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Hard Disk Loads Windows and Programs Incredibly Slow - SATA

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September 4, 2011 10:33:34 PM

As the title says, I've got a Western Digital HD. It's a WD6400, 500gb hard drive. I've been recently looking into other similar problems with slow load times, windows loading very slowly, etc caused by the hard disk, and found that changing the plug that the drive is plugged into on the motherboard usually fixes the issue. So, I did this, and the computer loaded phenomenally fast; like it should. After playing a game for a while, I started having these odd freezes; any time the CPU demand increased. I then noticed longer load times again, and finally the inability to fully load the game (it loads between games).

As well, one of the big symptoms that was apparent in all these other threads was that the drive loads for a second, then ceases to load for minutes, then continues again.

I then restarted, and the long load time had come back.

I've looked everywhere for solutions, and I can't find any.

As well, I also saw that it might be running in PIO mode instead of DMA, but I was unable to find the properties under the Device Manager to change the setting. I'm currently running:

Nvidia GT 430, 1GB
4x1GB RAM
ASUS Motherboard (Unsure of model etc, came with this HP Pavilion)
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600@2400MHz
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB SATA

I'm really at a loss for what I can do other than replace the HD, which is out of the question for the moment. Switching the cords to another Master SATA port doesn't work anymore as it's already installed on all of the other ports now. Using one it was already on presents the same problem.

I forgot to mention, this is an older (a few years) computer that I've updated with a newer video card and a new copy of Vista. I can't afford W7, sadly. Some of the components were from an HP Pavilion, and I'm using that case, mobo and HD.

I know for a fact the issue is involving the HD, although I don't know what the solution is, or where the problem is specifically.

Thanks!
a c 415 G Storage
September 5, 2011 12:16:44 AM

Well, from your description it sounds like a cabling issue. You moved the cable to a different SATA port, but have you tried using a different cable?

You might also try downloading and running a utility such as "DiskCheckup" that can report the SMART error counters from the hard drive. If the drive is showing errors reading or writing the platters than it's a drive problem, but if it's showing SATA errors then it's a cabling problem.
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September 5, 2011 7:57:10 AM

sminlal said:
Well, from your description it sounds like a cabling issue. You moved the cable to a different SATA port, but have you tried using a different cable?

You might also try downloading and running a utility such as "DiskCheckup" that can report the SMART error counters from the hard drive. If the drive is showing errors reading or writing the platters than it's a drive problem, but if it's showing SATA errors then it's a cabling problem.

I just downloaded and ran DiskCheckup, and I've posted the results. I'm not sure what they mean, so I'll get you to help me out there. I've also reinstalled the most updated version of Intel Storage Manager which seemed to be the plug and play driver of the drive itself (it reinstalled after uninstalling it), and the load times have gone back to normal. However, I experience microstuttering in video games, now. I'm not sure if it's the drive dying, or if it's something else.

This is what I've got back, I'm not really sure what to make of it.:

