How fast are my hard drives?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by R. Giggs., Aug 19, 2012.

  1. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    As a simple test I copied 2 gig from one internal driver to another and it
    about 80 seconds.

    Works out at 25 megabytes/s

    The drives are pretty old about 6 years old or more so not the fastest.

    Would a modern drive be a lot faster?

    I tried finding the info via google but that was hard work!!

    I found a site saying a 3 terebyte drive could go at about 120 megabytes/s

    and also an older one doing about 45 megabytes/s all sustained rates
    so faster than mine but mine will be fragmented data.

    So.... if I had a hard drive would by PC be faster, ie quicker boot up and
    shut down time.

    It's a bit of a 'it depends' question but I just wanted to know if I upgrade
    my harddrive
    woudl I see a significant performance increase?

    I guess defragging my drives might help, not done that in years, done it
    before and not
    moticed much difference lol.
    R. Giggs., Aug 19, 2012
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  2. R. Giggs.

    Paul Guest

    The answer is both "yes" and "no" :)

    In terms of using a program like the free version of HDTune, yes,
    a new drive will do 125-135MB/sec when benchmarked in a sequential test.

    The fastest hard drive you can buy, does 180MB/sec sequential.

    The fastest SSD drive, will max out SATA III at some number over 500MB/sec.
    You need a decent motherboard, with the latest bus connections, to make
    such a purchase really worthwhile. Some crappy controller chips
    for example, run out of steam at around 345MB/sec or so (and new
    drivers didn't help).

    Where the new hard drives (not SSDs) break down, is they use 4096 byte sectors,
    unlike your current drive which has 512 byte sectors. The drives have "512e" or
    512 byte emulation. This uses the cache RAM on the hard drive, to handle
    fractional sectors.

    That method, tends to make disk transfers "choppy". And before you know
    it, that blazing speed you got from the datasheet value, is gone. To be
    replaced by lots of cursing and swearing. By observation, I seem to be
    seeing the drive "take a rest" for a moment, before continuing the
    copying of small files. Performance is less sketchy, if you transfer
    larger files (like a bunch of 10MB or larger files perhaps).

    I don't often get to see the "full" transfer rate on my drives. I have
    around five 500GB drives, which some of them have official 512e emulation,
    and they all have their quirks. There are times I'd rather have the
    smoother/slower old drive performance, rather than gritting my teeth
    as the transfer speed goes like a yoyo.

    Also, it's worth mentioning, that disks have two different interface
    types. IDE (ribbon cable) drives, are the old way. SATA (thin data cable)
    is the new way. You don't tend to get the 4K and/or fast drives, with
    IDE interfaces. The IDE drives tend to be older platter and controller
    technology. So if you didn't notice lots of speed in your first
    benchmark on a new IDE, then it's probably because it is an older
    technology disk. Officially, IDE manufacturing should have stopped
    a couple years ago. I've seen some strange offerings recently, like
    a 320GB drive with a relatively recent model number, and I don't
    understand what they're playing at. It makes it hard to judge exactly
    what you're getting, if they make brand new IDE drives just out of
    the blue. I thought for the most part, they were using refurbs
    to satisfy low end IDE needs.

    So have a careful check, of what port types your motherboard has,
    before you start shopping.

    SATA drives can be converted to IDE interface, with a small adapter
    board. I own one of these. And I didn't buy any "for the other direction" -
    there's a model that converts IDE drives to work with SATA motherboards,
    but I was never able to find a Canadian supplier carrying them.

    There are lots of ways to mess around.

    Paul, Aug 19, 2012
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  3. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    Thanks for that.
    I just found the spec for the original drive, which I assume is the slowest
    and it says
    Sustained data rate (MB/sec) 61.1 - 29.6 (zone 0 - 29)

    I presume the range depends on where you are on the drive, ie outside to

    Mine is slower than that but I expected that as it willbe fragmented data,
    also it is doing a write

    which will be slower, however I am unsure by how much, I've ssen figures
    sugesting they are about the

    same which surprised me a little.

    I also note it is a 7200 rpm which surprised me as I thought it was a 5400!$file/7K80_DS.pdf

    It looks slow in these benchmarks HDS728080PLAT20 40Y9026LEN

    Seems I could get one twice as fast but I am not sure what the benchmark

    I do have a SATA conect available, two of them but I have neverused them.

    I am not sure the machine figures out what to boot from.

