What is the normal read/write speed for a 7200rpm hard drive?

I have a PC running Windows 7 64-bit on a Intel i3 processor, 2.93MHz on a  Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3 and with two Seagate Baracuda ES.2 disks.

When I copy a folder from one of the disks to the other, I notice that the speed is 26 MB/second according to the Windows 7 "info window" that pops up when starting the copy job. Is this really "normal"? It feels very slow to me! And if it should be faster, what can be done about it?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Is the disk fragmented?  Is there other disk activity at the time?  Are you copying large files or a great many small files?  Do you have antivirus software running?  26 MB/second seems a bit slow, but could be normal depending on what you're copying and the circumstances at the time of copy.
DellbyAuthor Commented:
I am copying a "normal" file folder with 75,4 GB worth of data and 1 300 files. ESET NOD32 is running as anti virus software. If there are other disk activities going on at the time I cannot tell (because I have not reached that level of IT knowhow ;-)
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
26MB is moderately slow for those drives, but when copying a large number of relatively small files it's not that uncommon.     To really get a good feel for how well the drives are performing, copy a few large (100MB plus) files and see what the transfer speed is for them.

Things that impact the performance:  (a)  where on the disk the files are and where they're being written to (the outermost cylinders are much quicker than the inner cylinders);  (b)  whether the drive policies are optimized for performance or not (if not then the directory is written after each file on the destination, which can greatly decrease the speed;  (c) the transfer mode on the drives (clearly not the issue here, since if one of the drives was degraded to PIO mode the transfers would be MUCH slower than what you're seeing;  and (d)  any S.M.A.R.T. reallocations that are taking place during the drive operations (not likely a factor).

As an example, if I copy a large (20GB) file from one of my Caviar Blacks to another I typically get around 120MB/s performance ... but that's ONE file.

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DellbyAuthor Commented:
Thanks both of you!

I opened Acronis Disk Director and found that one of the drives was set up as a "Super Floppy"??? I had never seen that expression before. Then I tried to format the drive from inside Acronis Disk Director 11, but it reported that the disk had several bad sectors, and after this I cannot get to the drive at all, so I trashed it as I cannot sleep with a drive like that storing important data... If, in the future, (or should I say, when?...) I should encounter a similar situation, is there a better tool than Acronis Disk Director? It seemed a bit limited to me when having to deal with this kind of disk problem?
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
You don't need ANY 3rd party tools to set up your disk for normal use  [and if you DO need a good 3rd party partition manager, use Boot-It NG ... a bit "geeky", but rock-solid].

I'd download Western Digital's Data Lifeguard or Seagate's SeaTools (I prefer Data Lifeguard -- which will work fine with the Seagate drive -- but you may prefer the Seagate utility since it's a Seagate drive);  then use the "Write Zeroes" utility to completely clear the drive.     [This will take several hours if its a large drive -- a 2TB drive takes ~ 6 hrs]

Then go into Disk Management, re-initialize the drive (do NOT convert it to dynamic -- an easy mistake to make);  and then create a new volume on the drive.     It should work fine then (unless, of course, there's actually something physically wrong with the drive).
DellbyAuthor Commented:
Thanks Gary, that was most inspiring!
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