Why do laptop drives slow down

MJoshi

Member
Mar 6, 2003
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I've noticed with a few laptops that over time, mechanical drives slow down to the point where Windows takes so long to load.

I was recently looking at a relative's laptop that was so slow that it took almost 10-15 minutes for Google Chrome to load after clicking the icon.

I reset that laptop back to factory settings using Windows repair, yet Chrome still took a few minutes to load.

The drive constantly whirs.

So I was wondering if mechanical drives over time slow down and even restting back to a factory OS install will not help?
 
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lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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The drive does not slow down exactly. It may however become overly full, fragmented or it may be going bad...

Also your RAM might be getting more use causing more HD use for virtual memory.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,510
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Mechanical drives can and do "effectively" slow down over time. They are precision mechanical devices, and with age comes wear, and with wear comes loss of tolerances, which can cause things like seeks to take longer to "settle" over the right track, for example.

My opinion is that when they slow down significantly, they should be replaced, preferably with an SSDD.
 

MJoshi

Member
Mar 6, 2003
88
1
66
I have tried a defrag in the past however, it usually doesn't help much. Surely resetting back to the factory OS install should then not requre a defrag?

This issue is something I have noticed often with mechanical drives even with laptops that are not used heavily.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
88,192
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The drive is dying. As time goes by, hdds develop bad sectors. The hdd will then move the data to anothe block. But when you have ever increasing bad sectors, the hdd will effectively be moving data constantly, impacting actual usable throughput.
Replace it with a ssd ASAP.
 
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