    I think maybe I shoudl defrag my main drive which will be very fragmanted
    and redo the original test.
    R. Giggs., Aug 19, 2012
  4. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    And the newer drive which seems faster on the max speed 133Mbytes/sec v 61.1
    for the old one, so twice as fast.

    I think if I had my OS on that I would boot twice as fast!!
    Read Seek Time (typ.)

    Track to Track 0.8 ms

    Average 8.9 ms

    Full Stroke 18 ms

    Average Latency 4.17 ms

    Rotational Speed?3 7,200 RPM

    Data Transfer Rate

    Media to/from Buffer (max.) 973 Mbits/sec

    Buffer to/from Host (max.) 133 Mbytes/sec

    Drive Ready T

    Read Seek Time (typ.)

    Track to Track 0.8 ms

    Average 8.9 ms

    Full Stroke 18 ms

    Average Latency 4.17 ms

    Rotational Speed?3 7,200 RPM

    Data Transfer Rate

    Media to/from Buffer (max.) 973 Mbits/sec

    Buffer to/from Host (max.) 133 Mbytes/sec

    Drive Ready Time (typ.) 7 sec

    ime (typ.) 7 sec
    R. Giggs., Aug 19, 2012
  5. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    Interesting, I just defragged my 80gig drive and did the came copy
    it took exactly the same time 80 seconds. I thought it might be quicker
    because I was copying to a defregged drive.
    R. Giggs., Aug 19, 2012
  6. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    Interesting article here,2817,2359068,00.asp

    I just got a 3TB usb drive, thought I would splach out!!
    Ihad just popped into the store which is normally expensive (Maplins) to see
    drives etc.. they didn't have any USB 3 on display but the salesguy got one
    from the
    backroom. 3TB and USB 3 for £135 which works out pretty cheap £45 per
    I always find I fill these drives up much faster than I expect, especialy as
    I record TV
    on by PC via a dongle.

    Anyway to the point. it seems the guy was only getting speeds twice as fast
    with USB 3
    not the 10X in the sales speel.

    Also the best write speed he got was 24MB/s which is only very slightly less
    than the
    internal disk to disk write I got (26MB/s).

    I should add I have no USB 3 port on my PC, but I will be getting one I
    think, even though
    it is not going to make that much differene.

    When I have done that I will back up my second drive and see if I can copy
    the operating
    system on to it and boot from that, which shoudl be interesting.
    You are supposed to need special software to do that, however I did manage
    to do that
    previously on windows 98 by just copying andpasting ie no special software,
    although it
    was available to buy!!!

    I never tried doing that on this windows XP machine though because everyone
    said you needed
    special software, and for some reason I believed them without trying
    R. Giggs., Aug 21, 2012
  7. R. Giggs.

    Paul Guest

    The hard drive company, will provide cloning software. Look on their
    software download page.

    Since you bought an external, that might make things a little more
    interesting. Some externals, even include software right on the disk
    when you get it.

    You can also try Macrium Reflect Free, as it supports cloning. At
    the moment, the column headers on this web page, are in white text.
    If you click on the page and do "Select All", you'll be able to
    read the column headers.

    The download for the free version, is around 31MB. It's an .exe.
    When it installs, it has stored inside it, a 13MB Linux CD. That's
    the "disaster recovery" CD, for restoring from backups you make
    with the tool. I haven't tried the cloning option, but as far
    as I know, since it uses VSS, it should have no problem copying
    your old WinXP drive to the new disk. Only OSes which have VSS
    built in (WinXP or later), would be ready for a VSS based tool
    like this one. VSS allows "hot" copying of the booted OS partition.
    And by cloning, you should end up with an exact copy on the new
    disk (without the partitions being expanded, as far as I know).

    Note that many backup packages are also based on VSS, and it
    may be harder to find solutions that run from Win98 or Win2K,
    if you wanted to clone. I could probably do that with my
    old copy of Partition Magic, because it isn't VSS based.

    When you clone a disk, *don't* boot from the new disk, until
    the old disk is unplugged. This applies for the *first* boot
    of the new cloned drive. After the cloned drive is booted one
    time, and successfully shut down, you can plug the old drive in.
    This prevents confusion about pagefile/hiberfile/disk IDs and
    the like. I've had trouble before, by forgetting about this rule.
    I had to re-clone, as that was faster than figuring out
    what was actually broken :)

    Paul, Aug 21, 2012
  8. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    I am still backing up my drive at the moment so it will be a while before
    I get to the cloning stage. The system drive is a hatachi and the one I want
    to clone to is a samsung. I think I found something to clone to a hatachi
    but that
    is the wrong way around unfortunately lol.
    So I will have to keep looking and also look at what free cloning software
    is available.

