slowdown when two harddrives are connected
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Thread: slowdown when two harddrives are connected

  1. #1
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    slowdown when two harddrives are connected

    I recently added another hard drive to an older computer of mine, and when I have both the hard drives hooked up, one as a master, other as a slave, it boots and runs really slow. If I remove the slave hard drive, it boots, and run normal. Could it be because of little ram? The box is running Win2000 on a PIII 500mhz machine, with 96mb of ram.

  2. #2
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    Please supply standard Data:
    OS
    PC specification
    Mobo brand and model if possible.
    New HD brand, model and spec


    Have you had a look at your bios to see if the new drive is being recognised?

    Is the second drive new? Is is quite big (IE bigger than 100Gb)?
    Do you know if the bios in your mobo can cope with the size of drive being fitted?
    Is your bios up to date?

    What happens if you connect the new drive only as a master?
    (I know it won't boot)
    Do you get any error messages or does the machine stall at the bios?
    Some error messages would be expected (but I can't remember them right now).

    There are a few things to think about there. I doubt it would be your ram.

    <edit> Edited from a rambling mess.

  3. #3
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    Try setting them up on different controllers and see if it still happens.
    \"You got a mouth like an outboard motor..all the time putt putt putt\" - Foghorn Leghorn

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Synexic

    The most common problem that I have encountered with upgrading old machines is that the power supply may not be adequate to handle all the additions. If the components are not receiving the correct current and voltage they may slow down in cases where the shortfall is marginal.

    I do not think that it is the RAM, although you would certainly notice a performance improvement if you added more This machine is running Win2000, and is currently using 237Mb of RAM. I would certainly aim for 256Mb as a minimum.

    Please do as Aspman has asked. In particular, I would like to know if, when you have both drives installed, your BIOS (boot into setup) then Windows both recognise the drives as their correct size.


  5. #5
    AFLAAACKKK!!
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    I don't have my glasses on right now (I left htem at school ) but I tried to make something out of this thread. What I could read I saw that whatthe had a very good suggestion... Try using 2 different IDE cables for both drives... I think I saw that nihil said something about a power supply as well... another good suggestion, make sure your PSU is powerful enough!

    I hope you can understand this and that I didn't misspell anything... I'm basically typing this in the dark with nothing but my memory of the keyboard lol...
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  6. #6
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    Agree with Nihil and Aspman - check the power supply, provide us with all pertinent data please. Yes, it could be ram, but I'd be more prone to believe the psu isn't strong enough.

    Duck - although IDE cabling can fail easily, I sincerely doubt it would be the culprit here - when it fails, you lose the ability to read or write data, or both completely. Least I've never encountered a 'partial ability to read' from one wire broken in the ribbon - the drives always crap out.

    Synexic - have you tried BOTH drives by themselves and are they functioning properly when alone in the system? It could also be that one drive itself is crapping out...
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

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  7. #7
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    I don't know if a HDD can run on a small amount of power and still work..... but read and write slow....hmmmmmmm.... That's a good question!

    I would try powering the HDD's on different voltage rails. Read on the back of your PSU and see what molex rail you're using. I wouldn't use just one molex line to power all that.....................even though I think it wouldn't really matter.............but hell it's worth a try. Actually take everything off the molex's except the two HDD's and don't piggyback them with the molex's if you can.

    If you could download Everest Home and show us your voltage values with both of the HDD's plugged in.

    A lot of system specs are great when you ask for help.

  8. #8
    AFLAAACKKK!!
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    BlackIce, I wasn't referring to faulty cabling... what I mean't was using one IDE cable for the master and another IDE cable for the slave... Sometimes if you have 2 HDD's on the same IDE cable slowdowns can occur...
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  9. #9
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    Ok, the second hard drive is a Maxtor 8GB drive. It's reconized at boot time too. The drive isn't going bad, I've put it in as the master drive and unplugged the other drive. It has slackware 8.1 installed on it right now, and I've been told it could be the partitions on the slave drive, but I've never had any problems with that kinda thing in the past. I'm leaning towards it being the power supply. I'm not sure how big the power supply is, but with the second hard drive connected, it would be powering the two hard drives, a cd-rom, floppy drive, and a zip drive. I'm going to unplug the zip drive, and see what happens then.

  10. #10
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    I'm pretty sure what is going on is that your first hard drive is already capped at ATA-66MHz interface speeds because the board is from the Pentium 3 era. And your second hard drive is likely an ATA-33MHz because it is ancient.

    What this means is that your second hard drive can only communicate at the slower speed of ATA-33MHz. When you use the same cable, the first hard drive has to talk at that same speed. Which is slower than it had been talking at.

    But now, since you have two drives talking across a slower speed, and the second hard drive was ill-designed to even talk at this ATA-33MHz speed in the first place, you end up with each hard drive getting maybe 1/3rd to 1/2th of that lower speed avaliable for productive use.

    In otherwords, that second hard drive made your hard drive performance 4x worse/slower.


    Try what whatthe & The Duck say...use seperate cables for those two hard drives. You'll likely use the second hard drive and the cd-rom drive on the same cable.

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