Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My computer is very slow, high cpu usage when opening applications on Windows, PIO/DMA mode


Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003/2008


Performance of Windows based machine is terrible. You've checked for malware infections, did a defrag, but still everything opens with a huge delay, applications are freezing.


Check IDE transfer mode as it could change from the Direct Memory Access (DMA) mode (fast) to the Programmed Input/Output (PIO) mode.

Right click My Computer > Manage
Navigate to "Device Manager" and on the list find "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers"
Double click on every Channel, in Advance Settings tab check Transfer Mode.

If it says that it's using PIO then simply right click on every channel and uninstall it, then restart computer.

If Windows will revert again to PIO then most likely you have a hardware issue.

For repeated DMA errors. Windows will turn off DMA mode for a device after encountering certain errors during data transfer operations. If more that six DMA transfer timeouts occur, Windows will turn off DMA and use only PIO mode on that device.

These types of errors could be caused by improper cabling, it may also mean that your hard drive is failing.

Detailed article
KB 817472

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