Question Really slow performance on Win 10 switching applications or even browser tabs, D: drive implicated

Jun 15, 2019
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Hi everyone,

I have a fairly antiquated Q6600 based system with 4 GB RAM, SSD for C: drive and a couple of ATA (I think they are IDE) drives for D and E. E was just my Windows XP drive and I could actually remove that completely after getting some photos off it.

What I've noticed recently is that the computer is really slow when it comes time to flip between apps or change tabs in Chrome. Like ten seconds to display a new tab if it hasn't been recently accessed. I had the brilliant idea to check the performance tab of Task Manager and this delay always coincides with D: "disk access" going to 100%. On the bottom part it shows the throughput as being around 7 to 10 MB/sec disk transfer rate (although it may be going over that but the range doesn't change).

Then I ran the user benchmark tool and those tests show the D: drive at 8th percentile. The peak transfer rate I saw during this test was about 22 MB/sec.

RAM usage on the little graph on the left side of Task Manager is 75 to 85% typically and doesn't fluctuate much.

I've forgotten how everything is set up but it's possible I have paging or internet temp files set to the D: drive to minimize wear on the SSD. I've been thinking of getting an upgraded CPU and Mobo but if I have this sort of fundamental issue it's not going to help because my CPU is not the limiting factor in these cases.

So for sure I should probably get a SATA drive for the D:

What else should I be looking at? Be nice if I could fine tune this setup to see if I can use it longer, or even just to prepare for a CPU/mobo upgrade.

TIA!

DL
 
Jun 15, 2019
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All right. Well first order of improvement was achieved by following this.

https://fossbytes.com/how-to-fix-slow-performance-issue-in-windows-10-and-increase-overall-system-speed/

Looks like some idiot (cough) set my paging file to be on the D: drive and larger than the amount of available RAM, not sure why that happened. I put it back on the C: drive (SSD) with the recommended setting which is about 1/3 of the amount of RAM. Preliminary tests look better. Now all I'm worried about is having the paging file on the SSD.
 
Paging file on the SSD is fine; the drive will be too small for you long before it dies. I've had my MX100 for like 4-5 years now and it's at 96% wear with like 25 TB of writes You might actually want to increase the size of the paging file; applications like Chrome GOBBLE up memory, virtual or not.
 
Jun 15, 2019
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OK I changed the paging settings to use C: and I am still getting really sluggish behavior, mostly out of Chrome. If I haven't been using the system for awhile, then trying to reopen all my previously accessed tabs (not even reopening them, just clicking on them) more or less freezes the computer for more than a minute. Once it gets unstuck it seems relatively OK. Without Chrome running, RAM using is at 1.3/4 GB, but with 10 tabs open it's more like 3.8/4 GB. Also D: drive access persists. I'm going to move browser temp files to c: if they are on D: Everyone says Chrome is a memory hog, well there you go.

I do have Avast Anti-Virus which is a bit of a hog at bootup, but I can't see anything pointing at it in this situation.
 
OK I changed the paging settings to use C: and I am still getting really sluggish behavior, mostly out of Chrome. If I haven't been using the system for awhile, then trying to reopen all my previously accessed tabs (not even reopening them, just clicking on them) more or less freezes the computer for more than a minute. Once it gets unstuck it seems relatively OK. Without Chrome running, RAM using is at 1.3/4 GB, but with 10 tabs open it's more like 3.8/4 GB. Also D: drive access persists. I'm going to move browser temp files to c: if they are on D: Everyone says Chrome is a memory hog, well there you go.

I do have Avast Anti-Virus which is a bit of a hog at bootup, but I can't see anything pointing at it in this situation.
Look in Task Manager or Resource Monitor for what's hitting D (sort by highest usage).

Chrome can EASILY gobble up 8 GB of RAM; 4 GB is almost unusable these days.
 
Jun 15, 2019
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Pay attention to your HD's utilization (busy times) and if it's constantly busy without you doing anything, it maybe dying, and slowing everything down.
Constant, no. When it's bad though it's bad. What kind of test can I run?

Look in Task Manager or Resource Monitor for what's hitting D (sort by highest usage).
Chrome can EASILY gobble up 8 GB of RAM; 4 GB is almost unusable these days.
I'll keep an eye on it.

Thanks for the suggestions!!!!
 
Jun 15, 2019
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It looks as though the problem tracks me opening more than 8 tabs in Chrome (hey it happens). Memory usage goes up to 85% or higher and then D: drive starts to max out even though I set Windows paging to C:

When I look at the task manager process list, the top consumer of disk % is "System".

Perhaps the best bang for the buck on this system is to see if I can kick it up to 16 GB as nothing is pushing CPU load very high. DDR2 1066 or something!
 

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