Poor Hard drive performance

Posted on 2003-02-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Using PC pitstop testing, my PC test results are here:


The poor HD performance thing is the concern. I have done everything that they suggest, defragging, removed apy ware and found and removed a virus. Those test results are after I did the above.

It is testing and finding unusually slow, the uncached speed.

What if anything can I do? I don't want to reformat this drive. I formatted and loaded XP apprx. 6 months ago.
Question by:drbob101
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Expert Comment

ID: 8021127
Do you have a lot of items running in the background? If you aren't sure, on the bottom right of your taskbar, do you have alot of icons showing besides your anti-virus, firewall and clock? If so, go to "start", "run" and type in "msconfig". Click on the "start-up" tab and you will see a bunch of boxes, uncheck everything but your anti-virus and firewall. Click apply and you will have to restart your computer. See if this helps.


Author Comment

ID: 8021258
I have either removed or in selective start up unchecked all programs. There is nothing running at all. No antivirus SW either.

Expert Comment

ID: 8021725
Your cpu is OK for the minimum configuration but not for the recommended on windows XP.

What kind of hard drive do you use?
Hard disk speed depends on what type it is ata or scsi and also from those you have further categories ata33, ata66, ata100 ata133 or scsi1,2 ultra....

If you haven't change your hard disk since you bought the computer, it is probably an ATA33 with a 5400rpm.  That is slow but shouldn't cause you any problems.

Why do you worry about performance? are you recording audio or video?

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Author Comment

ID: 8021842
Thanks for the reply...

I am not sure what type of drive it is. It is the original in a P2, probably 4-5 years old?

The PC seems to run OK. I guess I was just trying to maximize it's performance if that was possible.  If there isn't anything that can be improved, I will just leave it as it is.

Yes we do use it for audio recording, but it seesm to work OK for that.  

Expert Comment

ID: 8022075

If it is 4 or 5 years old it is an ata33 or ata66 if it was a top of the line when you bought it.
There's not much you can do to maximize performance on that drive.

Here are a few things you might want to try, but the difference won't be that much.

-  Try to run defragmentation often
-  Try to delete old files, unneeded files, etc
-  Make it the only drive in the controller or separate from the source of data.  For example if you are copying music files from your cd to the hard disk, it will be faster if the hard disk is on controller 1 and the cd on controller 2 -- not connected using the same ribbon cable.
-  If you are creating music files, you might have to separate the drive from the temp folder used by the application or the pagefile used by the OS.

Hope this helps,

Expert Comment

ID: 8025429
I have found that if you upgrade/update your motherboard drivers that it significantly improves your computers performance.
Go to the mobo manufacturers website and download those for win XP

Expert Comment

ID: 8025883
Hello ,
   I Go to START button and select RUN option . After this Run Box will open . In this Box type Msconfig and press enter ( It recquires msconfig.exe ) . From the "StartUp" tab remove Un-necessary entities. This Will help u to increase speed.U can also use the tool called as "Spinrite" it is the best one which u must see. U can download it from "www.filesearching.com" . In this web search for "Spinrite"
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

magarity earned 400 total points
ID: 8029507
Follow the link given to the model of hard drive and you won't be suprised.

The disk in question is a 6GB Quantum BigFoot.  The BigFoots were Quantum's seriously low-end inexpensive line.  The idea was that 5.25 inch platters with their lower densities were cheaper to make than 3.5 inch drives of the same capacity.  For a while it was true until densities took off and now 3.5 inch drives are more cost effective.  But older technology and lower densities mean abysmal performance compared to the new, tighter 3.5 inch platters.  Quantum sold quite a few to OEM builders, mainly HP for their Pavillion series, before Quantum went out of business.  PCPitstop does not take brands and models into account but simply assumes an average new model.  The BigFoots are old and slow.  These numbers are about on par for it.

Author Comment

ID: 8030064
Thank you for that informative response re: the Big Foot.

I was wondering if there was something inhernet in the drive that was an issue as I had done everything else possible to improve upon it (removing spy ware, viruses, proggies running, defragging, etc. ). This puter was my Dad's that he had bought as a refurb and he was always complaining about it's performance. I finally bought him a new puter and took this one and formatted the drive and loaded XP and low and behold started seeing some of the issues he was talking about, thus the PC Pit stop test and the question here.

It is my 13 yr. old daughters  puter now , and with cable modem , etc. , it is adequate for her needs. Would installing a new HD be worthwhile? I have never replaced a HD, but I  am up to the task. Is it a big deal to do?


Author Comment

ID: 8030109
Apart from the obvious things to try, which I had already tried, this answer gets to the heart of the issue here, ALthough it isn't in itself a fix, it is really the explanation of what the solution would be. Thanks.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 8030118
"Would installing a new HD be worthwhile?"

Do you need one?  Sure, it might be slow, but it works.  Does the 13yo need high performance?

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