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Bad disk performance on Win 8.1

Posted on 2015-01-11
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Last Modified: 2015-11-17
I run Win 8.1 on my Lenovo G700, but I get really bad disk performance with Perfmon pointing the finger at the response times of $Mft (typically 1000's of ms)
I am only using approx 50% of the space on 1TB disk, chkdsk shows no errors and the disk is defragged. Contig from sysinternals shows the $Mft as only comprising 1 extent.
Startup can take 5+ mins before system is useable. Disk is solid 100% active for all this time

Any ideas on how to solve this?
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Question by:Gerald Connolly
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 50 total points
ID: 40543051
First: Do you have a problem?

Startup can take 5+ minutes before system is useable. Disk is solid 100% active for all this time

Complete startup with everything loaded and stable can take 4 or 5 minutes. That is normal on a laptop because of all the services and disk usage will be high at this time.

Please measure the startup time to the point where disk usage drops to near zero. It should and for me that is between 4 and 5 minutes.  What is it for you?

Perfmon pointing the finger at the response times of $Mft (typically 1000's of ms)

What does this mean?  Is your disk ALWAYS active?  It should not be.

the disk is defragged

Run Disk Cleanup. When the window comes up, make sure you check off all selections to delete log and temp files. When disk cleanup is complete, run Disk Defrag again. Allow to complete and shut the computer down (all the way off).

Now start up and record the time as I suggested. Make sure disk usage goes to zero.

Windows 8 works fine and if your disk is always running and churning, you may have a non-Windows problem (virus).

Scan for viruses and make sure Windows is fully up to date (Windows 8.1, scads of updates).
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by:rindi
ID: 40543069
run msconfig and disable services and programs from starting automatically which aren't really needed. Also make sure you have a good AV utility installed. For example, the symantec (norton) crap tends to really slow things down while Panda antivirus is very low on resources, but at least as good. I've been using the free version for years and haven't had any issue (the free version can only be used in a private environment).

As far as I know, Lenovo also includes a built-in backup which runs by default, it could be one of the reasons for your slow-downs.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40543071
@Gerald Connolly  - please let us know about backup as rindi suggested. Lenovo does have backup software but (a) it does not run at every startup and (b) it will ask first (prompt).
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40543079
At startup from boot/sleep/hibernate the disk shows 100% active for the whole time, and at other times it doesn't take much to make it do the same.
As far as I aware Backup doesn't run at startup.
I use McAfee AV on this machine.

It didn't used to be this bad it seems to be getting slowly worse
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40543086
Set up performance monitor to run for an hour or two. What is coming to the top? Please check for viruses as this now looms more likely.
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by:rindi
ID: 40543092
As I mentioned run msconfig. Also uninstall software you don't need.
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by:rindi
ID: 40543093
Besides that, there can be windows 8 crapps installed that "phone home", or need to update info from the web, and they may be doing that during bootup, or you are using an m$ account which connects to OneDrive and syncs your data with the cloud.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40543269
Yes I am using a hotmail account so the sync to one drive may be an issue. I also use Dropbox so they may be competing.

The process that seems most prevalent in the list is netsvc

Bizarrely it starts up more quickly from a cold start
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40543284
I do not use One Drive but I do use Dropbox and I do sync with my iPhone.

Most services use memory and once stabilized, do not hog disk in my experience. I do understand what rindi is saying, but I have observed for years (XP, Vista, Seven and now Eight) that without stopping any services, the machine in question (different machines) will stabilize to less than 5% CPU and very low or zero disk activity.  

About netsvc:   Read this Microsoft Thread. It is several pages. Deep into the article the solution was cleaning out viruses.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-performance/svchost-svchostexe-k-netsvcs-uses-90-cpu-usage/41ba79ae-5e92-44d2-91ba-0de886061b4f?page=2
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by:rindi
ID: 40543321
netsvc is a service used by many different applications, so that alone doesn't really tell you anything.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40543788
I use windows 8.1 with onedrive and onedrive for business and I can assure you that is not a problem. Same goes for the Windows 8 Modern Apps.  Is your drive 5400rpm or 7200rpm is it a 'GREEN' drive? You might want to use the Windows Performance Toolkit and analyse your boot
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by:nobus
ID: 40543850
you can also run a diag on the drive with the UBCD :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick
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by:Dave
ID: 40543950
I find that having both DropBox and OneDrive running at start up really slugs machine performance. Then the AV kicks in and tries to update the AV definitions. Do you have iTunes or Spotify installed as well as these also all try to run at startup.

I believe on Windows 8.1 you can modify services from the taskmanager start-up tab as well as via MSCONFIG. Try turning off drop box and OneDrive and see what happens.

Also in my experience McAfee can be a resource hog...
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by:rindi
rindi earned 100 total points
ID: 40543974
OneDrive and dropbox and crapps probably won't be a problem if there is only a small amount of data to sync, or there is a fast internet connection. But the more data, and the slower the connection is, the longer it will take to start.
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by:Dave
ID: 40544057
I have a fast connection, FTTC so 60Mb down about 17Mb up but a lot of data in my One Drive. I saved the DVD ISo for Windows 10 there an it crippled everything for an hour or so while it synced...
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40544680
The problem occurs both when i do and when i don't have an internet connection.

If it was some kind of interaction between Clouds, then why doesnt it happen when i do a cold boot, this only seems to happen when restarting after sleep
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by:Dave
Dave earned 150 total points
ID: 40544694
I can't be 100% sure but pretty certain that when you do a cold boot services that are set for delayed start-up are delayed. When you exit sleep mode these services are all running and so start looking for the internet.

I have just installed a Seagate hybrid SSD/Spinning Disk in my T410 as the Windows Technical Preview was slow to boot. I will report back if it improves things.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40544720
Dave, an SSD is on my list of things to try as the machine is not short of Horsepower and there is not much data being transferred to/from disk, it just looks like it is running out of IOPS
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by:nobus
ID: 40544821
did you run a diag on the drive yet? post results plse !
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40552084
Yes I ran HD Tune, which didn't show any problems and chkdsk which also didn't show any errors
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40552100
What did Performance Monitor say after a couple of hours of running?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 40552555
There is a difference between the way Onedrive works in windows 8.x and Windows 10. Windows 8.x uses place holders, while windows 10 does a real sync.. Which can be a pain if you have unlimited onedrive storage and your tablet is drive space limited. Microsoft received some complaints from laptop users thinking that the onedrive file was on their computer and find out while airborne (where they have no internet) that the file is stored in the cloud.
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by:nobus
ID: 40552923
is this an upgrade, or fresh install of win 8?
an upgrade can take it's problems with it
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Dave earned 150 total points
ID: 40553012
I have just clean installed Windows/10 my T410 Laptop with a new Seagate Hybrid drive. It is generally much faster, but its now hard to tell how much of that is new drive and how much is new install.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40556308
It is the factory install 8.0 that came with the laptop, upgraded to 8.1
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by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
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a hybrid drive will perform like an SSD with small file transfers, and like a rotating disk for larger  ones
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40556532
It is the factory install 8.0 that came with the laptop, upgraded to 8.1  <-- Windows 8.1 is a different operating system from Windows 8 (not a service pack), The upgrade may have gone wrong.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41264706
I solved my problem by installing a SSD (Samsung), just cloned the spinning rust and the machine nows runs brilliantly. Startup completes within seconds, everything is snappy. The SSD gives only about 2x MB/s, but as i thought the problem was obviously with IOPS.
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