Hard drive slow after in-place install

Mon, 2010-01-25 20:08 by jango28 · Forum/category:

I have a HP Pavilion dv6000 laptop (2GB RAM, 100GB HDD) with Windows XP MCE 2005 (SP2) running.
Recently I had to to do an in-place install as I was getting BSOD on trying to enter safe mode. Everything went on fine without a glitch.
But now I do see a hit on my laptop's performance. It takes longer to boot and hand over cursor control after booting.

After much research, I observed the following:
- In Device Manager, for Primary IDE channel, I have the 'DMA mode, if available' option set to true.
For device 0 it displays current transfer mode as 'Multi-word DMA mode 2' and for device 1 it says 'Not Applicable'. Is it that the HDD is bypassing DMA?

- In Device Manager, for HDD properties, it says 'Location 0'. For my CD/DVD drive, it says 'Location 0(0)'. I just have one HDD and one CD/DVD drive.

- I ran Nero infotool utility and it reports CD/DVD drive running on primary channel and HDD on secondary channel. Device Manager reports no secondary channel though.

I've tried everything mentioned in http://winhlp.com/node/10

Please let me know if above behavior is correct; if not, how to fix it.

Non-Microsoft drivers?

Mon, 2010-01-25 21:40 by admin

This looks a bit like special, non-Microsoft IDE/ATA drivers to me, which would also explain that DMA reverts to PIO does not apply and the measures proposed there have no effect, because they work only on the standard Microsoft drivers that come with Windows, but not on any third-party drivers.

But I would first do a few checks to find out whether the disk is really slow. Could you run a hard disk benchmark program to find out whether the disk performs to its specifications or not?

Non-Microsoft drivers

Tue, 2010-01-26 02:56 by jango28

Yes, I have the Intel 82801 SATA AHCI controllers installed.

The hard disk type and make is Fujitsu MHV2100BH PL.
I found the Crystal diskmark program on the internet. Here are its results:
CrystalDiskMark 2.2 (C) 2007-2008
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/

Sequential Read : 32.434 MB/s
Sequential Write : 30.597 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 17.683 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 18.810 MB/s
Random Read 4KB : 0.311 MB/s
Random Write 4KB : 0.836 MB/s

Test Size : 100 MB


Sequential Read : 33.961 MB/s
Sequential Write : 32.851 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 16.732 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 16.534 MB/s
Random Read 4KB : 0.254 MB/s
Random Write 4KB : 0.584 MB/s

Test Size : 1000 MB

Here's another Disk Mark program report:

Disk C:
Physical Drive 0
Drive Model Number FUJITSU MHV2100BH PL
Configuration Workstation
MB/Sec 1.55
Avg. WAR 1.23 ms.
Avg. WAW 0.89 ms.
Avg. RAW 16.00 ms.
Avg. RAR 12.92 ms.
Disk Size 60.5 GB.
Free Space 32.3 GB.
Cluster Size 4096
File System NTFS
File size 2037.0MB
Block size 16384
Test mode Win32 API - Uncached
Read / Write 70%/30%
Sequential / Random 20%/80%
MB Read 65.45
MB Written 27.38
Seeks 4746

If there's any other standard program, could you let me know.


Fair enough

Tue, 2010-01-26 07:26 by admin

The Fujitsu Hornet drives, like this one, have a buffer-to-host data rate of 150 MB/s and an internal data rate of a bit over 60 MB/s. The data rates around 33 MB/s that you measured may be realistic for an actual read-write benchmark, but I cannot say for sure.

Perhaps you can search the web or ask in a suitable forum that is particularly oriented towards hard disks and their performance, to find other benchmark results.

Another indication that something is wrong is a very high processor load during disk read or write operations. Normally in DMA mode the processor load should be low, certainly below 20%. In PIO mode the processor load rises much higher, often above 50% for one processor core. I think your disk is actually running in DMA mode, and there is no good reason to mistrust the driver.

Finally you can compare the reported DMA mode with the best DMA mode the disk is capable of. The manufacturer's web site should yield that information. If not, you have to search for it.

Perhaps there is no problem or, if there is one, it may not be related to the DMA mode of the hard disk.

So no problem?

Tue, 2010-01-26 17:37 by jango28

Hmmm thanks for your analysis. I'll try to find out more about the HDD specs and compare it with its current operation.
I haven't observed high processor load during HDD operations. Its just that I observed the boot time to be a lot slower than before & noticeable.
Also, the properties in Primary IDE Channel - 'Multi-word DMA mode 2' and 'Not Applicable' for second device don't indicate that the hard disk is not connected thru DMA? Only the CD/DVD device is communicating thru it.

Apparently all good

Tue, 2010-01-26 19:11 by admin

Each IDE or ATA or SATA channel has two devices. With the old IDE cabling they were called master and slave.

If you have two channels, then it is sensible to have the hard disk on one channel as device 0 and the DVD drive on the other channel, also as device 0.

Multi-word DMA mode 2 sounds allright too, but I don't know the exact meaning of the modes.

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