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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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OT Need computer help please [UPDATE]

I bought a new Dell Dimension 2400 computer about a month and a half ago. It came with a Western Digital 80 Gig harddrive. I added a Western Digital 160 Gig internal harddrive about 3 weeks ago. The new harddrive seemed real slow when copying to or from it. I then added a Western Digital 120 Gig USB harddrive.

When I added the USB drive, I copied a block of about 7 Gig from C: (the original 80 Gig drive) to the USB in about 6 minutes. I copied the same 7 Gig block from C: to D: (the new 160 Gig drive) and it took over 60 minutes.

I called Western Digital and they thought the 160 Gig drive was bad, so they sent me a new one. I installed it tonight and it made no change, took 1 hr. 20 min. to format.

I had originally installed the software that came with the drive, something called Data Lifeguard. It claimed that there was a 137 Gig barrier and needed 32 bit addressing to access the 160 Gig drive. I have since uninstalled the Data Lifeguard software but nothing changes.

When I was clearing off the 160 before I replaced it, I found that I could not copy a large file to the USB drive. I haven't found the true limit yet. I can copy a 2.5 Gig file to the USB drive but if I try to copy a 4 Gig file to the USB drive, it tells me the drive is full and suggests I use disc clean-up. There was over 100 Gig of space left on the drive. I then copied a 6 Gig block of smaller files and it copied them fine. I then copied a 6 Gig block containing a 4 Gig file. It started copying but when it got to the 4 Gig file, it again said there wasn't enough free space.

I'm running XP, SP1. I found that when I am copying from the 80 Gig to the USB, Task Manager says that it is using about 30% of the CPU resources. When I copy to or from the 160 Gig, it says I am at 95% CPU usage.

One other thing, not that I think it's important, when I install or uninstall the software that came with the 160 Gig drive, it mutes the wav section on my volume control.

I'm calling Western Digital tomorrow and I wondered if anyone had ever heard of these problems before. I think maybe they are selling stuff that doesn't work.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 10:18 PM
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Re: OT Need computer help please

Sounds like you hooked them both up to the same IDE cable. It can't read from one and write to the other at the same time when they are on the same cable. It has to read then write. One possibility.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 10:45 PM
 
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Re: OT Need computer help please

Use NTFS instead of FAT32 and don't use the hard drive software, you don't need it. What do you have hooked up where on the IDE bus and how do you have the drives' jumpers set?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 09:06 AM
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Re: OT Need computer help please

Good call

Also, would that be XP *Home* (wannbe OS) or the real deal *Professional*? The "home" edition has been found to have a few "shortcomings" (that's what MS calls them...everyone else on the planet calls them flaws!)
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 11:42 AM
 
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Re: OT Need computer help please

I had a problem with an external USB cd burner " Iomega" slowing down my system even when it wasn't turned on or being used. Around a 4 to 6 second delay before anything would activate.unfortunatley before I realized it was the burner , by accident . I had already screwed up both my systems beyond all recognition. I had bought the external with the idea in mind to be able to move it from a stand alone computer to this one that is online. waste of time and money .
the other computer is still screwed up ...won't shut down right.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: OT Need computer help please

I called Dell just to check to see if they knew anything but they didn't and I mean the guy I talked to didn't know anything. It was obvious he was just wanting to try things he was reading out of a notebook or something.

I called Western Digital and, after talking to the first guy, got transferred to the second tier techies. He couldn't help me either. He was telling me to check for Dell bios upgrades and that there were some things on the web that would improve my data transfer speed. I told him that I'd already talked to Dell and didn't get any information on upgrades and that the machine was less than 60 days old. I also speculated that the "improvements" he was talking about on the web for data transfer would be small percentage improvements and I had a major problem. I told him we fix the problem or I get a refund. He told me that they only do replacements not refunds. I had him transfer me to a supervisor.

I went over the problem again for the supervisor and I did have the drives as master and slave where I should have had them set for "cable select" but changing them made no difference. He realized that there was a serious problem but told me that a refund would be a big problem so he would send me a 160 Gig USB external drive as a replacement if I would accept that solution.

