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I've just bought a new 1Tb HDD: HGST HTE541010A9E680, formatted it as NTFS (tried both quick and full format).
It has very low write speed.
I also have other HDDs and SSD on this PC, and they have high writing speeds.
Write caching on the new drive is enabled in Windows (as by default).
I tried to check and even change SATA and power cables and ports.
Here is a part of Crystal Disk Mark test results:

----------------------------------------------------------------------- CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo

  • MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

       Sequential Read :    85.710 MB/s
      Sequential Write :     8.634 MB/s
    

    Test : 1000 MB [D: 0.0% (0.1/465.8 GB)] (x2) Date : 2014/04/23 1:00:30
    OS : Windows 7 Ultimate Edition SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

When I tried to copy several big files to the new drive I noticed that its writing speed is floating between 3-4 Mb/s and ~80 Mb/s. It took 319 seconds to copy 6 big files (7350 Mb total) from SSD to the new HDD, so the average speed was 23 Mb/s.

The writing speed seems to be very unstable. For example, here is another Crystal Disk Mark test results (made an hour after the first test above):

----------------------------------------------------------------------- CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo

  • MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

       Sequential Read :    93.900 MB/s
      Sequential Write :    85.759 MB/s
     Random Read 512KB :    22.100 MB/s
    Random Write 512KB :     7.714 MB/s
    

    Test : 1000 MB [D: 0.8% (0.1/9.8 GB)] (x5) Date : 2014/04/23 2:46:27
    OS : Windows 7 Ultimate Edition SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

Note the Random Write 512KB low speed: 7.7MB/s - this particular test gives stable result ~8MB/s, which I think is very low (my other HDDs show 30-50 MB/s in this test).

I also tried to connect this HDD to another PC and got similar results.


As Jason gave me the link for diagnostic tool from the manufacturer, here are the current results:

    ReadErrStat       : Done
    Result            : Pass
    Date/Time         : 04/23/2014 02:18:47


    SMART QT          : Done
    Result            : Pass
    Date/Time         : 04/23/2014 02:18:47


    SURFACE QT        : Done
    Result            : Pass
    Date/Time         : 04/23/2014 02:44:50


    SMART ET          : Done
    Result            : Aborted
    Date/Time         : 04/23/2014 04:05:36


    SURFACE ET        : Done
    Result            : Pass
    Date/Time         : 04/23/2014 06:12:28

I've aborted SMART Extended Test because after some progress it was looking like it's not doing any progress any more (I waited for an hour but the progress didn't change, tried it 2 times).


What can be the cause of the problem?

  • You aborted a test? SATAII drive connected to SATAIII port? – Ramhound Apr 23 '14 at 1:34
  • Yes, I aborted SMART Extended Test. SATA3 drive connected to SATA2 port. – Junior1993 Apr 23 '14 at 1:42
  • Are the motherboard drivers installed properly? Do you have any alternate SATA cable for testing? – Kenneth L Apr 23 '14 at 1:52
  • Yes, the drivers are installed properly. In the question I wrote that I tried different cables, SATA ports and even tried the HDD on another, more modern PC. Other HDDs on my PC have no problems with writing speed. At the moment I am 95% sure that the HDD has some kind of defect. – Junior1993 Apr 23 '14 at 1:57
  • So RMA the drive but without that extended test we can't be sure – Ramhound Apr 23 '14 at 10:08
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If you have any doubts about a hard disk drive, start with the manufacturer's diagnostic utility. In this case, you want HGST Windows Drive Fitness Test.

  • Thanx for the link. I would vote you up if I had 15 points. I will include results of HGST Windows Drive Fitness Test in my question. – Junior1993 Apr 22 '14 at 23:07
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Well, here is the long story :) Sorry for so many letters :)

I returned the drive to the store and got a new one, though a little bit different model: HGST Travelstar 5K1000 [HTS541010A9E680] 5400rpm. This time I decided to check it right in the store, so I installed it into my notebook, run Crystal Disk Mark and got good results.

Then I bring the new drive home, install it into my main PC (desktop), reformat it as I wish, test - the results are very low again! OMG!

I take the HDD out of the desktop, install into the notebook again - low results also! How is that possible, I think? (I already tested it on this notebook in the store) Then I think that maybe my desktop does bad formatting (though I used standard Windows 7 formatter on both PCs). I decided to check it, so I reformat the drive on the notebook and retest it - good results!

I take the drive out of the notebook and install it back to the desktop: test results became better (after reformatting on the notebook) but still ~2 times slower than on the notebook.

At this moment I decided that maybe the problem is in bad fixation. Desktops are made for 3.5" and I couldn't fix my 2.5" good, so I just placed it on top of another turned off HDD. To check this version, I made a few steps to fix the HDD really good in a precisely horizontal position, - and finally I got good test results!

So I make the following conclusions out of this all:

1) Even micro vibrations affect HDD's work very much and I think the most part of the problem was in micro vibrations.

2) It seems the problem is not only in micro vibrations, because when I tested the HDD on the notebook (after formatting and trying it on the desktop) it showed bad results there also. So I think that formatting with micro vibrations is very bad and leaves problems even if we later fix (place) an HDD really good.

3) Maybe the 1st HDD (which I returned) had some problems anyway, because on the second HDD the speed was slow but not so awfully slow as it was on the first one. Or maybe it was because the first one had "HTE" in the model name, meaning it's for servers and 24x7 work. So, maybe I am completely wrong here, but maybe that first HDD detected micro vibrations and became very-very slow to better protect from possible problems caused by those micro vibrations...

4) As for micro vibrations... I don't remember that I had such problems with my old 3.5" HDDs (or maybe it's because old 3.5" are big and heavy and not so vibrating). I remember that sometimes I placed and fixed them also not very good and reliable, but I don't remember that their speed became so much slower because of that. Maybe, because of much higher density in new HDDs and smaller sizes, new HDDs require much more precise head positioning and even micro vibrations now affect modern HDD's work. Or maybe it's something special to Hitachi (I never had them before), ... or maybe something else... :)

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