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HP laptop disk access extremely slow, diagnostics attached

Last Modified: 2020-01-04
HP model 15-ba057ca – disk access problem – Why is this hard drive test taking so long?  (picture of diagnostics test in progress is attached)
This system diagnostics test has been chugging for about 8 hours already and it’s only 36% done.  At this rate, it will take over 20 hours to complete.  This is the test that comes built-in with the HP machine – accessed by pressing Esc  F2 at startup.
The “disconnect” is that it was only supposed to take six hours initially, and now it thinks it will be done in 4 hours.
This evidence of a problem coincides with the anecdotal symptoms on this machine – it seems to work, but everything that involves disk access seems to take “forever”.  In previous trouble-shooting, I restored the machine to factory settings using the files on the Recovery partition.  It was eventually successful, but it took about 15 hours to complete.
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