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Windows 10 PC too slow on starting because of housekeeping disk...


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I have a growing problem with system drive saturation on startup (boot or from hibernation) and for up to half an hour. The C: drive is at 100% utilisation with high amounts of reads and writes from Windows Defender, Dropbox, Onedrive, Windows Update, Visual Studio, etc, etc. This slows the computer so much it can be unusable for 10 - 30 minutes. I have done what I can to mitigate it but the problem is getting worse. It has SATA 6 Gbit/s and spinning hard drives - old tech. My much newer laptop has a M.2 SSD and has no such problem.
Should I get a Sata 3 SSD as a new system drive on the PC? The PC is too old to take an M.2 SSD and I don't want to (and can't afford to) replace it yet. The question is, will the fact it is an SSD be enough to make all the background disk IO not a problem, despite it still being a Sata bus?
I'm asking for advice because I don't want to go through all the pain of sorting out a new Windows installation and find out it doesn't help.
I have been assuming Windows 10 background housekeeping IO is now just too intense for 6 year old PCs, as the explanation.
The PC has 16GB RAM, and paging is disabled. I changed the swap file to somewhat bigger than it needs to be, fixed size. Then I disabled paging. I check the memory use – it is rarely more than 50%. I defrag the system drive from time to time but it is never that fragmented. I can’t image it for a quick restore as it has around 3TB of files and the SSD will be 500GB. Plus, I don’t want to replicate problems if software or installations are the cause. I have done a full surface scan with chkdsk and the disk is perfect. S.M.A.R.T. reports no issues. I’ve done all the mitigation I can think of, and that includes disabling some default Windows tasks, turning off indexing, but the number of IO demanding background processes and threads just keeps growing. I use Resource Monitor and see some processes with dozens of high disk IO threads.
So - The question is, will the fact it is an SSD be enough to make all the background disk IO not a problem, despite it still being a Sata bus?

Edited by ontodva, 28 November 2019 - 03:51 PM.

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Don't think you need an SSD.  Sounds like something is wrong.

Let's see if we can see anything:


Open an elevated command prompt:


(If you open an elevated Command Prompt properly it will say Administrator: Command Prompt in the margin at the top of the window)

Once you have an elevated command prompt:


 DISM  /Online  /Cleanup-Image  /RestoreHealth

 (I use two spaces so you can be sure to see where one space goes.)
Hit Enter.  This will take a while (10-20 minutes) to complete.  Once the prompt returns:

Reboot.  Open an elevated Command Prompt again and type (with an Enter after the line):

sfc  /scannow

This will also take a few minutes.  

When it finishes it will say one of the following:

Windows did not find any integrity violations (a good thing)
Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and repaired them (a good thing)
Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some (or all) of them (not a good thing)

If you get the last result then type:
findstr  /c:"[SR]"  \windows\logs\cbs\cbs.log  >  %UserProfile%\desktop\junk.txt

Hit Enter.  Then type::

notepad %UserProfile%\desktop\junk.txt

Hit Enter.

 Copy the text from notepad and paste it into a reply.

After you finish SFC, regardless of the result:

1. Please download the Event Viewer Tool by Vino Rosso
and save it to your Desktop:
2. Right-click VEW.exe and Run AS Administrator
3. Under 'Select log to query', select:

* System
4. Under 'Select type to list', select:
* Error
* Warning

Then use the 'Number of events' as follows:

1. Click the radio button for 'Number of events'
Type 20 in the 1 to 20 box
Then click the Run button.
Notepad will open with the output log.

Please post the Output log in your next reply then repeat but select Application.  (Each time you run VEW it overwrites the log so copy the first one to a Reply or rename it before running it a second time.)


Get Process Explorer


Save it to your desktop then run it (Vista or Win7+ - right click and Run As Administrator).  

View, Select Column, check Verified Signer, OK
Options, Verify Image Signatures

Click twice on the CPU column header  to sort things by CPU usage with the big hitters at the top.  

Wait a full minute then:

File, Save As, Save.  Note the file name.   Open the file  on your desktop and copy and paste the text to a reply.

Copy the next 2 lines:

TASKLIST /SVC  > \junk.txt
notepad \junk.txt

Open an Elevated Command Prompt:
Win 7: Start, All Programs, Accessories then right click on Command Prompt and Run as Administrator
Win 8: http://www.eightforu...indows-8-a.html
win 10: http://www.howtogeek...-in-windows-10/

Right click and Paste (or Edit then Paste) and the copied lines should appear.
Hit Enter if notepad does not open.  Copy and paste the text from notepad into a reply.

Get the free version of Speccy:


(Look in the upper right for the Download
Latest Version button  - Do NOT press the large Start Download button on the upper left!)  
Download, Save and Install it.  Tell it you do not need CCLEANER.    Run Speccy.  When it finishes (the little icon in the bottom left will stop moving),
File, Save as Text File,  (to your desktop) note the name it gives. OK.  Open the file in notepad and delete the line that gives the serial number of your Operating System.  
(It will be near the top,  10-20  lines down.) Save the file.  Attach the file to your next post.  Attaching the log is the best option as it is too big for the forum.  Attaching is a multi step process.

First click on More Reply Options
Then scroll down to where you see
Choose File and click on it.  Point it at the file and hit Open.
Now click on Attach this file.



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