  1. *** DiskCheckup V3.1 Build: 1000 Report ***
  2.  
  3. SysInfo DLL Version: SysInfo v1.0 Build: 1014
  4. Time of export: 03:54:17 05-Sep-2011
  5.  
  6. Device information:
  7. Device ID: 0
  8. Interface: RAID
  9. Device Capacity: 610477 MB
  10. Serial Number: WD-WCASY0987203
  11. Model Number: WDC WD6400AAKS-65A7B0
  12. Firmware Revision: 01.03B01
  13. Partitions:
  14. C: 598926 MB
  15. D: 11550 MB
  16.  
  17. ATA information:
  18.  
  19. Disk geometry:
  20. Cylinders: 77825
  21. Tracks/Cylinder: 255
  22. Sectors/Track: 63
  23. Bytes/Sector: 512
  24. Total disk sectors: 1250263728
  25. Logical sector size: 512
  26. Physical sector size: 512
  27. Media rotation rate: N/A
  28. Buffer size: 16384 KB
  29. ECC size: 50 Bytes
  30.  
  31. Standards compliance:
  32. ATA8-ACS Supported: Yes
  33. ATA/ATAPI-7 Supported: Yes
  34. ATA/ATAPI-6 Supported: Yes
  35. ATA/ATAPI-5 Supported: Yes
  36. ATA/ATAPI-4 Supported: Yes
  37. Serial/Parallel: Serial
  38. SATA 3.0 Compilance: No
  39. SATA 2.6 Compilance: No
  40. SATA 2.5 Compilance: Yes
  41. SATA II: Ext Compilance: Yes
  42. SATA 1.0a Compilance: Yes
  43. ATA8-AST Compilance: No
  44. World Wide ID: 50014EE256FB2D65
  45.  
  46. Feature support:
  47. SMART supported: Yes
  48. SMART enabled: Yes
  49. SMART self-test supported: Yes
  50. SMART error log supported: Yes
  51. LBA supported: Yes
  52. IORDY supported: Yes
  53. CFast supported: No
  54. DMA supported: Yes
  55. Maximum Multiword DMA mode supported: 2
  56. Multiword DMA selected: None
  57. Maximum UltraDMA mode supported: 6
  58. UltraDMA selected: 6
  59. Maximum PIO mode supported: 4
  60. SATA Compliance: Yes
  61. NCQ priority information supported: No
  62. Unload while NCQ commands are outstanding supported: No
  63. Phy Event Counters supported: Yes
  64. Receipt of power management requests supported: No
  65. NCQ feature set supported: Yes
  66. SATA Gen2 Signaling Speed (3.0Gb/s) supported: Yes
  67. SATA Gen1 Signaling Speed (1.5Gb/s) supported: Yes
  68. Software Settings Preservation: Supported, Enabled
  69. In-order data delivery: Not supported
  70. Initiating power management: Supported, Enabled
  71. DMA Setup auto-activation: Supported, Enabled
  72. Non-zero buffer offsets: Not supported
  73. Trusted Computing supported: No
  74. Host Protected Area (HPA) supported: No
  75. Read look-ahead supported: Yes
  76. Read look-ahead enabled: Yes
  77. Write cache supported: Yes
  78. Write cache enabled: Yes
  79. Power management supported: Yes
  80. Security mode supported: No
  81. Device Configuration Overlay (DCO) supported: Yes
  82. 48bit Addressing supported: Yes
  83. Auto Acoustic Managment (AAM) supported: Yes
  84. Auto Acoustic Managment (AAM) enabled: Yes
  85. Recommended AAM level: Minimum acoustic emanation level
  86. Current AAM level: Minimum acoustic emanation level
  87. Power-up in Standby (PUIS) supported: Yes
  88. Power-up in Standby (PUIS) enabled: No
  89. Advanced Power Management (APM) supported: No
  90. CompactFlash Association (CFA) supported: No
  91. General Purpose Logging (GPL) supported: Yes
  92. Streaming supported: No
  93. Media card pass through supported: No
  94. Extended power conditions supported: No
  95. Extended status reporting supported: No
  96. Write-read-verify supported: No
  97. Free-fall control supported: No
  98. TRIM command supported: No
  99. SCT command transport supported: Yes
  100. NV Cache enabled: No
  101. NV Cache Power Management supported: No
  102.  
  103. SMART ATTRIBUTES:
  104. ID Description Status Value Worst Threshold Raw Value TEC
  105. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  106. 1 Raw Read Error Rate OK 184 184 51 311350 N.A.
  107. 3 Spin Up Time OK 156 155 21 5158 N.A.
  108. 4 Start/Stop Count OK 98 98 0 2756 N.A.
  109. 5 Reallocated Sector Count OK 200 200 140 0 N.A.
  110. 7 Seek Error Rate OK 200 200 51 0 N.A.
  111. 9 Power On Time OK 88 88 0 9309 N.A.
  112. 10 Spin Retry Count OK 100 100 51 0 N.A.
  113. 11 Calibration Retry Count OK 100 100 51 0 N.A.
  114. 12 Power Cycle Count OK 98 98 0 2191 N.A.
  115. 192 Power off Retract Count OK 200 200 0 170 N.A.
  116. 193 Load Cycle Count OK 200 200 0 2756 N.A.
  117. 194 Temperature OK 108 101 0 39 C N.A.
  118. 196 Reallocation Event Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
  119. 197 Current Pending Sector Count OK 200 200 0 2 N.A.
  120. 198 Uncorrectable Sector Count OK 200 200 0 2 N.A.
  121. 199 UltraDMA CRC Error Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
  122. 200 Write Error Count OK 179 179 51 2779 N.A.
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a c 415 G Storage
September 5, 2011 8:04:32 PM

It looks to me like you've got a problem drive, judging from the values shown for counters like "Raw Read Error Rate", "Write Error Count", etc. The "Current Pending Sector Count" shows that you have sectors that the drive hasn't been able to read at all.

In the situation you're describing I think I'd buy a new drive and transfer everything to it.
m
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