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Hard Drive configured and Running Correctly?

Posted on 2000-01-28
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I just put together a computer from scratch.  I'm new at this and not sure if my hard drive is running properly.  Everything is installed and seems to be running correctly.  The question I have is how do I find out if my hard drive is performing to its capabilities.  I have a new MS 6167 mainboard with a Athlon 600.  I put a new Western Digital WD136BA-OOAK, Ultra ATA/66, 72,000RPM in the system.  I used the Data Lifeguard Tools, Version 2.1, to partition and format the drive.  The MS 6167 supports ATA/66.  Is there a test to see if I'm getting 66 or is the hard drive doing only 33.  How do I know if my DMA is Enable to support 66?  With the drive at 72,000, I should see some increase in performance.  I always thought and heard that the ATA\66 would show some gain but with the 72,000RPM drive a big difference would be notice.  There should be a test that can be performed to see if the hard drive is doing what it is supposed to do.  Run at 66.  Is there a test that I can do?  What about the DMA?  How do I check to see if it is properly set?
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Question by:fishinopa
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by:1cell
ID: 2398682
Some info on ATA66:

I have ATA66 drives on an Abit motherboard and enabled them in the beginning to run ATA66 but found it to be a bit buggy at boot and not a huge performance increase was noted.  So, I contacted Quantum and talked to a very honest tech there.  He explained that the ATA66 is not going to be very noticeable unless the drives are over 7200 RPM because lower RPMs wouldn't use the bandwidth.  The place you will notice some slight speed increases is in booting and in opening programs but it is VERY slight.  

To answer your question, if the drive is ATA66 and the motherboard supports it, the only other thing you need is an ATA66 cable.  If you have that cable, it's working but the difference might be less than noticeable.
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by:1cell
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basically 66 is just the bandwidth provided by the cable
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by:1cell
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does that answer your question? do you need more info?
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by:fishinopa
ID: 2403401
Edited text of question.
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1cell earned 400 total points
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ok, I think you mean your drive is 7200, not 72,000RPM as that would not be invented yet.  As I mentioned above, the drives above that are the only which really see an effect from the extra bandwidth.  A drive spinning at 7200 does not put out enough data to completely use the ATA cable.  However, if you have an ATA cable between an ATA drive and an ATA capable motherboard, it is using it.  This would be the same as knowing that the CD-ROM is using IDE because it's an IDE device connected to an IDE controller on the motherboard with an IDE cable. You don't need a test, you just need to know the hardware which is used.  Does this make sense?  To measure the performance increase, you would have to install a non-ATA drive to compare and buy a performance benchmark program.  There are some tools in windows which can point a few things and some garbageware out there but to get true, accurate benchmarks, you have to get a good program and they aren't free.  I'd say if you have the right hardware, it's working, unless you're going to install an IDE drive to compare it to, you wont know the difference in performance.  Cool to have but not going to knock up the speed of your system that much.  I was a little dissapointed myself.

To check DMA on a device:
1)  right click on my computer and select properties
2)  click on device manager
3)  click the plus to the left of the device category ( in this case, disk drives )
4)  highlight the specific device and click properties
5)  click on settings
6)  DMA is on the right towards the bottom.
***** do not enable DMA on CD-RW drives****
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by:fishinopa
ID: 2413824
Thanks for the answer.  I was hoping that it would have been a easy, self doing test to see what kind of performance increase you gain from a 66 over a 33.
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by:1cell
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unfortunately, it's not much on most systems.  glad I could help you anyway.
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