Hard drive going slow G3 iBook


I have a G3 700MHz iBook with 20GB HDD. I only seem to get about 4mb a second from the hard drive. Is this normal? It's too slow to do any audio work on. I thought maybe DMA iisn't enabled. Can anyone help? Surely it's faster than 4mb a second!
How do you test the transfer rate? Coping a file within the same disc is mostly a combination of reading and writing and slows down the rate. My 60gb tibook drive has around 10mb/s using the same method (copying within the same drive). So, I guess it would be ok for an old 20gb hdd to transfer 4mb/s although current 3.5'' drives can go up to 50mb/s. At least it's not dramatically slow. However, how is the S.M.A.R.T. status of your disk in Disk Utility?
I copied a file and doubled the speed the mb counter went up, as it has to read and write as you say. It also did about the same off the 100Base-T network.

Smart status is Verified.

I guess its just stupidly slow. Can I use any 3.5" laptop drive in the ibook G3? Or does it have to be the right one for a mac?

Thanks for the responce!

As you seem to actually reply (unlike another forum I tried), any idea why DivX files are so jerky? It seems to use full CPU. Even my old AMD 700 Duron can play DivX without a hitch so surely the 700MHz Apple can? I'm shocked!

Cheers again
Sure you can use a 3.5'' drive. Your ibook has a firewire plug which will work with any firewire enclosure out there. You simply buy a regular 3.5'' drive and install it into that enclosure, plug it to your ibook and enjoy the speed and disk space. Make sure you pick a firewire enclosure and not an USB 2.0 one. They will run at USB1.1 mode on your ibook which is even slower than your current 4mb/sec.

To your second question: DivX movies run fine on my G3 600 ibook. Which player are you using? What os do you have installed? Try vlc. Also: how much ram do you have installed?
I am ahead of you on the firewire drive, I orderd a enclosure already to replace my current USB2 one. It would be nice to have a faster internal one as well though. Especilly as I am not sure the one firewire port will be able to cope with the soundcard I will also run on it. 10in/10out soundcard and a full spead hard disk when doing audio work. Thats a lot of throughput. Should cope though.

I have 10.3.9 and 384mb of RAM. The person I bought this from said they wiped it clean and when I turned it on I just had to enter my details. I am beginning to think maybe it wasn't installed correctly? I tried VLC but it still used all my CPU. Xvid is even worse.

I'd like to reinstall it, but the guy didn't give me the CDs. I have a copy of Tiger Server but it doesn't list any iBook as a supported computer.

Cheers you have been a lot of help so far