How does on get a HD running at a descent speed

jan gyselinck (
Tue, 25 Nov 1997 04:53:03 +0100 (W. Europe Standard Time)


Maybe this is not something to post here (sounds familiar), if not,
it's just some distraction.

I got a notebook, a Mitac 5021, with an 516MB IBM harddisk, wich seems
very slow. When I test it with hdparm, i get something like 1.1 MB/sec,
which is not much, not much at all. I tried fiddeling with hdparm 3.1,
with little (0.1MB more or less per second) success. It is also very
annoying that writing a little bit to disc interrupts PLIP, SLIP and ppa
transfers (yes, that's normal, but it would be less if this HD would
work faster)

I have a driver for DOS which puts this drive in PIO mode 3, but this
doesn't change anything when I run it before loadlin. Under win95, the
drivers don't work at all, but it would be nice to have some speed under
linux. I tried that patch for generic DMA support, but that doesn't make
any difference.

If anyone knows how I could get some descent speed with my HD,
say it (I read the list, no need to CC to me).

------------------ ---- - - - - -
Jan Gyselinck
I want to believe ... Linux is to great to be human-made
----- -------- --- -- - - -

some documentation:

+ DOS driver says:

Tekram Enhanced DOS IDE driver. Version 1.25
For PC87410 IDE Accelerator
(C) Copyright 1994, Tekram Technology Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Licensed to National Semiconductor Co. Ltd.

Disk BIOS Installed As ==>
Drive 0 (80h) : IO=1F0 C/H/S=0525/32/63 032 sectors per IRQ
Channel 0 timing : Recovery time = 90 ns, Active time = 90 ns
Channel 1 timing : Recovery time = 360 ns, Active time = 240 ns

+ Linux says:

hda: IBM-DBOA-2540, ATA DISK drive
hdc: DC4-E0, ATAPI CDROM drive
ide0 at 0x1f0-Ox1f7,Ox3f6 on irq 14
ide1 at 0x170-0x177,Ox376 on irq 15
hda: IBM-DBOA-2540, 516MB w/64kB Cache, LBA, CHS=1050/16/63

+ hdparm -t -T /dev/hda says:

Timing buffer-cache reads: 32 MB in 1.93 seconds = 16.59 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 16 MB in 13.46 seconds = 1.19 MB/sec

+ hdparm /dev/hda says:

multcount = 32 (on)
I/O support = 0 (default 16-bit)
unmaskirq = 1 (on)
using_dma = 0 (off)
keepsettings= 0 (off)
nowerr = 0 (off)
readonly = 0 (off)
readahead = 8 (on)
geometry = 525/32/63, sectors = 1058400, start = 0

+ /proc/pci says:

Bus 0, device 2, function 0:
IDE interface, NS 87410 (rev 0)
medium devsel IRQ e
IO at 0x1f0 [0x1f1]
IO at Ox3f4 [0x3f5]
IO at Ox170 [0x171]
IO at 0x374 [0x375]
Bus 0, device 0, function 0:
Host bridge: ACC MICROELECTRONICS 2056 (rev 0)
Fast devsel. Master Capable. No bursts