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HDD sata transfers and boot extremely slow in Windows Server 2003

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August 12, 2012 1:20:37 PM

Hi there.
Computer is working as server in a small company.
PC was working fast and reliable from 2008.
But this year computer suddenly become slow and hdd transfers become low about 2mb/s.
Booting is also very long and takes forever to start.
"applying computer settings" message takes about 8 - 15 minutes.
PC is working under Windows Server 2003 SP2.

Hardware specification:

MOBO: GA-945GCMX-S2
HDD: 2x Samsung HD161HJ sata 160gb

There are charts from HD TUNE:
MAIN HDD WITH OS installed:


Secondary HDD With backup folders etc:


These transfers are ridiculous, right?
Computer have configured active directory, domain, dhcp etc etc, and all clients connected to domain are experiencing loss of performance.

I'm not sure, but i suppose that slow System starting(booting) is connected with slow hdd transfers rate.

PRIMARY and SECONDARY IDE CHANNEL are working in UDMA 5 mode.
deleting/reinstalling channels or Intel ICH7 drivers didn't help.

Also using script resetdma.vbs or manually resetting dma mode didn't help
HDD are working in UDMA-5 mode all the time, but transfers wont work normally.

I've used MiniXP distro from Hirens boot cd on THIS computer
And suprisely HDTUNE is showing that everything is ok !:
There are charts from hdtune working under miniXP:



Same hdd, same computer, but diffrent OS = everything OK.
I've uses Acronis true image to copy and compress all partitions and it was very quick about 15minutes.(70gb) So i exclude defective chipset, hdd and other hardware.

When i came to the company computer was already slowed down, and was full of viruses.

Of course i've dealed with them quickly. Now kaspersky endpoint security is installed.

These are logs from OTL:



I rule out option of reinstalling system.
Please someone help me to fix that problem.
a b G Storage
August 12, 2012 7:13:38 PM

First things first.

1) Have you verified there isn't an updated driver for your SATA controller and the drive?
2) have u confirmed the drive needs no firmware updates?
3) have u confirmed the hard drive's removal policy? (Is disk caching enabled?)
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a c 82 G Storage
August 12, 2012 7:38:14 PM

Have you checked if the CPU runs at full speed? How much memory is installed and used according to Task manager?
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August 12, 2012 9:02:28 PM

i've found that sqlagent$msfw service causes loss of hdd read write performance.
That process takes large amount of ram and performs many HDD read-write operations.
Process is connected with microsoft ISA.
Im not sure if i can just disable process, cause i need to keep all functions working.
I can only say that turning off this service BRINGS MY TRANSFERS BACK to normal speed. Now i have average 60mb/s read on main hdd.
Booting didn't speed up.
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a b G Storage
August 12, 2012 9:05:44 PM

If you are running ISA Server, this computer will be slow and over burdened no matter what. just be glad it worked on the first install.
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a c 82 G Storage
August 12, 2012 11:42:40 PM

razorpl said:
i've found that sqlagent$msfw service causes loss of hdd read write performance.
That process takes large amount of ram and performs many HDD read-write operations.
Process is connected with microsoft ISA.
Im not sure if i can just disable process, cause i need to keep all functions working.
I can only say that turning off this service BRINGS MY TRANSFERS BACK to normal speed. Now i have average 60mb/s read on main hdd.
Booting didn't speed up.

Booting time isn't as important because that occurs only a few times a year on a server. How much memory is free when not running sqlagent$msfw (required when MSDE logging is used for ISA Server)?Does it boot faster if you disable the service?
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August 13, 2012 9:38:00 AM

ISA Logging service takes up to 800mb of ram when running.
Disabling this service made booting is a bit faster. But it doesn't really matter like You said.
Does anyone know how to uninstall ISA Advanced logging feature?
This option certainly will be useless for me. Log folder of ISA sql service growes to 17gb.
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Best solution

a c 82 G Storage
August 13, 2012 12:08:21 PM
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August 13, 2012 10:58:37 PM

Thank You @GhislainG. Your advice solve the problem.
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August 24, 2012 9:16:06 AM

Best answer selected by razorpl.
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