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Old 28th September 2019, 03:15 PM   #1
Cain
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100% Disk Use

Mother-******.

Ever since I replaced the power supply on my (refurbished) desktop, I've experienced 100% disk use. I'd imagine the two are unrelated, but a Google search shows at least one other person had a similar problem.

When I first installed the PSU, I heard wretched noises and vibrations from the machine. After rejiggering the HDD, the noises ceased, but the disk use remains.

I've unconnected and re-connected the power-supply and the HDD. It does not matter which programs I run, disk use often spikes to 100% when I try doing something (e.g., Googling, opening a word processor document). The user experience is not as soul crushingly sluggish as I'd expect, but there are hiccups and things can grind to a halt. If I just leave the machine idle, disk use will fall down to 1-3%. I can stream a video from Amazon Prime mostly without issue (in Firefox).

According to Task Manager, different processes trade off on who is most responsible for disk use. Firefox might top out at a few MB/s, but System sometimes comes on takes up as much as 45MB/s, then quickly falls back down. Typically the top process is .1MB/s. I am also experiencing high percentage use regarding the CPU and Memory. As I type (CPU is 96%, Memory is 91%, and Disk is 25%).

I've gone through virtually all of the recommended fixes that websites suggest.

I've...
run Check Disk.
searched for a virus.
disabled superfetch
disabled Windows search
updated Windows
changed energy options
reset virtual memory
"fixed" the PCI-Express firmware bug (StorAHCI.sys driver)

Nothing works. I want to do a reinstall, but I've noticed that in transporting the unit, someone scratched the sticker with the Windows product key. It's missing two or three characters. Would I need that key? I want to say I was wise enough to snap a picture of it when I first received the computer, but I doubt it (and I haven't started searching through archived photos).

Any suggestions would be kindly appreciated.


ETA: Specs
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Windows 10 Pro
1903
Installed on 9/27
OS Build: 18362.387

Disk 0 (C

Hitachi HUA723030ALA641

Capacity: 2.7 TB
Formatted: 2.7 TB
System disk: Yes
Page file: Yes

Read speed 0 KB/s
Write speed 262 KB/s
Active time 0%
Average response time 0.5 ms

Memory

4.0 GB DDR3

Speed: 1333 MHz
Slots used: 2 of 4
Form factor: DIMM
Hardware reserved: 125 MB

Available 558 MB
Cached 498 MB
Committed 5.5/7.8 GB
Paged pool 198 MB
Non-paged pool 119 MB
In use (Compressed) 3.3 GB (0 MB)

CPU

Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3470 CPU @ 3.20GHz

Base speed: 3.20 GHz
Sockets: 1
Cores: 4
Logical processors: 4
Virtualization: Disabled
Hyper-V support: Yes
L1 cache: 256 KB
L2 cache: 1.0 MB
L3 cache: 6.0 MB

Utilization 89%
Speed 3.39 GHz
Up time 0:00:38:08
Processes 155
Threads 1772
Handles 61643
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Last edited by Cain; 28th September 2019 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 28th September 2019, 04:20 PM   #2
William Parcher
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The Tandy brand is a well known computer with a very old history. You should consider replacing your machine.

As the knowledgeable computer cultists say, "Get a Tandy!"
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Old 28th September 2019, 04:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Nothing works. I want to do a reinstall, but I've noticed that in transporting the unit, someone scratched the sticker with the Windows product key. It's missing two or three characters. Would I need that key? I want to say I was wise enough to snap a picture of it when I first received the computer, but I doubt it (and I haven't started searching through archived photos).

Any suggestions would be kindly appreciated.
In theory.....

As Windows 10 links the product key to the unique IDs of your hardware a re-install should be fine (and yes it normally works fine)

Because I'm paranoid, and it sounds like you've been having crappy luck with this box, grab Magic Jellybean. It'll trawl through your PC and dig up product keys for a variety of softwar, including Windows.

You can also try grabbing Process Explorer as that gives you much more detail than task manager and can make it easier to pinpoint issues
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Last edited by Mongrel; 28th September 2019 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 28th September 2019, 04:43 PM   #4
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I'll start with my standard unhelpful advice: run Linux!

Here's hopefully more helpful advice, but from a Linux person who doesn't use Windows every day. Do a web search for a program that will show you the Windows product key. Review what the program shows you with what's on the sticker. That mey be enough to recover the entire key.

Windows activation is, to me, a bit of a black art. If I recall correctly,there are Product Keys (on the sticker), License Keys, and Activation Keys. Laptops (I know you have a desktop) have keys in the system ROM or UEFI space.

