How to Fix Hard Drive Very Slow in Windows 10/8/7

Jean updated on Jun 17, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

How to Fix A Slow Hard Drive with 8 Tips (Quick Navigation)

Applies to: fix a slow hard drive on Windows 10/8/7 Desktop or Laptop

Are you confused by a hard drive slows down in file transfer speed, read/write, or response? This can start to happen to everyone with an aging PC, but sometimes it happens in just a short period of time, like a few months. To fix a slow hard drive, you must clearly know that there are basically two culprits: software and hard drive corruption. Once hard drive and software lack in good health, it begins to develop bad sectors, viruses, fragmentation, and many serious issues and finally leads to a very slow speed that affects your life and work.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Check and remove the virus Download and run Norton Power Eraser. In the "Norton Power Eraser" window...Full steps
Fix 2. Switch the SATA cable Disconnect the SATA cable from the first SATA port. Connect the SATA cable...Full steps
Fix 3. Disable startup programs Open System Configuration or Task Manager, go to the Startup tab. Scroll down to...Full steps
Fix 4. Check disk usage Type task manager in the Windows search bar and select "Task Manager"...Full steps
Other advanced solutions Check hard drive errors > Clean up hard drive files > Run disk defragmentation > Extend C drive...Full steps

Hard Disk Suddenly Is Extremely Slow, How to Fix

"Is it normal to see my LaCie external hard drive becoming very slow suddenly? Especially this afternoon when I tried to copy some large files to it, I noticed that the speed of the transfer was almost 0.5MB/s...I am so sure it's not about the slow internet. Perhaps it's because the hard drive is too old to function well. Do I have to replace the hard drive? But I'm still looking for some better advice to prolong the lifespan of this slow external hard drive."

For your information, factors of viruses, bad sectors, bad track, and corrupted master boot record on an HDD or USB external hard drive would result in its decreasing performance. There are many ways to determine which way your hard drive becomes slow down. Here on this page, we provided the most helpful hard drive test and repair solutions for you, which are divided into two parts: quick fixes and advanced fixes. The quick fixes we put in the beginning do not require much time and skills, so we suggest you take a glance and give a try if you haven't tried any of the methods yet.

Fix 1. Check and Remove Virus from the Slow Hard Drive

You can ask for help from the built-in Windows Defender or some reputable third-party antivirus software (i.e., McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky, Avast...) to scan hard drive viruses. Here are the steps to remove the virus using Norton:

Step 1. Download and run Norton Power Eraser.

If a new version is available, Norton Power Eraser will check and download it.

Step 2. In the "Norton Power Eraser" window, click the "Scan for Risks" icon.

open antivirus software norton

Step 3. Wait patiently during the process.

  • If you see any files listed as "bad", the "Remove" checkbox under "Action" will be automatically checked. 
  • If you see any files listed as "Unknown", click the cloud icon that appears next to these files. It will send the file to a Symantec server and scan it using a traditional signature detection engine.

Step 4. After successfully removing the risk, click "Finish".

You can also try to remove the virus without using antivirus software, instead, using cmd. 

Step 1. Run the Windows Command Prompt with the Admin privilege.

Step 2. Type the command:

Click to copy

remove virus using cmd command

Fix 2. Switch the SATA Data Cable to Fix HDD Slow

The other quick solution to fix a slow hard drive, especially for the hard drive that fails in a fast file transfer speed, is to switch the SATA data cable from the first to the last SATA port. Sometimes, it's a problem of a dusty or loose SATA cable that slows down your HDD.

Step 1. Disconnect the SATA cable from the first SATA port.

Step 2. Connect the SATA cable to the last SATA port.

switch sata cable

Fix 3. Disable Startup Programs to Speed Up Hard Drive

The more programs you install on your computer, the longer it may take to boot or start Windows. If your hard drive is running extremely slow as your system drive, you can fix it by disabling some unnecessary startup applications. 

Steps to disable startup programs in Windows 10:

Step 1. Open System Configuration or Task Manager, go to the Startup tab.

Step 2. Scroll down to select all unnecessary programs and click "Disable".

disable startup programs to solve slow hard drive

Fix 4. Check Disk Usage and Restart Some Programs

Some applications like Photoshop can take up high disk usage resulting in a slow hard drive. Thus, you can check the disk usage in Task Manager and restart the program accordingly.

Step 1. Type task manager in the Windows search bar and select "Task Manager." 

