Can slow write speed be a sign of HD going bad?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by allizomeniz, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    I've got a Dell Dimension 2400 that was purchased around 2003. It has a Western Digital hard drive. Lately I've noticed movies playing a little choppy and write speed is barely 2MB per second. Read speed isn't much better. I don't know if it's always been that slow and I've only recently noticed it because I now have some much faster drives, or if it's going bad. A couple of questions,

    1. Would that write speed be considered normal for a drive that old?

    2. Can slow read and write speed be a sign of a HD going bad.

    Everything else seems fairly normal. No abnormal wait times for folders to open, no data loss, strange noises or other weirdness.
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It would be best to get the model number from the label on the drive and look it up. Normally drives don't slow down due to age, nor is slowing down necessarily a sign it is going bad. When a drive is beginning to fail, you get disk errors, and the drive spends extra time looking for good locations to save data.

    Running out of free disk space on the drive can affect performance too.

    I would suggest you run error checking on it. Right click on the drive and from the tools menu, run error checking. When prompted to let it run during the next boot, follow the prompts to allow that.

    That said, all drives will fail - eventually and a 11 year old drive is pretty old. So I would not save anything important on it with have current backups.
     
  3. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    I would install a copy of hdsentinel and see what it says after a day of monitoring the PC.

    I have had hard drives slow down due to them failing.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    allizomeniz,

    Is DMA enabled on that drive, or PIO? Check in Device Manager.
     
  5. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    If there are numerous bad sectors, write speeds will be slow. I had to replace a drive recently. The first sign of failure was it taking an eternity to hibernate a system with 2gb of memory. HD sentenial showed it on the brink of failure with bad sectors in abundance. The disk still functioned but just barely and I could clone it to another disk before it went.
     
  6. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    Man do I feel lucky to know you guys.

    I checked the DMA/PIO setting and sure enough it was on PIO. I installed a second hard drive awhile back and because of the way I had to arrange things, one hard drive (the slow one) was connected to the CD/DVD drive and the hard drive was slave. I just switched the jumpers so the hard drive's master and now I'm up to 12MB per second. :thumb:

    I always thought that drive was a little slow but didn't realize how much till I actually tested it. :D
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    12 MB/sec is probably normal for that old HD. Glad it worked out. I had a similar issue with a Dell computer over 10 years ago.
     
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