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Question about Spinpoint F3 1TB

Last response: in Storage
September 7, 2010 11:41:57 PM

I'm using Speedfan with this new hard drive and the option to use SMART to test the hard drive is unavailable. When I go to that section of Speed Fan and hit the selection tab it's blank. I'm wondering if this is normal and if there is any other software that does a similar scan that Speedfan does?

I'm aware of the Windows check disk function, but that doesn't seem to test the same things as SMART and when I run it overnight my computer reboots before I get to see the final results of the scan. I'm also using Win7. The hard drive is the only thing on my new system that hasn't been benchmarked.

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a c 356 G Storage
September 8, 2010 4:29:31 PM

This happens when speedfan does not know how to read from your drive controller. This can occur if you have the SATA ports set to AHCI or RAID mode instead of legacy IDE mode.
September 8, 2010 10:15:16 PM

I assume it's better to have it in legacy IDE mode instead of the other 2?

Actually just restarted my computer. The hard drive is already set to IDE as opposed to AHCI or Raid. Everything seems to be normal

There is also a SMART monitoring option and it is set to enabled. Not sure if that is making a different or how to figure out how it's monitoring the hard drive. I'm wondering if it could be something else. I accidently misread the Sata ports on my mobo when first installing and plugged the hard drive into a ESATA port when I installed Win7. I moved it to a SATA port afterward. Didn't think it would make a difference though.
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a c 356 G Storage
September 9, 2010 11:46:14 AM

IDE isn't necessarily better. If your drive supports NCQ and you want to use it, then you need to run in AHCI mode. AHCI also allows for hot swap. If you don't care about these things then IDE is fine. SMART should be enabled in the BIOS if there is a setting for it. This may decrease performance a bit, but you motherboard will report any smart errors, notifying you of an impending drive failure.

Try a newer version of speedfan or HD Tune and see if it can read the SMART values.
September 9, 2010 11:34:14 PM

I have the newest version of Speedfan.

HD tune did work though.

I get a warning on Calibration Retry Count. Not sure why. Did an error check on the hard drive and nothing came up as bad. I also ran ESTOOL which is another software program on Samsung's website for this hard drive. No errors. I'm wondering what this Calibration thing is, and whether it's a problem or not. Someone said they solved it with a low level format with the same hard drive, but that sounds excessive.
September 10, 2010 12:23:52 AM

I think I'm going to have to format my hard drive. I just switched to ahci and benchmarked my hard drive. Just "read benchmark" portion and it performed much more erratically on AHCI than IDE. The graph was going all the way down the graph on the benchmark then all the way up several times. Didn't do that in IDE mode.

Here are the numbers.
HD Tune Pro: SAMSUNG HD103SJ Benchmark

Test capacity: full

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 62.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum : 132.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average : 109.3 MB/s
Access Time : 14.1 ms
Burst Rate : 204.8 MB/s
CPU Usage : 2.6%

HD Tune Pro: SAMSUNG HD103SJ Benchmark

Test capacity: full

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 3.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum : 132.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average : 91.4 MB/s
Access Time : 14.3 ms
Burst Rate : 202.1 MB/s
CPU Usage : 3.8%

Trying to figure out if I have NCQ or any other of these features that would be useful for performance.
a c 356 G Storage
September 10, 2010 11:41:38 AM

You'll have to decide performance benefits. Also, make sure to use the newest intel rapid storage technology (RST) drivers for AHCI.

Your calibration rety count doesn't sound good. You may want to back up your data and replace the drive.

Calibration Retry Count:
Number of attempts to calibrate a drive
Indicate problem with motor, bearings or power supply.
September 10, 2010 9:47:24 PM

Called Samsung. Looks like I need to RMA that drive. Can you explain a little in detail what Intel Rapid Storage technology is?

How do I figure out which performance benefits I'm getting? When I switch to AHCI, there are almost no options for the hard drive in BIOS. When it's in IDE there is also an option for SATA config, enhanced or compatible. The default was enhanced and I could click on some other options there were about 6-8 options. Most were on auto. In AHCI there are only 2 and one is just Smart. Is there a better way to benchmark the Hard drive to see results, or a way to get more detailed info about my hard drive? Samsung's website doesn't have any info on this hard drive and the features it has. Just has the basic stats. Can't figure out which options this drive has in AHCI.

I went to Asus' website and downloaded all the drivers from there. (have Asus mobo) I also went to Samsung's. Seems like they don't release drivers for their hard drives. This RST seems to be on the Intel website so how do I know it's compatible with this hard drive?

