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Hard drive not operating at advertised speed

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February 23, 2011 11:36:58 PM

Hello,

I recently bought a 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000, it is advertised as having a SATA 6Gb/s connection. My motherboard only supports 3Gb/s but when I go into my bios raid setup the drive is being reported as having only sata 1.5Gb/s capabilities. I have another drive (barracuda) attached which is reported in the bios as running at 3Gb/s so i know there's nothing wrong with the controller.

Can anyone help explain this? Is sata 6g backwards compatible with 3g? Do you guys think my bios is just reporting it wrong?

I appreciate any help

Sinbad
a c 143 G Storage
February 24, 2011 12:00:06 AM

1) Have you updated your BIOS? For example, my EVGA X58 board needed a BIOS support for 2TB drives, so your system maybe the same.

2) Is could be as you stated, since it is a SATA III, the BIOS doesn't know how to read it, so it shows it as a SATA instead of SATA II (what port it is one).
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February 28, 2011 12:39:00 AM

sinbad123 said:
Hello,

I recently bought a 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000, it is advertised as having a SATA 6Gb/s connection. My motherboard only supports 3Gb/s but when I go into my bios raid setup the drive is being reported as having only sata 1.5Gb/s capabilities. I have another drive (barracuda) attached which is reported in the bios as running at 3Gb/s so i know there's nothing wrong with the controller.

Can anyone help explain this? Is sata 6g backwards compatible with 3g? Do you guys think my bios is just reporting it wrong?

I appreciate any help

Sinbad


My answer may offer some helpful explanation, but maybe not a solution. Generally, before shipping, Hitachi sets the user-selectable interface SATA interface speed at a lower speed (typically 1.5 GB/s), and the end customer (you) must then download and run Hitachi's (free) "Feature Tool" software, in order to set max SATA interface transfer speed to a higher speed. Apparently, Hitachi is trying to avoid liability of the higher SATA interface speeds not being supported (as Hitachi warns) by some host controllers in the market which may render the drive unstable if SATA interface max transfer speed is set too high for those Host controllers.

Hitachi's (free) "Feature Tool" software:
http://www.hitachigst.com/support/downloads/

Read the Feature Tool manual and you'll see this explained on p. 4, under "Change SATA Settings" and particularly starting at p. 22 in the section "SATA Settings."
Do NOT enable Spread Spectrum Clocking.

You should also see the "Change Ultra DMA Mode" section.

Now for the not-so-good news: I'm now trying to figure out WHY Hitachi's "Feature Tool" (V2.15) will run and find my HDS723020BLA642, but will NOT let me change the SATA interface max transfer speed to support 6 GB/s on these particular model drives (I have four of the HDS723020BLA642). It will also not let me change the "Ultra DMA Mode" but it DOES let me change most other settings on these drives. It does read out some of the settings on the HDS723020BLA642, such as it shows me that Ultra DMA Mode is set to "6" as default by Hitachi factory; however, annoyingly it won't even report what is the current setting of the max SATA interface speed.

It surprised me that "Feature Tool" cannot change many of the settings on 2TB 7K3000, because I found it DOES work to change all the user-selectable settings on my older 2TB HDD Hitachi Deskstar™ 7K2000 (HDS722020ALA330).

My theory? I recall that the latest version of "Feature Tool" still only shows a couple choices for setting max SATA interface speeds: 1.5 GB/s, and 3 GB/s; in other words, that software may not yet have been revised to include the 6 GB/s choice that must be present in the menu in order to select that for the 7K3000 family of drives.

So HOW THE HECK does Hitachi expect customers to set the user-selectable max SATA interface speeds for the 7K3000 family of drives??

Of course, you know that all of this discussion is really a moot point, because these drives don't ever get anywhere near the 6 GB/s ceiling on SATA transfer speed. You can read about that in the several online reviews & test results of the 7K3000 family of drives.

Oh, and finally I had better mention that since Hitachi's "Feature Tool" software must be used within a boot disc, you'll find it is more convenient to simply download the latest iso image of Ultimate Boot CD, then burn that ISO to CD, and temporarily boot your PC from that. Ultimate Boot CD does contain Hitachi's "Feature Tool" (V2.15), and you just need to follow the menus from UBCD: "HDD" > "Device Info and Management" > "Feature Tool V2.xx (IBM / Hitachi)"

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html
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March 1, 2011 8:10:41 PM

Stockstradr, I have the same issue regarding the Hitachi Feature Tool being unable to change features of the new 6gbps Hitachi drives. I submitted a support request to Hitachi and their reply was that they were working on a new version of the Feature Tool. They did not give any timeframe for its release. I'm now in the process of returning over 1000 Hitachi 5K3000 drives (my workplace retrofits older computers for resale) :( 
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March 8, 2011 1:32:34 AM

Best answer selected by sinbad123.
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