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Old 02-22-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default Hard drive too slow for other components?

Hello,
I am a networking engineer, a fresh one too so I have no clue about hard drives
I was wondering if some of you may help me out.
I bought a computer about 4 months ago. These are the specs:
Inter Core i7 920 2.67 GHZ
6 GB DDR3 RAM
ATI Radeon 5700 series graphics
I really dont know what my HDD is so Ill just give you this: WDC WD1001FAES-75W7A0
Windows 7

Now, the first thing Id like to say is that the bootup process of my machine is quite long.
I had a PC, running XP which was a lot slower then this and it booted faster.
Could my HDD have something to do with it?

Another thing is my HDD activity compared to my CPU usage.
I am currently running a norton comprehensive scan. I know these usually slow your machine down as hell but even tho it doesn't slow down the actual performance of the program that is already running, it slows down its start time significantly.
I looked at the Start Task manager and I noticed that during the scan only 6-10% of my CPU was used, 2.55GB of RAM. I then looked at the hard drive performance and
noticed that it had one of those blue lines going all the way up to the top (10mbps) and the green like up to like 2-4mbps. Sometimes I was getting massive spikes of the green activity (I supposed its the activity that is actually happening in real time) that went up to 10mbps.

Is my HDD slowing my PC down? If so please recommend a new one with a storage room of 1TB or max 1.5TB.
As I mentioned above I have no clue what to look for in hard drives.
Please check out my current hard drive (WDC WD1001FAES-75W7A0) and compare it to my other components and please tell me what you think.

Thanks,
Simon
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hard drive too slow for other components?

My pc specs are very similar to you and mine to was on the slow side due to the hard drive. I upgraded to a SSD drive and it has made a HUGE difference, you could get a SSD drive for the boot drive (windows), and then get a standard hard drive for data. like i have
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hard drive too slow for other components?

Well first off an SSD is an expensive investment. Second, a long boot process does not usually mean there is a physical component slowing everything down, especially since you have 6 GB's of ram.
You have a Western Digital HDD By the way (WDC = Western Digital Corporation).
What programs do you have that start up with the computer? How many programs do you usually have running at one time? Have you cleaned up your system either manually or with system cleaning software? (CCleaner is a good one)
Also, its normal for a system scan to cause a lot of Hard drive activity, seeing as it scans all your files.


BTW, do you have your BS in Network Engineering? Where did you get it? I am currently a sophomore going for my BS in network engineering and we had to take Diagnostics and Maintenance freshman year, which covered basic troubleshooting.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hard drive too slow for other components?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theory5 View Post
Well first off an SSD is an expensive investment. Second, a long boot process does not usually mean there is a physical component slowing everything down, especially since you have 6 GB's of ram.
You have a Western Digital HDD By the way (WDC = Western Digital Corporation).
What programs do you have that start up with the computer? How many programs do you usually have running at one time? Have you cleaned up your system either manually or with system cleaning software? (CCleaner is a good one)
Also, its normal for a system scan to cause a lot of Hard drive activity, seeing as it scans all your files.


BTW, do you have your BS in Network Engineering? Where did you get it? I am currently a sophomore going for my BS in network engineering and we had to take Diagnostics and Maintenance freshman year, which covered basic troubleshooting.
A solid state is kinda expensive but I've heard they are the best drives out there so far.
Ill look into the prices and see what I can come up with.
I thought the same as you. Ive gone into my startup configuration and left only a few programs running. I have things along the lines of HD audio, Alienware FX, Thermal controlller, norton and utorrent. I dont usually have a lot of programs open at once. Usually I use chrome to do my CCNA revision and then leave it open when Im playing games.
Ive used all sort of performance increasing tools. Disk defrag (only when above 10%) but I havent done that in over a month, disc cleanup, disc optimization.
All took about a few seconds to do and said everything was fine.

I am currently a qualified CCENT and half way through studying for CCNA.
I just finished CCNA 3 which was a pain to get through but hey, you cant have a 30,000 salary without some effort right.
You can buy the CCNA course on www.cisco.netacad.net. They provide so much content your head will explode. I heard it costs something around 2000-3000
but Im not sure on the current rates. I didn't pay for it because Im still doing it at school, I started off with 4 course-works and moved onto CCENT which covers the basics of networking now CCNA is another 20 chapters of advanced networking.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hard drive too slow for other components?

Have you tried using a registry cleaner? CCleaner has one built in, and its reliable and safe, and it allows you to back it up before changing anything.
Did you run chkdsk? sometimes bad sectors and lost clusters can slow things down.

I figured that if the HDD came with your laptop it must be able to keep up. What is the speed (RPM) of your HDD? Also, are the drivers up to date? Are any missing? Does your computer take a long time to boot when you run it in safe mode? Do you have anything plugged in through USB, or another type of connection?

I am planning on joining the Peace Corps right out of college, so I am planning on getting certifications that dont expire such as A+ in my Senior year, then going for the rest after I come back. I'm not sure if I want to do cisco certs right off the bat because they are pretty expensive. I know my dad has a CCNA kit lying around, but I'm not sure its up to date. Do you plan on working for a company that uses Cisco?
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hard drive too slow for other components?

personally i think the hard-drive is the bottle neck in most systems, My system runs slow because my virus scanner is quite i/o intensive, I have disabled my virus scanner and my system runs so much smoother. I would recommend buying an SSD drive and run the OS on there and then put your files on your weston digital drive.

For a performance boost on your current system take a look at this guide http://www.computerforums.org/comput...-a-104162.html you can do this on your system even if you dont have a SSD
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hard drive too slow for other components?

JCB, I am curious as to why you think HDD's are usually the bottlenecks in a system. I would think that a relatively new PC wouldn't slow down that much unless the HDD itself has a problem. I understand that SSD drives provide much quicker access, but surly a 4 month old HDD wouldn't bottleneck an entire system. From what he said, the system booted quicker WITH XP on the same HDD. The only reason it would be quicker on the SSD would be if 7's boot process was messed up and the reinstall fixed it.
Dragonball did you attempt to boot the system in safemode? was it faster?
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hard drive too slow for other components?

I agree, the hard-drive is indeed the bottle neck in most systems.Without a working hard drive your computer would fail to work, so you need a quality product. A computer hard drive stores things like your operating system, all your data and music files, and any programs you run. I have a 250 GB hard drive on my desktop computer and have barely touched the surface in terms of disk usage. I probably won't need another hard drive anytime soon, but you do hear stories of peoples hard drives failing which means all the information is lost (most likely).
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