A couple of time's I've used a Windows service or even a call to an 800 number to re-activate a Windows system. You get an insanely long code, on the order of 40 to 50 characters, that you have to type in.

A read of the Wikipedia article on Microsoft Product Activation may be useful.


Back on the Linux thing: if you have a spare 4 or 8 GB flash drive kicking around, I recommend you download a copy of Linux Mint, write the ISO to the flash drive (they supply instructions on how to do that) and boot the system using the flash drive. It may provide a clue about whether it's Windows causing the disk usage spike (I suspect it is) or if there's a firmware issue with the drive. Also, you may discover you can do everything in Linux that you used to do in Windows, and wean youreslf away from the abusive relationship that Microsoft gives its users.
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Old 28th September 2019, 06:55 PM   #5
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I suggest you need more memory. 4GB is not much. Make it 8 and that should solve your problem. If not, then you need a new computer.

The reason your disk is running at 100% is that it runs one program, then it wants to run a second, but that is not in main memory, so it swaps program 1 with program 2. Then it needs to run program 1 again. But wait that is no longer in main memory...

If you really want a fast computer, buy a SSD drive and have 8 (or 16) GB memory.
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Old 28th September 2019, 07:13 PM   #6
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Windows 10 machines just run at 100% most of the time for some reason. There's so much bloat built into Windows at this point there's always some process that grabs disk access whenever it's available. Every few months an article will come out blaming some obscure Windows process on it, you disable it, it gets a little better, then some new obscure Windows process starts doing the same thing.

Like right now I just checked. I have nothing but a single Chrome window open on my computer. No updates, no virus scanning, nothing going on. Disk access is pegged hard at 100% with the generic "System" service the first thing listed.
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Old 28th September 2019, 08:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Windows 10 machines just run at 100% most of the time for some reason. There's so much bloat built into Windows at this point there's always some process that grabs disk access whenever it's available. Every few months an article will come out blaming some obscure Windows process on it, you disable it, it gets a little better, then some new obscure Windows process starts doing the same thing.

Like right now I just checked. I have nothing but a single Chrome window open on my computer. No updates, no virus scanning, nothing going on. Disk access is pegged hard at 100% with the generic "System" service the first thing listed.
My disc usage is 1%. Mind you I have a SSD drive and 16GB of memory. On the other hand my machine is over 5 years old.
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:18 PM   #8
Cain
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The Tandy brand is a well known computer with a very old history. You should consider replacing your machine.

As the knowledgeable computer cultists say, "Get a Tandy!"
Thanks. I know they sell them at Radio Shack.

Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
In theory.....

As Windows 10 links the product key to the unique IDs of your hardware a re-install should be fine (and yes it normally works fine)

Because I'm paranoid, and it sounds like you've been having crappy luck with this box, grab Magic Jellybean. It'll trawl through your PC and dig up product keys for a variety of softwar, including Windows.
Worked like a charm. Thanks.

Quote:
You can also try grabbing Process Explorer as that gives you much more detail than task manager and can make it easier to pinpoint issues
I'm sure it will help when I recover from this seizure.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
I'll start with my standard unhelpful advice: run Linux!
Thanks for all of your comments. As for Linux, it's something I want to do... but I also want to read Russian novels. Deep down, I know I'm not that guy. I wanna be that guy... but I'm not that guy.

Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I suggest you need more memory. 4GB is not much. Make it 8 and that should solve your problem. If not, then you need a new computer.
Yeah, wtf. I wouldn't buy 4GB because that was a problem with my last machine. I looked at my purchase invoice and it says "8G DDR3 RAM." My side panel is off and I can see there's RAM in all four slots, but task manager is saying 2 of 4. Should I just push them again?

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Windows 10 machines just run at 100% most of the time for some reason. There's so much bloat built into Windows at this point there's always some process that grabs disk access whenever it's available. Every few months an article will come out blaming some obscure Windows process on it, you disable it, it gets a little better, then some new obscure Windows process starts doing the same thing.

Like right now I just checked. I have nothing but a single Chrome window open on my computer. No updates, no virus scanning, nothing going on. Disk access is pegged hard at 100% with the generic "System" service the first thing listed.
Well, I'm glad not alone.
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Old 28th September 2019, 10:18 PM   #9
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Yeah, the RAM had somehow become dislodged, and it was a Hillary to put back in. I wonder if the diagnostic guy monkeyed with it. Still have 100% disk use.
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Old 28th September 2019, 10:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Yeah, the RAM had somehow become dislodged, and it was a Hillary to put back in. I wonder if the diagnostic guy monkeyed with it. Still have 100% disk use.
He monkeyed with it because he knew you were gonna' burn him!

