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HDD Controllers (DMA/PIO modes)

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January 1, 2011 9:50:44 PM

Good afternoon everyone,

About one month ago my computer started to feel like it was lagging, processes or tasks that used to take 1 minute would take 2-3 minutes. I thought it was just my registry that was starting to get corrupted so I decided to reformat this weekend to see if it solved the problem.

Since I was reformatting/reinstalling windows 7 (64 bit) anyways, I thought I would change my bios to AHCI in the process. After changing the bios from IDE to AHCI I noticed that 3 or 4 of my drives went from DMA 5 to DMA 6 which is good.

HOWEVER, I now realize that the reason my PC was feeling laggy is due to one or two of my hard drives which may not be operating properly. I have six hard drives all connected by a sata cable and one DVD drive connected by IDE cable. I need some help figuring out what my Computer Management screen is telling me.

In summary:

IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers
- ATA Channel 0 (Multi-Word DMA Mode 2)
- ATA Channel 1 (Multi-Word DMA Mode 2)
- ATA Channel 2 (Blank)
- ATA Channel 3 (Ultra DMA Mode 6)
- ATA Channel 4 (Ultra DMA Mode 6)
- ATA Channel 5 (Ultra DMA Mode 6)

My ATA Channel 2 is blank. I don't know why but that drive just keeps dropping off after start up. My ATA Channels 0 and 1 are operating at DMA Mode 2 for some reason. I have tried everything to try and get all my HDD to operate correctly. I have tried:
1. Reformatting
2. Installed most current drivers from ASUS website for my motherboard
3. Uninstalled the driver and reset
4. Tried a program to reset drivers but it said no drivers needed to be reset.
5. I ran the MS error check on the slow drive to ensure there were no errors but it didn't find anything.

I am now stuck. I don't know what to do next. ANY advice you guys can give me would be great.
a b G Storage
January 2, 2011 1:12:27 AM

Do all six properly show up in my comptuer/disk management? If 0 and 1 are older drives they might show up as DMA 2 as that was the best that was many years ago. You said however that they are SATA drives however so the odds that they use DMA2 is none that I'm aware of. If they are PATA drives and your using an adapter that could be it.

No clue about #2.
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January 2, 2011 1:08:41 PM

Thanks for the response. Yes, all six HDD show up in the Disk Management window. All six drives say Layout-Simple, Type-Basic, File System-NTFS, Status-Healthy.

Good guess on the older drives, however they are pretty new. One of the drives I believe is the WD Black 1TB drive that I just purchased 8 months ago. Also, all the drives in my PC were working find up to a few months ago.

I'm not very familiar with PATA drives so I will go do some research. I'm sure when I bought all my drives that they were just regular sata drives, but I'll go check.

Thanks
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a b G Storage
January 2, 2011 4:43:59 PM

They probably are, you'd know if you were using a PATA to SATA adapter. No clue why you might be using DMA mode 2. I know as a drive fails it will drop down to a lower DMA mode. That should throw a smart error I would think. Perhaps channels 0 and 1 are for optical drives?
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a c 383 G Storage
January 3, 2011 1:08:41 PM

Check the smart values on the drives in question. Perhaps the drive is slowing down because it can't read/write reliably at top speed.
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