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Windows 7: Windows 7 32 Bit Bogging Down After Multiple HDD Install

02 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 32 Bit
 
 
Windows 7 32 Bit Bogging Down After Multiple HDD Install

First and foremost, let me apologize in advance as this thread may have already been posted millions of times before. I have a Dell Dimension XPS GEN 4 with a recently installed copy of Windows 7 32 Bit. My PC has a 3.2 P4 HT CPU and 3 GB of RAM. Just a couple days ago, I decided to install three new 750GB SATA internal HDDs onto my computer to maximize the amount of disk storage. With that being said, Windows has been running very slow after the HDD install (average boot time around 5 mins.) and CPU usage is almost at critical mass. This was never an issue before I decided to ramp up the amount of disk storage. Please also be advised, I keep my installed programs to a minimum, and probably the hardest working program I have at this time on my PC is Office. I am curious, could I have possibly overloaded my CPU and given it a much heavier workload by installing multiple HDDs? Can anyone possibly tell me how to either speed up or decrease the workload of my CPU? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I wouldn't think the new storage drives would be a problem by themselves.

Are you slow only in booting or also in general operation?

As a starting point, look in Resource Monitor (via Task Manager) when you are running slow. Do you see any indication of your RAM being completely used up?

You say "CPU usage is almost at critical mass". When and as measured by what?

Are those new drives fully accessible and working fine as near as you can tell?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 32 Bit
 
 

My apologies for not being more specific. I am having issues when the secondary HDDs are accessed directly (even though there is hardly anything on any of my drivers) i.e. When opening a file from that specific HDD. As far as the CPU measurements, I am closely watching the CPU Meter and the RAM does not appear to be phased at all whereas the CPU meter is in the orange to red area. These drivers are fully accessible, however, I am being told that I should try to pull the pins in the back of the HDDs that currently limit their speeds to 1500 RPMs. I suppose it's worth a shot, but still feeling rather defeated at the moment. PC: 1 User: 0.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Feb 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hellooomcfly View Post
My apologies for not being more specific. I am having issues when the secondary HDDs are accessed directly (even though there is hardly anything on any of my drivers) i.e. When opening a file from that specific HDD. As far as the CPU measurements, I am closely watching the CPU Meter and the RAM does not appear to be phased at all whereas the CPU meter is in the orange to red area. These drivers are fully accessible, however, I am being told that I should try to pull the pins in the back of the HDDs that currently limit their speeds to 1500 RPMs. I suppose it's worth a shot, but still feeling rather defeated at the moment. PC: 1 User: 0.
I never heard of a pin limiting speed to 1500 rpm, but if that is the case then it's obviously at least part of the problem. The drives should spin at 5400 or higher if they are not decades old.

Have you rooted through the BIOS and inspected relevant hard drive settings?

If you disable those new drives in the BIOS, can you then suddenly boot at a normal speed rather than delayed?

You can always download an application such as HDTach to see how the drives are performing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 32 Bit
 
 

I may have been mistaken in my choice of wording in my definition of HDD speed. On the HDD label, there is a diagram that shows 4 pins on the opposite side of the SATA power source which can govern the data transfer rate to 1.5 GBs with the jumper or 3GBs without the jumper. I understand even this description may not sound very clear, and I can only ask that you pardon my computer illiteracy. Going back to your question about disabling the secondary HDDs, yes I can disable them all and run at optimal performance once again. I have not tried inspecting relevant hard drive settings nor would I really know what I'm looking for, but I suppose it's worth looking into. I will also try downloading that program you mentioned. Thanks for all your help and patience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You should try to get input from others as well, but here are my ideas:

I think that jumper is on some earlier SATA drives and is intended to limit them to 1.5 Gb/second. I don't think the drives can fully utilize 3.0 GB/sec anyway.

As an experiment, I would disconnect all but 1 of these new drives and concentrate on it.

This is likely a hard drive controller issue. Try it with and then without jumper on a single drive and see if you have any luck.

Run HDTach on one of the new drives and see what results you get with with and without jumper on one drive.

If you get one new drive going OK so it does not interfere with booting and general operation, add one more new drive and so forth until you can ID when performance goes south. Most likely, if you can get one drive going, you can mimic its settings on the second and third.

You might drill into Dell website or your manual to try to determine if there is some controller-related issue that might affect your storage limitations. It's been years since I dealt with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 32 Bit Bogging Down After Multiple HDD Install





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