Recently I found a computer HDD is running very slow as below. After reading the support from microsoft, seems to be caused by corrupted drivers and the issue has been fixed after following the below “WORKAROUND”.
P.S. HDD is running normal, S.M.A.R.T. Health is good and no bad sector or others failures.
Before fixing
21-January-2013_02-02
After fixing
21-January-2013_02-23
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SYMPTOMS

After you suspending and resume your computer several times, hard disk performance may be reduced. If you use Device Manager to view the properties of the IDE channel towhich the drive is connected, the Advanced Settings tab may show that the current transfer mode for the drive is “PIO Mode.”

CAUSE

After the Windows IDE/ATAPI Port driver (Atapi.sys) receives a cumulative total of six time-out or cyclical redundancy check (CRC) errors, the driver reduces the communications speed (the transfer mode) from the highest Direct Memory Access (DMA) mode to lower DMA modes in steps. If the driver continues to receive time-out or CRC errors, the driver eventually reduces the transfer mode to the slowest mode (PIO mode).

RESOLUTION

Windows Server 2003

Hotfix information

A supported feature that modifies the default behavior of the product is available from Microsoft. However, this feature is intended to modify only the behavior that this article describes. Apply this feature only to systems that specifically require it. This feature might receive additional testing. Therefore, if the system is not severely affected by the lack of this feature, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this feature.

If the feature is available for download, there is a “Hotfix download available” section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the feature.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific feature. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Note The “Hotfix download available” form displays the languages for which the feature is available. If you do not see your language, it is because the feature is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

No service pack required.

Restart requirement

You must restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
Note After you apply this hotfix, you must modify the registry as described in the “More Information” section in this article to change this behavior. If you do not modify the registry, the hotfix does not change the behavior.

Windows XP

Service pack information

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322389 How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

Hotfix information

A supported feature that modifies the default behavior of the product is available from Microsoft. However, this feature is intended to modify only the behavior that this article describes. Apply this feature only to systems that specifically require it. This feature might receive additional testing. Therefore, if the system is not severely affected by the lack of this feature, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this feature.

If the feature is available for download, there is a “Hotfix download available” section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the feature.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific feature. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Note The “Hotfix download available” form displays the languages for which the feature is available. If you do not see your language, it is because the feature is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

Windows XP Service Pack 1

Restart requirement

You must restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix replaces hotfixes 331958 and 331895.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
Note After you apply this hotfix, you must modify the registry as described in the “More Information” section in this article to change this behavior. If you do not modify the registry, the hotfix does not change the behavior.

Windows 2000

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a “Hotfix download available” section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, submit a request to Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Note The “Hotfix download available” form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

Windows 2000 Service Pack 2

Restart requirement

You must restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix replaces hotfixes 813908, 323153, 314695, 305176, 305098, 304912, 304572, and 298505.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
Note After you apply this hotfix, you must modify the registry as described in the “More Information” section in this article to change this behavior. If you do not modify the registry, the hotfix does not change the behavior.

WORKAROUND

To re-enable the typical, or faster, transfer mode for an affected device:

  1. Double-click Administrative Tools, and then click Computer Management.
  2. Click System Tools, and then click Device Manager.
  3. Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers node.
  4. Double-click the controller for which you want to restore the typical DMA transfer mode.
  5. Click the Driver tab.
  6. Click Uninstall.
  7. When the process completes, restart your computer. When Windows restarts, the hard disk controller is re-enumerated and the transfer mode is reset to the default value for each device that is connected to the controller.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the “Applies to” section.

Windows XP

This problem was first corrected in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2.

MORE INFORMATION

The hotfix that this article describes makes the following changes:

  • In Windows 2000 only, read requests to ATA disks are sometimes issued with a time-out value of 4 seconds. This occurs when your computer resumes from standby. This might cause a disk time-out because drives typically take more than 4 seconds to spin up. This time-out value was changed to 10 seconds.

    In Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, this time-out value is always 10 seconds.

  • An alternate, less-aggressive policy is implemented to reduce the transfer mode (from faster to slower DMA modes, and then eventually to PIO mode) on time-out and CRC errors. The existing behavior is that the IDE/ATAPI Port driver (Atapi.sys) reduces the transfer mode after any 6 cumulative time-out or CRC errors. When the new policy is implemented by this fix, Atapi.sys reduces the transfer mode only after 6 consecutive time-out or CRC errors. This new policy is implemented only if the registry value that is described later in this article is present.

To implement the alternate behavior (reducing the transfer mode after six consecutive time-out or CRC errors instead of after six cumulative time-out or CRC errors), you must modify the registry as described below after you apply the hotfix

Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817472/en-us