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09-18-2020

GB

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Ideapad 700-17ISK 80RV: Failing Hard Drive?

2020-09-18, 15:00 PM

Hi,

 

tl;dr: My hard drive seems to be slowing down, but everything says it's normal and I need it to be quicker for work.

 

I have an Ideapad laptop which I use for my work as a sound designer and sound artist, and for playing pretty low-stress games. It's just over 4 years old. It has a 128GB SSD for the OS (C:\), which I keep pretty much only for the OS and anything else that refuses to be moved, and a 1TB HDD (D:\), which I use for all of my documents, audio files, software and games.

 

About a month and a half ago I noticed it seemed to be taking longer than usual to load things within programmes. For example, Unity takes about 45s to refresh its assets (scans the directory of the project, updates the project) whereas before it would be around 10s. This makes my work as a game audio designer pretty difficult from home. A very old game I play, Mount & Blade, takes about 15 minutes to load the textures at the start of the game whereas before it would take 1-3 depending on mods. Another prerty old game, X3: Terran Conflict, starts well but is incredibly choppy during play, particularly when loading objects, whereas before it was smooth. I don't actually care that much about the games themselves but I really need to make sure that my workflow for Unity/Unreal works quickly.

 

I have about 250gb availableon the HDD so I doubt it's a storage issue. I have 32gb RAM installed so it's not going to be that either (the most RAM I ever get to use is about 12gb).

 

Checks:

  • I've done checks with Windows Defender, SanityCheck and MalwareBytes - all clear
  • I've checked D:\ for faults with disk check  - nothing
  • I've checked the sector health with HDTunePro - all green and fine
  • I've done benchmark tests with HDTunePro - everything seems to be acting according to normal parameters? But I didn't ever check beforehand so can't be 100%
  • I've taken down Startup programmes to the minimum
  • I've cleaned the inside of the whole machine, and the contact points in the HDD
  • I've defragged D:\ (don't want to defrag C:\ because I've heard that's bad on an SSD).

 

Could anyone please advise because this is making me crazy. If it's just a 'sounds like your hard drive is dying now, better buy a new one' - that's okay! I just want to know. I don't particularly want to reset this computer, but that's the only other thing I can think of at the moment! I have used this laptop for gigging and it's been knocked around a bit, so it's possible that the hard drive might be damaged. But if so, I don't understand why all the benchmark tests show it being okay. I'm not super knowledgable about computers but task manager doesn't register anything that peaks (CPU, RAM and Disk usage always well below 100%)

 

Details:

Lenovo Ideapad 700-17ISK 80RV with Intel i7-6700hq cpu @ 2.6ghz

32gb RAM (max)

Windows 10 Home (64 bit)

HDD Make: Western Digital wd10spcx-24hwst1 (as in, the one that came with the computer)

 

I've attached the benchmark test from HDTunePro.

 

Thanks!

 

Xavi

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447 Posts

05-14-2020

US

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Re:Ideapad 700-17ISK 80RV: Failing Hard Drive?

2020-09-23, 19:57 PM

Hello,

 

You have performed quite a bit of analysis.  What I see from it is your existing equipment is functioning.  However, since you make your living from this, it would not cost too much to purchase an additional system drive, and clone it holding it in an external enclosure.  Then hold it off line, and periodically update it.  If you follow procedure for cloning properly, once one of your working drives fails, you could simply install the clone, and continue.  

 

Regarding slowing performance, I have found simple disk cleanup, and completely deleting browser history/cookie/cache files can speed things up.   Do you clean up your compiler cache directories too?  I have never noticed defrag to help at all.  With two drives installed, one faster than the other, I would find it challenging to always enforce saving/installing the frequently used programs on the fast drive, and the longer term archive items on the slow drive.  Are you sure some frequently accessed items are not inadvertently placed upon the slow system drive?

 

Sincerely,

Usedtoberich

 

 

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