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I have been experiencing performance drains problems with my HDD that is running windows. When my disk usage is high for that particular drive, most apps stop responding and my cursor will freeze. There have been times when there would be a 7-minute delay from when I move my mouse and when it moves on screen. I have a good drive (WD Blue 1tb 7200RPM) and had no problems until just last week. I've heard that when an HDD has a lot of data on it, it tends to slow down. I only have 180gbs out of 930 remaining but I never experienced problems like this and so frequently.

I tried looking to see if there are any apps that are using up most of my disk usage but the TaskManager does not show the information for my disk usage under the processes tab. I say that because I can only see the usage under the performance tab and while I'm on the processes tab, I see a different number (i.g 10% usage under processes tab and 100% usage under performance tab). Windows sees the HDD as the third disk (disk 2) instead of disk 0, although I'm not sure if that would make a difference in the data shown in the processes tab.

I'm also worried that my HDD might be failing although by running tests and looking at Disk Manager, everything seems healthy. My HDD is only 10 months old anyway. Just in case I purchased a Segate Barracuda as a replacement or another hard drive to store more of my games on to clean up my C drive.

How can I determine what my problem is and how can I fix it before things get worse? And how can I see the disk usage for my C drive in task manager, process tab?

EDIT: I just realized that in the Processes tab, disk utilization looks at all drives. Which makes it a bit messy (for me at least) to see which specific drives are using up how much of one drive since I actively use three separate drives all day.

  • The behavior you describe could be caused by a HDD that was generating lots of I/O errors – Ramhound Oct 27 '17 at 1:44
  • @Ramhound, what do you mean by "lots of I/O errors"? – Lucas Oct 27 '17 at 1:46
  • I mean that Windows encounters an error when it reads or writes data to your HDD then attempts to do it again and each time it does this it encounters an error making it attempt it again until the data successfully written or read – Ramhound Oct 27 '17 at 1:49
  • @Ramhound, okay that makes sense, but how do I figure out if that is happening and how can I fix it? – Lucas Oct 27 '17 at 2:02
  • Determine if the HDD is failing by using its built in diagnostic S.M.A.R.T data – Ramhound Oct 27 '17 at 2:03
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Disk manager really won't tell you anything other than the what disk are preset and what partitions you may have. HDD are like cars, it doesn't matter too much how old they're, but rather how many "miles" it has. So what I'm getting at is age doesn't always matter. HDD can fail simply for the amount of I/O, reading and writing of data, that it does. That's not the only reason, but it's not easy to tell why a HDD failed without more evidence .

So, it does sound like you HDD is failing, and you did the best thing possibly by backing up your data first. You can try to fix the drive, or you can purchase a drive to replace it.


Check Disk is a built in Windows utility to try and diagnose/repair your HDD and that would be the first option I would recommend. Here is a link to the Windows site for chckdsk.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee872425.aspx

However, this is usually what you want to run in command prompt:

    chkdsk /r C:

This will ask if you want to perform the action on the next reboot since chkdsk cannot check the disk that you are currently using. Choose yes and reboot. This will take some time and should give you more insight into your problem.

Western digital also has software that you can download to use a diagnostics tool on your HDD. Download the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows. I haven't ran this tool, but the manufacturer of your drive does make software to test their HDDs. You'll be on your own so follow the directions CAREFULLY.

https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?lang=en

You also have atleast one more option. You can purchase Spinrite from GRC to try and repair the drive. This does take a long time as you have a 1TB drive, but I've used it personally and would always recommend it. It does cost money, but the software is yours to use a you see fit after that. The GRC site has help docs to help you run this program that would be most beneficial to you.

https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

Regards,

Chris

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First off, now is a great time to make sure you have good, current backups. If not - do this first.

There are a few possible issues with the drive, and I'd try each of these things in order -

The first one is hardware failure. As others have suggested, get a program which can look at the S.M.A.R.T info for the drive and see what the drive thinks of itself. Its not guaranteed, but it can be a fairly good indication of a problem. There are no doubt many programs that can pull this info - for Windows the one that springs to mind is CrystalDiskInfo.

If SMART does not indicate a problem, you might have a filesystem corruption. To fix this, run (as administrator, from the command line) chkdsk /f or chkdsk /f c: - Hopefully it will say the volume is in use and will ask to check in on Startup. Press "Y" and restart your computer. It will take a short while but should fix corruption.

Once you have looked into that, look into defragmenting the drive. The reason drives "get slower" as they get full is they need to start scattering data in gaps where data has been deleted, rather then in single chunks which are faster for a hard drive to read. Defragmenting the drive will take a while (leave it overnight), but will reorder the files so they are faster to read. I expect its unlikely that this is the problem, but - provided the disk is not faulty - it won't hurt, and will speed up access times. If the built in Windows Defragger proves to hard - you might wnt to try Auslogics Disk Defrag.

Note: I do not have any relation to the companies whos (free) software I've mentioned. I mention them because they are reputable and have worked for me in a Windows environment. I do most of my admin under Linux - which probably won't help you!

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