The problem with copying the large files to the current USB drive seems to be because it s formatted as Fat32 and I need to reformat to NTSF.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 12:18 PM
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Re: OT Need computer help please

1. Taz, your caught between people,
2. All pointing fingers at someone else,
3. It's maddening....
4. I'm bettin' on the Dell Motherboard / Bios...
5. I recently installed a 120 gig Western Digital,
6. And it really is faster...
7. No problem transferring data back and forth..
8. Though I did divide the 120 gig into several logical drives.
9. I hope you can get it resolved quickly.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 12:43 PM
 
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Re: OT Need computer help please

Taz,

I agree with LEVE. I went to Dell's support site and pulled up the info on your computer. Since it's release there has been 5 BIOS revisions published. You may still be running the original revision. That is where I would start.

BIOS Update

The idea that one drive should be put to CS is ridiculous. I dont know what the Wester Digital guy was smoking when he suggested that idea. Especially since the two drives are on the same IDE channel. You cannot put the two drives on the same cable without master/slaving them. Also, I have never had problems with speed when both drives are on the same IDE cable, so I'm not sure about the validity of having read/write errors because they are on the same cable.

In reality, you should get better performance with the drives inside your computer rather than using a USB connection. I'd make sure that the file system is the same throughout all of the drives. If you want NTFS, make all of them NTFS rather than a mish-mosh.

Lastly, did they let you keep the 180 Gig drive? or do you have to send that one back in order to get the USB drive? If so, try getting an Ultra ATA/100 (or ATA/133 if that is what your drive is) IDE controller for your computer. Placing it on a completely different controller may help the performance.

ATA/100

ATA/133

Good luck... I know how much of a pain in the butt dealing with two companies is. I have to deal with it every day, noone wants to take responsibility for the problem and the end user ends up getting screwed.

Sean
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 01:31 PM
 
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Re: OT Need computer help please

eeboater's got you on the right track. You *can* use cable select, but I don't know of anyone who opts for that versus hard setting the drives as master & slave...you didn't do the wrong thing, the WD tech was just grasping at straws. As you've discovered, first-level tech support doesn't know squat. You need to check Dell's support site for BIOS and driver updates. Your PC uses a fairly new chipset and there *are* some glitches that are probably addressed in the updated BIOS and drivers. We got a few of those at my job and the techs who do the software loads were pulling their hair out over odd problems until I tracked the issues down to the chipset.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 02:20 PM
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Re: OT Need computer help please

My dad bought the same computer, and we were backing up his old data from another drive inmuch the same way you are. We had the exact same problems. I just started it going and left. 20some gig was going to take 4-6 hours if I remember correctly.

If I had been in a hurry or wanted to do it correctly I would have done the following: some of which is discussed above:


1. Put the two hard drives on different ide ports (read two cables.)

2. This means you will probably have to move either the cdr/dvd you probably got as their promotion or the standard cd drive to a different cable as well.

3. The one my dad bought had the harddrive on ide0 and the two optical drives on ide1

You will need to move one of the opticals to ide0 and put the new harddrive on ide1

This all being said - it still shouldn't take the sort of time I ran into. I've had 2 drives on the same chain more times that I can count and its still way faster than what we've experienced. But the above is stlll what I would recommend as the ideal setup - for copying cd's to transferring data betwixt the drives.

Next in an effort to solve the problem: You may need to make sure you have the right grade of ide cables for the new drive - not sure if ata133 or whatever will work ok with the opticals - I would think it would, but I could be wrong - look into this and make sure you're not inadvertently forcing the drive to slower speed by the cable.

Finally I would check the ide drivers for the motherboard - one would think dell would have the hardware specific ones loaded, but if possibly their image is to have xp's loaded - well the game's up in the air then.

Let us know what you find out.

A final option is to just use the 180GB - Personally that's more than enough storage for even the above average user.

-J



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