Computer far slower than it logically should be

By Slayer_ ·
Anyone that has answered my questions before, this might seem familure....

Anyways, since ye ole 95 detonated and will no longer startup, I took the drive out, and stuck it in a slightly newer machine, set it up as a secondary drive, and now just use it as file storage. This drive is a modern 40 gig drive (the last year they made 40 gig drives) and its pretty fast. Worked great in the old system.

The problem:
This new system is inexplicably slow, and seems to be getting worse. As simple as browsing a drive, even the faster drive, is really slow, almost a full 3 seconds per folder. There is constant "window peeling" for everything you do, which is "usually" a cause of not enough RAM, but that is impossible, as 256 RAM is far more than Windows 98 needs, and a quick memory usage check, even after constant running for a month, shows 60mb of RAM free.
Running programs, everything, is all crazy slow. Once a program is running, it is good, but the initial loading is slow as well as the unloading. I even made a simple app in Vb6 that just displays a message, and closes, it took 10 seconds to load, 3 seconds to display the message, and 5 seconds to finish peeling the message off the screen. I thought it should just be that the 10gig C drive is ridiculously slow, far slower than the original 3gig HDD in ye ole 95, but that doesn't explain why every action has ridiculous window peeling. So My last guess is Windows is convinced it MUST use swapfile for everything, as it doesn't seem to be utilizing the RAM as good as Windows 95 did.
But I am not certain, any suggestions?

Even by the standards back then, this machine is borderline unsuable (Viewing a webpage is pretty much impossible, it never finishes loading it takes so long)

The brief system specs are
Windows 98SE
P2, 350mhz
C drive is a 10 gig drive, not sure of year or manufacturer.
D,E drives are partitions of the 40 gig drive
256 mb DIMM RAM, 2 out of 3 slots filled, RAM is fairly modern, dated 2002.

I do not had indepth knnowledge of this system as it was purchased a long long time ago, and wasn't used by me until recently.

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All Answers

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I agree....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Some Additional Comments

I am convinced it is this old 10GB drive causing the slowdown.

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All this is paying off

by Slayer_ In reply to I agree....

After totally breaking all my virus scanners, I'm backing up the drives, I have 3 Winrar archives and a huge file copy going, across the 2 drives, and over to a network drive, and its honestly going at an acceptiable rate. Sure that 10 gig drive is thrashing pretty hard, but the improvements are definitly there.

With all forms of security down, access times have drastically improved.
Also moving the swap file to the faster drive also resulted in a pretty good speed boost.
About the only odd issue left is that strange window peeling. Where everything seems to have a huge visual redraw delay.

...Also I gotta figure out how to get some security back lol

I have no idea what the cables are, they are the cables that were in it.... The BIOS seems incapable of detecting more than 2 devices on IDE's. I have some ASUS brand name cables hanging around from my last rebuild, I can stick those in and see if it fixes it.
I have my drives set as primary and secondary, 10 gig at primary, 40 gig at secondary. Cable Select wasn't working at all, it would refuse to even start up POST with CS on.

Drive models seem to be the same brand????
the 10 gig is showing as
SMART shows 95% fitness and 97% performance.
(Quick google of model number confirms the 5400 RPM's)

and the 40 gig shows as
This drives SMART shows 93% on both performance and fitness.


Lol, Cnet is selling one for 60 bucks, WHAT A RIPOFF! lol

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Yes, the ST = Seagate

by Glenn from Iowa In reply to All this is paying off

Here is a page to interpret the model number <>. I couldn't find a model number for ST340014A but ST340014AS did come up as a 40GB 7200RPM Barracuda 7200.7 SATA drive under Desktop Hard Drives.

The ST310240A is classified as an "Older Hard Drive;" a 10.24GB 5400RPM Medalist ULTRA-ATA3 drive. That is why you could not attach both drives to one cable: one has an ATA interface, and the other has a Serial-ATA interface.

The inability to partition more than 33.8GB on the 40GB drive is a capacity limitation of the BIOS. Check to see if there is a newer version of the BIOS.

To find more information about each drive (including jumper settings), go to and type the model number into the Family/Model Number field in the "Product Find" box in the lower right side of the page. Make sure that "All Products" is selected (as the drives you are looking for are not Current Products!) and click the little blue arrow to the right of the Family/Model Number field. Notice that the resulting frame will have two tabs: one that says "Overview" and one that says "Technical Specifications."

