Useful Windows Maintenance Snippets

Sun 6 Jun 2021
Sat 26 Jun 2021

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.

Maintenance Diagnostics

This wizard will guide you through some of the diagnostic programs Windows has build-in.

rathalos> MSDT -id MaintenanceDiagnostics

Performance Monitor

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

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

Go to 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 Performance bracket.

Here, under 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.