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Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-13-2012
Location: france
Message 1 of 6 (1,427 Views)

T420 4178 XP32 downgrade HHD slowness issue

Hi everyone , i just recieved my brand new T420 and i need a few advices please.


I have downgraded my 420 4178 to win xp 32 and my 500  gb 7200 rpm sata drive is slow. [hitachi hts72755]


When i copy a 300mo folder from my desktop to my desktop it takes 2 min

When i copy the same folder from usb Flash drive1 to my desktop it takes 2 min too.

But when i copy the same folder from flash usb drive1 to usb flash drive 2 its fast and fine. Same results with usb hdd.


Its the same for software/archive reading from internal hard driv,e its soo slow, but extratring a rar archive on a flash drive works fine.


I ve tryed all the drivers provided by lenovo support, installed the net framwork 3.5 sp1 made a few installation with XP1 PRO32 and XP3 PRO 32 , with sata mode and compatybility mode [all clean install with AHCI and ISATOR driver included in the win cds] even tryed a windows xp family french spd2 lol. Everything is fine in the device manager. but it keep slowing.


IThen  tryed the same tests just after a fresh install with no drivers at all and its still slow, in both sata and compat mode.


The lenovo pass the hd tune bench with success  and the lenovo hard drive checking tool too. I will upload screen shoots soon since my t420 is actually formatting...

The only weird thing is, under hdd tune the blue curve keep hitting the ground to 1.5 mo for the minimum, and it make it 6 or 7 time for a bench.


I did not test this on windows 7 since i formatted it directly at the exit of the box , what a mistake.

Checked if windows did not disable the DMA to PIO or something , ive deleted a few registry entry like MasterIdDataCheckSum” and “SlaveIdDataCheckSum” and trhe issue keeps occuring.

see last post here on this page


I dont know where to search for now,  trying to find a HDD firmware for [hitachi hts72755] with no success. 

Even a test with linux, the hard drive is formatted but the software installer crash after it. LOL.

I dont own any Seven installer anymore and the recovery partition have been deleted.

I know these little t420 usually works fine with xp 32. but why not this one?  ;]


Thank you all for your advices, thanks.



Bit Torrent
Posts: 2,309
Registered: ‎03-08-2012
Location: CA
Message 2 of 6 (1,419 Views)

Re: T420 4178 XP32 downgrade HHD slowness issue

I don't have an answer but a lot of the new notebooks for a few years now DON'T support XP and there are no files for a lot of them.

SATA drivers was an add-on driver and IDE compatibility mode in the BIOS would have to be used without it working.

Windows 7 is the best solution and OEM clean install. So you did not even make the recovery DVD' why?

Your only real solution is to order the DVD's and put it back the way it was. You won't get support on the notebook with anything else. You're on your own.
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Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-13-2012
Location: france
Message 3 of 6 (1,413 Views)

Re: T420 4178 XP32 downgrade HHD slowness issue

Hi, thank for your reply.

I did not make the recovery cds because i bought this computer for using it with xp32 and i ve seen a lots of lenovos t420, x201,x220, t400 runing fine with XP at the office, I can see them being ghosted every day...These thinkpad are incredible machines.

I would have made the recovery dvds only for selling it...


 Seven is a great solution, right but some old music software gems runs on xp32 only and I need a port firewire. The compat mode of seven doesnt handle some of the old softwares, its like that, been trying for month with many computers with seven but they re made for XP.


That-s why im really wondering if my chipset has been damaged by static electricity or something... I will try to ghost it at the office.


Posts: 9,456
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: CA
Message 4 of 6 (1,411 Views)

Re: T420 4178 XP32 downgrade HHD slowness issue

You should probably try defragging the drive. Maybe the files are heavily fragmented.

You should ALWAYS make a recovery disk. Even if you don't plan to use it.
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Community Moderator
Posts: 5,652
Registered: ‎01-13-2008
Location: US
Message 5 of 6 (1,401 Views)

Re: T420 4178 XP32 downgrade HHD slowness issue

I haven't been able to find specs on that drive.  If it's an Advanced Format drive (with 4k-byte sectors) it will perform very poorly - even though it can do 512-byte sector emulation, or maybe more accurately because of the emulation - unless the partitions are properly aligned.


You might try running the Hitachi alignment tool:



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Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-13-2012
Location: france
Message 6 of 6 (1,390 Views)

Re: T420 4178 XP32 downgrade HHD slowness issue

HI zoltanthegypsy . Well, you solved my issue, the hitachi HDD alignement tool worked fine. It was an Advanced format drive as you said, and the windows setup moved the C partition wich wasnt correctly aligned.

 Thanks a lot.


Thanks to ColonelOneil too.


Thanks zoltanthegypsy.

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