Will Reinstalling Windows Help?

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muff13 | 10:41 Thu 26th Jan 2017 | Technology
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I have been suffering from a very slow laptop for some time. At present I have Windows 10 installed but the problems first stated some time ago before I upgraded from Windows 8 although it is getting worse. The disk shows 100% usage on start up and can be that way for differing times from ten minutes or up to an hour or so. After that, the laptop does get a bit quicker and disk usage drops to varying amounts but, often, not less than 75%. At times it reverts back to 98% or 100%. I have been looking for solutions and have tried various common fixes. Disabled superfetch, disabled Windows search, altered settings in Skype and some others suggested.

My question is this. Is it worth the hassle and work of reinstalling my Windows operating system and all the extra programs thereafter or is my problem likely to be there still after all that?

I should add that, although I am happy to play about with the settings etc on the laptop, I am not that computer savvy so need clear instructions before I will tackle anything.

Thanking people in advance for any advice.


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Disk usage ? You mean hard disk usage ? You shouldn't be anywhere near that amount of usage. It seems you need a much bigger hard disk, or a cull on anything not needed on the existing one.
On the other hand if you mean memory rather than disk, that means you need more memory. Maybe your laptop wasn't spec'd highly enough for Windows 10 ?
Question Author
I have plenty of space on my hard drive and that is not the problem nor do I lack memory. When I click on Task manager that is where it shows the high disk usage.
I used to be more familiar with it in years gone by but now I'm not 100% certain what that figure indicates. Someone else is likely to be along soon.

My guess might be that it is the amount of virtual memory being used, but if you have plenty of memory then that seems less likely. For comparison my PC is only using about 6 to 7%.
If you look on the "processes" tab on Task Manager you will be able to see which processes are taking up all your CPU. If you look at the Resource Monitor you will be able to see which process is accessing the disc.
I stand (well sit) corrected bhg. It'd "monitor" not "manager".
Question Author
I have been looking at the Resource monitor (which I have difficulty in understanding!!) so am not much the wiser though it is obvious that it is the system which has the highest activity. I do not have an excessive high usage of my CPU.
In the Resource Monitor click on Disk at the top of the window. Then click on the down-arrow on the Disk Activity bar. By clicking on the column headers you can sort the usage on task/read/write etc, that should help you find which task is hogging the disk.
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It is hard to say what is hogging the disk as it varies from second to second. I have googled to try to find out what some of the .exc programs might be but cannot say that any one is consistently using the disk at a high rate. At the present moment my disk usage has magically dropped to a low rate but it will probably shoot up again. Last night it ran at 100% for about 45 minutes until I gave up.
That's why I suggested sorting the columns by Read(B/sec) or wite (B/sec) - it will stabilise the disk table and the process hogging the disk will be at the top of the table.
The two most likely causes of excessive disk usage are:
1. Antivirus scanning
2. Insufficient RAM causing lots of disk swapping.
What AV are you using?
How much RAM do you have?
Question Author
I did look and it appeared that my free anti virus was using an excessive amount of disk. As I was not 100% happy with this anti virus I have uninstalled it and installed an alternative to see if that makes a difference. At present all appears to be OK but don't think that this was the real cause as I had the problem before I used this anti virus. Fingers crossed the new protection will use less disk and the laptop will be more usable. But this has not answered my original question which was "would my problem disappear if I reinstalled Windows?"
I think what we're trying to do is to establish the cause of your computer running slowly. Only then we we have an idea whether or nor re-installing Windows would help. I've avoided W10 so far, so I can't speak from experience but it does seem to take a long while to install, so I'd avoid if there's a better solution.
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I have 4GB RAM. It states that I have 3.88GB physical memory and I.IIGB free. Also 4.10 virtual memory with only 985MB available. I have now installed Avast.
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I suspect that SftService.exc is using a good deal of my recourse but think that this is a necessary program installed by Dell (my laptop is a Dell) to keep backup up to date.
If you do Google search for SftService.exe you can learn all about it.

If you want to increase your computer it's easy and not overly expensive. To get a rough price and find the type of memory you need go to:

Question Author
Thanks for your advice and help - not sure whether I should get more memory and will look more what that SftService.exe really does and whether I could safely disable it if that would speed things up.
Something you could try which is free and easy is to increase your virtual memory.
Control Panel > System > Advanced System Steetings > Advanced Tab > Performance Settings > Advanced Tab

Choose Change
Sorry - hit return too soon

Choose Change vitual memory.

You will see all your discs and partitions listed (you can have virtual memory on any disc and on more than one disc if you wish.

If you scroll the little window you will see where your virtual memory is and how big it is. Click to choose that and then click "custom size"
At the bottom of the window is "recommended size" - set that number into the "initial size" and "maximum size" boxes and then click the "set button.

Ok your way out of that and next time you reboot you will have the new size virtual memory.

If you want to reverse it for any reason just follow my recipe and choose "system managed size".

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