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Laptop maxes out at disk read throughput of 2.4 MB/s


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#1 Veraiste

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 02:40 AM

Issue
Laptop seems to max out at a disk read throughput of 2.4 MB/s. Tested using HD Tune. Same speed in safe mode.

However, when I boot into the Mini XP Mode of Hiren's BootCD, I am able to get ~60MB/s with HD Tune. I still haven't tried removing the disk and trying it in another computers.

Also, Sysinternals Process Explorer (procexp.exe) crashes soon after starting the program. Not sure if something is detecting it and killing it.

I've messed with the Page File, ran ComboFix, ran MSE, ran GMER and Rootkit Revealer and didn't notice anything (not that I'm an expert at interpreting the results). I've also defragged the disk, though I didn't expect that to help at all. I'll probably try chkdsk and MBAM next.

Does anyone have any ideas on what could cause this? I initially thought it would be an inefficient rootkit, but I haven't found one. I've looked into bad drivers, but I haven't noticed anything yet. Let me know if any other info is needed or if I should try something. Thanks.

Specs
Dell Inspiron 6000 Laptop from ~2005
Windows XP Professional SP3
Intel Celeron M, 1.50 GHz
512MB RAM
Western Digital 80GB Hard Drive, 5400 RPM, PATA 100MB/s, (WDC WD800BEVE)

===========================
Edit #1 - 2012/09/29 12:33p

Ran a chkdsk surface scan and no improvement. Removed the HD and attached it to a USB 2.0 to PATA adapter. Get ~30MB/s hooked up to a different computer through the adapter.
Also ran MSE and Trend Micro Housecall while it was hooked up through the adapter.
I'm leaning towards just re-installing Windows at this point.

Edited by Veraiste, 29 September 2012 - 12:38 PM.
Moved from XP to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 caperjac

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:46 AM

give WD's data life guard utility a go and check for hard drive errors .

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606&sid=30&lang=en



have you every reloaded windows on it ,or is it still running the original install

My answers are my opinion only,usually


#3 Veraiste

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:27 PM

Tried WDs DLG, and both the quick and extended tests report that the drive is good. SMART info seems good to me as well.

It isn't my laptop, so I don't have a complete history. Looking at the timestamps on a few files, I would assume windows was re-installed early 2010. Based on what I know, I would assume the laptop was given to my dad's friend after being replaced in a technology refresh at his company. The laptop was likely wiped and windows re-installed before it was given away. I would guess it is only used for light web browsing since my dad's friend got it.

I also went on Dell's website and installed/re-installed all the relevant drivers before I came here. I also tried removing all AV software as I thought it could be the real-time protection.

Edited by Veraiste, 30 September 2012 - 10:19 PM.


#4 caperjac

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:28 AM

Laptop seems to max out at a disk read throughput of 2.4 MB/s



I know that ,that would be an issue ,does the laptop perform badly when using it .

if you have winxp cd you could run system file checker , " sfs /scannow " in Run

if it were mine I would format and reinstall windows .

Edited by caperjac, 01 October 2012 - 05:30 AM.

My answers are my opinion only,usually


#5 Veraiste

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:48 PM

Yes, the laptop performs poorly. It takes a long time for anything to load, copying files takes awhile, etc. Any operation that doesn't hit the disk seems decently fast.

I'll try the system file checker. I had forgotten about that utility.

I usually try to avoid the format/re-install option when fixing peoples computers as I hate backing-up/restoring files/data, but it looks like I'm running out of options. At least this laptop is barely used and doesn't have crap scattered all over.

#6 Textbook

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:51 AM

It may be worth checking to see if your disk controller has reverted to PIO mode.

DMA Reverts to PIO

#7 devastator

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:19 AM

issue is the same when booting in safe mode?

#8 Veraiste

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:38 PM

if you have winxp cd you could run system file checker , " sfs /scannow " in Run


Didn't appear to make any difference.

It may be worth checking to see if your disk controller has reverted to PIO mode.

DMA Reverts to PIO


This appears to have been the problem. I didn't even think about this possibility. Changed the setting, rebooted the computer and ran HD Tune again. Average speed of 44.8 MB/s. Almost 20x faster :-). Laptop feels faster as well, which I suppose is the more important metric.

issue is the same when booting in safe mode?


Yes it was.


Thank you very much for your help caperjac, Textbook, and devastator.




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