HDD reading for a long time on startup

By RobFM
Jan 3, 2014
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  1. My HDD sounds like it is reading for a good 3-5 minutes on startup. Programs run after a minute or so - albeit very slowly...

    Does this mean its new HDD time as it is a good few years old, or do I have hidden files starting.

    I have cleared out what I can find that I don't need at boot....

    Any suggestions?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,278   +280

    How many autoupdate programs are running in your services AND
    (for me) the Avast! A/V program induces this behavior.

    I've reduced the autoupdates on my laptop, but love Avast! and have learned to just accept it.
  3. TheHawk

    TheHawk TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 190   +6

    Hey RobFM. since the drive is a good few years old, I have to assume the OS installation is just as old. Which OS are you running and is it more than 3 years since you've had the pc (desktop or laptop ?) or the OS was installed?. I don't know what frequency of file maintenance your machine gets, but if the OS is 3 years+, I would save the important stuff to flashdrive,DVD,etc,and do a clean reinstall of the OS. If you have a laptop and/or an OS Recovery disk, the process is relatively easy since a laptop may have a recovery procedure to restore the OS to it's initial condition when it was new. After a new OS reinstall and the appropriate drivers and Service Packs installed, you are good to go as long as you do regular file maintenance/cleanup. Don't waste time trying to cleanup a very slow system if the OS age is as I mentioned, you will have a faster system and the peace of mind knowing you got rid of anything that was causing the slow bootup and the slow running programs.
  4. RobFM

    RobFM Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Running win 7 64 bit, about 2 years now... do use avast so might change that to avg to see if any different...

    cheers for the ideas
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,278   +280

    Hmm; I idea of brute force reinstalling as a problem diagnostic or solution has always been repugnant to me. This might be fine if there's nothing of any value on the system, but with
    • accounting files,
    • web development, web server and databases installed
    • world travel pictures
    Preserving the content as-is is a priority for me.

    My laptop was first booted on Original Install Date 3/31/2012, 3:45:22 PM and it's performance is fine once your learn how to care for the hardware & software.

    As the boot time HDD activity is only 30-45 seconds, it's a total overkill to start over.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  6. TheHawk

    TheHawk TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 190   +6

    While I agree that reinstalling the OS is brute force, I did preface it by asking a few questions about the OS age and file maintenance, as not every OS related problem I run into suggests I do a clean reinstall. I used to spend hours fixing slow machines with a multitude of software related issues with no guarantee of success, but I don't do that anymore but instead opt to start anew and clear out any malicious content that might be present and also know what I'm up against with a good idea of the time frame to likely resolve the issue.
    As far as having important work on the pc, that data should be backed up regularly in case of a calamity and his 3+ minutes long bootup and slow running programs led me to suggest an OS reinstall based on what he mentioned about his system. Good luck Rob.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  7. RobFM

    RobFM Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Took avast off the system and it has sped up really well..... won't be using that again in a hurry
  8. Dustyn

    Dustyn Newcomer, in training Posts: 31

    As another user mentioned as part of regular file maintenance/cleanup, I would run an elevated Command Prompt with Administrative Privileges and run a "chkdsk /f" on your HDD. Afterwards I would also run a full defrag. This is just my personal preference, but I would use something or anything other than the built in Windows defragger. I like and use Raxco PerfectDisk.


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