1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

SATA2 Hard Drive Performance Slow

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by d4005, Feb 15, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. d4005

    d4005 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    The Problem:
    -------------

    When I start copying a file of roughly 100MB or more from my primary hard drive to a secondary one, or even if I'm copying it to itself, the copying progress bar zooms along at a normal rate. The little green blocks and the time remaining are what you'd expect. Then as it gets to a certain point, it slows down and down and down. The time remaining that might have been 5 seconds doubles and doubles and before you know it it's got several minutes remaining. What started out as a 5 or 10 second estimate, becomes a 7 minute estimate, and the file really does take more than a minute to copy.

    I've ran some disk performance check tools and ran chkdsk and find no problems. The file copy never fails. It's not only file copy operations either, I've noticed that when viewing a video of for example 350MB, if I drag the position slider along in 1 or 2 minute amounts, then the video instantaneously starts playing from the new slider position. If I drag the slider beyond a certain point, it can take a good second or two before it manages to start playing from the new position.

    Now to the background info that should answer any follow-up questions:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    - The machine is a dual-core E6600 Intel box, so it's not slow.
    - The "system idle" process is rarely ever under 98% during these operations.
    - If I have several copies occurring in parallel, they're all slow, and they drag the machine responsiveness down to the ground (despite system idle still being over 95% for over 95% of the time).
    - The drives are Samsung 7200rpm/16MB SATA 2 (aka Sata-300) HD401LJ and HD501LJ.
    - OS is Windows XP service pack 2 with dual monitors.
    - Memory is 2GB OCZ PC2-6400 Platinum
    - Motherboard is ASUS P5B Deluxe WiFi P965
    - I'm not using any kind of RAID (** see point below **).
    - Virus protection is Avast (previously had McAfee and Norton and problem was identical)
    - Extra protection from Spybot running Teatimer.
    - Maybe relevant, I have SVN installed and therefore have TSVNCache running.

    One thing I suspect, although I have no proof and it's only a theory, is that I use Acronis TrueImage 10 for my backing up. However, I don't use it's "backup" facility (because backups take too long to restore). Instead, I use it's "clone disk" feature. For this, I put in an identical drive (also a Samsung) and execute the clone operation. When this is finished, and I reboot, I therefore have two identical drives. It seems to boot just fine from the original, although perhaps the clone (with the same boot sector) confuse it. I wonder whether this confuses the system into running in RAID mode and then when I remove the second (clone) drive, the first is left in a "broken raid" situation and continues to live it's life hoping to find it's partner drive and finds itself timing out looking for it and provides the data that the second drive was meant to. This is all a crazy idea I dreamt up and maybe complete nonsense. I've looked in all config items I can (including the BIOS settings) and find no evidence that RAID is enabled (in fact in the BIOS it distinctly isn't enabled).

    Does anyone have an idea? Maybe there's a tool that I can try which can identify the real problem.
     
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    39,196
    First of all, in order to run raid you must have the raid mode enabled in the bios. If it is not enabled, raid does not just start on its own.

    Next I would check to see what mode of transfer your sata controller is using; ie DMA, or PIO. Quite often windows will revert to pio mode and it will really slow down a system.

    BTW when you clone a drive with acronis, the destination drive must be blank ie no partition info on the drive. Failure to do this will result in drive letter confusion if you ever attempt to use the drive.
     
  3. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,917
    First Name:
    Jay
    Welcome to TSG
    I see you’ve attracted crjdriver’s attention .. You’re in really good hands now.

    What’s the Make n Model of your computer .. It looks like a twin to mine … Onboard raid

    About Acronis .. Have you gone into msconfig and shut down all the ATI startups …
    But leave the services running.
    Better yet .. I remove ATI and run from the ATI boot CD.

    When copying from the first HD to the second HD ..
    You should see an obvious increase in speed since both drives can be working at the same time.
     
  4. d4005

    d4005 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    There's no make and model. I just went into a small independent with a shopping list and had them build it.

    I couldn't find any ATI startups. Maybe there in itself is a problem. Can you give me some examples of particular startups to look out for?

    Fair enough. I was concerned that maybe when it booted with both drives, windows thought "oh look, identical drives, RAID mode 1 here we go". The thing that half-confirmed my thoughts about this is that in the device manager, I see "SCSI and RAID controllers". That has a "D343PORT SCSI Controller" and a "JMicron JMB36X Controller" in it. They're both enabled and working properly, although I don't see why I have either of them.

    To further explain my config, I have 2 optical drives, 1 is a 48xCD, the other is a DVD drive. As for hard drives, I have 4 slots (with front-entry "IcyDock" openings). That means I can switch in and out drives whenever I want (although no "hot-swapping"). Normally I run with just one 400GB drive in slot 1. Occasionally I have need to put in my 500GB drive into slot 2, during which time I'll copy various files to it, then remove it. This is the time when I notice the slowness problem. When I'm in single-drive mode, I rarely have need to make a copy of a big file. It just doesn't enter my daily routines. In addition to these main 400GB and 500GB drives (one is my daily use and the other is my big data disk that doesn't usually need to be in), I also have a second set of identical drives onto which I clone my main drives. I prefer this method of backup because in terms of recovery, it's the fastest form possible.

    I've just looked at the two controllers. One is a "Intel ICH8 2 port Serial ATA Storage Controller - 2825" and the other is a 4 port version of the same but with 2820 on the end. In none of the properties tabs does it show DMA or PIO. Where do I need to look? I just looked in my "Primary IDE Channel" controller and it's available there in the Advanced Settings. No such thing under the SATA controller though.

