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Windows 7: Windows running slow after HDD transfer

20 Nov 2017   #1

laptop: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; desktop: Windows 10 Pro
Windows running slow after HDD transfer

Windows is currently running like molasses, yet taskmgr doesn't show much activity. The most demanding process is a svchost. I think I have corrupt files, and this is why . . .

I had my main HDD in my laptop start reporting bad sectors two or so weeks ago. I immediately ordered a replacement HDD.

Apparently I have terrible luck because the data damaged appeared to be mostly Windows files. Long story short, Windows stopped starting up and I had to do a lot of work to get it running again, including a repair install. Once Windows appeared to be working again, I followed the instructions in this thread: Best method/tool for cloning a failing HDD for Data Recovery? to clone the HDD from the failing drive to the new drive. I did hook up the new HDD to my desktop to do an extended SMART test before I did this and it passed.

The cloning operation went well, and Windows started up (albeit extraordinarily slowly), everything appeared to be as it should be. I needed some Windows updates, I installed them and restarted. I then ran sfc and it told me it found corrupt files but repaired them. I thought maybe I was in the clear, but then it brought up 5 more Windows updates to install. I tried to install them, and it didn't work. Meanwhile, I started transferring some data off the main drive in preparation for a backup image, and Windows Explorer was responding very slowly. It occurred to me that I should try an extended disk cleanup, so I tried to do that and it got stuck. Everything completely locked up and no response from ctrl+alt+del or win+r after 7 minutes so I manually shut it down. Nothing was open except Windows explorer windows for file transfer, disk cleanup, and Windows Update. Normally that wouldn't lock up my system.

After all this explanation I guess my question is:

Should I run a repair install again? I didn't run it on the new HDD but I did it on the old one right before cloning. It's a long process (well, the updates afterwards are) and if it's not going to help I don't really want to do it. Or is a clean install in order, maybe? I have both a retail Win 7 SP1 DVD and my factory default DVDs, which should also be SP1. I'm guessing there's some leftover corruption somewhere and pinpointing it might be impossible. Would running chkdsk /f be a possibility?

I'm also worried, though, that if I do a clean install and then restore from a system image that it will bring things back to this point again. Is that a valid concern? Can you just restore from user file backup without using a system image?

I'm not on my laptop atm because I think it wouldn't like running IE at this point since running Explorer seems to be too much, so I can't get my exact system specs mostly because I'm lazy. Here's what I can recite from memory:

Lenovo Ideapad Y580 (manufactured 2012)
Core i7
8 GB RAM (2x 4 GB)
Win 7 Home Premium SP1

I can un-lazy myself and get other specs if deemed necessary. Thanks, sorry that I'm so longwinded >.<

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2017   #2

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

Did you do a clone backup or an image backup? A clone backup has more potential for putting errors into the backup than an image backup has.

If you use Macrium Reflect Free (or many other backup programs), you can create an emergency boot disk (including the USB drivers on the disk). Then, when it's time to restore the image to the new drive, you install the new drive, boot from the emergency boot disk, then do the restore. In this way, you don't need to install anything before doing the restore.

If you have a new drive, it's probably fine; but you could run chkdsk /f on it just to be sure, if you like. (I wouldn't, unless I had a reason to suspect the drive.)

Since you have both a retail copy of Windows 7 and the factory restore disks, a better option, in my opinion, would be to remove the old drive, install the new drive, and do a clean install with either the retail copy or the factory restore disks. Then install the old drive as your secondary drive, and copy your files from there to the new drive. But this method will require that you reinstall all software. If you can reinstall all of your needed software, then you will end up with a cleaner install than if you did a backup and restore of the current drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2017   #3

Windows 7 HP 64

I think you did a huge mistake when you did a repair install on a failing drive. You should have done it after cloning.

Is your data backed up?

I would redo a repair install (on the new drive)

For the updates use the offline files. MS releases SP2 for Windows 7 - Windows 7 Help Forums

There is nothing like a Clean install. Yes, it takes a long time, but you get rid of all the trash you collected over the years. Clean Install Windows 7 - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Nov 2017   #4

laptop: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; desktop: Windows 10 Pro

Thanks for the replies.

I do have installation media/packages for most or all of my programs so I could do a clean install, but I had been hoping to avoid that. I think it might be inevitable, though, hah.

My data is backed up, yes. I think it was a mistake to do the repair install first as well, but it's too late now. So it sounds like it would be worthwhile to redo the repair install on the new drive. I'll try that tonight.

Thanks for the link to the offline files, I'll put those on a network share so they'll be ready when I need them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2017   #5

laptop: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; desktop: Windows 10 Pro

Well, it finished the repair install after 19 hours (!) and it did help significantly. You're right that there's nothing like a clean install, and I may still do that, but at least it's running well enough to make backing up/moving data easier. Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows running slow after HDD transfer

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