Victor M.Grinenko Home Page.

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DiskSpeed32 Home Page.

When i finished my CD-ROM research I decided to research hard disks. I use HDDspeed by Michael Radchenko for MS-DOS measurement and wrote my own test for Windows 95/98/Me and NT/2000/XP (you can download it here) and UNIX. Like my CDspeed32 these applications read hard disk sector by sector and measure reading time and allow to save measurement results in file. Later you can plot reading speed graphics using program like Microcal Origin. Windows application is a GUI program, you can see it window below. I added partition "map" as little facilities.

DiskSpeed32

DiskSpeed32 has separate functions for Windows 95/98/Me and Windows NT/2000/XP, first of them written correspondently Microsoft documents Q137176.txt . Below you can see my first results.Hard disk is 2.5GB IDE Western Digital AC22500L on Pentium 200MHz with 32MB RAM. FreeBSD 2.2.5 is UNIX system. As you know UNIX system have two means of access to disk: character (RAW) and block. In first case data is read directly to process address space, but in second case kernel reads data in own memory and next copies data to process address space. Therefore, first interface must be more performance than second.

WDC AC22500L

All multitask systems show very slow the results after "native" installation. Only after setup DMA driver bmide_95 Windows 95 Retail (4.00.950) "runs down" MD-DOS. If you use Windows 95 Retail or OSR 1 (4.00.950a) I recommend you to download and use this driver.

WARNING!!! You can have a problem with bmide_95. Read "The Hard disk" by Frederik Gross for troubleshooting. Test you system using my DiskSpeed32 before and after installation bmide_95. On my home PC I obtained results which you can see below.

WDC AC21600H WDC AC21000H

There is very small advantage but system became unstable and I un-installed bmide_95.

My friends tested their hard disks in different modes and under different operation systems. DiskSpeed32 allowed them to configure their PC optimally. See below...

Fujitcu
Fujitcu

May be it interesting for you: how do other operation systems behave? For example, you can see results obtained under Sun Solaris 2.6 for x86. I tested two SCSI disk 2GB and 4GB. Usually UNIX system doesn't use LBA translation, but I plot my graphics as LBA for comparison with DOS.

SCSI under Solaris Drive 0
SCSI under Solaris Drive 1

For my opinion driver Solaris works very fine. By the way Windows results make sense to compare with character interface UNIX (SolarisRAW curve), similarly that Windows 95 doesn't buffer Int 13h interface for hard disk and Windows NT doesn't buffer interface like \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0.

Conclusion.

If your hard disk works slowly for you - test it! May be you need new driver, but NOT new disk! Save your money and ...
Buy better flowers to your girl :-)!

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All contents copyright © Victor M. Grinenko, Ver 1.00 October 8, 1998 (last update February 10, 2002).