Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Seagate ST500LM000 performance issues in DELL Latitude E6330

My Dell Latitude E6330 at work suffered from a few problems from day one.

  • The touchpad only reacted at the edges of the pad. (I'll get a replacement in a few days - after about an hour on the phone with Dell Support)
  • The Seagate ST500LM hybrid disk was painfully slow. So slow in fact that I ditched the machine and got a Surface Pro3 instead.

The touchpad didn't bother me much, because the laptop spent most of it's day in the docking station and I preferred the touchstick-thing anyway.
The harddisk is another story:
The "Disk Utilization" was under the roof practically 100% of the time. I suspected a contoller issue and updated all the drivers. The only thing I did not do was updating the disk's firmware.

The installed version was DEM4, while Dell currently offers DEM6 for download here.

The procedure was pretty easy:
The "Kahuna_ZPE" executable creates a USB-linux boot environment that will then do all the work when the machine boots from that device.



It seems like the harddisk is not quite as busy any more as it was before the upgrade. But it is still no match for a "real" SSD. Unfortunately I haven't done any before/after measurements.

Results:

  • Tests with the new firmware showed around 80MByte/s transfer rate.
  • All-in-all the machine feels more responsive now

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