Prefer HDDs over SSDs? Then check out seven free tools to increase the performance of your hard drives.
If Windows slows down over time, and if you have hard disk drives (HDDs) inside your machine, then you can improve the speed and efficiency of your drives with these free tools for Windows.
Some of them are from the Microsoft company and integrated into Windows and some others from third-party manufacturers. Let's see them:
Windows Optimize Drives
We start with a native Windows tool, Windows Optimize Drives or in Greek Drive optimization. It can analyze your system for defragmentation issues and then fix any problems it finds.
If you haven't messed with your Windows settings, then it should already be running on your machine, on an automatic schedule. To find the tool go to Start check, go to Start > Windows Administrative Tools > Defragment and Optimize Disk Drives.
Once its window opens, highlight the drive you want to fix and then click Analysis ή Optimization, depending on the operation you want to perform. To make sure the schedule is set up correctly, click on Change settings and check the box next to Run on schedule.
Running a disk defrag is less critical for SSDs than hard drives, but Microsoft still recommends running the tool once a month. In fact, you should not defragment your SSD, as it only increases wear and tear and the SSD has built-in tools for file management.
If you have an SSD along with the HDD drives, then you can deselect it by clicking the button Choose and from there checking which disks will be optimized and which will not.
Disk Speed Up
Disk SpeedUp is a free third-party tool that can boost the speed of your hard drive. It will analyze, decompile and optimize the drives attached to your machine.
It has more features than the native Windows tool. For example, Disk SpeedUp can automatically shut down your computer after the defragmentation process is complete. You could turn it on before you go to bed and go back to a “fresh computer” in the morning.
Disk SpeedUp also has better visuals than the Windows tool. The reconstruction map is more intuitive and there are more graphs and data to look at.
Many users have claimed that Disk SpeedUp is faster than the Windows tool.
Download: Disk Speed Up (Free)
If you want to increase the read/write speed of a disk, another native Windows tool worth using is Device Manager or in Greek Device Manager. You can use this to make sure that Write Caching is enabled.
Η record caching (Write Caching) allows your computer to store data in a buffer before it is written to the hard disk. Because a computer can write data to a cache much faster than to a hard disk, the overall read/write performance of the hard disk is improved.
Remember, however, that data in a cache is only temporary. If your system does not have a UPS and a sudden power loss occurs then the data in the cache may not be able to transfer to your hard drive and you may lose it.
To enable recording caching in Windows, follow these steps:
- Right-click the Start menu and select Device Manager.
- Expand the Drives menu.
- Right-click the drive you want to change.
- Click Properties.
- Select the Policies tab at the top of the new window.
- Select the check box next to Enable write caching on device.
IObit Advanced SystemCare
An important aspect of strengthening your hard drive is making sure your system stays “clean”. This means keeping an eye on temporary and duplicate files, making sure your RAM and CPU usage is optimized, and keeping your registry as tidy as possible.
One tool that can perform all these hard drive optimization tasks is IOBit Advanced SystemCare. It has been around for over 15 years and has a free version and a paid version. The free version includes all the features we just mentioned and you don't need to go any further.
Download: IObit Advanced SystemCare (Free)
If you're wondering how to speed up a hard drive even more, check out the Razer Cortex. The tool is specially designed for PC gamers who want to squeeze every drop out of their systems. It can help you achieve higher frames per second and reduce game load times.
The hard disk optimization program is divided into two parts: System Booster in the upcoming years, while Game Booster. They combine to give your HDD and all users a boost.
The System section of the tool will clean junk files, your browser history, and your system cache. The Game section will defrag your game files (as long as they're on a hard drive instead of an SSD), optimize your system configuration for gaming, and disable background processes that can affect a game's performance.
Download: Razer cortex (Free)
Windows Disk Management
The last native Windows utility that can improve the speed and efficiency of a hard drive is Windows Disk Management or in Greek Disk management. You can use it to set up partitions on your drives.
Using more partitions is one of the most often overlooked ways to speed up a hard drive. In general, the more partitions you use, the more organized it's your data.
As a result, the head of a hard drive does not have to move as far to access data, thus reducing read times.
To partition a hard drive using Disk Management, follow these steps:
- Right-click on the Start menu.
- Select Disk Management to open the tool.
- Right-click a drive and select Shrink Volume.
- Right-click on the freed space and select New Simple Volume.
- Choose how big you want to make the new volume.
- Select the drive letter for the new volume.
- Select a file system for the new volume.
- Click Finish.
The new volume will appear in File Explorer > This PC.
Ashampoo WinOptimizer Free
The last tool that can improve the health of your hard drive is Ashampoo WinOptimizer free.
When it comes to improving hard drive health, it can schedule maintenance and optimization tasks, scan for junk files, fix corrupted registry entries, and clear your browser cookies. The tool offers one-click repair and user-controlled fixes.
Separately, you can add additional functions to the application. There are 38 to choose from, covering tasks such as service management, startup tuning, process management, privacy tuning, and more.
Download: Ashampoo WinOptimizer (Free)