Another odd thing, Intel suggested a newer ethernet driver for my computer than the latest one I got from Asus. Wondering if I should install it or not. It says this mobo is detected Intel® Desktop Board D410PT. I have a Asus P7P55D EVO.
a c 356 G Storage
September 13, 2010 11:31:26 AM

Intel Rapid Storage technology is intel's SATA/RAID drivers. NCQ is the top benefit from using AHCI, but the drive has to support it. The SATA config can be set for enhanced unless you're using a really old OS, then it can be set to compatible.

The drive manufacturers web site will list the drives features such as NCQ. You might have to dig for the info. Google is also your friend.

Intel's rapid storage is compatible with all motherboards that use an intel chipset.
September 13, 2010 5:30:16 PM

I'm telling you there are no SATA options in the BIOS when I set it to AHCI. There are no storage options except for SMART in AHCI. There are quite a few options when it is set to IDE and SATA is enhanced. The SATA options only sppear in IDE.

I'm using Win7 64 bit. How does Intel RST help? I just installed it on this hard drive to see what it did before RMAing my hard drive. The only difference I notice now is that in the task bar there is no longer the option of ejecting my hard drives. It appears that the Intel RST software replaced it, and I don't see any options on it when I run it. It just gives basic info about each drive. No options to do anything.

Also, I have been using google and spending a couple hours reading about the same problems with my hard drive along with figuring out what NCQ does and whether my hard drive supports it. On HD Tune's info tab it tells you whether your drive has NCQ or not, so I'm not sure why you're recommending Google after recommending using HD Tune. I accidently found this out yesterday.

All the info I found about Intel RST has to do with Raid and I see nothing about AHCI and what it does if you're not running RAID. I'm not trying to set up RAID. I'm just going to have 1 hard drive running, and I'll install my old hard drive when I want to back up data, and then uninstall it when I'm not using it. I'm still not clear on what it does. There is little to no info about it on Intel's website and I read the article on it on Wikipedia.
a c 356 G Storage
September 14, 2010 12:25:52 PM

The compatible/enhanced options do the same regardless of wether it shows under SATA or IDE. It allows the drive controller to share IRQ's with another device if necessary. RST isn't just a RAID driver, it also includes intels AHCI drivers. If you have your bios set to SATA you can use the AHCI drivers from Asus's web site or the newest drivers (RST) from intel.

From intel's web site:

"It also provides AHCI support on select Intel® 5 Series, 4 Series, 3 Series, 965, 975X, 955X, 945, 925 and 915 chipset-based platforms, as well as on Mobile Intel® 915/910 chipset-based platforms."

Features that RST supports on different controllers.

I had forgot that HDTune also lists NCQ and a few other drive options.
September 16, 2010 1:42:21 PM

yeah I already read that, but I still don't know what it's doing.

Support doesn't necessarily mean it's updating the drivers. I have no idea what this program is doing. I only know that it appears to have replaced my ability to eject hard drives in the task bar.

Like I said previously, when I open the Intel RST program there is no options for me to do anything. It just shows some basic info about each hard drive when you click on it. It doesn't seem to add any features or optimize anything. There doesn't appear to be any kind of increased performance. So what's its purpose?
a c 356 G Storage
September 16, 2010 1:53:34 PM

NCQ isn't a feature that you can turn on or off. If the drive and the chipset (with appropriate driver) both support it, then it's on. The same goes for hot swap, so I'm not sure why you lost the ability to eject the hard drive.

I'm using the most current RST on my GA-EP45-UD3R and have no problems ejecting hard drives.

If you were getting better performance from the windows AHCI drivers, you can always revert back to them.
September 16, 2010 4:52:08 PM

Is there a better way to test your hard drive to see more results and whether there is a performance difference than HDTune's benchmark?

Do you use RST to hot swap?

Is RST improving performance on your hard drive or what is it doing for you?

When I open RST up there are 4 tabs. Status, Manage, Preferences, Help. Status just says everything is functioning fine. Manage just has basic info with an advanced tab that just shows more info when expanded. Preferences just has 4 options for notifications of problems. Help is just help. There don't appear to be any options with this software? Is that the way it's suppose to be?
a c 356 G Storage
September 16, 2010 7:19:52 PM

I use HDTune and HDTach but I'm sure there are more utilities out there. RST makes my drives show up under the "safely remove device" just like a USB drive would. You don't actually use the RST utility to do it. In fact there is a command line option to install only the drivers without the actual user interface, which is what I did, since as you have seen, there aren't many options unless you're using RAID. The rest of the features like NCQ and hot swap are enabled automatically if your chipset and drive support it.

My performance was about the same as the Win7 x64 AHCI drivers, but I wanted the newest version since the newest version of RST also supports the TRIM command for SSD's.

As for general performance, don't look too hard at the HDTune results as it probably won't matter as much in real world applications.