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3 posts

Wannabe Geek

#27446 26-Oct-2008 13:22
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hi there,

this is my 1st post so forgive me for being a noob!

i have a 10mb broadband connection, and i frequently max out my connection with speeds of up to 1.2mb/s.

my pc has 2 ide hard disks, one of which is used only for the operating system (windows xp), and the

other for everything else such as storing movies, music, and installing games.  both hard disks are


there have been times when i have been downloading at the maximum speed of my connection, and i have

also been playing back a movie from my hard disk.  the same hard disk is used for storing downloads and

storing movies, so it is having to do a lot of work, and i notice this, as the video playback of the

movie gets quite jumpy.

when this happens, am i putting a strain on my hard disk and risk damaging it, or is it capable of

storing data at speeds of over 1mb/s and at the same time, reading the data to play back an AVI movie


without sounding obvious, if the hard disk wasn't capable of storing data at over 1mb/s, then i simply

wouldn't achieve those download speeds, and the same can be said for playing back a movie file - it

wouldn't play back (without being jumpy) if the hard disk wasn't capable of reading the data quick

enough.  but can the hard disk do both at once without putting a strain on itself??

thanks for any replies :)

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245 posts

Master Geek

  #174253 28-Oct-2008 22:17
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Welcome to Geezone funkyspaceman Smile

Can you tell us a bit more about your computer??

Like your CPU speed, CPU Type e.g.: AMD /Intel

What sort of computer have you got, have you got a home built computer or a brand name computer?

Are you in NZ?

To me it sounds like something is maxing out the CPU while you’re downloading & watching the movie.

BDFL - Memuneh
67786 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #174259 28-Oct-2008 22:50
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I think what you need is to run DEFRAG. Open Windows Explorer, right-click one of the drives, select Properties, change to the Tools tab and start the defragmentation program...

Also make sure you don't have too many programs loading at startup. And certainly CPU and memory can cause problems with movie playback, which is a very demanding type of application.



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Uber Geek


  #174262 28-Oct-2008 23:37
Send private message  is a nice free Hard disk speed tester for windows.  Which OS are you using?

245 posts

Master Geek

  #174277 29-Oct-2008 01:20
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hellonearthisman: Which OS are you using?

funkyspaceman: one of which is used only for the operating system (windows xp)

Wink Smile

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Uber Geek


  #174279 29-Oct-2008 03:43
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Sorry, Had a glaucoma moment.

3 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #174344 29-Oct-2008 12:37
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hi thanks for your replies,

in your quest for more info...

my pc specs are

dell dimension 8200

intel p4 2.26ghz

1.0gb ram

1 x 80gb ide hdd (windows xp disk)

1 x 200gb ide hdd (storage disk)

256mb nvidia geforce fx 5700le

windows xp home edition

windows media player 11 to play movie files

i frequently maintain and my pc by defragging both hard disks when required, cleaning registry, and deleting temporary files etc etc.  i keep my startup programs to a minimum, and always close programs when not in use (apart from my virus checker/firewall).

the next time i'm having a download session, i'll play back a video and monitor the cpu usage - i've never thought about that before cheers.

i'll also give the hard disk speed tester a try and see what the results are.

oh, and i'm in the UK Smile

cheers again!

1819 posts

Uber Geek


  #174368 29-Oct-2008 14:11
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Could it be the drives DMA is not turned on?  With it off you could get gittering.


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Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #174372 29-Oct-2008 14:52
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i frequently maintain and my pc by defragging both hard disks when required, cleaning registry, and deleting temporary files etc etc.  i keep my startup programs to a minimum, and always close programs when not in use (apart from my virus checker/firewall).

Have you tried disabling your anti-virus before playing back any video?

Also, do you know what codec's you are using for your video playback, and what resolution your video is in?

Another thing to try, is download media player classic, and use that. Does that stutter when you playback?

1547 posts

Uber Geek

  #176577 7-Nov-2008 11:55
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Hi there,

Don't worry about "straining" the disk :-)  It can only do as much as it is designed to do, you can't push it beyonds it's limits ... you could have it thrashing away all day long and it wouldn't care. 

As someone has already mentioned you might not have DMA enabled for that drive (usually missed out).

The antivirus is also a good place to look.

And you could also see if your machine is using a lot of virtual memory while it is playing + downloading + virus scanning.  Open up Task Manager, then look on the Performance tab, and see how much "PF Usage" there is .. lower the better .. my laptop at work has only 1gb and Windows XP and it pages out heavily ... 1.14gb at the moment :-(

For reference the biggest "strain" that ever goes through a disk is when it is powered on or woken up from sleep.  So being a greenie is not actually that good for your hardware :-)



3 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #177500 12-Nov-2008 09:17
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hey guys thanks for the replies.  i'd have replied sooner but i work shifts and i'm usually full of busy on my days off.

all replies were really helpful, but mark's reply saying that i can't strain the hard disk is what i really needed to find out.  so the next time i'm downloading and watching a movie, i will be happy knowing that i'm not hurting my hard disk!

thanks again Smile


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