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Slow hard drive in laptop - Driver problem?

Posted on 2004-09-10
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a Toshiba Satellite 1905-S303 laptop with a Toshiba MK4018GAP 40 GB hard drive.  The system has recently gotton real slow, and in running some diagnostics I've found that the hard drive performance is awful.  Using Diskspeed32 (http://www.geocities.com/vgrinenko/DiskSpeed32/) my performance results are as follows:
Avr. access time  25.5 ms
Read burst speed 3.4 mbps
Max speed 3533 kBytes/s

During the burst tests the CPU utilization peaks at 100%.

I went to the Toshiba web site and they indicate there are no specific drivers for this hard drive, the driver is include with the OS (I'm running XP Pro).

The specs they show for the drive are:
Avg seek 13ms
Max transfer rate 100MB/Sec
(http://sdd.toshiba.com/cda/main.aspx?Path=/818200000007000000010000659800000940/81820000011d000000010000659c000003fd/8182000001c8000000010000659c00000599/8182000001e5000000010000659c000005cb/8182000001ed000000010000659c000005da)

I flashed my BIOS with the latest version, just for kicks, with no help.

Does anyone have any idea how I can further isolate this problem or, better yet, fix it?
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Question by:wmiddle
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eccs19 earned 500 total points
ID: 12027965
I would check in your Device Manager, and check under IDE devices.  check the properties for the primary & secondary IDE (HD most likly on primary)  See if the hard drive is running in DMA mode. (if it shows up at PIO mode, that is propably your problem.  To fix it, you may have to remove the drivers for the device, re-boot, and let it detect them again, and hope for the best.
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Author Comment

by:wmiddle
ID: 12028090
How can I tell if my hard drive is on the primary or secondary channel?  My primary channel Is set for "DMA if available", but the current transfer mode is PIO.  The secondary channel is set the same way and the current transfer mode is "Ultra DMA Mode 2".  I'm not sure which is my Hard drive.
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Expert Comment

by:OliWarner
ID: 12028149
Have you done a decent defreag?

A fragmented filesystem is a slow filesystem...
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Author Comment

by:wmiddle
ID: 12028174
Yes, I've done a defrag
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Expert Comment

by:OliWarner
ID: 12028279
it could just be the read/write-heads or the barings in your HD going...
they usually go quite fast once they start, but you could have an exception to the rule...
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Author Comment

by:wmiddle
ID: 12028441
I uninstalled both IDE channels and rebooted.  Now the primary channel is showing a transfer mode of "Ultra DMA Mode 5".  I reran the same test and get these results:

Avr. access time  25.1 ms
Read burst speed 85.4 mbps
Max speed 23859 kBytes/s

Although I'd like to see better performance results, it looks like this fixed the problem.  My CPU utilization also did no spike during the burst tests.  I expect my system will run much better now.  Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 12028452
More than likly your hard drive is on Primary as master, but if you go back into your device manager, and select the properties for the hard drive, you should see something like "Location 0(0)".  If it's 0(0), then it's primary master. (Primary device 0) if it's 0(1), then primary device 1, etc.  Hope this helps out.
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 12028468
I guess I was a bit slow with my second answer, but at least your back up and going.  Thanks for the points.  ;-)
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