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Slow Sata 3 HDD

Last response: in Storage
June 17, 2012 7:32:37 PM


I currently have a Seagate 1TB Barracuda Hard Drive, ST1000DM003 SATA-III 3.5" Hard Drive, 7200RPM 64 MB Cache. Unfortunatly, I only have a Sata 2 board. I am currently getting transfer rates of around 12MB/ps, if not slower. I have heard you should be able to use a Sata 3 Drive with a Sata 2 board, but may need jumpers, could this be the reason why the transfer speeds are low? do I need to use jumpers?

More about : slow sata hdd

a c 523 G Storage
June 17, 2012 7:44:26 PM

Yes, SATA drives are backwards compatible.

SATA drives (hard drives or solid state drives) do not use jumpers.

The data transfer rate of your drive is up to 156MB/s.

If you are copying "To" and "From" the same drive that could be the reason for the slow transfer rates.
June 17, 2012 7:48:02 PM

Well on one occasion, I was transfering videos from my Portable HDD to the one mentioned, and the transfer rate went from 130MB/ps, down to 20MB/ps, then from the mentioned HDD to the portable went from 60MB/ps to 12MB/ps. Finally, from one partition, to another ont the same drive, the speed dropped right down to 4MB/ps.

Correct me if I am wrong but that surely can not be right, it seems way to low for even a Sata 2 drive (how I assume it is running)
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a c 523 G Storage
June 17, 2012 8:00:52 PM

jason290988 said:
Correct me if I am wrong but that surely can not be right, it seems way to low for even a Sata 2 drive (how I assume it is running)

You're right.

Is the port your HDD connected to in AHCI mode? Also, in Device Manager is Write Caching enabled for the HDD?
a c 353 G Storage
June 17, 2012 8:05:27 PM

^ Concur on checking write caching.
1) transfering from an external USB2 HDD -> internal HDD (and visa versa) is going to be SLOWWWWW.
2) Going from one partition to another on the same drive is slow also. The head has to move to the read postion then to the write position and back and forth. But even more important is the next item.

3) Overall speed is also HIGLY dependent on the type (size) of individual files and placement on the drive. Are the reads sequencial, or random requests. HDD advertized speed is for sequencial. Ramdom file locaions can really be slow when using HDD. This is why SSDs are so popular, their Random speeds are any wheres from 20 to 40 X faster. HDD access time is like 12 mSec But an SSD is 100 x faster with a access time of 0.1 (or less) access time.

That said, Is your HDD using AHCI or IDE mode? the msahci driver is much better than the pcide driver. You can check this by downloading as ssd and opening it up (unless you want to be disapointed, don't run benchmark) It will show what driver is being used.
June 17, 2012 8:06:24 PM

Write caching is enabled, But I think the HDD is set as Sata mode through my Bios. Could this be the problem? I believe the last time I set the HDD to AHCI mode, the PC would never load, it would get to windows is loading screen then BSOD on me, Unfortunatly, the screen would only flash on, so could never get the Code for it.
June 17, 2012 8:14:05 PM

Additional to the previous, I just changed to AHCI mode, and the PC BSOD again. Not sure why, as I said, it just flashes on screen then reboots.
a c 353 G Storage
June 17, 2012 8:14:49 PM

Yes, you will get a BSOD when changing the BIOS to other than what it was set to when windows was installed. - Reason - simple, windows has the wrong driver and can not read the drive.

Most make the mistake of setting the Bios to IDE, then find -OOPs I wanted ahci - Happens alot when installing windows to an SSD.
This is easilly correctable with first a registry change then a reboot, go to bios and change IDE -> AHCI and walla fixed.

Not sure if Bios were set to SATA That it is as easy to change; HOWEVER, if you have the Bios set to SATA (ie so raid could be used), as long as you down load the Intel RST chipset driver and use iaSTor for the driver you should be OK. Intels iaSTor driver is the equivalnt of MS default msahic driver. The drive, as LONG as NOT a member drive of an raid array will be TREATED as if it it in ahci mode.

ms fix for Sata -> ahci
June 17, 2012 8:20:42 PM

I am not sure if this will heal, but when my PC first boots up, A screen comes up saying checking things and what not. On it, it says Checking Sata - IDE Hard Disk. Also, I gather what you are saying is if the HDD is not set to AHCI, I will not benifit from the fastest possible speeds, and to get it to run in this mode, I will have to do a reinstall of Windows (sounds simpler than editing the registry)
a c 353 G Storage
June 17, 2012 8:26:15 PM

For some, the registry edit, works best, for Others, it may be best to do a re-install.

