There are a lot of things you can do to give Windows a maintenance job. Here I will list a few common methods.
You can run the following diagnostic tools to get some more insight.
This wizard will guide you through some of the diagnostic programs Windows has build-in.
rathalos> MSDT -id MaintenanceDiagnostics
Simply start searching for
Performance Monitor with Windows search and it should come up. It is a tool that can scan for performance problems in certain area's. Very useful when you are running into vague performance issues.
Trouble shooting programs
Windows has a lot of build-in troubleshooting programs. These can be found under
(old-style) Control Panel -> Troubleshooting
HDD 100% Disk Usage
This is a common issue on Windows and can have serveral causes.
Check S.M.A.R.T. information
The S.M.A.R.T. information should give you a lot of insight in the condition of the drive. If the numbers are looking good than it probably is not the HDD itself that is failing. You can use CrystalDisk for example to read out the info.
Check power settings
Check the power settings on the HDD and set these to High performance.
Disable superfetch, it is a program that makes programs load more efficiently but also common to cause the issue.
rathalos> net.exe stop superfetch
Speed up boot times
You can increase your boot times noticeably with these few actions.
Check the startup programs
By default Windows enables a lot of crappy programs to startup. You can easily disable a lot of these. My general rule in this is that the user will start programs when they need it. To many startup programs means a Windows needs time to startup properly. This, for most users, feels like Windows might be unresponsive. The average users have no clue what happens in the background.
Check the background apps
Turn off any background apps that eat up resources. A good rule of thumb is to disable anything you don't need when activly using programs.
Speeding up the system
We are going to turn off all fancy things to make the system functional and responsive.
1. Turn off transparancy
Settings -> Personalization > Colors and disable transparency for the Start, taskbar and Action center.
2. Turn off all special animations
Right click on start to open the menu, from there
Start -> System. Here we go to
Advanced system settings. Then under
Advanced... because this is where the really really advanced settings go... click on
Settings in the
Visual Effects you want to select
Adjust for best performance.
3. High Power!
Under the power options select
High performance. This is also a specific problem to some HDD's.
4. Run Disk Cleanup
You can run disk cleanup to remove some files of the disk like installers that Windows extracted somewhere. These are not the user downloaded files.
5. Disable tipping
Windows has a build-in program that gives you tip notifications once in a while. Disable these under
Start -> Settings -> System -> Notifications & Actions
Restoring a broken install
Windows Updates can brick the installation. I've had this happen multiple times on different versions of Windows. There are a few steps that you could try to restore a broken install.
DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool) can restore the current installtion if you manage to boot into it. The following command will attempt to check, repair and restore corrupted files in your system. Generally you can run this without any caution.
# Diagnose your system DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth # Repair your system DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Repair the boot partition
The easiest way to repair the boot sector is to make a USB with the most current ISO. Boot using that USB and choose the repair boot sector under advanced options.
Repair existing installation using USB
If you happen to still have that USB from the previous attempt, a good way to repair Windows is to use the ISO to repair the current installation when previous attempts have failed. Simply start the USB and follow the Wizard. This process can take over an hour on a modern system but i've never had this method fail on me.