Good luck!

- Glenn

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I replaced the IDE cable

by Slayer_ In reply to Yes, the ST = Seagate

With a newer one, and suddnely stuff started working properly, also improved speed a bit.

All drives recognized now.

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Good -- Now About Thumbs

by willcomp In reply to All this is paying off

A thumbs up or 2 would be appropriate.

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Lol, everyone that gave me an idea that i did and helped, got a thumbs up

by Slayer_ In reply to Good -- Now About Thumbs

Thanks for your advice, however cloning the drive to the larger drive is no an option as the drive is used for files only as the server drive.

Someone had already menthioed defrag while in safe mode.

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LOL Where the Sun Don't Shine

by willcomp In reply to Lol, everyone that gave m ...

I don't appreciate gratuitous use of LOL. I also thought you took some of my advice. That's OK, you may need my help again sometime and will be SOL.

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ok... well if it means that much to you.

by Slayer_ In reply to LOL Where the Sun Don't S ...
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Parting Shot(s)

by willcomp In reply to Some Additional Comments

My choice of OS on your hardware would be Windows 2000 (W2K). It is essentially a lighter version of XP and runs well on lesser hardware. Nearly all AV and malware removal software supports W2K while support for W98 is sparse. Eventually, you'll encounter adware/spyware/rootkits and there are no effective removal tools for W98.

I also recommend that you use Firefox and ditch IE 6.

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Well saddly I do not have Win2000 Install Disc

by Slayer_ In reply to Parting Shot(s)

Though I do have XP Pro. And an old key that a year after I bought it, M$ Decided it should be considered pirated.

It is definitly true 98 is really starting to p*** me off, constant errors, stuff randomly crashes, all these BSOD's. It's hard to believe MS released something this bad, people say ME sucked, they obviously never spent any real time with 98, cause 98 is just as bad if not worse.

Spybot S&amp does work all the way down to Win95 (brilliant program), I'd install virus scanner but none seem to work on this rig, can't fix nortan, cant remove it, and no other virus scanner seems to work properly on Windows 98.
So as it looks like it is heading for a reformat anyways, I am debateing what this machine will be used for.
If I should stick a Linux distro on it, and continue to use it as a server, but basically nothing else. If I want to install XP or 2000 on it, and have it available for Windows apps, but, it will be really slow and insecure. If I should reinstall Windows 98 and relive this whole thing, if I should downgrade to Windows 95 and suffer memory leaks and extreme software incompatibility issues, but on the other hand, it should be very fast.

FYI I was told that Mandriva Spring 2008 was a good version for this meek hardware, that it can have the GUI and all the tools I need/want. I am not an experienced Linux user... I just know that Linux has never successfully served my needs. However as it looks like I'm heading for a reformat anyways, its worth a shot.
If I can make the old system live again, I'll stick the 10 gig drive in that rig, reinstall 95, and procede from there, then it can be once again my legacy machine for my legacy apps. Virtualizing 95 really doesn't work well, IE, it will die saying windows protection error if you have hardware virtualization enabled. It can't recognize CD drives on RAID controllers like I have, and it crashes randomly on the fake system the VM provides (bad drivers???)

The midway plan is to remove the 10 gig drive, leave it with 98, incase I need to reboot back to it (for driver names and versions or w/e) but use that 40 gig drive as the sole drive in it, create appropriate partitions, and use that.
I do wonder if this mobo can repartition that 40 gig drive to actually recognize the full 40 gigs, my last system could only recognize 33 gigs, so it's short partitioned.

I would like to know, can I clone this drive into a file??? That I could later use to restore onto that 10 gig drive should I want to reverse all this??? My main machine has more than enough space for this, however how can I clone the drive to a network system??? This old rig does not have a CD burner, and I doubt I could install one in its current shape. (Don't have one available either).

Also I do not care for Firefox, i had a bad experience with it once and it left a very sour taste in my mouth, I don't want to use it again. I would install Opera but the latest version doesn't work properly on Win98. It loads and browses, but is very unstable. I do not browse the internet on that machine, so I do not need a new web browser. (Why browse the internet on such a hunk of junk when you got a 2.6ghz duel core with 3gb of RAM, two monitors, 9600GT VC, 2TB worth of HDD space, sitting next to it? lol )

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