Fixing slow HDD Windows 10

This article is dedicated to all die hard hdd users.

Original (Mae Mu)

1.5 years of using HP Pavilion laptop HDD dualboot (Windows 10) and SSD (Ubuntu) I began to notice a very long loading of applications, a common interface unresponsive, hangs on simple operations in Windows 10. The problem has been minimized to the extent that the use of a laptop has become possible again. Next, I will describe the action that I have taken to correct the problem.


For the study to be eliminated mystification of any order, first determine the root cause damage hard drives. What can go wrong when dealing with a hard drive? Problems can occur in the physical layer electronics and logical data software.
By electronics problems include such things as PC / Laptop power problems; Wear a hard disk component failure in the circuits and chips internal drive components, software, firmware error, the consequences of hit shock / disc falls, or similar problems with other devices that affect its operation.
Hard disk wear and tear is considered critical time of occurrence of the amount of such a large number of bad sectors (bad block) in which the further operation of the disc is not possible. These blocks are blocked by the hard drive firmware, the data is transferred to other sectors automatically and should not affect the disk performance to a certain critical point.
The problems include programming logic error in the file system due to incorrect operation of the application, a user action: off on the hot device, the completion of the recording process without properly stopping the application, errors in drivers, operating system services.
Not having a specialized electronic diagnostic tools, we only need to check the correct software level, already in the process of electronics may show problems that are usually eliminated by block repair (replacement of components / chips); Next, consider the software methods of diagnosis using diagnostic tools. It is worth noting that all utilities must be run on a system with the highest priority, as other applications may interfere with measurements of performance, lock the drive read / write, which will lead to incorrect results of diagnosis.


S.M.A.R.T. monitoring service for storage devices -. HDD, SDD, eMMC etc. It allows to evaluate the wear devices, view the number of bad blocks, based on the data to take further action. View SMART can be used in various applications for working with disks, I prefer to use tools from the manufacturer. For your hard drive Seagate SeaTools utility I used, output status as a GOOD for him, that is, drive firmware finds that all is well.

Manufacturer Tools

Disc producer utility provides tests to check his work. SeaTools has several types of tests, you can use them all to localize the problem. Quick and simple tests can not detect any problems, so I prefer for many tests. In my case only on the Long Test errors were found.


To check the correctness of the reading, finding slow or dead blocks, I wrote an application slowride. It works on a very simple principle – opens a handle to a block device, with user-defined settings produces read data of the entire device, with measurements of time, slow output blocks. The program stops at the first error, would then have to go to more serious utility to remove the data as a simple data disc methods is not possible to read.
In my case, reading the entire disk it was carried out properly, with little drawdown speed – 90MB / s (5400rpm) in one second, in some areas of the disc. From which one could conclude that I am dealing with a software problem.

Acoustic Analysis

This method does not apply to software methods of diagnosis, however, it is important enough to fix the problem. For example, when the operating part supply unit, a hard disk may Freeze / hang emitting a loud click.
In my case, when dealing with the disc in Windows 10, I heard familiar to all owners of HDD, loud buzz run around the drive head when you try to do anything in the operating system, but the sound was almost constant, it made me think about too much disk fragmentation, disk reloading background service.


Electronics problems during software diagnostics have not been found, chunked read the entire disc was completed correctly, but showed SeaTools errors Long Test verification.

Manufacturer Tools

Manufacturer disk diagnostic software in addition provides the error correction procedure. The SeaTools is responsible for this Fix All button, then agreed to accept the potential loss of data, it will start the process of correction. I did my case, this fix? No, the drive continued to work as loudly and slowly, but the Long Test error is no longer shown.


CHKSDK is Microsoft’s tool to eliminate programming errors for Windows file systems. Over time, these errors accumulate on the disc and can greatly interfere with the work, including the result in the inability to read / write any data at all. Instructions on the use of tools you can find on the Microsoft site, I recommend to use all possible flags for error correction (at the time of this writing, is / r / b / f); Need to run a check with the administrator via the Windows terminal (cmd), for the system partition it will be held on the system boots, it may take a very long time, in my case took 12 hours.
I did this fix in my case? Not.

Disk Defragmenter

Working with the disk data blocks is carried out, large files typically stored in multiple blocks / fragments. Over time, a lot of deleted files create empty blocks that are not there, because of this when writing files to fill these voids, and disk head has to physically travel long distances. This problem is called fragmentation, and with her face only a user’s hard drive. At the time several fixes fragmentation of my hard drive was 41%, visually it looks like this:

That is bad. See fragmentation, to defragment, you can use Defragger utility or built defragmenter. You can also turn the service on “Optimize drives” in Windows 10, put down a defragmentation schedule in the control panel.Defragment only need the HDD, discs include undesirable for SSDAs this will lead to accelerated wear of the disc, probably for this reason that defragmentation is disabled by default.

Also known is an alternative embodiment of defragmentation – transferring data to another disk, the formatting of the disk, and copying the data back. In this case, data will be recorded on a completely empty sector, while maintaining the correct logical structure to run the system. This reset option is fraught with problems potentially critical metadata that may not move during normal copying.

Disable Services

With utility Mark Russinovich Process Monitor you can track the processes that load the hard drive their business, just include the column IO Write / Read. After the study of this column, I disabled the service Xbox Game Bar, a well-known service background acceleration Superfetch programs under the new name SysMain, through the panel of the control panel services. Superfetch should constantly analyze the application used by the user, and accelerate their launch using caching in memory, in my case it led to a background downloading the entire disc and the inability to work.

Clean the Drive

I also removed the old app, unwanted files, thus freeing up the sector to correct the fragmentation, simplifying the job of the operating system, reducing the number of useless, heavy services and programs.


What helped the most? A marked difference in performance was achieved after a disk defrag, spontaneous hang persists by disabling services Xbox and Superfetch. It would not have these problems if I used the SSD? Problems with slow performance when fragmentation would definitely would not have been a problem with the services had to remove in any case, and software errors do not depend on the type of drive. In the near future I plan to complete the migration to the SSD, but for now, “Long live the pancakes, pancakes forever!”