Constant, even small, load on the hard disk often leads to slow performance of the PC as a whole. The problem with HDD speed degradation may occur in almost any operating system, not excluding Windows 10.
Today we will try to understand the abnormal HDD load and give you some useful information to help you correct the error and improve the performance of your PC.
The instructions are valid for Windows 7,8 and Windows 10.
Causes of hard disk load
Hard disk load can be caused by dozens of different reasons. What they all have in common is the high consumption of resources when reading and writing. And sometimes Task Manager is not able to help.
- Misuse of swap file: When RAM (RAM on the PC) is low, the hard disk is actively used for data operations. This is done by many processes and programs.
- Misuse of resources by programs: Some utilities and programs use the disk space without permission or not properly. Some of these programs may be removed and may be quite useful.
- Windows system errors and programming errors of installed applications.
- Virus activity.
Disabling Windows Search
The Search Service runs constantly in the background. Often it is useful but if you do not use the search box to run programs and find information yourself in Windows, it makes sense to disable it because it slows down your hard disk (however stable it may be).
How to disable the search service:
- Run the Run Window - Win + R
- Enter services.msc and hit Enter.
- Find the Windows Search service (you can sort the list by name to make searching easier)
- Double click the service name and select Disabled startup type.
- Click OK. The Search will cease to operate after PC reboot.
This way the HDD load will be slightly decreased.
Disabling the SuperFetch service
SuperFetch is another background service designed to analyze and optimize the performance of RAM. It consumes system resources and operates on the hard disk. If you notice a drop in HDD performance, disable it - sometimes it helps speed up the operating system. But you should not do it unless necessary.
The Superfetch service may be disabled in the same way as the search tool by finding it in the list and selecting its startup type "Disabled". Often it is not in the list, therefore we suggest another way.
How to quickly disable SuperFetch via Registry Editor:
- Run the Registry Editor: Start > Run > Regedit (administrator rights will be required).
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM.
- Follow CurrentControlSet > Control > Session Manager > Memory Management > PrefetchParameters.
- For the EnablePrefetcher parameter set to 0 and click OK.
- SuperFetch is disabled, reboot the PC to apply the changes.
- The service can be reactivated by setting the value 3 for SuperFetch.
Disabling Chrome Preloading
Many users find that Chrome takes the most resources, which is understandable since the Internet is used 24/7 and the browser runs regularly with many tabs open.
Topical article: Speeding up Chrome
To disable page reloading in Chrome you should do the following:
- Go to Menu (three vertical dots) > Settings.
- Open the Privacy and Security section, in the same section click on More.
- In the list of settings disable the option "Allow pre-loading of pages to increase browser and search speed" by moving the slider to the left.
Repair Read Errors
In operation, errors accumulate on the HDD, affecting both the operating system and the HDD performance in general. There are several dozens of diagnostic programs for searching errors. We have collected them in the review:
Best HDD Diagnostic Software
Check HDD status
Metal checks for errors and bad blocks, we advise checking the SMART attributes, that give you reliable information about the current HDD or SSD status. In case you have been using the drive for a long time, it is natural to replace it with a better performing one.
Add more RAM
Modern programs actively consume RAM. For example, the Chrome browser may grab several gigabytes of RAM for its needs. As a result, other programs start using hard disk resources. Such load has a negative impact on the HDD, it works under load.
Hence it is recommended to purchase additional gigabytes of RAM to have more than 8 - 10 GB total.
Check your PC for viruses
When a computer slows down for no reason and the HDD is 100% loaded, it may be due to viruses.
A virus scan with one of the powerful utilities helps. As an example let's take the free Dr Web Cureit.
- Download Dr Web Cureit at //free.drweb.ru/cureit/
- There is no need to install the antivirus: it operates immediately after you launch the exe-file.
- Select the items to be checked (we recommend ticking all the items).
- Click the "Run Scan" button and wait for the end of the scan.
- Uninstall the found threats by moving them to Quarantine by clicking the "Uninstall" button.