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Question copying files onto internal SMR drive slows down the whole Win10

luv2liv

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
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i am only copying 20gb worth of vids onto an SMR drive from Seagate. for whatever reason, it slows down my whole Win10 at the same time.
opening a site on Firefox could take up to 2mins to load. what's the trick? (i have i7 and 16gb of ram)
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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If the drive has bad sectors or other issues, it will slow down the PC since Windows will attempt to fix it.

Have you run a utility (such as Seagate SeaTools or CrystalDiskInfo) on it to make sure it's healthy and not beginning to die?
 

luv2liv

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
3,410
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If the drive has bad sectors or other issues, it will slow down the PC since Windows will attempt to fix it.

Have you run a utility (such as Seagate SeaTools or CrystalDiskInfo) on it to make sure it's healthy and not beginning to die?
yes, i ran the SeaTools many times, no issues ever found. copying is slow as dirt at 100kb/s yes,, that's kb
strangely, sometimes when i copy, it will be fast as normal around 100MB/s. but that's rare
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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i am only copying 20gb worth of vids onto an SMR drive from Seagate. for whatever reason, it slows down my whole Win10 at the same time.
opening a site on Firefox could take up to 2mins to load. what's the trick? (i have i7 and 16gb of ram)
I assume your system disk is a SSD and the HDD is used separately for data storage. Try to reproduce the problem while your Task Manager is open and the "Processes" tab is in view.. Watch if there's a massive shift in CPU utilization as the copy process begins, especially for "System Interrupts". I have seen systems behave this way when either faulty SATA cables or the HDD themselves overwhelmed the CPU with system interrupts.

One other possibility would be that your OS needs some data from the HDD. That would be the case if you chose to have the paging file on the HDD instead of the SSD.

Last but not least, where is the 20GB worth of vids coming from? External storage, other internal disk?
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
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SMR drives thrash if you need to write to a section that already has data in it. Joys of overlapping data tracks.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,674
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Welcome to why I will never buy a SMR drive and why so many people were up in arms about many of the manufacturers secretly trying to slip them into their product stacks without telling the public that the drive model used SMR under the hood (even going so far as to fake it being a CMR disk using a buffer).
 

luv2liv

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
3,410
89
91
I assume your system disk is a SSD and the HDD is used separately for data storage. Try to reproduce the problem while your Task Manager is open and the "Processes" tab is in view.. Watch if there's a massive shift in CPU utilization as the copy process begins, especially for "System Interrupts". I have seen systems behave this way when either faulty SATA cables or the HDD themselves overwhelmed the CPU with system interrupts.

One other possibility would be that your OS needs some data from the HDD. That would be the case if you chose to have the paging file on the HDD instead of the SSD.

Last but not least, where is the 20GB worth of vids coming from? External storage, other internal disk?
cpu and ram stayed about the same when i start the copy.
C drive is ssd with win10.
X: hdd smr
Y: hdd has the content i want to copy to X.
all 3 drives are internal.
once in awhile, X copies files fine. these files are videos with 2gb being the max per file. speed at around 120MB/s. sometimes X takes forever to copy as it would go 500KB/s

i should clarify... FireFox takes forever to load websites while it's copying when X is slow. everything else works fine. the only way to have Firefox working as normal is cancelling the copying files.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,674
254
126
cpu and ram stayed about the same when i start the copy.
C drive is ssd with win10.
X: hdd smr
Y: hdd has the content i want to copy to X.
all 3 drives are internal.
once in awhile, X copies files fine. these files are videos with 2gb being the max per file. speed at around 120MB/s. sometimes X takes forever to copy as it would go 500KB/s

i should clarify... FireFox takes forever to load websites while it's copying when X is slow. everything else works fine. the only way to have Firefox working as normal is cancelling the copying files.
The real slowdown to 500KB/s is probably when the drive has run out of buffer and is now needing to make direct writes to the SMR section of the hard drive. These writes are incredibly slow because it needs to read in all the cylinders until it hits one of the buffer zones that isn't shingled, and then write all those cylinders back in sequence, creating the "shingled" data. Moving the write head between cylinders is an extremely time expensive operation unlike reading around the same cylinder as it involves moving the arm that holds the read/write heads and also spinning the disk to the same sector/block on the cylinders next to each other (in other words almost the worst case scenario since the disk needs to spin a complete rotation around at a minimum to reach the data let alone any rotations needed to verify the alignment of the arm. The only thing worse in performance is complete random read/writes, which only suffer a longer delay in operation as the average speed it takes to move the arm 1/2 its entire traversal across the disk.)

So now all the writes to a SMR disk are almost as bad in performance as random read/writes on a CMR. Now, some people can deal with this kind of performance for long term, storage of data that will be written one time and not modified. The read performance of SMR is still about the same as CMR, so it still works for this type of use case. But you pay for it in the initial writing of the data to the drive, especially if you are simply trying to migrate data from an existing drive onto a new SMR drive as it will overload the write buffer and slow you down to the actual drive performance. And this is why the manufacturers trying to slip these drives out into the market and not informing customers that the drive uses SMR technology is/was such a big deal. They are useless in RAID arrays, potentially risking the complete failure/loss of data on attempting to rebuild a RAID set with one of these drives due to the length of time it takes to write being below what many RAID controllers will consider as a properly working drive and will fault the disk, and/or due to the extreme time it will take to actually write all the data to that new disk, put you at needless extra risk of a second disk failing before this disk can be used to complete the RAID rebuild.
 

thecoolnessrune

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2005
9,583
484
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Unless the drive is almost full though, a standard Seagate SMR drive should have more than 2GB of CMR Caching for taking on writes, and should exhibit a slowdown. I would also recommend checking that your SATA cables to your HDDs are kink free, and are making a solid, non wiggling connection to the HDD. Similar behavior has been send before where people have inexplicable random disk errors and speed drop outs only to find that the SATA cable wasn't making a solid enough connection. Replacing it with a good quality, locking SATA cable resolved the issue in that situation.

OP, can you produce the same issue by copying a file from your SSD to drive X? Or does it only happen when going from Y to X? What about X to Y? Just some extra ways to try to isolate the problem.
 

luv2liv

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
3,410
89
91
Unless the drive is almost full though, a standard Seagate SMR drive should have more than 2GB of CMR Caching for taking on writes, and should exhibit a slowdown. I would also recommend checking that your SATA cables to your HDDs are kink free, and are making a solid, non wiggling connection to the HDD. Similar behavior has been send before where people have inexplicable random disk errors and speed drop outs only to find that the SATA cable wasn't making a solid enough connection. Replacing it with a good quality, locking SATA cable resolved the issue in that situation.

OP, can you produce the same issue by copying a file from your SSD to drive X? Or does it only happen when going from Y to X? What about X to Y? Just some extra ways to try to isolate the problem.
just tested for you. copying files from the X drive to any other drives works fine. only slow when copying into X
 

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