High Average Seek time/latency by HDD

Rishi Shukla

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Dec 13, 2014
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Hi,
from the past few months I'm feeling that my laptop PC is getting just a little bit slow & laggy. Going to the root cause I found HDD the culprit. I found that the 'Disk' section in the Windows task manager shows high 'average response time'. So I started noticing it. I googled about it and found that in the specifications of HDDs, they show the average response time or 'seek time' as 12ms. Yet my laptop's HDD provides me much higher than that. The response time sometimes shoots even 35k. This happens when loading programs. I have compared this with another laptop hard drive on a desktop that it provides at most 70ms seek rate as a secondary drive.

So I wanted to know is this normal with an OS? What readings do other PCs show? Is this a fault of HDD?

Thinking that HDDs are slow, I am trying to upgrade to SSDs but first I think I should get most performance out of my PC with the existing hardware. I look forward for your help in getting this problem fixed..
thanks
 
Hey there, Rishi.

If you're getting a higher than usual response time, then there might be an issue with either the HDD, SATA cable or SATA port most likely (if it's not some sort of software related problem). I'd recommend that you backup any important data which you might have on that HDD, just to be on the safe side. Then go ahead and download the HDD manufacturer's diagnostic tool (or a 3rd party one, if you don't know the HDD's manufacturer) and test the drive, to see if any errors or bad sectors pop-up. You could also run the test with the HDD connected to a different computer if you have that option, to see if you get the same results.

Please let me know how everything goes so that we can figure out a course of action.
Boogieman_WD
 

Rishi Shukla

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Dec 13, 2014
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Hi, it is an HGST 5400 RPM hard drive, as you said I downloaded the diagnostic tool, but that didn't detect it, so I used HD Tune by which I benchmarked the drive, checked SMART status and also checked the Access Time. The drive is reported OK by every test tools I tried. Access time reported by HD Tune is ~21ms and average read speed is about 70 MB/s.
Conclusion: the drive is okay but that I've installed many applications may be the reason of slowing down laptop and eventually high response time readings. Otherwise it is 300-2500 ms while being used (on Windows task manager).
Just to make sure.. is it common?
 
Well, this could also be caused by a faulty SATA port or cable. That's why it would be useful to test it with another computer either externally (via a SATA to USB adapter, external enclosure, docking station), or internally via a SATA connection, to see if you get the same results. It could also be caused by a messed up OS or other software.
When you did the tests, did you run a full/extended test for bad sectors or just a quick test for the SMART data?
You could also check the specs for this drive model, to see if this is actually something abnormal.
 

Rishi Shukla

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Dec 13, 2014
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4,510
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Yes I did the extended test called 'disk self-test' by a program named Disk Checkup by Passmark. That took about an hour to complete. The disk passed in the extended test too.
Also, I swapped out the hard drive and used it on my desktop via SATA cable for a while and browsed through various folders. Still maximum reading was 800 and normally 300 otherwise 0.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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Hello,
I have just experience same issue, smart status does not show anything unusual.
i even reinstalled my os, the hdd led still keeps on nearly all of the time.

I attempt to put my drive upright, then it looks the drive start to work normal again, UI is not laggy any more.
 

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