HDD-related problem



I’ve got a teeny tiny problem with my hard drive (the old one, ST340810A - Seagate U6 40GB) - the transfer rates while I’m reading something from it, are just horrible. It’s a system drive, what results in XP loading up about ten minutes…
Made a test in HDTach - take a look :

Also, I’ve read the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics of the drive in SpeedFan:

It seems to me that these two values “Raw Read Error Rate” and “Seek Error Rate” are way off the table…is it the cause of the really BAD transfers? And will getting a new HDD fix the trouble?


U6, wow.

The transfer rate itself shouldn’t be causing the system to spend 10 minutes to boot alone. It’s reading lots of small files and big files so it could be anywhere between 20-50MB/s and 1-10MB/s or even lower. Maybe something else.


Is the drive defragged? That may be worth a try.


Ten minutes of booting time is too long even for a very seriously fragmented HDD.


Is DMA on? Although even that shouldn’t cause it to take that long.

Check to see what is being started at boot time. I use Spybot & disable apps I don’t need.


The burst rate was 43.9MB/s.


Try the program hddlife to see if it reads the smart-info the same way.

Anyway, I suspect the worst: I think your drive has reached the end of its lifespan.


Okay. That’s decided, I’m getting a new one, 80GB. But the question is - which one?
I’ve narrowed the competition to two drives :

[li]Maxtor DiamondMax +9 6Y080P0
[/li][li]WD Caviar SE WD800JB
Personally, I’d prefer the WD one…my father has their old model WDC AC24300L (4GB, lol), which works perfectly 'till now.

If anything else is worth a shot - IBM, Samsung (I doubt it) or Seagate (I doubt if I’m going to get ANYTHING from this company EVER again), please write.

Thanks for all the support, it’s very appreciated.


I always go with the longest warranty. Seagate is the only one that offer a 5 year warranty on its hard drives, the others offer “only” 3 years. So Seagate is definetely worth considering.

As for the WD, I have a WD800JB and I am very happy with it. It’s fast, quiet and still performes very well (it’s already a year old). The only problem I have with this drive is that it’s always full. :wink:

One final thing: always use a hard disk cooler.


Got Maxtor drives in two PCs. They seem very good to me.


Get native SATA II HDDs of the latest generation from Samsung or Seagate or Maxtor or Hitachi or Western Digital. Among them, Hitachi has the fastest access times and Samsung is best for noise and heat. Seagate’s 5-year warranty is good and perhaps better than anything yet but it doesn’t have much difference from 3-year warranty some others have. You’ll have to pay a lot to get any warranty service in 2009 or 2010 for the Seagate IDE HDD you buy today, far more than perhaps a 1TB new drive you will be able to buy by then. SATA II has some features previously available only on SCSI but costs more like conventional IDE/PATA. 200GB SATA II HDDs seem to cost just a little more than 80GB PATA HDDs, but you don’t really seem to care about capacity (in that case, why not consider 2.5-inch form factor 5,400-RPM HDDs of up to 100GB, still cheap enough, and very light, small, silent, uses hardly any power.)


Please note that SATAII does not exist. Indeed the SATA-standard has been enhanced by increasing the bandwidth to 3Gb/s, but this still falls within normal SATA specs.

There is a lot of confusion around the name SATAII. The cause of this is that the organisation that came up with the SATA-standard previously was named SATAII. Because of this confusion, the organisation has renamed itself to SATA-IO, but at the moment the old name SATAII is leading a life of its own.

More info here.


Dispelling the Confusion: SATA II does not mean 3Gb/s

That doesn’t mean SATA II doesn’t exist.


[I]Serial ATA II Native Command Queuing Overview Application Note

The focus of this document is to provide a general understanding of Serial ATA II Native Command Queuing. The Serial ATA II: Extensions to Serial ATA 1.0 Specification contains the definition of Serial ATA II Native Command Queuing and should be consulted for detailed information regarding the queuing protocol. [/I]

All Samsung P120 series SATA HDDs are Serial ATA II. Serial ATA II wasn’t a name for an organization but just a sub-standard of Serial ATA just as SCSI 320 is a sub-standard of SCSI. And the guideline was for manufacturers, but do most manufacturers and users of recordable DVDs care so much about the namings of DVD Forum, Recordable DVD Council, DVD+RW Alliance, and even some DVD-RAM and other groups?

Look at another page of the same website.

Serial ATA 1.0 Design Guides
Design guides are supplemental recommendations that may assist in the design and deployment of SATA technology. They should not be considered specification requirements or design requirements. Posted on December 20th, 2004.

Serial ATA II: Extensions to Serial ATA 1.0 Design Guide
Design guides are supplemental recommendations that may assist in the design and deployment of the features in the Extensions to SATA 1.0 Specification. Posted on February 28th, 2005.

Backplane Design Guide for SATA II

Serial ATA II: Cables and Connectors Volume 1 Design Guide Design Guides are supplemental recommendations that may assist in the design and deployment of Serial ATA backplanes for use with SATA signal levels. October, 2002

Serial ATA II: Port Multiplier Design Guide
Design guides are supplemental recommendations that may assist in the design and deployment of Port Multiplier technology.


