Why Hard Drive Getting Slower And How to Fix

Don’t worry if you feel the hard drive getting slower. In this tutorial, you will find some useful ways to make it run faster without losing data, including external hard drive and internal hard drive.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Why hard drive getting slower?

Although SSD has gradually become the mainstream of storage devices, there are still many users using hard drives. Large storage space is probably one of the main reasons why users like them. However, many users report that their hard drive is going slow.

Why do hard drives slow down? It can be caused by these common reasons:

✦ Hard drive was attacked by malware or virus
✦ Hard drive has bad sectors
✦ The SATA cable is too dusty or loose
✦ There are too many file fragmentation
✦ Hard drive dragged by system junk files and registry junk files
✦ There is not enough storage space

Please read the following content to learn how to fix these issues mentioned above.

5 Options - Slow hard drive fix

To restore hard drive performance and make it more responsive. First, you can run antivirus software to scan your hard drive for viruses or malware. If this method doesn't help, try these listed methods.

▶ Option 1. Clean or switch the SATA cable

Sometimes, dusty or loose SATA cables can affect the speed of the hard drive. We can clean the dust first, and then change a SATA cable port.

SATA Cable

▶ Option 2. Check whether the hard drive has bad sectors

If there is no physical damage to the hard drive, it is possible that the sector is damaged and causes the hard drive getting slower. You can use Windows built-in Disk Checker to scan for bad sectors on your hard drive and fix them.

Step 1. Search for CMD in the menu, then right-click the icon to run as administrator.

Step 2. If you want to test the g: drive, you can type the command: "chkdsk g: /f /r /x".

This option will run CHKDSK to check for and repair bad sectors or other disk errors on the g: volume. The "/f" parameter tells CHKDSK to fix any errors it finds, "/r" tells it to locate bad sectors on the drive and restore readable information, and "/x" forces the drive to unmount before the process begins.

Check Error

▶ Option 3. Run hard drive defrag

File fragmentation is also known as disk fragmentation, it means a group of files that are scattered across the hard drive platters rather than in one contiguous location. Fragmentation results when data is deleted from hard drive and leaves small gaps to be filled by new data, too much fragmentation will make hard drive slow down.

Warning: Don’t perform SSD defrag, which will reduce its lifespan.

Step 1. Type“ Defragment” in the menu, and open the “Defragment and Optimise Drives” app.

Step 2. Then, you can see the current status of all drives and choose the drive you want to defrag, and choose “Optimise”.


▶ Option 4. Clean up junk file

As we all know, junk files are an important factor that drags down the operation of hard drives, and they are often hidden so deep that users cannot delete them manually.

Please download the all-in-one tool AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, “PC Cleaner” function can automatically scan system junk files and registry junk files, and delete them easily.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Click "PC Cleaner" feature under "Free up" in turn. 

PC Cleaner

Step 2. Click "Start Scan" in the new pop-up window to scan the computer for junk files. 

Start Scan

Step 3. After starting the scan, please wait for a while until the progress bar is loaded. 


Step 4. Some junk files will be automatically selected, you can directly click "Clean All" to delete them. Or, you can tick “Select all” to delete all kinds of junk files. 

After Scanning

Step 5. When you see a correct symbol displayed in the interface, you can click "Back" to leave the function. 

Cleanup Finished

▶ Option 5. Extend the system drive

In addition, you need to ensure that the system drive (usually C drive) has enough space, because insufficient space on the C drive will greatly affect the speed of the hard drive. You can seek the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to extend the C drive easily.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Open it and you will see enough free space on D drive. Right click it and choose the button "Allocate Free Space".

Allocate Free Space

Step 2. The following picture will show up. It will give you the detail. Choose the size and destination drive you want.

Allocate Free Space

Step 3. If all the operations are right, please click "Apply" to commit. After that, another window will show up. Please select "Proceed".


[Bonus tip] Clone hard drive to SSD

If you want to experience extreme speed, I recommend cloning all data from HDD to SSD. You can refer to the following steps to clone large HDD to smaller SSD without losing data:

Step 1. Connect the SSD to your PC first. Then, click "Clone" from the top menu and choose "Clone Disk".

Disk Copy Wizard

Step 2. Here, We choose "Clone Disk Quickly" and click "Next".

Copy Disk Quickly

Step 3. Choose the old HDD as your source disk and click "Next".

Select Source

Step 4. Choose the SSD as your destination disk. Then, check "Optimize the performance of SSD" to improve SSD running speed and click "Next". 

Select Destination Disk

Step 5.  When you clone to a smaller disk, there will only be two options available.

Edit Disk

Step 6. Click “Apply” > “Proceed” to implement the HDD to SSD copy after you return to the main interface. 



This is the full guide on hard drive getting slower. This article not only explains What causes a hard drive to slow down for you, but also provides common solutions. According to previous experience, these methods can basically help you solve the problem.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.