    I would actually like to just try and do a copy and paste to see what
    What I will do is get the used space to a minimum so that it does not take
    long to do a clone.

    Another issue which will be relevant I think, is that there is a recovery
    on the drive so that will complicated things (probably). So it has two
    partitions on it
    FAT32 for the recovery and NTFS for the main system.

    I need to get things clear in my head first before I try anything though and
    I am not quite there yet lol.

    I trying to think back to what I did before cloninig from C: to D: I
    basically wiped D:
    and just copied and pasted the lot across. then I took off C and made D the
    new C
    by moving it's position on the cable and changing some jumpers.
    I booted up OK on that and then I put the original C where the D: drive was
    with jumpers adusted appropiately and that was it!!

    Do they and repeat that on this systen I would have to create two similar
    and then try and copy the stuff across, I eviisage some access problem etc..

    However as I will not have touched the original drive I should be able to go
    back easilly enough.

    I just need to check the C: drive will work by itself ie it does not require
    anything on the D: drive.
    I guess the easierst way to do that is to unplug the D: drive lol.

    Anyhow I am some way off attemmpting it yet so I am in no rush. I also want
    to do a bit
    more reading up on it first etc..

    I got my new 1 gig ram module by the way, I had no trouble installing it, I
    put it in slot
    1 where the old 250meg module was and moved the other 1 gig module from
    slot 3 to slot 2. Much to my surprise it booted up fine 1st time!! No beeps
    anything like that!!

    Don't think it booted up any quicker, well perhaps the bit before windows is
    loaded did
    but seemed no difference after that really seemed a little slow at first
    bbut I usually find the
    first boot after a change is slow as I think windows have to reconfigure
    itself a bit.
    Also a lot of stuff runs fiarly randomly at boot when thinigs check for
    updates etc..

    Also the anti-virus software runs for a while then which slows things up for
    a while.

    However it has been running really nicely since then nice and smmoth, not
    heard the
    fan once and I have about 30 browser tabs open and I can switch between each
    with no delay.
    And that is whilst doing a huge copy at the same time to it seems to be
    running nicely.

    I now basicaly need to see it running for a day or two with no problems
    before leaving positive
    fedback, I will probably give that a week just in case, no point in rushing
    R. Giggs., Aug 21, 2012
  9. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    I should ass that I am not cloninig to the external drive, just to a 250
    meg drive that was my second drive on the machine.
    I do have another 500gig external drive which I may like to put into the
    machine as a scond internal drive, but I have a lot of options and need to
    decide what to do. I also need to sort out my backups which are currently
    spread across the 250 and 500 gig drive, so sometimes in triplicate!!!

    I am running WinXP only so no problems there with older systems.

    I take your point about not booting with the old drive plugged in, sems very
    I will make sure I can boot just with the original drive alone and the
    remove it
    before I try anything so that I always have a safe route back!!
    R. Giggs., Aug 21, 2012
  10. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    I think when I did it on win98 I just deleted thepage file and it was
    recreated again.
    Not sure if I deleted it through windows or wimply just deleted it!!
    Actually you can;t just delete it because it is inuse!!
    Maybe I copied it I just can't remember. Would seem best to do the whole lot
    without a page file officialy, then booot without one and recreate one.

    I am now have second thought about what to do.

    I currently have (physical drives) my:-

    C: drive 80GB (which has a recovery partition D: of about 5gig)
    E: drive 250GB (contains some backups which are well out of date and some TV

    500GB USB drive which is basically a backup of E: with more TV recordings.

    New 3TB drive which I have just backup up E: to so it is sort of backed up
    twice but they
    are probably out of sync with the 500GB backup.

    However I am not sure which is the best way to go now. I am thinking of
    starting over, deleting
    the new backup and then partitioning the 3TB drive down a bit. I basically
    have to decide what to do now
    because once I start filling it I will not be able to partition it up

    I think what I should do is to try and get everything onto the 500GB drive
    as it has stuff duplicated
    on the 250GB drive. Both are nearly full. A lot of it is basically TV
    programs as I use it as a video recorder,
    mainly football highlight and some full matches. Thing is I have never
    really have looed at them again
    after recording them!! Once something is more than a day ot two old it is
    basically history, it's just
    that it is hard to delete because I know as soon as I do I will probably
    regret it.

