Improving SATA HDD transfer speed.

March 8, 2008 at 00:01:37
Specs: Win Vista, E6850 / 2GB
When I transfer a large folder from one SATA HDD to another (both plugged into the MOBO), the transfer speed hovers between 34 & 45MB/sec.

It's the same result wether I'm using Vista's Copy & Paste method, or using Total Commander.

Can I improve this any?

See More: Improving SATA HDD transfer speed.

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March 8, 2008 at 01:41:17
Upgrading to Vista SP1 will help. In SP1 the file transfers are improved, but until you do there isn't much you can do. It's not the hard drives it's Vista.

Typical file transfers are 66mb, but with Vista pre SP1 it's around what you are getting.

You can downlaod Vista SP1 RTM Final here.

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March 8, 2008 at 07:25:24
If your SATA HDDs are running in IDE mode, that may also slow the transfer rate down a little bit as compared to ACHI mode.

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March 8, 2008 at 09:05:53
I second the advice from Cobra, installing Vista SP1 should alleviate your data transfer issues.

But, as far as the AHCI suggestion from kx5m2g, I wouldn't recommend doing that, at least, not on your system drive. This is because, you are likely to end up with the infamous "STOP 0x0000007B INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE" error right after changing -- the SATA mode -- from IDE to AHCI since your Windows install was completed in IDE mode.

IMHO, if your HDD does not support NCQ, switching from IDE to AHCI is most likely not even worth the hassle to begin with. Moreover, sustained SATA transfer speeds are not significantly that much faster than the older (IDE) PATA interface.

But, if you have an NCQ HDD & are adamant or will like to consider the switch to AHCI, you better take a look at this before doing that.

Good luck!

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March 8, 2008 at 09:24:34
Sabertooth-I agree. I was just pointing out that the presence of SATA HDDs does not necessarily mean that the transfer mode is faster than PATA HDDs. By the way, do you know if the following would work ? Suppose the BIOS is set to IDE mode and an image is done of the bootable C drive. If the BIOS is then changed to ACHI mode and the image is then restored, will the "STOP 0x0000007B INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE" error still occur ? I haven't tried that yet, so I'm not sure.

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March 8, 2008 at 09:43:08
The STOP error will return because the AHCI driver is not enabled within the restored image.

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March 8, 2008 at 09:47:58
I just tried the modification of the registry in the link you gave in Response 3. That's much better than restoring an image anyway-it worked easily. Thanks for the link. Is there a similar modification for XP PRO with SP 2?

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March 8, 2008 at 12:35:40
Unfortunately, No!

The -- IDE to AHCI -- registry switcheroo in Vista only "worked easily" because Windows Vista has out of the box driver support for an AHCI enabled controller.

Windows XP, on the other hand, doesn't do that. It will still require the necessary (third party) drivers to be manually installed in order for your (SATA) system drive to work in AHCI mode should you now want to switch to that.

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March 8, 2008 at 15:42:19
Ok-but what if you have the third party drivers already installed from the motherboard CD ? Would the registry modification then work after that ?

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March 8, 2008 at 16:41:52
Well, I'v discovered that it's a bit more complicated in XP. There is no Msahci in the registry. There is a workaround I read about which does not involve a repair install of XP, but it's probably not worth the effort.

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March 8, 2008 at 18:42:59

As I hinted in response #7: It is doable in XP, insofar as you've gone through the rigmarole involved in manually installing the AHCI controller driver before attempting to switch -- from IDE -- to AHCI mode in the BIOS.

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