Hard drive in laptop optical bay, Hanging. Identifies as ATA instead of SATA

My laptop has 2 drives, a 120gb SSD in the "normal" hard drive location (SATA3), and a 750gb HDD in a hard drive caddy where my optical drive used to be (SATA2 I believe that is). It's an Alienware m14x r1.

The HDD appears to be the problematic drive, transfers go seemingly fine for a few seconds then the rate just plummets to 0-700kb/s. It may shoot back to up a reasonable speed, and then fall back down again. Launching any files or programs installed on the HDD is also incredibly slow. Chkdsk revealed no issues. Programs and files on the SSD run normally.

The 2 drives are:
- 750GB Seagate Momentus 7200RPM 2.5" SATA HD 16MB Cache
- Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive

Is anyone familiar with this or have an idea what the cause could be?
Thanks for your help.

edit: Fixed the title

**FIXED** If you stumble across this same problem, check your drivers. I was missing the storage controller driver, and intel RST driver. Installed those, and now it works perfect.
5 answers Last reply
More about hard drive laptop optical underperforming
  1. Take a look in event viewer and search for i/o errors on the disk. In this case try to clean the plug on the caddy, because it might only be a bad connection.
  2. noidea_77 said:
    Take a look in event viewer and search for i/o errors on the disk. In this case try to clean the plug on the caddy, because it might only be a bad connection.

    Thanks so much. Caddy should be clean now, didn't seem bad in the first place. I just checked event viewer and holy there's a big string of warning's for disk, i'm not sure what info is helpful here so i'll tell you what i see, if there's something else that's needed let me know.

    The IO operation at logical block address 28c838 for Disk 1 was retried
    There's 18,033 of these disk errors...

    I've got a couple 2.5" hard drives so i did some swapping around and all of them have this slow performance when they're inside the caddy in the optical bay, but seem to run fine if i put them in an external enclosure.

    My Samsung drive (500 gb 7200rpm) that originally came in the laptop had a dozen or so of these event errors.
  3. Problems like that are mainly based on contact problems from caddy to the bay. You can try to clean the blow out the bay and clean the jack at the caddy. Maybe that helps.
  4. After running HWinfo it looks like windows is only recognizing the drive as being ATA, not SATA. Would that be part of the problem here?
  5. Is it true that if a high end laptop even tough supports 2 HDD and if you install a secondary HDD or replace the DVD rom with Caddy and install a secondary HDD (the secondary HDD installed is SATA 3)

    In either case the secondary HDD which is SATA 3, but it will under perform because of the limitation of the disk controller chip on the motherboard, as it can support only one SATA 3 disk (in regards to data transfer rate)

    Because I am using 2 Seagate SSHD, and performance is poor.

    Below is the output from SiSoft Sandra

    Model : MSI GT70
    Mainboard : MSI MS-1762
    BIOS : AMI (OEM) E1762IMS.10U 01/21/2013
    Intel vPro :
    Total Memory : 31.9GB DDR3 SO-DIMM
    Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM CPU @ 2.30GHz (4C 8T 3.2GHz, 3.2GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 6MB L3)

    Disk Controller
    Model : MSI Panther Point Mobile 6 port SATA AHCI Controller
    OEM Device Name : Intel Panther Point Mobile 6 port SATA AHCI Controller
    URL : http://www.intel.com
    Interface : SATA
    Revision : A5
    Specification : 1.10
    Maximum SATA Mode : G3 / SATA600
    Channels : 4
    In Use Channels : 3, 75%

    Port : G1 / SATA150 --- This is my DVD ROM
    Port : G2 / SATA300 --- This is my secondary HDD (SATA3)
    Port : G3 / SATA600 --- This is my Primary HDD (SATA3)
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