    I think I will have a look to see if I can cram it all on the 500GB drive,
    may have to delete some stuff
    but we shal see when I connect the drive now to have a look!!
    R. Giggs., Aug 22, 2012
  11. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    Well I was not thinkinig straight there really I have backed up the 250GB
    drive to the 3TB drive so whether I can get it on the 500GB drive as well is
    not too inportant, turns out I was about 60mb short.

    But anyway just so I have some records here too look back on it the future
    I will list my progress - lol. That is the good thing about usenet it
    a free note taking system, backup several times etc!!

    I have been having a problem deleting stuff due to permissions but I can
    into safe mode and delete what I like so far so not problems there.

    One thing was I found a 'TOOLS' folder which was protected, when you
    try and open it it says "HP invent - Recovery Partition - WARNING this area
    contains files used for recovery - do not delete or alter these files.
    Any change could prevent recovery later"

    The Machine came from HP and they have a recovery system installed on
    it, however windows also has a recovery/restore system on it so it can
    be a bit confusing for me who has only every see this machine, so
    i don't know what is HP and what is windows!!

    That TOOLS folder is also on the recovery drive drive d: that is where
    I expected to find it. Maybe I copied it to the 250 gig drive to have a look
    at it?

    Anyhow I should be able to delete it, then I am left with system volume info
    RECYCLER and pagefile.sys, I have turnedd the page file off on that drive

    OK I have made a chage so there is no recycler on f: (250gb) by
    clicking on recycle bin properties.

    So I have now turned off system restore on that drive and also the recycler
    thing and I have also turned off the page file on that drive. So I can
    those 3 in safe mode and also the tools folder and it should be empty

    THen I will boot back into windows and see if they are gone.

    Well I will try and boot back into windows lol, might not make it - gulp!!
    R. Giggs., Aug 22, 2012
  12. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    WEll I am back - just!!!

    I had a massive shock though when I could not boot up, it pass the blue post
    and then just hung on a black screen, no text!!

    I was cursing myself.

    Then I remembered the USB drives were connected. I think it was trying to
    from them, anyway removed em - problem solved.

    So I managed to remove everything apart from system volume info.

    I seem to have permissions so maybe it is in use. I just tried to delete
    it from windows and that created a recycler folder (which I had just got rid
    of - lol).

    SO I need to find out how to delete the system volume info, I thought I had
    enought to delete it but apparently not.

    Some googleing is required but I find the quality of the help via google
    rather poor
    or at least it's hard worrk before you find somethinhg useful.
    It's realy slow booting into safe mode!!
    R. Giggs., Aug 22, 2012
  13. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    Ha ha I deleted it (system volume)
    WHat I did was

    cacls "driveletter:\System Volume Information" /E /G username:F

    I made a little batch file to do it as it is easier to type then on the
    comman line.

    Now to get rid of the recycler by same method, hope it works or it means a
    to safe mode and a long wait!!
    R. Giggs., Aug 22, 2012
  14. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    Cant delete the recycler, it seems when you delete something a recycler is
    recreated any but it won't let me
    delete it I need togoogle a bit more lol.

    I don't want a recycler and I thought I had turned it off it seems not.
    R. Giggs., Aug 22, 2012
  15. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest


    Seem the recycler was turned back on somehow or that drive.

    But anyway now I can try some cloning software!!

    But there ia a partition on the source drive to complicate things.
    R. Giggs., Aug 22, 2012
  16. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    But it has come back again :( Even though I have turned off system restore
    on that drive
    and also turned off recycling!1
    R. Giggs., Aug 23, 2012
  17. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    I'm cloning!!! Had problems with volume shadow copy not running and various

    Even if I do clone it I will still have problems acces the drives maybe, one
    is stuck
    in the bay a bit and the othr a bit loose

    Dunno if it is a cable select or jumpers, cable select would be easiest I
    assuming I can get the drives out and in.

    THen if I can do al that I guess I shoudl take the 500 gig out off it's
    encloser and into my macine as a second drive.

    But that is thinking way ahead !!

    I also notice my DVD drive seems to have stopped working, unless it is the
    not working, one CD was read in it but it never recognised any other media.

    Anyway, one partion has been done, the small recovery partition, and now
    i am 4% through the large main partitiion is only 4% done or even less I
    am not sure what is happening and I think
    that really I should have stopped working on the machine whilst it is

    Whtever wil see what happens, I guess I need to look up my drives jumpers
    and selection
    jumpers etc...
    R. Giggs., Aug 23, 2012
  18. R. Giggs.

