on the ATA or IDE controller for the drive and select "Properties", then go to the "Advanced Settings" tab. You're OK if the mode is listed as "DMA".
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August 26, 2009 4:39:16 PM

Hi,

I have 3 partition:

C: Windows 7, 40gb
D: Data, 180gb
E: XP, 10gb

Before i installed Windows 7, the C was the XP partition with slow speed :( 

Vista and Windows 7 works fine, but if i install XP to any partition, it's always slow.

Maybe i try to delete all partitions and recreate them if it will help, but why only the XP slow?

Yes, the drive are working in udma mode.

I think it's stable, because i use it since a year with 715 bad sector, and in the Error Scan, every block is green, and in the WD diagnostics program, the extended test says no problem.

I noticed another weird thing: look at the current, and the supported mode lol
a c 415 G Storage
August 26, 2009 5:34:21 PM

I notice that your XP copy screenshot shows a copy from the D: to the E: drive, while the Windows 7 shows a copy from D: to H:. And from the disk info shot, it looks like D: and E: are different partitions on the same physical disk.

You can expect much slower performance copying files on the same physical disk because the access arm has to continually move back and forth, reading one file and writing the other. And it's even worse if the files are in different partitions on the same drive, because that means the two files must be separated by a greater distance, and therefore the access arm has to move further and takes longer to do so.

Your D partition is about 190GB, followed by the partition. That means that if the file you're copying from is near the start of the D partition, the access arm is going to have to move back and forth across most of the drive - that will give you pretty much the worst possible performance.

Try running the test by copying the file to a partition that's on a different physical drive and see how it works.
August 26, 2009 6:48:34 PM

I tried a file copy from my pendrive (13mb/s read speed) to the C partition.
Under Windows 7, it's speed is is good. 13 mb/s

Under XP, it's slow :(  2 mb/s

I noticed another thing: the write speed is very slow, but reading is good (50 mb/s).
a c 415 G Storage
August 26, 2009 8:02:11 PM

Well I'm out of ideas...
a b G Storage
August 26, 2009 8:23:25 PM

XP could have a bad driver for the controler on your system. I would make sure you have the latest drivers and bios. Which service pack do you have have on the XP install disk.
August 26, 2009 9:20:53 PM

XP SP3. I'll try updating bios (i have F7, the latest is F9), and installing drivers from the CD comes with the mobo. SP2 worked fine a year ago, so i try it too.
a b G Storage
August 27, 2009 4:37:43 AM

It just dawned on me, you are using AHCI for that HDD. In XP you have to install a driver (during install), is it the newest one. Windows Vista and Windows 7 come with there own AHCI (NCQ) driver and you don't need to install them separately during the installation procedure.

The reason I asked the question about what partition you were using was because when I had Windows XP and Windows 7 co-existing on one HDD (two partitions) the Windows 7 drive was on the second partition and it was much slower than my Windows XP partition. This made immediate sense as the Windows 7 partition was not only second, but it was small. The first partition starts at the outside of the platter and each subsequent partition is closer to the center of the platter. Using a physics analogy, the disk spins at a fixed RPM (7200 RPM for instance). The analogy of angular velocity to read speed for byte/sec hold true. Data density is fixed over the entire platter. So on the outside edge you may have 1000 bytes (it's much more, this is just for illustration) where at the inside it may only have like 333 bytes. So as you read from the outside to the inside of the disk, your read speeds get slower.

So have you tried XP on the first partition? In the photos you've provided, Windows XP is on the very slowest part of your drive. It's typical for transfer rates to be as much as 1/3 the speed of the maximum speed on the inside of the disk. I think if you were to put XP on the first partition you would find that it's much faster.
August 27, 2009 7:14:29 AM

Yes, i tried XP on the first partition and without ahci, it was slow.

I tried the regedit solution. I have MasterIdDataChecksum and other things with big values (like 73336). I deleted those keys, and when i rebooted, XP recreated them... But the drive is running in DMA.

:cry: 
August 27, 2009 4:12:34 PM

Try running some HDD diagnostic software like Spinrite and run a deep level scan. A level 4 scan with Spinrite takes about 24 hours to complete, but does a very thorough scan and repair of bad sectors on the HDD.
August 27, 2009 7:01:45 PM

24 days? :o  I'll try a little faster test.
August 27, 2009 7:53:26 PM

Haha, OOPS.... I mean 24 hours.... dont know what I was thinking there lol.
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