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- Inspiron 8600 laptop hard disk very slow?
December 6, 2005, 1:18 pm
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Re: Inspiron 8600 laptop hard disk very slow?
There are a several things which can slow down hard drive performance.
I'll try to cover some of the more important ones below. Most of these
are based on the hardware itself and how the OS handles it.
1 - the drive's rotation speed can slow things down. In general, the
faster the drive's rotation speed (rated in RPMs), the faster the data can
be accessed. In the specs for your laptop, it shows the default 30 gig
IDE drive is rated at 4200 rpm. If you upgrade to a faster drive, with a
higher rated RPM speed - such as ones rated at 5400 or 7200 RPM, the drive
will react quicker.
2 - the drive itself may read/write data more slowly due to the drive's on
board cache. In general, the larger the drive's cache, the more efficient
the drive will be at reading/writing data. If you have a lot of data
going in and out of that drive all the time, the large on board cache will
help to keep the drive running more efficiently.
3 - The amount of RAM you have installed to your laptop will affect
overall hard drive & system performance. If you have too little RAM and
are running RAM hungry applications, the OS will need to keep swapping
data from RAM to/from the hard drive, in order to keep what you are
working on at the moment in memory. By increasing the amount of RAM on
your laptop, you will significantly increase the overall speed of your
laptop and limit the amount of data that must be swapped to/from RAM with
the hard drive.
4 - the drive may be rated at some ultra ATA speed (such as 33, 66, 100,
133, etc...) but your laptop not be setup to support that max speed or
that feature may not have been turned on within your BIOS &/or OS.
If the drive's ultra ATA speed is rated below what your laptop can handle,
you can upgrade to a faster drive to take advantage of this ability.
If the drive matches/exceeds your laptop's specs, you should check your
laptop's BIOS & OS's driver settings for the hard drive, to ensure DMA
ability has been enabled & set at its optimum setting.
5 - slow hard drive performance issues can also be minimized by adjusting
your OS's look ahead ability with regards to hard drive accessing.
Specifically referring to the fast find ability in windows and prelink
ability in Linux. In some PCs, enabling will help and in other case
disabling it will help increases the system's performance. You will need
to experiment to see which option works best for your specific system.
6 - updated drivers are also very important. You should ensure you are
running the most current drivers for your hardware. Driver upgrades
address bugs, security, stability and performance issues. By upgrading
your drivers to the most current versions, you are ensuring the old
drivers are not causing a bottle neck, thus affect hard driver
Overall, all of these things will affect the laptop's performance,
especially with regards to the hard drive's reading/writing performance.
It's best to go through each of these one at a time, and see what you can
adjust or enhance. I would say start with drivers, BIOS & OS adjustments
first. Then go with adding RAM &/or replacing the drive with a faster one,
if you are not satisfied with the overall performance of your tweaked hard
drive & laptop configuration.
I hope this helps...