    Yes, I always let it delete the partitions before it starts cloning. I don't think V10 will even let you proceed without doing that.

    I've been considering cloning my main 400GB primary drive onto a new 1TB drive and then using partition magic to expand it to full size once it's cloned, but I'm concerned that if this problem is not a hardware one, then I'll be taking it with me to the new drive.
     
  5. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,917
    First Name:
    Jay
    That's not your problem here.
    FYI .. I can copy a ~700mb video file in about 12 seconds.
    I'm confused .. You also have a raid card ??
    I'll let crjdriver handle this one.

    My mobo has 6 SATA ports .. Two for the opticals ... Leaves 4 for the HDs .. or my eSATA externals
    I do not use Cloning for backups .. But recover from ATI backups in my externals.
    My HDs are split .. one partition for the OS only .. one for all data.
    I can recover an OS in about 10 minutes from an ATI image file.
    Sounds to me like you're doing it the hard way.

    My Raid is turned off and I'm running .. Just a bunch of Discs.
    I'm wondering if your SATA drives are jumpered to run in SATA 150
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Satsumomo

    Satsumomo

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    260
    I thought SATA drives didn't run PIO mode? Or is it because they emulate IDE?
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    39,196
    This is a screenshot of device mgr and of the atapi controllers. Yours is going to look different because you have an intel chipset. In addition are your drives connected to the onboard intel controller or are they connected to a controller card?
     

    Attached Files:

    • one.jpg
      one.jpg
      File size:
      72.5 KB
      Views:
      156
    • two.jpg
      two.jpg
      File size:
      130.8 KB
      Views:
      167
  8. d4005

    d4005 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Yes, I did specify I wanted RAID availability when ordering the PC. My initial idea would be to have all 4 drives in permanently running in RAID 1 mode (the two 400GB drives paired and the two 500GB drives paired) but I didn't want it enabling. Maybe they didn't quite get that part. There was a language barrier - I'm in Germany and my German isn't all it should be. I'll take a look inside ASAP and report back.
     
  9. d4005

    d4005 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    OK, so I was wrong. I didn't get a RAID card, I have RAID support on the motherboard direct (now I remember why I chose this board:rolleyes:).

    Here are some pics. You can see the 4 drives connected direct to the MoBo. It looks like the CD/DVD drives are connected via IDE. As I recall, they installed an unreliable single CD/DVD drive so I swapped in these two IDE CD/DVD drives from my old machine.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. d4005

    d4005 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Any ideas anyone?
     
  11. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,917
    First Name:
    Jay
    Are you sure something like an anti-virus isn't causing your speed problem ??

    I'd be tempted to remove all but one HD .. make sure the Raid is turned off in the Bios ..
    Then Start from the ground up again... and see if the speed is improved.
     
  12. d4005

    d4005 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    I guess it could be anti-virus, but I'd be very surprised. When I first got this machine I had Norton AV on it and the problem was present then. After a few months I switched to McAfee (after TOTALLY uninstalling Norton) and the problem didn't change. A year later (6 months ago) I switched to Avast (after TOTALLY uninstalling McAfee) and the problem didn't change.

    I just tried with only one drive. Even copying to the same drive takes a ridiculous amount of time. I just tried a 150MB wmv file, making a copy to the same folder. It starts out with the green blocks moving along at a rapid pace then it just hits a brick wall around the middle of the progress bar and the time remaining goes from 5 seconds up to several minutes. When I try and right-click on the file and scan it, the scan progress (in Avast) remains at 0% complete for a minute before I gave up.

    Here's something weird, I tried copying a bigger 200MB file (a virtual PC VSV file) and that copied in a completely normal time. Now I'm thinking this is only a problem with video files somehow. I don't generally have any files bigger than 100MB that aren't video files.

    I've attached some BIOS pics I just took. Notice, I don't have AHCI set, but I've read some scary stuff about switching to AHCI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host_Controller_Interface
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,917
    First Name:
    Jay
    I'm confused .. as normal
    SATA configured as IDE ???
    Do I see two raid settings ??? ... drivers ?? .. back in your devices post ??
    I only have one .. using the onboard Raid .. Raid shut off .. running JBOD

    Have you replaced or updated your BIOS ???
    I realize our Mobos are somewhat different ..

    maybe this'll give Crjdriver some more info .. he'll probably see something
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,917
    First Name:
    Jay
    Norton and McAffee :eek: .. This - and other reasons make me want to suggest a fresh install of Windows.
    Have you checked the HDDs to see if they're not jumped to run SATA 150 ??

    FWIW ... I have two computers running ASUS mobos with onboard Raid.
    HP m7690y & HP d4996t - Each running multiple Drives in a JBOD mode.

    I took a look at the BIOS of each ...
    At first pass thru, I didn't see where I could set the raid mode ??

    Hope this helps a little ..
     

    Attached Files:

    • 02.jpg
      02.jpg
      File size:
      129.9 KB
      Views:
      149
    • 03.jpg
      03.jpg
      File size:
      119.3 KB
      Views:
      154
    • 04.jpg
      04.jpg
      File size:
      124.3 KB
      Views:
      179
  15. d4005

    d4005 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    I haven't updated/changed the BIOS, or changed the BIOS settings at all. I did today try turning off the SMART monitoring (not knowing what it was) and that didn't make any difference.

    I'm tempted to try changing my SATA config in the BIOS from IDE to RAID. I wouldn't try AHCI because of the driver problems and potential BSOD.

    I worry that if I set it to RAID mode (like you've got Noyb) then won't it try and reconfigure my drive and demand a matching drive that it can use for it's RAID striping (mode 0) or mirroring (mode 1) ?
     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/800936

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice