I was having a hard time understanding why my computer hard disk would thrash so much, typically on start-up. Looking at the Windows Resource Monitor tool, it seemed that all kinds of files were being accessed. I figured there wasn’t much I could do about it and that it must just be a byproduct of SuperFetch or CrashPlan or Avast and that I would just have to live with it.
However, I recently discovered a likely contributor to the churn and wanted to share.
There’s a post in this discussion saying that “both the Windows Defender and Defragmenter programs […] are activated by default and should be disabled.” Normally I’d be skeptical of disabling standard Windows features, but since I already use and prefer Avast anti-virus and like to manually initiate defragmentation on my own using MyDefrag, I figured it was worth trying the suggestion. Here are the steps I took:
To disable Windows Defender:
- Open Windows Defender
- Click Tools
- Click Options
- Select “Real Time Protection”
- Uncheck “Turn on Real Time Protection (recommended)”
- Click on the Save button
- Close Windows Defender
To disable automatic defragmentation:
- Open Disk Defragmenter
- Click “Configure schedule”
- Uncheck “Run on a schedule (recommended)”
This certainly gave me a smoother boot-up and generally less hard drive churn. I suspect that there might have been a poor interaction between Windows Defender and Avast or CrashPlan. Perhaps uninstalling Avast while leaving Windows Defender on would have helped as well.