The other day I was helping a computer client with a few things on their Microsoft Windows 8 laptop. After using it for an hour it appeared very slow for having 8GB of RAM. I asked the user if this was typical and they really weren’t sure. They owned the computer for many years and it most likely got slower over time.

I checked the hard drive space and the 900GB partition only had 88GB used so disk space wasn’t the problem. I double-checked the RAM and it was 8GB so it wasn’t the problem. I noticed the hard drive activity LED was on constantly and this tells me the hard drive is being heavily used and is thrashing even when we had nothing significant running.

My hunch was the hard drive needed optimized and temporary files cleaned. The disk optimization status was checked and hadn’t been run in over two years which is a long time. Disk optimization reorganizing the files so they load faster. First I ran disk cleanup and 25GB of temp files were removed which is quite a bit. (I always run disk cleanup before disk optimizer so the optimizer doesn’t waste time reorganizing unneeded temp files.) Next, disk optimizer was run which took several hours. After it finished, my client said the computer is fast again.