Help! New HD on Win98 boots and runs VERY slowly

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DavidBL, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. DavidBL

    DavidBL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello fellow HTF'ers-- I'm hoping a few of you PC experts can lend a little advice on a new hard drive install I did last night. I'm not a PC novice by any means but this is the first time I've ever had to replace a HD and reinstall an OS.

    My system is 3 years old, HP Pavilion 8575C, PIII 550 MHz, 384 MB RAM. Last week my old 20GB Quantum Fireball began to make serious clunks and thumps and give the blue screen "read error on drive C:" message. So I ordered a new 40GB Maxtor HD and did the install last night. I used the Maxtor software to format the drive and then the Recovery CD's that came with the computer to reinstall Win98SE and all of the other garbage that came on the computer.

    My problem is that the system now boots up VERY slowly, it seems like the drive is only running about half as fast as the old one did, the mouse is jerky and less responsive while loading stuff during the boot and also when executing a program like IE. I don't know what settings changed between my old configuration and the new "factory default" setup, but something is definately wrong as it was not this slow with the old drive.

    Here is what I have checked and done so far:
    -- made sure DMA was enabled (it is)
    -- Changed virtual memory to a permanent 750 MB space
    -- uninstalled all of the "sign up now for AOL" trash software that came with the PC
    -- downloaded and reinstalled all of the critical Win98 update patches from the last 3 years
    -- reinstalled the latest drivers for all of my additional hardware that didn't come with the PC (printer, scanner, TV/video capture card)
    -- Ran "MSCONFIG" and unchecked a whole bunch of the useless stuff that tries to go in the startup tray

    I was really thinking on that last one that relieving the startup load would decrease the boot time, but everything is still just plain SLOW and I'm out of ideas.

    Any advice is appreciated, I will gather all of today's suggestions and try them tonight (especially if my preordered LOTR DVD doesn't arrive in the mail, otherwise I may be, um, busy) and then let you know tomorrow if anything worked. I'm on my work computer now so I can't try things real time.

    Thanks in advance,

    David

    Edit-- forgot to add that both drives (new and old) are 5400 RPM, so it's not a case of the old drive being faster.
     
  2. Srinivas Reddy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 1999
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you have any other devices on that IDE, like the old drive or a CDROM ?
    If so , try after removing them.
     
  3. DavidBL

    DavidBL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, it is the only device on the primary IDE. The secondary IDE has the DVD drive and CDRW as master/slave, respectively.
     
  4. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1999
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Real Name:
    Jasen
    You've probably already tried this, but have you run scandisk AND defrag?

    Was your old HD partitioned? If your current HD is not, I suggest you setup a separate partition for your OS.
     
  5. DavidBL

    DavidBL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, as it was a brand new drive with nothing on it except the original software, I did not yet run scandisk or defrag.

    My old HD was not partitioned, it is possible to do this to the new drive without having to reload everything again, now that it has already been formatted and has the OS installed?
     
  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    0
    ScanDisk and Defrag are overrated, particularly with the miniscule seek time of modern hard drives. They're still necessary, but are highly overrated to the point that they're not effective tools in system optimization, particularly for fresh installs.
    I would strongly suggest that you identify and download the newest IDE drivers based on your IDE chipset. It is VERY likely that your previous hard drive had the proper IDE drivers installed but your rebuild does not.
    I run into this problem EVERY TIME I rebuild my one system because Windows 2000 does not have the IDE drivers and therefore cannot utilize DMA. I get approximately 8-9 MB/sec transfer rate immediately after installation. Once I install the IDE drivers, I consistently get 32-35 MB/sec transfer rates.
    Even if you have DMA enabled, it won't matter if the necessary IDE drivers are not in place because the system will not know how to properly utilize the DMA based on your chipset.
    Even if HP has the drivers, you might want to identify what drivers they use then go to the chipset manufacturer (most likely VIA or Intel) and download the newest drivers from there.
    This obviously is one solution, but I am guessing that it is the cause. In my experience with PCs, newer hard drives consistently are faster than old ones. New ATA technologies also mean more drivers that you now might not have if they were pre-installed with your system.
    Just my $.02. [​IMG]
     
  7. DavidBL

    DavidBL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    John, I will definitely try that tonight. Thanks and I'll report back tomorrow.

    If anyone else has other ideas, though, continue to chime in!
     
  8. DavidBL

    DavidBL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    After some unsuccessful attempts to download (un)helpful software from Intel, I finally had a brain flash and fixed the problem.

    And the winner is...

    the IDE cable. I used one that I recently bought from a mom-n-pop computer store when my old drive was going out, just to make sure that it wasn't the cable ($5 insurance policy against a new HD). I left this one in instead of using the one that came with the drive. Then I looked again at the new cable and noticed that it seemed to have finer pitch wires than the one I was using, so I tried it and now it boots faster than the old drive.

    Thanks to everyone for your help and if anyone has a technical explanation as to why the new cable fixed the problem, I love to learn these things.
     
  9. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    0
    That will do it! You were using an old-style 40-wire cable for an UltraATA connection. They don't appreciate that at all.

    The newer motherboards require 80-wire IDE cables to take advantage of UltraATA. My one motherboard actually has the ability to detect if the cable is 40- or 80-wire and it will yell at me on bootup if it's not 80-wire.
     
  10. DavidBL

    DavidBL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting. The computer was manufactured in late '98 or early '99 and has an Intel 440 chipset, which according to the Intel web site does not support UltraATA. But it still definitely liked the 80 wire cable much better, even if the drive is not getting used to its full capacity.
     
  11. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2000
    Messages:
    4,260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Nick So
    John: Im not sure i agree with you. I had a built a new computer with a fresh install of WinXP. After a week or two, it started getting sluggish. I downloaded a demo of DISKEEPER, and defragged, the computer ran waaaaaay smoother and faster. Im not sure if the windows defragger is as good, but Diskeeper is great. I bought a copy, and i have it scheduled to run daily.

    Scandisk though, i've never found a performance increase
     
  12. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    0
     

Share This Page