I found a longer laundry list.

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/4-tips...s-performance/

R U sure it's not a BIOS/UEFI thing? Like reset the defaults or re-enable something?
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Old 29th September 2019, 02:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Yeah, the RAM had somehow become dislodged, and it was a Hillary to put back in. I wonder if the diagnostic guy monkeyed with it. Still have 100% disk use.
Has it stopped the.... Pauses... And glitches?
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Old 29th September 2019, 04:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
<sniP>
Yeah, wtf. I wouldn't buy 4GB because that was a problem with my last machine. I looked at my purchase invoice and it says "8G DDR3 RAM." My side panel is off and I can see there's RAM in all four slots, but task manager is saying 2 of 4. Should I just push them again?

<snip>
Looks like you have 8GB in your machine, but you are using only half that. I suggest you get the other half working. I cannot tell you how as I do not know your skill level, nor do I have the knowledge of how to fix. Suggest fixing this be your priority.
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Old 29th September 2019, 11:07 AM   #13
Cain
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Has it stopped the.... Pauses... And glitches?
The machine is running much better. I would not be surprised if I had the 100% disk use prior to the power supply's failure and just never noticed.

Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
He monkeyed with it because he knew you were gonna' burn him!
Naturally, that was my first thought. One of the power supply's connectors is located next to the unclamped RAM slots, but I find it difficult to believe it could have become undone by accident. I choose to believe evil was at work, so now I'm not going to leave a positive review on Yelp for the guy, nor will I feel guilty for just getting the diagnosis.

Quote:
That's the site I worked off. I performed almost all of those actions.

Quote:
R U sure it's not a BIOS/UEFI thing? Like reset the defaults or re-enable something?
I dunno. That's something I'm reluctant to mess with. I'm basically an idiot. Example: When the computer started making loud vibrations, my first solution was to put on headphones.

Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Looks like you have 8GB in your machine, but you are using only half that. I suggest you get the other half working. I cannot tell you how as I do not know your skill level, nor do I have the knowledge of how to fix. Suggest fixing this be your priority.
It's done. I want to thank everybody. I hope to never start another thread here again.
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Old 29th September 2019, 04:34 PM   #14
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Could be a coincidence it was to do with the power supply. I think it is nothing to do with the power supply and more to do with Windows wanting to index everything on your disk or similar.
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Old 29th September 2019, 04:37 PM   #15
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And why is it making a noise? Get a SSD.
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Old 29th September 2019, 07:11 PM   #16
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Long shot: Try disabling the indexing on your disk.

Disk Properties, UNtick "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties".

Because Win10 is probably spending all its available time indexing EVERY ******* THING on your pretty big drive.
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Old 29th September 2019, 11:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Looks like you have 8GB in your machine, but you are using only half that. I suggest you get the other half working. I cannot tell you how as I do not know your skill level, nor do I have the knowledge of how to fix. Suggest fixing this be your priority.
Oh heck, that's probably a 32-bit OS thing. If it's not an actual hardware issue like bad RAM or not snugged down correctly, the next thing to check is if the OS is 32-bit or 64. Thirty-two bit OSs cannot access more than about 4.2gigs of physical RAM period.
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Old 30th September 2019, 12:02 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Windows 10 Pro
1903
Installed on 9/27
OS Build: 18362.387
I know refurbs is not the newest machines but maybe you should have bought one a bit newer...

(Sorry I couldn't resist. Nothing constructive here)
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Old 30th September 2019, 11:19 AM   #19
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I checked out my new Windows 10 laptop which I got at the beginning of this year.

With nothing open my CPU usage bounces around but rarely goes over 10%. Disk indexing is on. Disk indexing isn't causing high usage at all.

When I open Chrome (just sitting at the Google homepage) it instantly goes to 100% and holds pretty steady there. Occasional drops to around 90% but right back to 100%.

In spite of that the computer doesn't seem slow when browsing with Chrome.
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Old 30th September 2019, 11:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
And why is it making a noise? Get a SSD.

It could be an old DVD/Blu-Ray drive with a disc still in it that is going crazy at startup.
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Old 30th September 2019, 12:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Thanks for all of your comments. As for Linux, it's something I want to do... but I also want to read Russian novels. Deep down, I know I'm not that guy. I wanna be that guy... but I'm not that guy.


