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Windows 7: Laptop with slow disk access

09 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Laptop with slow disk access

I don't know if this is an O/S problem, a hardware thing, or what, but I figure this is a good place to start....

I"ve got a several month old Toshiba X505 870 with I5-720CPU, 4GB of memory and TWO Hitachi 7200 rpm 500GB SATA II hard drives. The system is used primarily for initial examination of digital images, with each image being around 20MB (so we're not talking big files). Accessing images to display previews is perceptibly slow. Yes, the system is tuned to the best of my ability, although I'm certainly open to other tuning things I've missed or just don't know. Both disks have been, and are REGULARLY defragmented - both show 0% fragmentation. I've thrown away the original O/S with all the trialware, stupidity, and goop, and installed W7 Home Premius, 64-bit. All the drivers I'm aware of are current, including the Intel storage drivers. Other than the periodic Side-By-Side errors that show up every couple days, I'm NOT getting application or system errors. Both disks are set to the setting for best performance (I can't recall the wording but something like write-delay or whatever)...

In Bridge or Lightroom I"m not getting CPU bound, but this thing beats on the disk(s) quite a bit, and takes MUCH longer than the desktop system to display images. Admittedly, "MUCH LONGER" is probably between .5 and 2 seconds, but it's still a LOT longer than my desktop takes to display the same previews. The desktop is a slightly faster CPU (I7 920), but it also has standard 7200 rpm drives for images, and it's SIGNIFICANTLY faster at retrieving and displaying images in Bridge or Lightroom...

Is there any PRACTICAL (no, putting in 2, 500GB SSD drives is not practical) way to speed up disk access on this laptop?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2011   #2

XP / Win7 x64 Pro

Is it just slow in displaying images? If so, I've seen that occur after performing a monitor calibration and adjusting the profile. For some reason, Windows 7 takes considerably longer to load and use a customized monitor calibration for displaying images than the default sRGB profile. Why, I have no clue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I don't know where my reply went, but I suspect it got lost in limbo - I was using the laptop from the road.....

Anyhow, the laptop hasn't been calibrated, so I don't think that should make any difference. I don't know if it's slow doing other things 'cause everything else on the laptop is pretty basic - running Outlook, opening Word, stuff like that... The real grunting work comes when I hit Bridge or Lightroom, then it's slow.....

For example, if I'm in bridge and I select a couple dozen images to delete, it can take 30-40 seconds. Doing the same thing on the desktop takes 2 - 3 seconds. Same images, same folder. Same version of Bridge.

SOMETHING isn't quite right on the laptop and I don't know if it's just bad tuning on my part, or if there's an actual hardware problem... I can try beating it up with Sandra I suppose......

I even went through Black Viper's stuff and removed as many services as possible. Even dumbed down the user interface.... Still slow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 May 2011   #4

XP / Win7 x64 Pro

Maybe try launching an elevated command prompt and typing "sfc /scannow" and see if it finds any problems in core Windows files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #5

Windows 8.1 ; Windows 7 x86 (Dec2008-Jan2013)

Control Panel - System - Device Manager - IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers
Make sure that on all channels on the Advanced settings tab - DMA is Enabled and current mode is some sort of DMA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Laptop with slow disk access

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