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Dell forum: Replaced hard drive is slow - why?

by: SWJO February 7, 2011 2:48 PM PST

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Replaced hard drive is slow - why?

by SWJO - 2/7/11 2:48 PM

Hello, I'm not sure if this question should better be posted to the hardware forum but because the PC is a DELL Dimension E510 (about 5 years old) I thought to give it a try here.

I recently had to replace my old hard drive that came with the PC (a WD1600, 160GB, SATA) with a new hard drive, a Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB (WD5000AADS), also SATA. I am running Windows XP Professional with SP3 on a Pentium 4 with 2 GB Ram (not sure what other information should be posted).

The problem is that the new HD is noticeably slower than the old HD. To be more precise: HDD Speed Test measures about 4,7 MB/s write access and 8 MB/s read access. From all I know this is less than expected (factor of 10 or so). The HD Tune tool on the other hand reports an average transfer rate of 70 MB/s and a max. of 91 MB/s, which is normal for this drive. Therefore my conclusion so far is that the drive is probably ok but Windows somehow cannot access it properly.

I first thought this might have to do with the 4k-sector (ADF) issue but the WD5000AADS HD drive apparently does not use ADF, so this should not be the reason.

I really have no idea why the new HD is so slow and what I can do to speed things up. Any hints are greatly appreciated!

Here some more details that might be important - but I'm not sure:
The old 160GB HD had just one primary partition and I used Norton Ghost to backup the complete system to an external USB HD. After I installed the new 500GB hard drive I used the Norton recovery CD to boot the system and tried to reinstall the image to the new HD (without formatting the new HD first). Although Norton Ghost did not report any problem the system would not boot. I guessed that this might have to do with a missing MBR and therefore decided to use the Windows XP install CD to first format the new HD. I was afraid to not be able to recover all my backup data because of a mismatch of partition sizes and therefore decided to create two partitions on the new HD. The primary partition has the same size as the previous HD (160GB). The remaining 340GB are the secondary partition. I installed a new Windows XP on the primary partition (which booted just fine) and then used Norton Ghost to overwrite this new Windows installation with my backup image that I had saved on the external drive. This worked, the whole image was reinstalled and the system boots and works fine. Apart from the slow HD ... Could the second partition on the new HD be the problem??

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