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HDD's get slower over time?

Last response: in Storage
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August 16, 2011 12:10:29 AM

Hello I have a 7200rpm barracuda drive, nothing special.

Anyway this hdd use to be able to score 5.9 on the Windows 7 test however now it scores 5.7 now matter how defraged it is or how fresh the windows installation is.

My games seem to load slower than they used to also.

Is there any reason for this?

More about : hdd slower time

a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
August 16, 2011 3:39:47 AM

A hard drive should not physically slow down as it ages - slower speed is normally the result of file fragmentation rather than any issue with the drive itself. However certain types of drive errors can result in it taking longer for the drive to stabilize the heads over a track after seeking, for example. I'd have a look at the drive's SMART data to see if there's anything of interest in it.
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August 16, 2011 4:30:15 AM

Do you have a 7200.11 drive? If so, update your firmware.

Download HDTach and compare it to benchmarks for your drive. It's not worth obsessing over the WEI. My RAM jumps around from 7.7 to 7.9 all the time.
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August 16, 2011 5:40:02 AM

My main drive, the 160GB one, is a 7200.9, it's the one giving me problems, the one not giving me problems is the 7200.10 and is 80GB.

It's not the WEI that I'm worried about, it's just an indicator that something may be wrong.

What really has me annoyed is that TF2 now takes AGES to load, it was never a fast loading game but now it takes ages.
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August 16, 2011 5:53:35 AM

All Valve games take forever to load for me--especially on my slower HDD at work. If you're interested in an upgrade, keep an eye out for when the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drops to $49.99 on Newegg sales. It's the fastest there is and and cheap! I'm actually surprised a 160GB drive every got 5.9 on WEI. My older 250GB 7200rpm gets a 5.4.
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August 16, 2011 8:25:32 AM

dalauder said:
All Valve games take forever to load for me--especially on my slower HDD at work. If you're interested in an upgrade, keep an eye out for when the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drops to $49.99 on Newegg sales. It's the fastest there is and and cheap! I'm actually surprised a 160GB drive every got 5.9 on WEI. My older 250GB 7200rpm gets a 5.4.


I defiantly am going to upgrade my HDD as soon as I can afford it, I'm starting to feel the limitations of 160gb finally, this drive has been going for 4 years however and I'm proud it's working.

I think it was 5.8 it got on the Windows 7 wei, it was 5.9 on Vista.

All one of my friends can think about is getting an SSD and he's the owner of a 500GB hdd that gets 5.9 on the windows 7 wei test, I'm pretty sure he loads a good 20 seconds faster than me on tf2 and he complains about how slow it is..... it's just a little amusing to me.
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a c 316 G Storage
August 16, 2011 2:47:21 PM

I would examine the read benchmark curve (eg HD Tune) rather than the raw numbers. Look for large dips in transfer rate, or excessive scatter of data points in the access time graph. These will correspond to "difficult" sectors.

If your drive is an older IDE model, then verify whether Windows has degraded its performance from DMA to PIO.
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August 16, 2011 8:50:16 PM

dalauder said:
Do you have a 7200.11 drive? If so, update your firmware.


I have been using the same Hitachi IDE drive for about 5 or 6 years.. Two years ago, this disk filled up and I ended up buying a bigger 'better' sata drive (a 1TB barracuda 7200.11) and ended up using it as a storage disk, just because I was horrified with how slow the access time was.. The read write time is about half as fast as the ancient Hitachi IDE, mind.

Dalauder - is there a known issue with 7200.11's?
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 353 G Storage
August 16, 2011 9:39:20 PM

There use to to be a big quality/defective Seagate -11s

As to slow down on HDD's - Yes they do slow down, not with age but as you fill them up. Probably NOT your Problem. Generally Writing to HDD starts oun the Out edge of platter(s) where Max performance is. As More and more data/files/programs are added the data starts becoming closer to the center of the disk and angular velocity decreases and as more is written to the disk ie about 75 % full preformace can drop off to where it is noticable. With 75% filled HDD If you do a defrag and reclone the drive you will fill the outer 75% of the disk. The programs closer to the outer edge show be as fast as when it was new, However any New programs added and new data added will appear a little slower.

Fastest (out edge -> Avg (center) -> inter (slowest)
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 143 G Storage
August 16, 2011 10:42:33 PM

RetiredChief said:
There use to to be a big quality/defective Seagate -11s

:lol:  I think that statement might even be a little understated on the issues with Seagate's 11s
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a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
August 16, 2011 11:07:16 PM

Dont forget about your antivirus software, they can also slow a drive down a little to LOT depending on which one, and how you have it set. Some Antivirus software is so bloated, it should be labeled as a virus it's self. (Norton for instance)
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 353 G Storage
August 16, 2011 11:09:46 PM

Being gentile with seagate - Throughtout the years, Most all of the HDD manuf have putout a "problem" drive. Haven't bought a seagate for a number of years,
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August 17, 2011 12:53:17 AM

tecmo34 said:
:lol:  I think that statement might even be a little understated on the issues with Seagate's 11s
Well that's specifically why I called out the 7200.11's as a problem drive at the start of the thread--just in case he had one.

Back to the Anti-Virus software. If you have Norton or McAfee, download and install Avast! or AVG and uninstall all Symantec (Norton) or McAfee software. That should help A LOT. Also, install your Windows updates--most notably a browser newer than IE6 if you've got that.
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