You likely have no idea how consumer-friendly desktop Linux is in 2019. Blue Mountain gave you good advice: Download Linux Mint, put in on a USB stick and you can check out everything without any risk. With your 8GB of RAM it will run completely on that, nothing will be installed until you decide that you're that guy after all. Which is very much the average guy with basic computer curiosity these days.
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Old 30th September 2019, 03:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
It's done. I want to thank everybody. I hope to never start another thread here again.
Maybe your computer is just trying to help you achieve that goal.
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Old 1st October 2019, 03:26 PM   #23
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I just remembered. Windows after a major update will do a lot of disk housekeeping. It used to be that Windows just accumulated **** and bloated to a huge size over time. With Win10 they now try to manage it better. That means it will, from time to time, do a lot of housekeeping. An SSD for drive C fixes the problem.
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:29 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
I just remembered. Windows after a major update will do a lot of disk housekeeping. It used to be that Windows just accumulated **** and bloated to a huge size over time. With Win10 they now try to manage it better. That means it will, from time to time, do a lot of housekeeping. An SSD for drive C fixes the problem.
I have this and my computer is fast to start. Almost as soon as I have put in my password I can start work. Microsoft Outlook only takes a few seconds to load.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 12:43 AM   #25
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I just increased the RAM on my wife's laptop from 6GB to 12GB. The kids start using this laptop too and switching between accounts (no admin rights for the kids!) made the computer unusable for about 10 minutes.

On top of that I removed a lot of vendor crapware (utilities for fast charging a phone through a USB port, which is never used, a color scheme switcher to be used with a hot key which is not even present, ...). I also installed lots of Windows 10 Apps that got never used (wheather, financial utilities, TV guides, ...). All of these were only taking up 16KB, but still they might get loaded from disk when you open the Start menu.

Now after a reboot the disk is still in use at 100% for about 3 minutes, but after that it quiets down and the computer becomes fully usable and stays that way, even when switching accounts. With an SSD you can reduce startup to under 1 minute, but I first wanted to try the increased memory, as I think that's a better investment. An SSD without enough memory would still be slow. If you can avoid having to do full startups, a hard disk is bearable with enough RAM (use sleep).

(Says the guy who has 24GB RAM and a fast SSD on his work laptop. But hey, I didn't have to pay for that myself :-) )
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Old 2nd October 2019, 02:10 AM   #26
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Swapping a HD for SSD gave my PC another 3 years of life before I felt I needed a newer toy better performing PC for my increasing work needs....

My previous PC used to have 16GB of RAM but one stick failed and I ended up running with just 8GB and with the SSD I never felt any real difference in performance

I'd say for most casual users, for performance improvements, bump up to 8Gb then it's a SSD. Was looking around and you can get a terabyte SSD for well under 150 quid these days!
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Old 2nd October 2019, 03:00 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
You likely have no idea how consumer-friendly desktop Linux is in 2019. Blue Mountain gave you good advice: Download Linux Mint, put in on a USB stick and you can check out everything without any risk. With your 8GB of RAM it will run completely on that, nothing will be installed until you decide that you're that guy after all. Which is very much the average guy with basic computer curiosity these days.
This is true. I know I'm not a typical user - for a start I was an IBM mainframe systems programmer in the 80s so am used to hellish complexity. Linux used to be high maintenance.
Nowadays: I put Linux Mint on an old laptop and my 7 year old used it for schoolwork happily once I told her "Word is called writer on this one".
The only caveat is that a lot of advice is geared to the Ubuntu flavour of Linux and sometimes this doesn't exactly translate to Mint, usually but not always and that's me installing weird stuff.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 09:20 AM   #28
Childlike Empress
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
The only caveat is that a lot of advice is geared to the Ubuntu flavour of Linux and sometimes this doesn't exactly translate to Mint, usually but not always and that's me installing weird stuff.

Well, as it's based on Ubuntu, the advise from that community should be close, and Mint has its own large community as well (on Distrowatch it is on place 3 atm, with Debian on 4 and Ubuntu on 5).

But as you say, if you don't install weird stuff (or have very weird hardware), and just do what 95% of computer users do with their computers, there'll likely never be the need to go "under the hood" of Linux these days.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 01:55 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
This is true. I know I'm not a typical user - for a start I was an IBM mainframe systems programmer in the 80s so am used to hellish complexity. Linux used to be high maintenance.
Nowadays: I put Linux Mint on an old laptop and my 7 year old used it for schoolwork happily once I told her "Word is called writer on this one".
The only caveat is that a lot of advice is geared to the Ubuntu flavour of Linux and sometimes this doesn't exactly translate to Mint, usually but not always and that's me installing weird stuff.
I was an IBM systems programmer in the 80s. Nothing compares to the hellish complexity of SAP Basis administration.
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Old 9th October 2019, 02:32 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Swapping a HD for SSD gave my PC another 3 years of life before I felt I needed a newer toy better performing PC for my increasing work needs....

