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I am having some performance issues on my PC that I've been trying to diagnose. I installed Moo0 SystemMonitor and it seems that HDD Seek is bottlenecking my machine quite a bit. Is this normal? Is there ways to optimize this to increase performance? I'm making an assumption that my Sophos On-access scanning is negatively impacting HDD Seek.

Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

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You could try defragmenting your disk. – petersohn Jun 30 '10 at 14:27
I did that already. – Mike Cole Jun 30 '10 at 14:32
I thought it was probably normal since disk I/O is an expensive operation. I was just hoping to find some relief because for some reason it seems to be really bogging down my system. – Mike Cole Jun 30 '10 at 14:49
Thinkpad "airbag" protection can shut down the drive every time you move a laptop, but Moo0 shows this by the HDD bottleneck going blank – endolith Aug 15 '11 at 3:55
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think its quite normal for the seek time to be the major bottleneck in lots of operations. Thats way SSD's are as cool as they are. =)

One thing to try is the disable the acoustic management of your drive. How this can be done is dependent on your drive's manufacturer. Do a google search for that.

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So you tried defragmenting your hard drive and it didn't work, but I know and application that does more than defragmenting. It also optimized you hard drive in a diffrent way and it improved my seek time from 19.98 ms to 18.03 ms. The name of the app is Auslogics Disk Defrag found at

Once you've installed it, select your hard drive, click the arrow next to "Defrag" and click on "Defrag & Optimize". It may take a while depending on how big or how bad your hard drive is. If that doesn't help you seek time then it might be an issue with your hard drive and you should replace it.

Hope this helps.

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Some of the newer Western Digital black series drives are much better at seek times under heavy loads, due to 64mb onboard cache and dual onboard processors. But as Jens said, its hard to beat a SSD.

For the ultimate in mechanical hard drives, look at the Raptor and Velociraptor series by WD

Some hard drives are just poor performers regardless of the specs.

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You don't mention anything else about your system other than that you have installed this Moo0 SystemMonitor tool ( ?) and that you think that "HDD Seek is bottlenecking". I'm guessing you are using some flavor of Windows since that's what this tool seems to require.

Other than moving your OS to a SSD, some other things that may help are listed below. I cannot say how much any of these would help though. Or what other problems you may encounter trying to implement them.

  1. Get a faster hard drive. Of course there are SSDs. But the performance of "old" magnetic media has improved as the manufacturers have moved to higher bit density platters and techniques such as predictive caching to integrated flash memory.

  2. Optimize the placement of your OS on the drive by placing it in a small(er) partition at the beginning of the drive. If you split your drive into an OS and data partitions then the reasoning goes you will reduce average seek time because it's less likely a given seek will need to traverse a large portion of the drive. Disk latency is also smallest at the beginning of the drive which also is thought to help.

  3. Encourage Windows to cache more of its data/programs to RAM to reduce how often the OS uses the hard drive. To what extent this is possible and how much it might help depends on which flavor of Windows you are using. You can Google for more information on this if you think you might want to try/risk it.

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