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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first time requesting help through this forum, so I will do my best to adhere to the rules and include as much info about my tech issue and PC as I can. I included a link to the report from CPU_Z for my PC specs as a .txt file below.

Long story short, I am potentially having issues writing data on both of my hard drives and I don't know what is causing the bottleneck. My PC is on Windows 10 and my harddrives are C: a WD 240GB SSD and E: a Toshiba 2TB HDD. My entire PC was purchased from an online retailer that lets you select every component, they assemble it, and then ship it to you, ready to run. This was probably about one year ago. No other additions or changes have been made to my PC's internal hardware.

My tech issue started about four days ago when I was trying to download/update a computer game through Steam. I noticed that a download of any game would start off normally, then rapidly decline until it showed little to no activity except for the occasional brief spike. It technically is still downloading, but at maybe 100 kb/s and so will take days to install games that are 10s of GBs in size. Before this issue, I had no major issues downloading at a decent speed (probably around 20mb/s) and playing games through Steam.
Since then, I have done as much troubleshooting as I am knowledgeable enough to attempt and have determined that I may not have the skills to figure it out on my own. Based on my tests, I am fairly confident it is not a Steam issue and it is not a network/internet issue.

As for the troubleshooting I have done that has led me this far:
My computer boots up fine. I can use my internet browser and stream videos fine. Internet speed tests report normal speeds. The games I have had installed on my PC before this issue run fine (eg. Genshin Impact - a 30GB 3D action RPG). I updated, launched, and played the online game Final Fantasy 14 quickly and without issue (NOT through Steam).

So then I tried testing the two drives with simply moving some files around with copy/paste. I noticed that the Windows file transfer window would show similar results to Steam's estimate that I mentioned above. The transfer would start out at a seemingly normal transfer rate then rapidly decline to a fraction of the speed it normally would. I tried this method by copying from C: to C:, E to E:, and C: to E: and each test would show the same results. I have included an attachment of a screenshot of the Windows file transfer from one of these tests as an example (this example was a C: to C: test).

I did a System Restore and rolled back my PC but it did not correct the issue. I have completed all required Windows updates. I tried reseating the harddives with the PC off, power disconnected, and grounded myself to avoid shock damage. I tried running a CHKDSK command with admin rights at the suggestion of some online guides I attempted to follow, but this begins to move into territory that I am not skilled enough to understand. So this didn't yield any new insights I was able to follow-up on. I have not done any sort of harddrive wipe or reformat because I do not have any other drives large enough to transfer a copy of the files.

There are probably more steps I have tried, but at this point I'm beginning to go crazy and desperately need some more experienced eyes to take a look at this issue. I am happy to provide more info and screenshots/logs if needed. Thank you for any help y'all can offer!

CPU_Z Report: CP_Z Report
 

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Team Manager, Microsoft Support
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Make sure you're not using "verification" which slows the process. There are third party transfer apps that claim better speed. If your "assembler" was Maingear or similar, they provide lifetime tech support.
 

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I'm not sure how to check for verification. Is it something you turn on or off in Window's settings somewhere? Is it a feature that harddrives come with based on manufacturer? Also, is this something that would suddenly start effecting my PC after having it for many months with no noticeable issues?

I can also try to check with the seller I got the PC from. However, I don't know what kind of warranties they have so I'm going to go with the assumption they won't replace components without proof of failure. And ultimately, I don't even really know if it is a harddrive issue since they seem to function fine sometimes.
 

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Team Manager, Microsoft Support
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Just see if the seller can iD the problem. Sorry about my reference to verification. I was back in my Windows 98, XCopy befuddled state.
 

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You can use Teracopy. This app streamlines downloads and copy operations. If a download fails, it can pick up where it left off instead of having to start from the beginning.

I would also download Disk Genius in my signature. Select your drive and go to the toolbar to Disk/View or Repair Bad Sectors/Verify now. This will take a long time. If all of the boxes are light Blue the drive is healthy, if any of the boxes are Amber or RED, the drive needs to be replaced ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am not looking to use any addon or third party apps or software to facilitate downloads. I would like to fix whatever has happened to my PC to cause this issue
I have tried scanning both of my drives to verify and repair found issues, but the issue persists.
And I am still attempting to find out what the seller can do to help with this situation.

Is there any other ideas or recommendations anyone can think of to figure out why harddrives would suddenly slow down? Is there any other hardware or OS features that might cause similar issues?

Since my original post, I found that while playing an online game that has real-time competitive gameplay, the drive that the game was installed on would occasionally spike to 100% usage (via Windows TaskManager) and my game would freeze until it went back down. I don't know enough about computer systems as a whole to determine if this would primarily be a harddive issue, or if something else may throttle or limit harddrive performance.

Thank you for all the suggestions so far. I am determined to fix this one way or another!
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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Scan your drives using Disk Genius as spunk.funk directed and report back with the results.

Boot into Windows Safe Mode and try the file transfers again. See if there is any difference. If the issue persists in safe mode, detach the HDD and try a C: to C: transfer again.

Download and run CrystalDiskMark and CrystalDiskInfo on both drives in normal Windows boot mode and report back with the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Two people suggested DiskGenius, so I'd like to think it's safe, but why is the publisher written in Chinese?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When I click the link in spunk.funk's profile and download the installer from this site, the Window's security prompt pops up to confirm installation and the publisher is written in Chinese font. Plus looks like the company that distributes it is based in China Company Profile - About Eassos
I'm just curious is all. I am not familiar with this program.
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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By all means use a program you're familiar with or trust. Spunk.funk is a retired staff of TSF and highly experienced and knowledgeable, he wouldn't lead you to malicious software or link to one in his signature. We trust him. Nonetheless, you can search for alternative disk diagnosis and scanning software and use that to get the results we want.
 

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By all means, pull out your Samsung, iPhone, HP, Dell Laptop or tablet that are all made in China, and look up a program that is not based in China.
 

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I suspect that the C:drive does not have enough room. Even if you are downloading to the Toshiba E: drive Windows will use the "temp" folder on the C: drive for the download.

If this is the case you can temporarily assign the temp drive to the E: drive (E:\temp), so when downloading, the temp files go to the new temp folder, on the E: drive, and will collect the files at that location. When the download is complete Windows will copy the file files, from the temp folder, to the dowmload folder you specified.

If Steam has an app installed on your PC it may have it's own temp folder location. So you may need to change that to the E: drive as well to get a complete download.

If you do change the windows "temp" make sure to change it back as you could have issues with other programs that have hard coded pointers to the Windows default temp drive location.

IMO, if you are gaming on a laptop, a 259 GB drive is way too small. So plan on getting a larger drive for your operating system.
 
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