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Windows 10 PC too slow on starting because of housekeeping..

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ontodva, Nov 28, 2019.

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  1. ontodva

    ontodva Thread Starter

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    ...disk activity. Bit restricted title length there.

    I have a growing problem with system drive saturation on startup (boot or from hibernation) and for up to half an hour. The C: drive is at 100% with high amounts of reads and writes from Windows Defender, Dropbox, Onedrive, Windows Update, Visual Studio, etc, etc. This slows the computer so much it can be unusable for 10 - 30 minutes. I have done what I can to mitigate it but the problem is getting worse. It has SATA 6 Gbit/s and spinning hard drives - old tech. My much newer laptop has a M.2 SSD and has no such problem.
    Should I get a Sata 3 SSD as a new system drive on the PC? The PC is too old to take an M.2 SSD and I don't want to (and can't afford to) replace it yet. The question is, will the fact it is an SSD be enough to make all the background disk IO not a problem, despite it still being a Sata bus?
    I'm asking for advice because I don't want to go through all the pain of sorting out a new Windows installation and find out it doesn't help.
    I have been assuming Windows 10 background housekeeping IO is now just too intense for 6 year old PCs, as the explanation.
     
  2. britekguy

    britekguy

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    How often do you power your machine down and back up again?

    I ask because if you let Windows 10 complete all this stuff once, and then either keep the machine running most of the time or, if you shut down, don't wait weeks before starting up again it tends to go away.

    Constant power down and power up cycles of short duration often stop a lot of background processes, particularly those that scan and/or index, in their tracks and many start from scratch if they didn't complete such that their record keeping of having done so gets recorded.

    I have no machines with SSDs, only regular HDDs, and I have never experienced anything on the order of 30 minutes, though I have come close to 10 on the "in case of emergency" machines when I boot them up after months of having been off.
     
  3. ontodva

    ontodva Thread Starter

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    The PC has 16GB RAM, and paging is disabled. I changed the swap file to somewhat bigger than it needs to be, fixed size. Then I disabled paging. I check the memory use – it is rarely more than 50%. I defrag the system drive from time to time but it is never that fragmented. I can’t image it for a quick restore as it has around 3TB of files and the SSD will be 500GB. Plus, I don’t want to replicate problems if software or installations are the cause. I have done a full surface scan with chkdsk and the disk is perfect. S.M.A.R.T. reports no issues. I’ve done all the mitigation I can think of, and that includes disabling some default Windows tasks, but the number of IO demanding background processes and threads just keeps growing. I use Resource Monitor and see some processes with dozens of high disk IO threads.
     
  4. ontodva

    ontodva Thread Starter

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    @britekguy - good question.
    I work on the PC for a few hours at a time, then hibernate it, Next day I wake it up and it could be very slow for 5 minutes or 25 minutes. I reboot it about once a week. There isn't a lot of difference coming up from cold or hibernation.
     
  5. britekguy

    britekguy

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  6. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    One thing I noticed is you said you defrag the drive, there's no need for that with Windows 10 and it could actually be adding to the problem.
    Windows 10 defrags in the background and it could be 'correcting' a defrag done by a 3rd party program.

    Run this on your computer please and copy and paste the blue output text into your reply :-
    https://static.techguy.org/download/tsginfo.exe
     
  7. ontodva

    ontodva Thread Starter

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    @managed - I assumed Windows 10 was taking care of fragmentation too, but when I looked there was significant fragmentation. Not drastic, but more than negligible. So I used the built-in defragger, not a 3rd party utility.
     
  8. ontodva

    ontodva Thread Starter

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  9. britekguy

    britekguy

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    Windows 10 runs defrag automatically once per week unless someone has played with the settings. There should never be any significant fragmentation with a defrag run with that frequency.

    The behavior you are seeing now is, quite simply, atypical. It has nothing to do with the drive type on which Win10 is installed.
     
  10. ontodva

    ontodva Thread Starter

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    Well, I haven't played with the settings of my 10 month old Dell laptop, Windows up to date on it. That's the one with the M.2 SSD. I use it every day for more than an hour. Checked its drive optimisation. Scheduled optimisation ON, Frequency Weekly, Current Status OK (10 days since last run).
    Laptop doesn't get optimised weekly and the PC doesn't get defragmented properly.
     
  11. britekguy

    britekguy

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    Well, just to be perfectly clear, SSDs do not, and should not, ever get defragged. Windows 10 is smart enough to know this, and actually simply issues a TRIM request to the SSD rather than trying to defrag it.

    If your secondary drive, the HDD, is not set up for automatic defragging it should be, but monthly would be more than often enough.

    But, again, I don't think this is a drive problem, but a Windows installation problem, and not one of your making. There are all sorts of ways that subtle corruptions can creep into OSes.

    I also hadn't thought about this until now, but do you have Fast Startup enabled and use Shutdown to shut the computer down? If so, turn it OFF.

    ----------------------------------------------
    Control Panel, Power Options, Choose what the Power Button does link, activate the Change settings that are currently unavaliable link to make the checkboxes for Turn on Fast Startup (recommended), Sleep, Hibernate, and Lock available for checking/unchecking. Uncheck the checkbox for Fast Startup and gracefully work your way back out of the dialogs.
     
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