Trying to Identify what's wrong with this laptop I'm refurbing... it's running super slow...

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I picked up a throw away Compaq Armada E500 a while back that has some
pretty nasty looking plastic external case damage, and am just now
getting around to having a look at it to see what's worth saving and
what's really e-waste, or if I should buy a couple plastic panels for
it.. fix it up.. and parhaps she'll be good as new.

I formatted a little trial 3GB drive in NTFS, laid down a fresh copy of
Win2kPro, installed all the latest drivers from compaq and service
packs and critical updates from MS.

I was hoping at some point during the patching and driver updating,
that the system would take off running, but it never happened.  At 600
MHz, the system is behaving VERY sluggish.

Specifically, it's launching applications horrifically slowly.  Once
you're inside an application, it behaves a bit more normally.  If I
were taking a random stab, I'd say it feels like the pipe to the HD, or
the HD itself is the problem.

I figured, I should be able to find some benchmarking tools and/or
diagnostic tools online that might be able to point me in the right
direction.  Like... tell me if my HD access times are the culprit, or
if I likely have a bad DIMM of RAM.

I ran the combined performance index wizard in Sisoftware Sandra, but I
can't say it much helped in pin pointing the culprit.  It showed my
Hard Drive was below the benchmark, but that's true, my 3 GB IBM
DYKA-23240 was indeed below the closest 4 GB benchmark drive for which
comparison data was built in..

For a lack of any better guesses, I was thinking the hard drive might
still be the problem...
While small, my HD size IS substantially above the minimum requiremnets
for Win2k, and I've got a full 1.8 GB of that drive free for Windows to
gobble up with it's swap file.  I've noticed, in the past, working on
other machines, that things got real slow like this when disk space got
low, and windows didn't have quite what it would have liked for swap

Defragging the drive got things moving a bit quicker, but on the whole,
it's still running miserably.

Any ideas on how to isolate the problem?  Are there any benchmarking /
diag tools that can help with this?  I'm not a speed freak nitpicking
about milliseconds here, this things is NOT launching applications or
running anything like the way it should.  I'd just try another hard
drive, but I don't have any larger laptop HDs on hand.  I suppose the
drive could have a bunch of bad sectors that could be causing me grief?
 Any easy way for me to see that sort of information about spared out
sectors and such? - I took a screen capture of my msinfo
specs.  That windows swap file looks perfectly healthy right?

Any and all Suggestions, wisdom, and advice are greatly appreciated.

Re: Trying to Identify what's wrong with this laptop I'm refurbing... it's running super slow...

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Yeah, sounds like hard drive access or memory
issues.  How much physical memory do you have?

Try the fine disk speed tool from after running the
manufacturer's hard drive diags, and possibly memtest86 (?).

It could be that you don't have the right {chipset, IDE} drivers
installed, in which case you are running your hard drive at ATA/16
speeds, which could cause that kind of problem.

Re: Trying to Identify what's wrong with this laptop I'm refurbing... it's running super slow...

windows shows that I have 144 MB ram.  physically under my keyboard of
this laptop, there are two PC 100 SO Dimms..  64 MB a piece.   144 MB
seems like an above average chunk..  shouldn't it be closer to 128?

I also ran hdtune...

it showed in one of the tabs that ata 33 was enabled
and these were my results for my ibm dyka-23240
doesn't look like it's exactly living up to the specs for the drive.
does this look like a bottleneck?  or am I looking at a drive /
controller that are in fine health?

Re: Trying to Identify what's wrong with this laptop I'm refurbing... it's running super slow...

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Some laptops used to have 16M onboard, plus whatever you added to the

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That's good, as that's as fast as that drive will go, but

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This doesn't look right, unless you are running something in the
background that's scrambling your results:

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That raw read error rate kinda scares me, try the Hitachi drive diags.
Do you have another drive you can try?

Looks to me like the drive is spending so much time dealing with
errors that it doesn't have time to serve up any data.

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