I've got a good laptop (Dell Precision M4800) that runs Windows 10 (and Ubuntu dual booted), and it's around 5 years old. It has 16GB of DDR3 RAM, an nVidia Quadro, Intel Integrated Graphics, and a 1 TB HDD. I generally keep it half full though, so its performance had been holding up for many years.

Unfortunately, the boot time and general loading times for all programs in Windows has slowed down to excruciatingly slow levels. I ran a memtest on my RAM and it still works perfectly. I adjusted my paging file sizes to increase speed. I think my hard drive is the culprit. Before I buy a 1TB SSD and clone over my hard drive, are there any other issues I should watch out for that may make upgrading my HDD unnecessary? Here are the results of testing my HDD with Crystal Disk Mark 6:

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Here is Crystal Disk Info: enter image description here

  • Today, SSDs are cheap. Even the worst is better than your hdd in power consumption, throughput, IO and response. Apr 5 '19 at 5:29
  • It got better, but windows is known to get slower after time. So I would not clone, but make a fresh install on the hdd. And then, don't adjust paging size, don't run registry optimizer, just don't install/uninstall applications all the time. Apr 5 '19 at 5:31
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    Post the SMART info for your disk, to see if your disk is still healthy.
    – harrymc
    Apr 5 '19 at 6:03
  • In addition to CrystalDiskMark run CrystalDiskInfo and post the results in your question.
    – somebadhat
    Apr 5 '19 at 15:49
  • It seems that there are numerous bad sectors that had to be reallocated. The drive must simply be getting old.
    – Shadowfax
    Apr 9 '19 at 1:11

Your hard drive slowing down is likely not hardware related - its more likely to be a combination of fragmentation and OS bloat.

That said, there are some compelling reasons to upgrade your drive to an SSD. The most compelling reasons in my book are:

  • Fragmentation issues largely go away, as all parts of the drive can be accessed equally fast.
  • Raw disk speeds will increase 5x plus, while random access speeds will be way, way faster then that.
  • SSD's are about 5-10 times more reliable then hard drives, and your hard drive is getting old. (But make sure you do backups, because when SSD's do fail, they tend to do so catastrophically)
  • For the sake of clarity, if you want to avoid upgrading for now, defragment your hard drive and see how it performs.
    – davidgo
    Apr 5 '19 at 6:19
  • I defragment my hard drive every month (including just a few days ago) and it doesn't seem to improve anymore. There was a time when defragmenting helped a lot. Right now it's stuck at around 12% fragmentation and it can't get any better. In any case, the info you provided about SSDs is appreciated.
    – Shadowfax
    Apr 9 '19 at 1:09
  • Your (updated post with the) smart report says your disk is dying - that is the cause of the slowdowns. You want to back up your data now and look to replace it as soon as practical.
    – davidgo
    Apr 9 '19 at 1:46
  • Could you please point out what led you to conclude that it's dying? I need to know for future reference because I don't have much experience looking at SMART data.
    – Shadowfax
    Apr 11 '19 at 10:13
  • The reallocated sector count and slow load times.
    – davidgo
    Apr 11 '19 at 10:35

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