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Poor WD HDD Performance

Posted on 1998-05-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I installed a WD 4.3 GB UDMA HDD in Feb. and I am getting poor performance.  It is partitioned into 1.3 and 2.0 GB partitions.  I have noticed that reading midi files from the d: drive takes a while, and during NHL 98 gameplay the game 'skips' sometimes, pausing the video or repeating part of a name several times before it continues.  I recently upgraded to a P-200 MMX and 32x cd-rom, which narrows it down to the HDD.  How can I improve the HDD performance?
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Question by:lieffm
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1135246
You mentioned that the driver is a UDMA but you didn't specify is your system supports UDMA drives or if you have installed the drivers that are necessary to get UDMA to perform.  Check with your system or motherboard manufacturer and see if they have UDMA drivers available for your system.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1135247
It will be a fast drive, even if running in PIO mode.  Check System Properties in Control Panel to make sure the drive is not running in "Dos Compatibility Mode".
If you have an Intel chipset on the motherboard, go here for PCI bridge fix and Busmaster drivers:
http://www.windrivers.com/company/intel/default.htm
Check the readme files for info.
Regards,
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1135248
Of course "fast" is a relative term.  It depends on what you are used to or what you are expecting.  
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by:jhance
ID: 1135249
BTW, you didn't mention how much RAM you have in your system.  It's not uncommon for Win95 to "burp" every so often as it swaps memory in and out in a low RAM condition.
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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135250
I have 32 MB SDRAM so I don't think that's the problem.  I looked up the info Ralph suggested and remembered that there have been errors in
Control Panel->System->Device Manager->Hard Disk Controllers->Primary IDE controller and Secondary IDE controller since my ASUS TX97 was installed.  The HDD seemed to work ok, but maybe the performance wasn't up to par.  The Intel 82371SB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller (don't quote me on that #) is fine.  Maybe the question I should have asked is how to fix those errors.
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Expert Comment

by:JBURGHARDT
ID: 1135251
Download drivers from Asus web site then search your registry for noide if you find it then del it and them isntall bus mastering drivers
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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135252
I have 32 MB SDRAM so I don't think that's the problem.  I looked up the info Ralph suggested and remembered that there have been errors in
Control Panel->System->Device Manager->Hard Disk Controllers->Primary IDE controller and Secondary IDE controller since my ASUS TX97 was installed.  The HDD seemed to work ok, but maybe the performance wasn't up to par.  The Intel 82371SB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller (don't quote me on that #) is fine.  Maybe the question I should have asked is how to fix those errors.
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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135253
I didn't mean to reject the second answer...I hadn't even seen it until I had already rejected it!?  Give me a day or so to try out the suggestions...
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Accepted Solution

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rmarotta earned 50 total points
ID: 1135254
The answers should be at the URL I gave you.  The readme files should give you all the help you need, but let me know if you need more.
Ralph

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by:rmarotta
ID: 1135255
The PCI Bridge fix will straighten out your controller mess.  So download & install it first.  It will repair whatever is presently installed and you can download Busmaster drivers at the same site.
Regards
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135256
The drives were running in "Dos compatability Mode".  I installed the Bus Mastering drivers and started having problems (should I uninstall them from Safe Mode, install the PCI Bridge Fix, then reinstall the Bus Mastering drivers?).  It found a whole bunch of new hardware (system devices) so I had two of everything, plus 4 floppy drive controllers, and all kinds of crazy stuff.  I removed the second instance of everything and rebooted and it found them all again.  So I removed the first instance of everything.  Now it takes a LONG time to reboot.  The HDD seems to be holding things up.  My video is messed up too.
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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135257
Ok, I ran the Bus Mastering uninstaller and things are back to 'normal'.  When I boot the computer pauses with no disk activity for 15 secs. or so before the startup begins (shortcuts, start menu) but it is working ok otherwise, and the errors are back on the primary and secondary IDE controllers.  I await further instruction from you.  I think I will go ahead with the PCI Bus Fix.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1135258
The pause at bootup may be caused by drivers being loaded in your startup files.  Please post your autoexec.bat & config.sys  files here.
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135259
AUTOEXEC.BAT

SET SOUND=C:\PROGRA~1\CREATIVE\CTSND
SET MIDI=SYNTH:1 MAP:E
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6
rem - By Windows Setup - C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX /D:MSCD001 /V
path = C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND;C:\PROGRA~1\NORTON~1;c:\boot;C:\jdk1.1.5\bin
IF EXIST C:\IMNNQ_95\IMNENV.BAT CALL C:\IMNNQ_95\IMNENV.BAT
MSCDEX /D:MSCD001 /V


CONFIG.SYS

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
[common]
rem SHELL=C:\COMMAND.COM  C:\  /E:32000  /P
DEVICE=C:\CDPRO\VIDE-CDD.SYS /D:MSCD001

