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I recently started to have issues with my laptop being very slow. I ran a hard drive benchmarking tool (by ATTO) that showed that the write speed was very very slow on my boot drive. I ran the same benchmark on my usb drive and it was 650 times faster than my boot drive when it came to writing. Reading is very fast/normal on both.

I swapped out an identical drive and ran the same benchmark. This time the drive showed proper write speed. Thinking that I had a hard drive going bad I cloned the old one onto the new one.

I managed to clone the problem too. Anyone have any ideas on what in WinXP SP3 might be causing the write issues? I am on a corporate network and we have commercial anti-virus software installed. (AVG I think) I regularly run defraggler and have about 40 gig free on a 100 gig drive. The machine has 4 gigs of memory.

Any ideas?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Somehow the Write cache was disabled for my boot drive. Enabled it and all seems to be working much better.

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Do you hear any clutter sounds on your hard drive ?

USB Drive: Is that a flash drive of External hard drive ?

About defragmenting: NTFS partitions handle fragmentation better, they don't need running defragmenting all the time

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No sounds that indicate thrashing or heads going bad. USB drive: External hd – John S Mar 22 '10 at 19:32

Try disabling the antivirus temporarily and re-running the benchmark. I've never tried AVG, but Norton was notorious for slowing down drive operations to a crippling level. Also, many corporate environments encrypt hard drives in laptops. If this is the case, that will also slow down things considerably. Might help you track down the culprit.

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There is no drive encryption. Why would anti virus software only affect one drive on the system. The external USB drive benchmarks normal. Unfortunately it can not be disabled because of corp policy. In any case the anti virus software was in place and did not affect the drive for many months prior to the problem. – John S Mar 22 '10 at 20:01

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