    Paul Guest

    System Volume Information is used on an OS like Windows XP, for
    restore point tracking. It's normally off limits on NTFS, but
    might be visible inside if using FAT32 (because FAT32 doesn't support
    permissions the same way NTFS does).

    If you disable System Restore completely, I don't think it stops
    the creation of System Volume Information. But it might result
    in that folder being practically empty.

    On your "Trash Can", you can attempt to find "Properties", and
    there would probably be an option for "immediate delete". That
    removes the Trash Can as a "staging area" for deleting. That might
    allow Recycler to be avoided. But I can imagine the system
    creating a new one again, at the drop of a hat.

    There are many other flavors of trash folders, and Recycler is just
    one of many different things I've found lurking down there. I think
    even Windows 8 has a new name for that folder.

    Many utilities that copy from one disk to another, don't copy
    certain files. I don't think Robocopy likes to copy stuff like SVI.
    So you may find, that removing stuff like that entirely,
    isn't necessary to achieving a desired end.

    Example of using Robocopy:

    robocopy L:\ F:\ /mir /copy:datso /dcopy:t /r:3 /w:2 /zb /np /tee /v /log:robocopy_l_to_f.log

    Note that my example command is *very dangerous*, in that I specified the "mirror"
    option, which basically erases the destination drive "F:" in the example. If you
    make a mistake, as I've done twice now, and F: happened to be the wrong target
    letter, you can lose all the data on the target partition very rapidly. And since
    the command is also copying and writing data, it writes all over things that
    could have been used to effect a recovery. In summary, before using
    that example format of command, be absolutely sure of the operands.

    Copying the files from C: partition, is *not* sufficient to make
    a bootable partition. Up near the front of the partition, is the
    partition boot sector. Not to be confused with the MBR. You can
    put a partition boot sector back with "fixboot C:" in recovery
    console. The MBR boot code can be fixed with "fixmbr". So you
    can piece together a boot partition, but it takes a bit of additional
    work. The boot flag may need to be set on the partition as well, if
    you haven't taken care of that detail. Using a partition manager,
    or a cloning software, is likely to look out for details like that.

    On primary partitions, they're stored in four "slots" in sector 0.
    If, when cloning, you take a boot partition from slot 1 on one disk,
    and store the partition in slot 2 on the MBR of the other disk, then
    the boot.ini information will be incorrect (you can fix that with
    a text editor). On Partition Magic, that software avoids the issue,
    by making sure the partition goes in the same slot number (whether
    you really wanted it that way or not). So there are plenty of little
    details to worry about.

    Moving Win98 is worse, because there is something stored in the
    front of the partition, that's size or position sensitive (I'm
    not sure of the details). And I don't know how you'd fix that
    "the hacker way". Again, a proper Partition Manager or Cloner software,
    would check for Win98, and bodge the necessary field(s) in the
    partition for you. I've never tried moving Win98 here, as it's just
    as easy to reinstall it if I really wanted it.

    Paul, Aug 23, 2012
  19. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    Thanks for that Paul, just a progress up date first, I am now as I type 97%
    complete in creating
    the cloned disk!! So the system volume info and recovery seem to be behind
    me now ( I hope!!).

    I have not looked up the disks yet but I will first try just booting one the
    original drive by itself.

    Then I will try and swop it for the cloned one and see what happens, I might
    have to change some
    jumpers but I have not looked intot hat yet.

    Clone completed in 58 mins 50 seconds!!

    So I am about ready to go!!

    Yep I have a F (new recovery) and G: (new system drive) - very exciiting!!

    I need to have a little calm down before I do any else now!!

    As I said I did manage to 'clone' my win98 system to another drive and boot
    from it,
    not sure how I managed it but it did work I can assure you!! NOt sure how I
    did it
    but I don't recally doing any more than a copy and paste!! Was a long time
    ago though
    so I can't remember too clearly.

    Any way I will leave it at that now and have a bit of a think before I try
    to roceed further!
    R. Giggs., Aug 23, 2012
  20. R. Giggs.

    R. Giggs. Guest

    Well I have found the manual (I think) so now I just need to have look
    at the jumper on the drive. Hopefully it will be cable select which means
    I just have to pull the cable off both drives and just stick the top one on
    cloned drive and away I go (in theory!!).
    R. Giggs., Aug 23, 2012
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