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2 brand new HDDs running ridiculously slow

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March 26, 2010 1:24:34 AM

I recently had a HD die on my dell xps400 system. I bought two new hard drives (one, system drive 500gb seagate and the other is a 1.5TB western digital caviar green), and installed windows XP pro, and the system is up an running. I installed all the original drivers made for my machine from the dell website.

The computer is running really slow, ran HD tach and HD tune, both gave me numbers about 3.2 Mb/s - crazy slow. Music skips if I open a window and the mouse is jumpy if the computer is doing anything.

The primary IDE controller under device manager is set to "DMA if available" but it is using PIO mode. I've tried everything I could find to get it out of PIO mode, nothing is working. Both drives are connected with SATA. I've set it to PIO Only, then back again, doesn't work. Checked the cables, they are fine.

What could be the problem here? What can I do? I think the problem is the PIO setting but I'm at my wits end with this thing. Like I said I've tried every fix I could find online, from microsoft, others, etc. HELP please

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a c 415 G Storage
March 26, 2010 2:25:20 AM

PIO is almost certainly the problem. If you're using the Dell SATA drivers, my inclination would be to replace them with the stock Windows drivers if they're compatible to see if it makes a difference. I'm assuming that you've physically checked the cables. You might also try swapping the ports to see if it's a port issue.
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March 26, 2010 4:29:44 AM

sminlal said:
PIO is almost certainly the problem. If you're using the Dell SATA drivers, my inclination would be to replace them with the stock Windows drivers if they're compatible to see if it makes a difference. I'm assuming that you've physically checked the cables. You might also try swapping the ports to see if it's a port issue.


Yes, I've physically checked the cables, even straightened them and made sure they were as good as I could get them. Also swapped the ports already. I could play around with the drivers, I just went with whatever windows loaded. Thanks, if anyone else has any ideas, I'ld love to hear it.

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April 8, 2010 3:12:17 PM

Best answer selected by americanteek.
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April 8, 2010 3:14:51 PM

It was the SATA drivers. The Dell ones wouldn't install, neither would the standard intel drivers. No matter what I did, safe mode, different methods of installing, etc it wouldn't work. I ended up having to slipstream a new XP CD that had the drivers integrated and did a clean install. Luckily I was working from a new HD anyway so this wasn't a problem. I used nLite and an online tutorial for creating the slipstream XP CD, very useful.

Once I re-installed off this new CD everything worked like a charm.
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