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My WD Hard Disk loads programs and windows slowly; after changing SATA plugs on

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September 4, 2011 10:21:02 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!
September 4, 2011 10:35:34 PM

Try a new SATA cable? Run S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics?
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September 5, 2011 7:49:39 AM

steelbeast said:
Try a new SATA cable? Run S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics?


The cable isn't faulty. I also ran the diagnostics; came back clean.

I also installed a new version of Intel Storage Manager which seemed to be the plug and play driver for the disk (it'd reinstall after I uninstalled that driver) which has fixed the boot speed and load speed of programs and my games.

However, now I'm experiencing stuttering in games, which I think is because of the disk but I want to rule everything out before I replace it.

Here's my new and more detailed post:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/113428-13-stuttering-...
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