Precision 690 Slow

I have a Precision 690 that's just over 2 years old.  Last year, if not earlier, i noticed it getting very slow.  I did my bi-annual "wipe" everything and reinstalled all drivers/OS, etc. from the ground up.  It seemed nice and peppy for just about a few weeks but that was short lived.  My patience has run out and 6 months later, i'm back again with a painfully slow system.  Most of the time, it appears to be something with the disks, as it will spend a ton of time continuously hitting the hard drive(s)  Sometimes, for no appearant reason.  Other times in the middle of doing things.  Also, most of the time when shutting down/rebooting, it takes about 60-90 seconds to even start the windows shut down process, after pinging the hard drive that whole time. I literally hit shut down . . then go pack my bags . .then come back to the "confirm" popup.  I've tried other things like completely removing McAfee as i though it may be culprit, nothing.

This is my current setup:

  • Precision 690, Dell Bios A08 (just upgraded a few weeks ago)
  • Intel Xeon 5110 CPU @ 1.60Ghz
  • Windows XP Professional SP3
  • 4 Gb DDR 2 ECC SDRAM @ 667 MHz, 4x1GB sticks
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT video (I just upgraded this last month, thinking it would help - nope)
  • Dell SAS 5/iR Integrated Controller
  • Controller: Intel 631xESB/632xESB SATA AHCI Controller
  • Disk 0: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3160815AS 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
  • Disk 1: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (Perpendicular Recording)
  • Disk 2: Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L300S0 300GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM

Disk 0 was the original install.  Disk 1 and 2 were add-on's.  I've got operating system and all programs on Disk0.  Disk 1 is Data that I access alot, including a shared partition for "company data" on a simple Workgroup and Disk 2 is mostly "resources" that i don't access much, if at all during a day.

EDIT: I should note that these symptoms even appear without my small network being active.  While i thought it maybe merely the fact that i have some folders shared and accessible, it still happens when my other machines are completely shut off, NOT accessing data (not even capable of)

I've read some old (1.5-2 years) posts talking about the SATA controllers and the like, but i'm not sure if they relate.  I'm not sure i have things setup properly, or if there's even room for different setup or improvement.

I do know that I'm about at the end of my rope with this system  (similar to other posters on similar topic)  I have 4+ year old Dimension machines running XP Home and Office 2000 that seem quicker. 

Thanks in advance,


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4 Replies

Re: Precision 690 Slow

Bump.  I know this *was* a problem based on old posts.   Anyone out there can help?

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Re: Precision 690 Slow

I return to these forums as i await my $2300 machine to get done chugging the hard drive . . .been 50 seconds and counting.   

The problem is increased during file DELETE functions, and when shutting down.  Shutting down now takes 2-3 minutes . . . for which about 95% of it is the hard drive getting pinged the entire time.

I'm not happy with a recent Inspiron 15 that i just bought . . . and the fact that these forums are becoming less helpful . . . has me wondering if it's time to ditch my 14 yr relationship with Dell?

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Dev Mgr
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Re: Precision 690 Slow

If a format and reinstall fixes the problem (even if just for a few months), the problem is with the software you use/install.

Member since 2003

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Re: Precision 690 Slow

I'll be sure to call Bill Gates and a few others.   emoticon.Stickouttongue.title

Honestly though, i have nothing different/special than almost every other machine in my office (i have 3 work stations all running similar setups)  Those are older Precision machines.   I have the latest service packs, drivers, BIOS flashes, dell drivers, etc.  I run clean, typical, licensed software and drivers and programs.  I'm not a hack or otherwise doing anyhting outside the norm with this machine.

My guess is the "peppiness" that i experienced for a bit was merely to to the fresh install of everything - which almost ALWAYS happens with any system, whether healthy or not.  It was now 9 months ago so i don't recall specifics on what "fixed" what.

The thing is, my problems almost mirror this post, too bad from a few years ago when the 690 first came out.

Currently, the two most noticeable delays are deleting a file or files from within Explorer and Shutting down.   Yesterday, system got hung on deleting a simple 2 Mb file . . . for about 2.5 minutes . . .literally.  Hard drive light on 100% continuous activity.   Shutting down takes anywhere from 60-120 seconds.  Shall I call Microsoft?   Many times, opening regular files takes a long time.  Other "typical" actions just seem to crawl, when opening the same files on a Precision 4600 machine running same software is a more typical experience.


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