I have a relatively new Western Digital 1TB EADS hard drive (SATA) as my secondary drive. I've always found that accessing certain folders with lots of content (e.g. /Music/) was slow. I ran a few diagnostic tools (chkdsk, HD Tune, HD Tach, HDDScan) and haven't found anything. The drive is defragged and cool.
HD Tune reports a plateau read speed of 1.8 MB/sec. This doesn't mean anything to me. Is it slow? Moreover, when comparing to other HD Tune graphs, mine seems very unusual and appears to have something limiting it. (see the image below.) (see many other HD Tune outputs here: http://goo.gl/dgcH7.)
Q: Is there something wrong with my drive such that I should replace it? Or are there settings that I can try to tweak to remove this ceiling transfer speed?
Background: I recently upgraded to an Athlon II X4 2.9Ghz with 4GB RAM on 64-bit Windows 7. The machine is probably not the problem, as the performance is unchanged since the upgrade from an older XP machine. No viruses/spyware/malware/etc... The drive is on ATA channel 0 with the primary HDD, in Ultra DMA Mode 6 (DMA enabled.)
Update: I got an RMA'd disk from Western Digital, copied the data to the new disk and removed the old one. After reboot, the test gives much better results (95 MB/sec average, 50x better than before!) The computer runs much quicker in general. Lesson: a particularly slow computer, especially for applications which access data on a particular drive can simply be the result of a bad hard drive. (e.g. iTunes accessing music on D or Picasa accessing photos on D in my case.)