Question Very slow hand-me-down flight simulator PC -- A few questions on how to proceed


Oct 17, 2015
A school club I am a part of was recently very lucky and was given a hand-me-down flight sim. Its got some pretty solid hardware (2080ti, i9 cpu, 64 gb ram, etc - I dont have the full list infront of me right now but could get specs if requested). My goal with this system is to get it up and running smoother than it currently is, avoid any bloat software, and configure it in a manner that it is not linked with one persons specific microsoft account.

The issue at hand is that the PC is INCREDIBLY slow - it takes about 5-7 minutes to boot to windows and another couple to open the first program. There is little to no software on the computer other than Microsoft Flight Simulator and Windows. I am thinking the hard drive is the issue currently but even if so, those speeds seem unreasonably slow to me. I checked the start up options and the only start up process enabled is windows security.

My thoughts on how to begin to improve this were to do a clean install of windows and potentially do that install on a SATA or NVMe drive for the boot drive. I checked the windows activation screen and confirmed that the PC has a digital license, which based on my experience with my personal PC means I can keep the same image of windows on the computer and do a fresh install without having to buy a new copy. The only thing I am concerned about is that the computer is not linked with any individual's personal windows account. The only account that shows up is the 'local account' for the computer. My understanding is that a digital license is linked with a windows account, rather than the PC, which is why it can be transferred across hardware. It is a MUST for me that we dont link the computer with one individual's credentials that way as people come and go there won't be any continuity issues. If the windows image is not linked with a windows account currently, would doing a fresh install on a new SSD or even the existing HDD be possible?

I looked into the disk management configuration as well as was a bit confused by what I found. When I open the PC up (I checked both sides of the case) I only see one hard drive, but task manager shows a hard drive (D:) and a boot drive SSD (C:). In disk management, two drives also show up each with their own partitions. Is it possible that the C: and D: drives are partitions of the same HDD, or is there definitely both an HDD and SSD installed? When checking the task manager, the SSD is constantly held at 100% usage as well which I was confused by.

Any answers, thoughts, follow up questions, or resources you all could share that might help me with this would be greatly appreciated!


Are you looking at FS2020 or the original FSX?

Likely the C drive is a m.2 ssd that is not readily visible.
One thing to do is to look at task manager startup tab and see what the bios time
is. On my I9,I see 12 seconds.
In the bios, you should be able to enable fast boot.
Otherwise, windows fetches components one by one to build a new nucleus.
That will load a simple sequential file with an image of the last successful boot.
On a HDD, this will take some time.
The issue at hand is that the PC is INCREDIBLY slow
the SSD is constantly held at 100% usage as well which I was confused by.
Do an anti-malware/virus scan, those often don't show up in task manager and there are cryptos that use storage to do their thing.
Also find the manufacturer of the disks and run their diagnostic tools to see if the drives are about to die.

Also even if the digital license thing would work it would still be illegal, or well not really legal at least, and I don't think your school would be ok with that.

Download a few linux distros on a usb stick with ventoy, to try them out without having to install them, and see which one you can live with and install that.
This would also make it clear if windows is the issue or the hardware.