SATA drive problems


Established Member
See below for the full details but I just found out that despite being marked to use DMA my main boot drive is running in PIO mode! The slave is running as DMA 5. I've triend uninstalling and reinstalling the drive but to no avail. Anyone got any ideas?

My video editing PC has two hard drives - one for data and one as a boot disc with programs on. The boot disc is a 250Gb Hitachi SATA drive. The data drive is a 200Mb Maxtor SATA drive. The boot drive was installed a while ago to replace my old IDE drive which had become unreliable.

I have a Gigabyte GA-8IPE775-G motherboard and the SATA drives appear as IDE primary channel master and slave drives. I have an IDE DVD-RW drive as slave on the secondary IDE channel.

The master SATA drive has been acting strangely for a while - sporadically I would boot the PC and it would not be detected and would require a number of reboots to appear. Other times I would leave the PC idle for extended periods and when I returned it had rebooted and was reporting that there was no boot disc.

It is now running very slowly - I've just done a speed test on both SATA drives and the Maxtor data drive has averaged transfer speeds of 54Mb/sec while the Hitachi has averaged a paltry 3mb/sec. The slowness of the drive affects opening menus, operating programs and I've even noticed that the mouse pointer (Wacom tablet or PS2) "stutters" occasionally when moving across the screen.

I've run numerous virus checkers and spyware detectors but found nothing. Is the drive faulty? Could it be a conflict or configuration issue because both SATA drives are on one IDE channel?

I'm getting really frustrated and wishing I'd bought another IDE drive for the boot device and would appreciate any help or suggestions from the forum members.

Thanks! :)
Last edited:


Established Member
Ok I found some answers regarding PIO mode and a few registry hacks later... 90Mb/s! Apparently Windows can make up it's mind your drive is faulty if you get a few issues and lock you into PIO mode. Even reinstalling doesn't help - you have to go in and manual delete the entries in the registry. Gee thanks Microsoft... ;)

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