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  1. #1
    Ultimate Member FatalException's Avatar
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    Bit Shift vs. LBA

    I've looked high and low on Google and Yahoo! for an answer to this question but can't seem to find one. I have a Compaq D315 Business PC (not my first choice of system, but it was free, so I can't complain). It has a 250GB Maxtor "rebadged" Compaq hard drive and a 120GB Western Digital hard drive in it.

    The reason the PC was free is the company that had it before me couldn't figure out how to fix it. They were giving it away, so I figured I would take it and give repairing it a shot. I fixed it (long list of problems that needed repair), but all it ended up costing me in parts was a new RAM chip.

    Anyway, the question I have about this system is that there is an unusual setting in the BIOS for each hard drive. The setting is listed as "Translation Mode." The options for this setting are "bit shift" "LBA Assisted" and "Off." The computer works fine when the translation mode is set to "bit shift" but will not boot to Windows when this setting is changed to LBA or Off. Now, for some reason, I remember reading somewhere that LBA translation is the best / fastest / most advanced today. The computer IS a little sluggish in its hard drive access, something that's disappointing considering both drives have 8MB of on-board cache. I was wondering what the difference is between the LBA setting and bit-shift setting... will getting LBA to work help improve my disk performance or am I chasing a ghost here and I shouldn't bother wasting my time on this LBA stuff any more?

    Thanks for the help.
    Logic shall prevail.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member elroy's Avatar
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    Maybe something here will help
    http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_d...itations_2.htm
    Also you can download HD Tach to compare the drive's speed using different settings.
    http://www.simplisoftware.com/Public...request=HdTach
    Last edited by elroy; March 1st, 2006 at 12:06 PM.
    “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
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  3. #3
    Ultimate Member FatalException's Avatar
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    Definitely an interesting read! Thank you for the links!
    Logic shall prevail.

  4. #4
    Human voltmeter DanU's Avatar
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    If you change the translation you will most likely have to reformat, since the mapping of logical cylinders/heads/sectors will be changed.

    Can you see the entire 250GB using bit shift translation (aka "Large Mode" or "Extended CHS")? I thought you had to use LBA to fully utilize such a large HD.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member FatalException's Avatar
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    I can see the whole drive size just fine. I guess I'll just deal with the slower speed. I don't feel much like reformatting, and I will not have this computer much longer... so I guess it doesn't matter. I just was hoping to fix it up for the short while that I am going to use it.
    Logic shall prevail.

  6. #6
    Human voltmeter DanU's Avatar
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    The translation shouldn't have an effect on the speed. It just determines how the logical cylinders/heads/sectors are mapped.

    Have you had a chance to run HDTach yet? What is your read speed?

    Couple other things that you probably checked already, but worth mentioning:

    Make sure you're using an 80-pin IDE cable

    The Master disk should be at the end of the cable, and any slave devices using the middle connector. There should be no single slave device by itself on one cable. If you don't follow these rules then you may experience signal degredation, which will slow you down.

    Double check that UDMA isn't disabled in the BIOS.

    and of course the ususal virus/spyware/trojan scan and HDD defrag.

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