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Windows 7: General Hard Drive Slowdown (Including USB External HDD)

03 May 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)
General Hard Drive Slowdown (Including USB External HDD)

Hello there, Forum!

It's been a long time since my last appearance here... Right now I have an issue with my hard drives but I can't figure it out by myself...

Let me describe the issue:

1) When I copy files from my ExHDD to either one of my hard drives (C:\ and D:\) it's OK. (around ~30 MB/s)
2) When I copy files from C:\ or D:\ to my ExHDD, I get really slow transfers (~1 MB/s)
3) When I browse files within D:\ usually thumbnails, it makes a grinding noise, like it's thinking but it's painful for it.
4) When I browse files within C:\ it's somewhat OK.
5) When I play some games, I notice a MAJOR slowdown at the intro screens and later-on screens too, but gameplay is OK.
6) When I defrag D:\ drive with Defraggler, it's kinda slow at the "building file list" bit
7) When I defrag C:\ drive with Defraggler, it's REALLY slow at the "building file list" bit
8) No matter where I plug the ExHDD (on the 14 USB ports my PC has) it's still slow when I transfer files to it (~1 MB/s)

Now, here's what I have tried:

1) I changed both HDDs to all SATA ports (C:\ and D:\ are connected to SATA III ports) nothing happened, still slow, still grinding.
2) Updated every possible driver to the latest: Intel Chipset (, Intel RST (, Intel MEI ( with FW)
3) Clean and fresh install didn't solve the issue, gaming slowdown (at startup) in FIFA 13 and Far Cry 3 is clearly tangible.

Now, what I haven't tried:

1) Changing SATA cables (just ordered them, should be here tomorrow)
2) Trying another USB cable on the ExHDD (just ordered it, should be here tomorrow too)
3) Trying another SATA HDD on my PC (don't have one to test)
4) Trying my SATA HDDs on another PC (don't have another PC here to test)

Finally, I downloaded HD Tune and ran some tests... Results are on attachments, notice the lack of information on the C:\ drive

NOTE: HDDs have 456d 10h and 900d 16h "power on hours" (for C:\ and D:\ respectively)
NOTE #2: HDDs show 5,52 MB/s and 52,5 MB/s "random read speeds" (for C:\ and D:\ respectively) in Defraggler after defrag.
NOTE #3: C:\ drive's MFT appears to be fragmented (don't know if that could cause the slowdown)

Now the question... Should I be buying new HDDs if changing the SATA cables don't change a thing, or could it be another component? (Motherboard, RAM... I don't know)

Thank you, Forum!

Attached Thumbnails
General Hard Drive Slowdown (Including USB External HDD)-hdds.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I have come across this problem in the past with an external HDD. In the end the drive ended up going bad and I had to throw it out. It all started when I defragged the external took longer then normal. After that degrag the transfer speed was slow...we are talking USB1.0 and slower. It also made grinding noises. I tried everything in the book but I think defraggler was somehow responsible. I am sorry I can't offer anything else, just thought I would tell you that this happened to me also
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

Thanks, crankypenguin...

Thing is... My ExHDD doesn't grind or anything... Grinding noises come from one of the SATA drives... and the ExHDD is practically new... Haven't used it that much... however, I do recall having really low transfer speeds on another computer while I was doing a backup... But that doesn't solve the slowdown mystery in my PC
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 General Hard Drive Slowdown (Including USB External HDD)

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