My laptop has 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD and i7 (Gen 4) processor. Yesterday however I realized that an i3 was faster. Reason was, 100% Disk Usage.
Believe it or not, my computer was painfully slow. It would take 4 minutes to sign in and load my desktop. I had been cursing myself for buying a Dell laptop and not a Mac. Some suggestions I got to consider were:
- Buying a Macbook (but then I can’t experiment on Linux)
- Upgrading to a SSD (didn’t want to spend money – and time in moving data back and forth)
- Refreshing Windows 10 – I don’t know how many days it would take to get the system back to normal.
Why is 100% disk usage slowing down a computer?
The speed of a computer depends on two things – processing power and input-output speed (IOPS). IOPS is dependent on hard disk, cache and RAM. The last two being beyond my control, I checked the Disk Usage and found it was always 100% which was not normal.
Finally I decided to fix things today, or else I would have refreshed it by end of day. And I did it, so I am sharing the tricks here.
Here’s what I did (and you should, too):
Update Sata drivers
Go to your device manufacturer’s website and install the latest hard drive drivers.
DISABLE Microsoft Account SIgn-in
Not recommended, but if you disable the Microsoft account you will get in your computer faster.
To do so, go to Settings (type in start menu) -> Accounts and select “Sign in with a Local Account instead’.
Disable Windows Search
Windows Search keeps indexing items and it keeps the hard disk busy, slowing down other processes as a result. You can disable the service by following the instructions:
To permanently disable Windows Search or Indexing, press Windows + R, enter services.msc, and hit Enter. In the Services window that opens find the Windows Search entry and double-click it to open the Windows Search Properties window. Under Startup type, select Disabled. Here you can click Stop to abort the service. Click OK to save your changes.
SuperFetch is like a caching for frequently accessed programs. It traces what files are accessed by an application during the first ten seconds of the application’s startup, which can then be used to load the proper data in memory at appropriate times.
SuperFetch data for applications is stored in
/Windows/Prefetch (the various .pf files).
You can disable SuperFetch and this should have negligible performance impact. Here are the instructions:
Open command prompt in Administrator mode and type:
net.exe stop superfetch
This should reduce your disk usage to a tad around 20%.
If you are facing speed issues with your computer or if you have any special tricks to share, feel free to comment below or mail me!