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How to Improve Hard Drive Speed? | Hard Drive Speed Improving Tips

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How to Improve Hard Drive Speed? | Hard Drive Speed Improving Tips

The hard drive of a computer is critical to its operations. It’s kind of hardware with non-volatile memory to store data on the machine permanently and allow users to retrieve the data when needed. All computers require a hard drive to perform their functions. It’s imperative to know how to improve hard drive speed, so you can enjoy the utilities of your machine smoothly without being stuck or sluggish.

There’re several reasons why hard drives may work slowly or expectedly. They include bad sectors, malware/viruses, duplicate files in different locations, and fragmentation of files. The drives may still perform with all these present. But for faster and regular experience, this very part of your computer needs to be given the right care.

How to Improve Hard Drive Speed? 10 Steps You May Try

This article includes top recommendations and proven hard drive maintenance tips to help you ‘beat the speed’ issue.

Delete the Temp Files

The browsers of your computer stores temporary internet files and caches on the hard drive. These files occupy a certain amount of your hard drive space affecting the speed. Deleting these files, it’s possible to enjoy some speed. The steps are simple.

  • Go to My Computer/This PC and find your drives.
  • Right-click the system drive and go to Properties.
  • Go to the General Tab (You should be in this tab by default) and click Disk Cleanup. The computer should take a few seconds to calculate how much space you can save.
  • Check the boxes that show Temporary Internet Files, Temporary Files, and Recycle Bin.
  • Click OK at the bottom right side.

This process may not make the machine super-fast in a blink. But, it’s still worth the result.

Recover Bad Sectors and Fix File System Error

It’s one of the oldest and despite no less effective technique. It scans the bad sectors of your hard drive and attempts to recover them. The operating system gives you an excellent tool named Check Disk for this job. Follow these steps.

  • Go to My Computer/This PC and find your drives.
  • Right-click the system drive and go to Properties.
  • You should be in the General tab by default. Go to Tools and find Error-checking. Click Check now.
  • A small window will appear. You’ll have two options there, such as Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. The first one stays checked by default. So, you need to check the second one.
  • Click Start. The process should take a while. Although you may continue other works, you should leave the computer as it is.

Defrag the Computer

When a hard disk gets fragmented, its performance gets simply slowed down. Being the key to this issue, defragmentation allows the bits of a file that are scattered to be integrated into a single block. This action lets the hard drive access the file quicker and easier. The steps are pretty easy.

  • Go to My Computer/This PC and find your drives.
  • Right-click the system drive and go to Properties.
  • You should be in the General tab by default. Go to Tools and find Defragmentation. Click Defrag now.
  • A window will appear showing you all the drives. First, you need to Analyze disk. It analyzes how much of defragmentation occurred.
  • Once the percentage of defragmentation shows up; you need to click Defragment disk.
  • Initially, the system drive remains selected. So, you should do the same for all other drives as well. This process for each drive should take a while. You may continue other operations. But, leave it as it is for your own greater good.

Both defragmentation and bad sector recovery are highly adapted processes, and the results are also satisfactory when it comes to the speed of your hard drive.

Partition the Drive

After doing one or more of the above tasks, you can do this excellent trick. Partitioning means the distribution of your hard drive space into several partitions. It may also contribute to increased performance. Multiple partitions on the hard disk allow it to become more organized and perform faster.

  • Click Start (positioned on the bottom-left corner).
  • Type Computer Management in the search bar that shows “Search programs and files”. Click Computer Management as it shows up.
  • Click Disk Management in the left.
  • From the existing partitions, right-click on any that you want to work on. Then, click Shrink Volume.
  • Enter a standard disk size. It will shrink the partition by your specified size. Click Shrink.
  • Select unpartitioned disk space and right-click on it. Choose New Simple Volume.
  • Enter how much memory you want to assign to your new partition.
  • Select any particular drive letter.
  • Choose a specific file system for this new partition.
  • Format it and click Finish when the process is finished.

Thus, you can create a new partition from any of the existing partitions. Please keep a backup of your essential data and files before doing all these.

Enable the ‘Write Caching’ Feature

This particular feature allows the user to write some information in a cache before doing it on the hard drive. This process is useful when speed is desired because you can write information on the cache faster than you can do on your hard drive, and the cache itself is really faster. Follow these steps.

  • Click Start (positioned on the bottom-left corner).
  • Type Computer Management in the search bar that shows “Search programs and files”. Click Device Manager as it shows up.
  • Go to the Disk Drives. Select your hard drive and right-click on it to find Properties.
  • Find the tab “Policies” in Properties.
  • Check Enable write caching on the device.
  • Click OK.

Make sure the computer gets uninterrupted power supply; otherwise you may lose the data in the temporary cache.

Allocate Space for Pagefile

The Pagefile, a sort of virtual memory, allows you to store the data that is in use by an idle computer application. This way, some space can be freed up in your RAM. Follow the instructions.

  • Go to Control Panel.
  • Go to System.
  • Click Advanced System Settings and access Advanced tab (you should be on that tab by default)
  • Choose Performance and access Settings.
  • Click the Advanced tab again and go to Virtual Memory. Click Change.
  • Uncheck the box that says “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives”
  • Select C:\.
  • Click Custom Size and set it to 800MB (initial and maximum size). You can also choose no paging file. Click “set” and go to the particular drive you need to allocate the pagefile to.
  • Now, set your pagefile size to “Custom Size” or “System Managed Size” using all recommended settings provided by the window provides.
  • Save the settings.
  • Restart the computer.

Whether or not you should work on this feature is completely your decision because many users are unaware of the process, and so, they should leave it.

Remove Duplicate Files

Duplicate files are often unused or useless. The hard drive may find it difficult to read all the copies at the same time. You may also get confused. Cleaning them up can be a big help as long as you’re concerned about the speed of your hard drive. Unfortunately, the operating system doesn’t have a built-in feature to let you do this.

But, there’re many free tools which you can download from trusted sources and use them to identify the duplicate files and delete the ones you don’t need at all.

Keep Antilmalware and Virus Removal tools

Sometimes, taking all steps may not bring you the desired effect on your hard drive’s performance. Chances can be that your computer is under attack or seize of a malware application. It may also be a virus that is interfering with the hard drive’s regular functionality.

Advanced users may be able to detect those programs and get rid of them. But, users who don’t want to bother about these should use a smart antimalware application or virus removal tool. However, you need to be careful while using such an application because some of them may cause your PC to feel sluggish.

Don’t Max out Your Hard Drive

It’s one of the most familiar cases that may force the drive to work slowly. While you’re entitled to use the entire amount of space available on your hard drive, you should leave some space rather than occupying it fully. There’s no fixed percentage, but it’s wise to leave at least 15%-20% of a hard drive empty. This way, it shouldn’t behave abnormally.

Consider Getting an Upgrade

Despite all these efforts, you might feel that the hard drive isn’t working at the speed it once used to do. Maybe, it’s time for an upgrade. Talk to a technician before investing in it. A general rule is that you buy from a reputed brand instead of a cheap, mediocre device.

The above techniques are meant for the users of Windows computers. So, one good question has been skipped. Can you really follow them for a Mac computer? Most of the processes may remain the same except only the instructions for navigation will be different. Well, check out another article that shows Mac users how to improve hard drive speed.

Finally, remember this.

Every time, you start your computer, its hard drive gets to work, and if it’s left without the required attention, it’s likely to become slow with time. So, you should be able to use your device by knowing how to improve hard drive speed and applying the essential techniques once a while. Hopefully, this article has given you enough to start with.

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