Slow XP Pro
January 16, 2004 12:45 PM   Subscribe

My XP Pro system slows down a lot when accesing large amounts of data on a CD (say copying a whole CD to a HD). This doesn't seem logical. Is there some cache-, buffer- or something- setting I can tweak?
posted by signal to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Click: Start / Settings / Control Panel / System
then the "Hardware" tab, and "Device Manager".
then "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers".

Right-click on "Primary IDE Channel" (or secondary, if your CD is hooked up to the second channel". In that window, click on the "Advanced Settings" tab. Make sure that "Device Type" is "Auto Detection" and "Transfer Mode" is "DMA if available".

That will help if anything is currently running in "PIO" mode. Otherwise, Windows (and the x86 platform) generally does slow down when copying large amounts of data on an IDE bus, as the CPU has to do all of the work.

One of the reasons SCSI is faster is that the bus processing can be offloaded onto a controller card with its own CPU.
posted by mrbill at 12:56 PM on January 16, 2004

Also, if your CD-ROM and hard drive are both on the same I/O channel, that can drastically slow things down as you have to read from one device, then write to another. If devices are on different I/O channels, you can read from one and write to the other simultaneously.
posted by mrbill at 12:58 PM on January 16, 2004

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