Step 2. In the Processes tab, look at the "Disk" process to see which program is eating up your disk usage.

check disk usage and restart program

Then, restart the program to see if your hard drive running at a high speed.

Fix 5. Check Hard Drive Errors to Fix Slow HDD Error

For some serious hard drive issues that might cause a hard drive overloaded and sluggish, you need the advanced help of professional hard drive diagnostic toolkits! Here, EaseUS Partition Master Free is recommended. This free partition manager comes with a useful feature that happens to solve the problem of a slow hard drive correctly, which is called "Check File System". See how to use it in a simple way.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Open EaseUS Partition Master on your computer. Then locate the disk, right-click the partition you want to check, and choose "Check File System".

Check Partition - Step 1

Step 2: In the Check File System window, keep the "Try to fix errors if found" option selected and click "Start".

Check Partition - Step 2

Step 3: The software will begin checking your partition file system on your disk. When it has completed, click "Finish".

Check Partition - Step 3

Fix 6. Clean Up and Optimize Hard Drive for Free

Your hard drive can run like a snail if it is full of junk files like system junk files or application cache. You can get rid of these junk files with a free tool - EaseUS Tools M. This free tool helps clean up system junk files and large files with ease. Here are the steps to perform system cleanup.

Step 1. DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M. Select "System Cleanup" on the main screen.

click system cleanup

Step 2. Select the type of junk files you want to scan and click "Analyze".

analyze junk files

Step 3. Identify and select useless files and click "Clean up" to remove those files from your PC or laptop.

click clean up to remove junk files

Fix 7. Defragment Your Computer Hard Drive

To keep your hard drive running its best, you should defragment, or consolidate files, on your hard drive. Defragmenting improves your computer's performance. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Open "This PC", right-click your hard drive and select "Properties".

Step 2. Select "Tools > Optimize". Then, select the drive again and the drive will be optimized automatically.

defragment your slow hard drive

Fix 8. Extend C Drive to Speed Up the Hard Drive

If your hard drive is the system drive - C drive, you can extend C drive to solve the slow hard drive issue. You can turn to EaseUS Partition Master again to get help. Download this software and extend C drive with ease.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master

Run EaseUS Partition Master

Step 2: Increase C drive space

1. Shrink partition to free up unallocated space:

Right-click on a partition next to the C: drive and select "Resize/Move".
Drag either end of the partition to shrink and leave unallocated space behind the system C: drive and click "OK".

2. Right-click on C: drive and select "Resize/Move".

Extend System partition

3. Drag the system partition end into unallocated space so to add space to C: drive.

Add space to C drive

Step 3: Keep all changes to extend C: drive

Click the "Execute Operation" and click "Apply" to keep all changes so to extend the system C: drive.

Confirm to extend system C drive


These 8 tips can do you a great favor when you are trying to solve the hard drive slow issue. Among them, EaseUS partition software has played an important role in checking disk error and increasing C drive space. If you still have problems, you can read the FAQs to get additional help.

FAQs - How to Fix Hard Drive Becomes Slow Suddenly

Basically, by removing hard drive bad sectors and optimizing the hard drive should revive the failing hard drive that becomes incredibly slow and slow. Otherwise, you have to apply a quick format with the software's format partition features, or even a low-level format to make a final effort. Have you noticed a certain speed improvement in your hard drive on your computer? There are several other concerned questions and solutions that might give you a clue of increasing the hard drive speed.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

1. Hard drive very slow to read

Check for programs making frequent read/write requests to the hard disk in Task Manager. Make sure no unwanted programs are tying up your disk in the background. Full solutions to how to fix hard drive slow to read.

2. External hard drive slow and unresponsive

Connect your external hard drive to a new USB port to a new computer to check whether it's really not responding. Sometimes a damaged USB port will disallow your drive to show up and respond properly on the PC. Full solutions to how to fix external hard drive not responding.

3. Fix slow external hard drive on Mac

Many factors would affect the performance of an external hard drive on macOS/Mac OS X and decrease its speed in file transfer or hard drive loading. Here are some Mac external hard drive speedup tips for you, including activity monitor lookup, proper startup items management, visual effects turning off, etc. Full solutions to how to fix slow external hard drive on Mac.

4. The External hard drive takes forever to load

Hard drive not showing up or recognized is taken as one of the direct consequences of infinite loading. To overcome the endless loading problem and prolong the lifespan of an old hard drive that has the loading problem, you can update outdated disk drivers, format the disk, etc. Full solutions to how to fix an external hard drive take a long time to load.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

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How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7