When computer is slow…

Some computers are not very fast. But up to this day I was convinced, that my old PC is old, but not THAT slow (P4, 3.4GHz, 2G ram, 500G HDD, R9100). However it happend, that using my good old trusty Windows 2000 SP4, the Firefox v10.0.10 ESR crashed to BSOD each time I visit some webpages. Incredibly as it sounds, I repeated that on 100% stable machine.

So I replaced the OS to WinXP SP3 - and the crashes are completely gone. But there come trouble… The OS partition is only 2GBy big FAT16 (more that enought for W2k, not that good for WinXP) and cache of Firefox rutinelly go over the size of the partition.

The solution is simple - just increase the OS partition 😄 size to 4GBy and moving on FAT32. So resize the big main 😧 partition for data (NTFS) and then resize/convert the 😄 from 2 to 4GBy.

Sounds fairly simple? Yes. Except one slight problem:

The operation was started at 14.6.2014 in about 22h. The photo was taken at 15.6.2014 in about 10h. As anyone can see, the resizing of the D drive was not yet done and the estiminated remaining time is "more that 1 day" …! WTF!

Now that is really slow. And up to this point I was very happy with the 500G PATA WD drive (16MB cache WD5000AAKB) - it is the fastest drive I ever had. But this is somewhat slow. The drive is only about 370G full, so it should not be THAT slow to move 2G of starting data up somewhere and then continue...

But obviously with the NTFS, there must be something done with the data table and that seems to be deadly slow. Obviously there is no way, but to let the machine finish this, but after 4 hours, there is just there more of the "notches" (was 7 at the time of the photo, there are 10 now) at the progress indicator. Witch indicate, that I shall probably reconsider how I do look at the speed of the HDD 😞

Damn, I need quite some patience - or a "bit" faster HDD.

22:40h now and… 15 of the "notches" are there. Still claiming more that a day to go  :-[

16.6.2014 at around 12h (noon) and still 15h to go:

That makes my HDD run nonstop since 14.6.2014 at 22h, so 10h ATM short of 2 days straight. I did not believe that the HDD can be THAT slow. It feels quite fast in normal operation, everything go well and smooth… 😞

Its not just the HDD, it probably has to do with RAM, CPU, OS etc etc to take that long.


Dunno, the rest of the machine is not that bad - 3.4GHz P4, 2GBy ram at very good timings (2048MB OCZ4002048ELDCPE-K 2-3-2-5 200MHz 2.50V) - what more you can ask for?

Okay, VIA P4M800 chipset. But still… it feels usable in Windows. Radeon R9100 does not count, but there is no graphic power required, right? Only this dos boot program to change the HDD partitions get somewhat slow. It really took 2 days 5 hours to:

  • make the 470G partition 2G smaller
  • enlarge the 2G sys partition to 4G and convert it from FAT16 (2G limit) to FAT32 (bigger limit 🙂 )

If someone told me, that it is going to take THAT long, I won't believe him any second. I swear.

It is good to add, that recently I did another similar resize. On a 320G HDD I need to remove a 2G FAT32 primary partition and make the rest of the drive, assigned to NTFS Data partition expand on the rest of the drive. So, basically another resize. The HDD is another PATA 320G Seagate drive with 16MB cache at least, so… I set things and wonder, how long this will took.
This time on i5 machine (MSI P55A-GD55).

And surprise, it was under 1min. At first, it estiminate the time "over one day", so I was like well, okay, go to work... and then it suddently changed it's mind that reported "under one minute" witch make me raise my eyebrows and really - i was under 1min.

So it is more that likely, that enlarging is quite fast, but any downsize, even if the downsize was small and quite within the actuall drive free space, is very very lenghty process. Oh, well, too small HDD's 🙂