A random spillage of programming (and other) thoughts

Windows 7 Slow. Constant Hard Drive Activity.

Posted by Shaun McDonnell on May 6, 2009

This one had me stumped for about an hour today. 

I have been running Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit for a couple years now on my Dell Precision with 0 problems.  So, naturally I decided it was time to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate.

Much to my dismay, after performing a fresh installation of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Edition I found that it was acting very strange.  Sometimes it would sit for a few seconds when I did simple things like close a window or open the Start Menu.  It was very slow.  Furthermore, the hard drive light was always on and the hard drive was always making sounds.

I knew this had to be a driver issue because the machine had worked flawlessly under the heavy pressures of Vista.  So I started by flashing the BIOS.  That didn’t work.  I tried updating my display drivers and that did nothing.

I decided to see if I needed to update the Intel Chipset driver and it turns out that solved everything.  Microsoft has done a good job of making sure Windows 7 gets all of the correct drivers during installation as all of my other machines have worked flawlessly.

Unfortunately, Intel doesn’t have any Windows 7 x64 specific drivers:


However, using the Vista x64 drivers did the trick and everything works great now.




16 Responses to “Windows 7 Slow. Constant Hard Drive Activity.”

  1. John said

    That was exactly my problem as well. I was starting to wonder if I should go back to Vista, but everything is normal now.
    Thanks for the info.

  2. ciro said

    Thanks man that solved it over here too judgin how many people is experiencing that u should have a monument,google on that to have a rogue idea on how widespread the problem is,strange is over here it happened only few days after the installation…

    • Jay said

      I suggest that Windows 7 may be indexing the hard drive. After just installing Win7, I found that my hard drive is going nuts, but I’m not having any other performance issues. I suspect that it will go away soon (I hope).

  3. You’d better post more info about you Laptop.

    Windows 7 built-in a lot of services and startup item start with system. So if you want a faster windows 7, you need to disable some of them first.

    I saw a article before in ezine(A famous article site). It descripe how to make you windows 7 faster. And his url is ——————–> Windows 7 Boot Slow[/a]

    If you still don’t know how to disable services safety, click here to fix Windows 7 Slow[/a] easily now.

    If you still have some question, welcome to discuss with me! Enjoy it !

    Keron Chew
    ——- A Computer Technication.

    • Thank you for you sharing. I followed the article to disable some startup item. And it works! Thank you!

      But I haven’t disable the services since I know it is dangerious to do that. It will cause system crash even, if I disable services in error. Does it?

      And how can I do that safely? May I know you email address so that I can ask more questions indeed since you are a computer technician?

      Thank you again!


  4. techwoo said

    Windows 7 Slow. Constant Hard Drive Activity. .Thanks for nice post.I added to my twitter.

  5. sometimes windows7 won’t install if you install it on a pc with a previous installation of windows XP ”

  6. Sikkema said

    I am running Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium with 6 GB RAM and 1TB HD and with almost nothing installed windows takes 2 minutes to shutdown. I shutdown all the services possible and it still took over 1 minute 30 seconds.

    When I go to shutdown, the hard drive light runs (disk activity) for about 1 minute before the process of shutdown continues.

    Any suggestions … more info needed?


  7. Rob said

    go to start—>run and type services.msc

    disable service called
    -windows search

    that should solve the problem if not email me i try help more

    • Rob said

      after u disable it make sure to stop the proces or just restart ur computer also remember do disable file indexing in your hdd right click disk c—->proporties and unmark option called (allow files on this drive to have contest indexed in addition to file proporties)

  8. Rob said

    Thank you. Thank you. I installed a fresh Win 7 on a Dell D820 with XP. System worked okay for few days then it slow down and was unusable. Tried every think (removing apps, add-ons, disabling wireless until after boot, reloading Win7, searching in Microsoft sites, loading XP drivers for everything but the Intel Chip, …).
    Today, I came across you post. Loaded the XP driver for the Chipset and rebooted the system, System was up and running under a minutes vs. 20+ minutes.
    Thank you.

  9. tyrone said

    Hi guys,

    Before the new year, my netbook with a win7 32 bit was getting slower within a year. Yeah, I also saw that the hard drive light is always on and always making noise and that the ram and two cores would shoot up to 100% for no apparent reason. Then after returning from a vacation during new year, my netbook was booting up so slow that it is now barely usable as it can’t even get to the login screen.

    What should I do to make it fast again? And is there a way for me to recover my files?

  10. Kevin said

    Wow, it’s 2012 and I’ve got an 18 month old laptop with Intel processor which came with FACTORY FITTED Windows 7, and yet updating the drivers through that link has totally transformed my machine and dropped the disk queue length from anything up to 20 down to less than 0.01!!

    Thank you so much.

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