175 words — 1 minutes read


I’ve had my share of slow down’s on this Dell Inspiron 8200 (read about the adventures with the taskmanager in Windows XP). Yesterday I installed Red Hat 9 on the same machine and it seemed incredibly slow - especiall loading stuff. Talking to my colleagues,


was mentioned… Maybe the harddisk was in PIO mode? Well - it turns out - it isn’t - nevertheless I tweaked the parameters a bit. Here’s my current setting:

/sbin/hdparm -X69 -d1 -u1 -m16 -c3 /dev/hda

Booting back to Windows XP I looked at the device manager. And there: The first IDE device was set to use PIO mode. No wonder, my eXPerience hasn’t been stellar the last couple of weeks. Resetting this is actually quite difficult: You can toggle the “Use DMA, if possible” setting, but XP happily ignores it. The correct way to do it?

  • Remove the first IDE adapter, reboot
  • let XP recognize IDE adapter, Harddisk and DVD. Reboot
  • Check the Device manager: The disk now should operate in UltraDMA5 mode It still feels slow though….
Jens-Christian Fischer

Maker. Musician