My previous PC used to have 16GB of RAM but one stick failed and I ended up running with just 8GB and with the SSD I never felt any real difference in performance

I'd say for most casual users, for performance improvements, bump up to 8Gb then it's a SSD. Was looking around and you can get a terabyte SSD for well under 150 quid these days!
Thanks, good to know. The RAM upgrade from 6GB to 12GB definitely made a difference and it's definitely the easiest upgrade to perform, but if I find some time I'll consider switching to an SSD too. There are 500GB models for a little over 50 Euro. I agree that these are really cheap ways to extend the life of a PC, more than ever before. An opportunity that might never come back (well, maybe when persistent DRAM becomes feasible and economical).
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Old 15th October 2019, 04:35 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
An SSD for drive C fixes the problem.
It seems that half the people on this thread work for SSD manufacturers.

That said, if you don't have an SSD, get one. The difference is amazing. But, you should definitely get a good quality one. They're faster and less prone to failures.
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Old 15th October 2019, 11:23 PM   #32
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Can't be much help, I am one of those cheaty people who buy crap and just use it to remote to the nice one work pays for.

I have been told about this a few times and it is mentioned on a lot of reliable sites.

Windows10Debloater - Comes with a gui version, and is good apparently (reversable)

Never used it though so don't quote me on it
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Last edited by cullennz; 15th October 2019 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 16th October 2019, 12:23 AM   #33
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Found a video of a guy running it

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
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Old 16th October 2019, 02:00 AM   #34
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I had a quick look and it uninstalls "bloatware" like OneNote. WTF? Best thing MS has done.

Quote:
Bloatware that is removed:

3DBuilder, Appconnector, Bing Finance, Bing News, Bing Sports, Bing Weather, Fresh Paint, Get started, Microsoft Office Hub, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Microsoft Sticky Notes, OneNote, OneConnect, People, Skype for Desktop, Alarms, Camera, Maps, Phone, SoundRecorder, XboxApp, Zune Music, Zune Video, Windows communications apps, Minecraft, PowerBI, Network Speed Test, Phone, Messaging, Office Sway, Windows Feedback Hub, Bing Food And Drink, Bing Travel, Bing Health And Fitness, Windows Reading List, Twitter, Pandora, Flipboard, Shazam, CandyCrush, CandyCrushSoda, King apps, iHeartRadio, Netflix, DrawboardPDF, PicsArt-PhotoStudio, FarmVille 2 Country Escape, TuneInRadio, Asphalt8, NYT Crossword, CyberLink MediaSuite Essentials, Facebook, Royal Revolt 2, Caesars Slots Free Casino, March of Empires, Phototastic Collage, Autodesk SketchBook, Duolingo, EclipseManager, ActiproSoftware, BioEnrollment, Windows Feedback, Xbox Game CallableUI, Xbox Identity Provider, and ContactSupport.
Github site : https://github.com/Sycnex/Windows10Debloater
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Old 16th October 2019, 02:25 AM   #35
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And how is Netflix “Microsoft bloatware”?
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Old 16th October 2019, 10:57 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
And how is Netflix “Microsoft bloatware”?
Anything that's installed automatically, without you asking for it, is considered "bloatware" in the IT community. At least in my IT community it is as it's not essential to running the PC.
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Old 16th October 2019, 02:08 PM   #37
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The problem isn't bloatware anyway.
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Old 16th October 2019, 10:05 PM   #38
cullennz
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
I had a quick look and it uninstalls "bloatware" like OneNote. WTF? Best thing MS has done.



Github site : https://github.com/Sycnex/Windows10Debloater
I find it irritating tbf
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I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
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Old 17th October 2019, 09:24 AM   #39
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I hate Microsoft's "Teams" more than I hate most anything.
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Old 18th October 2019, 08:40 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Swapping a HD for SSD gave my PC another 3 years of life before I felt I needed a newer toy better performing PC for my increasing work needs....

My previous PC used to have 16GB of RAM but one stick failed and I ended up running with just 8GB and with the SSD I never felt any real difference in performance

I'd say for most casual users, for performance improvements, bump up to 8Gb then it's a SSD. Was looking around and you can get a terabyte SSD for well under 150 quid these days!
8GB?
How could you survive?
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