I have had the WDC740GD for a year or more now and I have never really thought it was very fast and its very loud, most reviews I read are the opposite, is there any tests I can run to see if its working at the correct performance?
If you’re running xp or vista, you can try dlg diagnostics. It’s on WD’s support page under downloads for your drive. That will tell you if the drive is bad. you can run windows error checking and scandisk. That will tell you if the partition and data is okay.