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by:rmarotta
ID: 1135260
Try renaming the config.sys & autoexec.bat files with a different extension.  This will preserve them in the event you want to restore them later.
Boot to Safe Mode and go into Device Manager to remove ALL instances of duplicated devices.  Remove all hard drive controllers.  (You may not be able to remove child devices, but remove the parent device.)
Then re-boot to Windows normally, without the renamed startup files loading.  Windows should detect and install devices properly.
Are any conflicts then listed in Device Manager?
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135261
I think I may have fixed the problem.  Following links from the URL you gave me, I found a MS help file similar to what jburghardt suggested.  I removed the noide line from the registry and rebooted.  The errors in the Device Manager are gone, so it apparently worked.  Now I just have to monitor the performance.  I will grade your answer and post comments in the next day or two.  Should I now reinstall the Bus Mastering Drivers?
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1135262
lieffm,
I would use the busmaster drivers if you want maximum performance from your new drive.  Is the PCI fix installed?  Getting busmastering installed goes much easier when the system devices are working properly first.
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135263
Sorry, yes I did install the PCI Bus Fix before when I said I was going to go ahead and do it.  Everything went screwy last night when I tried to install a new Matrox Mystique 220 4MB video card.  I put my old card back in (Trident 9680 2MB) and couldn't get the system back to normal (video mode was messed up).  I guess the PCI bus could have been a problem, so I should try it again now.  But the hdd controller problems have been around for a few months, like I said.
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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135264
Before I go ahead with the busmaster drivers, do I have a real-mode ATAPI cd-rom device driver installed in AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS.  The Busmaster setup says it won't work if I do, and one problem I had at one point was no cd-rom in Windows Explorer (though the drivers had been loaded on bootup).  If I do have such a driver installed, do I rem out the lines in AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS, install Busmaster, then add the lines again?
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1135265
If you have an ATAPI CDROM, Windows won't need those lines in your startup files.
Set BIOS detection to "Auto" and the hard drive and CDROM will be ready for Windows when it loads.
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135266
I have an Acer 632A 32x cd-rom.  I think it is ATAPI but don't know what that means.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1135267
Is windows running without the config and autoexec files loading?
Is the CDROM now recognized by Windows?
If so, then go ahead and install the PCI fix, followed by the Busmaster drivers.
If not, then we must find out why first.
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135268
I did install the PCI Bus Fix.  I just want to know if I should disable the cd-rom driver in AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS before I install the Busmaster drivers (which won't work if my cd-rom driver is real-mode ATAPI).

The config and autoexec files are being loaded right now.  The cd-rom is recognized by WIndows.
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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135269
I don't know how to set the cd-rom to AUTO in the bios.  I have my hdd as the primary master but I couldn't add any more drives (is my cd-rom primary slave?).  I moved to the primary slave and no keys did anything (enter and arrow keys moved down, space did nothing).
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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135270
Ok, I disbled the cd-rom driver in my AUTOEXEC and CONFIG files and the cd-rom still works (I assume Windows has installed the driver).  I installed the Busmaster drivers and an there is now a yellow exclamation point beside the Secondary Bus Master IDE Controller.  Should I unstall the Busmaster drivers and just see how the system runs?  I got my Matrox Mystique installed ok too.  Another thing, COM5 shows up in Device Manager.  Should I remove it?  I only use COM1 and COM2.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1135271
lieffm, Windows DOES NOT need autoexec.bat or config.sys files to run!  Why don't you just try running without them and save yourself a headache?
Did you just add the video card?  I would do one thing at a time and make sure everything works properly for a while before adding the next item.
The video card may create a whole new set of problems.
Did you go over the associated readme files with the downloaded drivers?  They should answer your questions about what you need to do to install them.
We need to get rid of that hard drive controller conflict.
Tell me exactly what controllers are listed in Device Manager.
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135272
I did get one thing working at a time before proceeding.  First I edited the registry.  That got rid of my exclamation points.  Then I installed the PCI Bus fix.  No problems.  Then I installed the video card.  Works fine.  Then I installed the Busmaster Drivers and I got a yellow exclamation point beside the Secondary IDE COntroller, so I uninstalled them and things seem to be working fine.  I was just going to test it for a few days to see if I see an improvement.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1135273
Surely that 32x CDROM and the UDMA hard drive are going to benefit by using busmastering.  I think I would try again, exactly as outlined in the directions which accompany the drivers.....  Without the real mode driver loaded.

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Author Comment

by:lieffm
ID: 1135274
You never told me if I could remove COM5.  It was in the Hardware Profile when I got my computer back from the upgrade.  I'm only using COM1 and COM2.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1135275
Go for it!
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