How to speed up a slow hard drive, old hard drives are getting slower in performance. However, installing a large number of programs, large file transfers, and mass file deletion can seriously affect your computer’s performance due to hard disk slowdown. For this reason, many users are looking for ways to speed up the hard drive.
Why is Hard Drive Slow?
The hard disk is one of the vital components that affects the performance and experience of a computer even more than the processor.
However, even large, fast hard drives can slow down over time. So what are the reasons for slowing down hard drives in general?
Below you will see the common reasons why a hard drive slows down:
- The presence of viruses and malware on the hard disk is one of the main causes of hard disk slowdown.
- File fragmentation causes the hard disk to be slow and parts of the same file cannot be accessed quickly because they are scattered on the hard disk.
- Temporary files are created to store temporary information. The main problem here is that they can accumulate and take up hard disk space.
- New versions of programs tend to be optimized for more modern technology systems. For this reason, hard drive performance is worse on computers made up of “old” hardware. This is the case with operating systems like Mac OS X or Windows 10, they can work with magnetic disks but tasks like startup or shutdown will be slow.
Best Ways to Speed Up Hard Drive
The computer stores files in separate data blocks and reads them as needed. However, over time, these sections become disorganized as information is deleted or existing documents are re-saved.
This operation separates adjacent blocks (creating chunks), which slows down the read speed.
The information is reset at the point where you defragment the hard disk. This allows you to speed up your hard drive and make it run faster.
We recommend that you use this program regularly. Because this method increases the speed and lifespan of the hard disk. To defragment the disk on a Windows computer, follow these steps in order:
- Type defrag in the search bar on the taskbar.
- Select Defragment and Optimize Drives from the options that appear here.
- Select the disk you want to recover.
- Finally, click heal .
Note that defragmentation can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. The duration of this process will vary depending on the size of the disk and the degree of fragmentation.
Clear Cache and Clear Unnecessary Data
Every computer system has a memory called cache. This is the buffer where the program stores data to quickly recover data at any time.
This memory may contain some meaningless information that overloads the system. Therefore, perhaps the most basic way to speed up a hard drive is to empty the cache regularly. To do this, you need to follow the steps below:
- Type “Disk Cleanup ” in the search bar and select the relevant result.
- Confirm your selection after selecting the drive you want to clean.
- Windows 10 automatically calculates how much memory the cleaning process can free up. You also have the option to select and delete files manually.
- Select the files you want to delete and confirm with “ OK “.
- This will free up disk space and speed up your hard drive.
Disabling Virtual Memory
Virtual working memory is a feature that is enabled by default in Windows 10. It is used when main memory (RAM) is full.
However, if your computer does not have an SSD, virtual memory usage will have a negative impact on device performance. In this case, we recommend disabling this extra memory to speed up your hard drive.
Steps to disable virtual memory:
- Type View advanced system settings in the search bar and open the results.
- A “ System Properties ” dialog will open with an “ Advanced Options” tab .
- In Advanced Options, click Settings in the Performance section .
- Then the “ Performance Options ” window will open. From here, click on the “ Advanced ” tab and then on the “ Change ” option in the “ Virtual Memory ” section.
- First, uncheck “ Automatically manage paging file size on all drives“. At this point, select the No paging file option .
- Click the OK button to confirm the settings and disable virtual memory.
Disable Visual Effects
Windows 10 is known not only for its special innovations, but also for its elegant appearance with various visual effects such as animations, edge enhancement. However, this effect requires a certain amount of processing power.
When your computer’s performance decreases, it may be recommended to disable it. Of course, even if this process means giving up some design elements, you’re bound to experience an increase in performance.
Here are the steps to disable visual effects on a Windows computer:
- Type Customize Windows appearance and performance in the search bar and open the results.
- A window called Performance Options will now open.
- From here, select Adjust for best performance. This way Windows will focus more on performance than visual effects. If you know the settings, you also have the option to make custom settings. To do this, you can manually select only the effects you want to display.
- Then confirm with OK and then Apply to complete your action.
Disable Autostart Programs
When you start a Windows computer, some active programs start automatically. This function is actually quite advantageous for a program you use all the time.
However, programs you rarely or never use can sneak into autostart.
Since these programs will run in the background after autostart, they take up a lot of memory space.
That’s why Windows offers the ability to change the list of autostart programs in the Task Manager.
To disable automatic program startup and speed up Windows 10, you must follow the instructions below:
- Open Task Manager with the key combination [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc] .
- Select the Startup tab .
- The startup tab displays a list of all programs for each program, indicating whether autostart is enabled. Check the list for processes that you don’t want to start automatically when you turn on your computer.
- To toggle, right-click on Enabled or Disabled in the appropriate row and select the ideal one from the context menu.
- You can also click on the program with the left mouse button and select the Disable option in the lower right corner.
Enable Write Cache
The hard disk write cache is a NAND flash memory chip located on your hard disk. The data is stored there before being physically recorded on one of the drive’s platters.
Therefore, enabling write caching will continue to improve your disk performance.
You can check if you have enabled this feature through Device Manager. For this, follow the steps below:
- First, open Device Manager from your computer.
- Now navigate through the disk drives and click on your hard drive.
- Check if hard disk write caching is enabled by checking the caching options from here. Enable it if it is not enabled, then click OK .
Disable Background Apps
Windows is constantly running several applications in the background to continuously send data and notifications, much like using an email client.
However, this feature negatively impacts memory, reducing overall performance.
That’s why Windows offers the option to manually control apps from running in the background and disable them for common or selected programs.
To find this option, search for the Background app in the search bar. Then disable any apps you don’t use or don’t want to run in the background.
Use Unnecessary Programs
Hard drives have a bad habit of losing performance when fully charged. However, this performance loss is not noticeable until the disk reaches approximately 90% capacity.
If your hard drive is too full, you will have to uninstall some programs. Therefore, it is recommended that you periodically review the list of frequently installed programs.
You can speed up your hard drive by removing unnecessary programs.
You can remove programs that you think you don’t need from the Control Panel. But there are some programs that cannot be uninstalled even from the Control Panel.