kenshin1 posted a topic in COMMUNITY SUPPORT (WINDOWS)Dunno if this was discussed before, but I just stumbled on something interesting.. Something pushed me to d/l SiSoftware's Sandra Lite - a really good free diagnostic and benchmarking tool: http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/index.html?dir=dload&location=sware_dl_3264&langx=en&a= to check my new system (finally after 6 months..) I used it to tweak my old comp and totally forgot about it until a few days ago (but it is a standard performance benchmark for a lot of reviewers.) Anyway, the performance tune up showed me that something called "acoustic management" was enabled on my Maxtor hd, and that it should be turned off for max drive performance. Turns out some manufacturers include a switch that enables/disables a deliberate slowing of the drive to reduce noise levels, and if you bought your system from a brand-name vendor, it might be on by default! Basically your seek and read times could be reduced by around 30% of max, saving you from the oh-so-unbearable scraping noises fast drives usually make. So the hot new 7200 you think you have might actually be acting more like a grandpops 5400 instead without you even knowing it.. Supposedly Maxtor once had a utility which would change this setting to off from the DOS prompt, but apparently now they don't. I tried the newest version I could find on some forum, but it wouldn't recognize my new chipset and wouldn't work. Fortunately, the acoustic management switch is an industry standard so any other drive manufacturer's tool should work instead.. The one I used came from Hitachi and can be found here: http://www.computerbase.de/downloads/software/systemprogramme/festplatten/hitachi_feature_tool/ - it's called the FTOOL (Feature Tool) 1.97. Hitachi's thing is actually a lot nicer, it even allows you to set the speed vs. noise level to a custom setting if you don't want to turn it off completely and you can test the acoustics from there too. You'll need a 1.44 floppy for it though (it boots from DOS.) Run Sandra's combined performance wizard first, you might not have acoustic management at all or it might be off already. My drive really did speed up pretty noticeably, and I can live with the noise. It'll prolly be A LOT of help for WW2OL.