If you think you would prefer the re-install, you have nothing to loose by first trying the fix. You DO NOT have to edit the registry if you select "fix the problem" about mid way down the link under "fix it for me" - MS will edit the registry for you.
NOTHING to lose, but could save a lot of time. - If doesn't work, nothing lost and you can do the re-install method.
June 17, 2012 8:34:11 PM

Ok, done the regedit myself (actually is not that hard if you can follow instuctions), and loaded in AHCI mode, Windows loaded around 5 seconds quicker, I guess it is due to this. Should my transfer rates be quicker now as a result?
a c 353 G Storage
June 17, 2012 8:40:33 PM

Only one way to find out, As I said there are some varibles. You could always run a benchmark on the drive and compare to advertize.
While I'm not a lover of benchmarks, they do measurements consistantly, wereas indivdual test are some times hard to qualify.
June 17, 2012 8:52:28 PM

ok I used HD Tune to do a benchmark the results were

HD Tune: ST1000DM003-9YN162 Benchmark
Transfer Rate Minimum : 1.6 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 210.0 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 85.1 MB/sec
Access Time : 40.7 ms
Burst Rate : 32.6 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 5.3%

I also transfered some videos from one patition to another, and the speed would fluctuate between 40MB/ps - 55MB/ps. It would start at around 220MB/ps.

Is this about average?
a c 353 G Storage
June 17, 2012 9:14:33 PM

HD Tune. Not sure, but
Min rate seems low, and
Access time should be around 12.6 mSec I thought.
Burst rate is not that important

Just copied a 13.9 gig Blu-ray file from drive F-> G (same HDD), my slowest speed was 110 MB/s HDD - WD 1TB Black on Marvel sata III controller, Which is NOT as good as the Intel controller.
June 17, 2012 9:18:40 PM

Is yours a Sata 3 HDD and a Sata 3 Controller? Mine is a Sata 3 HDD but my Mobo is only able to use Sata 2. Which is why I asked about the jumpers, I saw some WD HDD needed them to run properly, but not sure about Seagate.

Are there any other things you can think of to speed it up? could it be the Sata cable?, The Mobo? The PSU?
a c 353 G Storage
June 17, 2012 9:27:55 PM

The ONLY reall difference between a SATA III HDD on SATA III verse SATAII is the "burst Rate" This Has Very little effect on overall usage - Only importan if you do a lot of "small files (size and Number) transfers.
A Sata III HDD will NOT saturate a SATA II port, therfore avg throughput is NOT increased By SATA III.

Yourdrive does NOT have good stats, ie 19% 1 egg ratings vs only 54% 5 egg

Most likely that is not your problem, although it is possible.
What is the controller that is being used - Should be msahci. Just need to verify that for some reason it has not gone to pcide.
You can use as ssd to veify driver.

Have to run, but I'm sure someone else will pick up.
June 17, 2012 9:43:13 PM

How can I tell which controller I am using? Is it in Device manager?
June 17, 2012 9:44:48 PM

sorry just saw it on as ssd, It is on msahci
a c 353 G Storage
June 17, 2012 10:12:34 PM

msahci is good, That SATAIII card would not really help, except with burst mode.
SATA III is primarily for SATA III SSDs, which are from 20 to 40 times faster than a HDD.

Beginning to suspect the HDD, unless some else comes up with something I've over looked.
June 17, 2012 10:15:13 PM

I am starting to think the same thing. May have to look at returning it, and getting a WD black. Should have gone for that at first!
Thanks for your help anyway. It is really appreciated
a c 353 G Storage
June 17, 2012 10:18:45 PM

My choice is HDDs are: WD Blacks (NOT the green, blue, nor red with yellow pokadots), and the Samsung F3. Unfornatunately samsung just sold their Spinpoint lineup to Seagate - Seagate drives I stoped buying when they had the -11 fiasco.
June 17, 2012 10:22:17 PM

yeah, I was originally going to buy a WD Black, but as I was on a tight budget, I choose the Seagate almost purely on price. Since the price of HDD has shot up over the past year, because of the Taiwan floods, it is hard to find a good bargain.

I will leave it for now, if anyone else can help, I will try it, if not it will be returned.
June 18, 2012 12:08:02 PM

OK, I have now updated my chipset drivers, (device manager was showing as 2006) could not find them on maufaturers site, but went to Nvidia (board is and Nvidia nForce 610i/7050) and got them. Tried 2 transfers, 1 video folder sized around 1.5GB - speed was around 75/80 MB/ps. and also tried a video folder of around 30GB - speed was around 50 - 65MB/ps. I suppose this is about average for a Sata II controller? And the fluctuation will vary depending on size of folder?