What to do if the external hard disk or the internal PC disk is slow to upload files and transfer data in normal computer operations

The hard disk is not only the slowest component of computers, but it is also the most fragiel part, because it is mechanical and subject to break more easily than any chip.

This is why today hard drives are often replaced with SSDs, which are more expensive but more efficient and faster.

However, on PCs with internal hard disk or when connecting an external hard disk , it is quite simple to check if it is slow in uploads or is fast, trying to make a file transfer from one disk to another.

If this speed is noticeably smaller than you remembered, then there is a problem to solve .

1) Defragment the disk drive

While defragmentation is useless and damaging for SSDs, hard drives still remain a vital operation.

For the disk inside the PC, Windows 8 and Windows 10 have set the scheduled automatic defragmentation and there should never be a problem with it.

For an external disk, if it has been used extensively and has become slow, it may be a good idea to defragment.

To do so, all you need to do is open the computer’s resources (or open This PC in Windows 10), locate the target disk, press the right mouse button to open the properties and go to the Tools tab to find the tool that optimizes the unit .

You can even find the defragmentation tool looking for defragments and optimizes units in the search box of the Windows Start menu.

Before proceeding with the actual defragmentation, you must use the Analyze function to check if the disk is actually fragmented or if this operation is completely unnecessary.

2) Perform a disk error check

If defragmentation is not seen as necessary in the analysis phase or if there is no improvement in speed and performance even after it has been completed, it may be that the disk has bad sectors.

To find out these errors you can use the old scandisk tool or check-disk.

You can also start disk error checking from a command prompt or from Powershell, with administrator rights, using the command:

chkdsk.exe / f [LETTERA_DISCO]

Be sure to insert the drive letter of the disk (or partition) that is causing problems.

3) Check the disk drive for physical damage

If after the defragmentation and after the error check the disk is still slow and with poor performance, it may actually be broken.

The signals of a broken disc can be as follows:

The LED light does not flash, remains off or is steady.

Your computer often crashes when you try to access some files or browse the disk.

The Check Disk does not work.

The disk makes strange noises.

In this case all that remains is to replace the disk and we saw in another guide on how to recover files from broken hard disk or dead computer.

4) Check the cables for wear and tears

Another problem that can cause a slow response of the disc is worn wires.

With an external HDD it is a matter of checking the USB cable and the possible power cable, with an internal hard disk the one to check is the SATA cable on the motherboard.

Any cracks in the rubber insulation of the cables can often indicate a damaged cable inside.

Testing with different cables could therefore solve the problem at a decidedly low price.

In the case of external disk, unfortunately, the problem may be not in the cable, but in the USB port and in this case it may be necessary to replace the entire external housing of the disk, which may not be so simple depending on how it was built that drive.

5) Too much disk activity

In the case of an internal disk, maybe the hard disk where Windows is installed, the computer could slow down a lot if there are continuous and constant data uploads.

6) Check for viruses and malware: Viruses and malware are the most frequent cause of any computer malfunction and one of the main effects of an infection is definitely the slowdown in performance.

Weekly scans with a program like Malwarebytes antimalware must always be done.

7) Disable the indexing of Windows 10

On the internal disks of the PC, there can be a problem of slowness caused by the activity of the indexing of the files that in Windows 10 is automatic.

Disabling indexing speeds up loading operations, even if it will make searching for files slower and almost impossible.

But since there are better programs to search for files on a computer, turning off indexing in Windows 10 (and even Windows 7 and 8) is always something to do.

To disable indexing, press the Windows + R keys together, write services.msc , press OK and wait while the Services window opens .

Among the services, identify the indexing (called Windows Search ), stop it with the Stop button and then disable it.