Is your hard drive slowing down?

I started to notice that my computer was running slow, so I decided to look into why this was happening. Some slowness is expected with a windows over time. I have generally had to re-install the OS about every 4-5 years just because of all the stuff that gets installed or if I have a hardware failure where the cpu or motherboard is different. Some of this is acceptable although it’s a real pain taking time to reinstall the applications again and reconfiguring apps and adding back the OS performance tweaks.

So here is what I found and how I fixed it.

When copying files to and from the hard drive, the drive was transferring at about 7mb per second when it should have been transferring at over 30-50mb per second when using TerraCopy. The IDE driver was set to PIO instead of UDMA. My drive is a fairly new SATA drive that should transfer at 100+ mb per second.

These 2 sites will provide all of the technical details on why this happens and how to fix it.

http://users.bigpond.net.au/ninjaduck/itserviceduck/uDMA_fix/
http://winhlp.com/node/10

Look in Device Manager to see if you have the same problem:

  • Start > Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System > Hardware tab > Device Manager button
  • Look at each of the IDE controllers and see if the Current Transfer Mode is PIO
    • IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers > Primary IDE Channel > Advanced Settings tab

I simply followed the Solution section of the first website. http://users.bigpond.net.au/ninjaduck/itserviceduck/uDMA_fix/#Solution