Quoted from the link I posted earlier:

The first step toward a better understanding of SATA is to know that SATA II is not the brand name for SATA’s 3Gb/s data transfer rate, but the name of the organization formed to author the SATA specifications. The group has since changed names, to the Serial ATA International Organization, or SATA-IO.

So it is true that there are two interface speeds: the “old” 1,5 Gb/s and the “new” (and backwards compatible) 3 GB/s. But it is false that one of them goes by the name of SATAII. That well-known hardware manufacturers like Intel use the name SATAII only proves how deep this confusion runs. Like I said, the name has a life of its own now.

BTW, of course it’s not only confusion, but also marketing that plays a role here. People are more likely to buy a new product because it has a new name, than because it has more/newer features. They mostly don’t know and don’t care what’s behind the name.


That still doesn’t mean SATA II doesn’t exist. What you have said is just misleading. So what’s your replacement for SATA II?

And who is more influential between that organization and Intel? My name “Kenshin” isn’t official, either, by the way and it’s wrong to type like 1394, USB, LCD, and so on.

The term SATA II is used and I especially have used the term to mean 300MB/s, NCQ, and other added features into SATA. Latest Samsung P120 and Western Digital JS models all have those features. Do I have to type all those instead of SATA II? And I’m not a marketing guy for Samsung or Intel. You can also connect more than one drive into each SATA II channel though it’s still not as good as SCSI 320.


OK, now that I read back my posts, I must admit it’s too harsh a statement. I was mainly concerned with the name, not with the features behind the name. SATAII doesn’t exist, however a newer version of the SATA-standard does. As for a replacement name, the table in post #13 should give you one. I think naming shoud be done by those who came up with the specs.

Still, IMO this whole SATAII thing is a marketing hype. There are only a few new features, but aren’t impressive. 300 MB/s is great, but 150 MB/s already was sufficient. NCQ isn’t new, it was already allowed (though not specified) in the original SATA standard and was already used before the term SATAII came into life. Hot-plugging… OK, they got me there. :wink: That’s one feature I do like. My conclusion: the new standard differs only little from and is only marginally better than the old standard. I think SATA-IO did the right thing not to name the new specs SATA 2.0.

But of course, when you sell hard disks or mainboards and you fail to impress with new features, then use a new name. People are far more inclined to buy something when it has a new name. Hence the use of the name SATAII.

Finally, for those that found my posts misleading I apologize. I’m not out here to sow confusion; my intend is to correct a (IMO) common misunderstanding.


Be serious. People who work in the industry are acquainted with those naming guides very well but still continue to use the term SATA II though some seem to use both SATA II and SATA 3Gbps.

As for whether SATA II is marketing hype or just a little improvement over SATA I, I can hardly agree and perhaps that was what prompted you to say SATA II doesn’t exist.

Can you connect 60 IDE drives to just four SATA I connectors? I can connect that many to four SATA II connectors (if I had those hardware.) NCQ or similar technology was supported long before the creation of SATA of course, but it was SATA II that explicitly added NCQ support for consumer hard disk drives (that is, excluding SCSI.) Hardly any SATA I HDDs had NCQ and the few SATA I HDD models that supported NCQ were actually those what IBM and such wanted to incorporate some of the SATA II features into existing SATA I lines before the official release of SATA II specifications. There are also eSATA, xSTAT, 2-meter SATA cables, 8-meter SATA cables… not supported in SATA I, but in SATA II. Hot-plugging is also one of the new features standard in SATA II and there are more. If you can call all of those appearing in SATA II (from IDE/PATA/SATA I), what more did you expect that would cost just as much as legacy PATA and predecessor SATA I?

Longhorn won’t be officially used and so will be Presler, but do we care?

As for using SATA II name to impress consumers, didn’t you say SATA II is the old name before? Which is older than SATA II that is used for SATA II? Manufacturers and reviewers still say SATA II because they have waited for SATA II even before the first commercial introduction of SATA on ICH5®.

And lastly, why buy PATA when SATA II costs nearly the same? Even SATA II isn’t enough yet compared to the latest (or 2-gen old) SCIS though it’d take at least two more years to add more.


Hey guys, can’t see anything in your last post’s related to the problem topic poster started. :wink:
If you like to discuss SATA this and SATA that start a new thread.

How do you know XAVeRY has SATA connectors on his mobo at all. :rolleyes:


That wasn’t an answer to a specific user.

And lastly, why buy PATA when SATA II costs nearly the same?

Just a general recommendation. I myself don’t have anything to support SATA II drives.

U6, wow.

Was actually my first reply in this thread because it’s quite an old model. So what’s wrong to recommend some of the latest HDDs rather than old BB/JB series? I have had 20 BB/LB/JB units myself. To me, the differences between these BB/JB drives and SATA drives have been easily noticeable.