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Windows 10 unresponsive programs

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I'm running Windows 10. My computer has three drives: drive C (238 GB, about a quarter full); drive D (1.81 TB, about three-quarters full); drive E (581 GB, essentially empty). Drive D was previously partitioned for an installation of Windows 7. Windows 7 and that partition were removed a month or so ago.


The problem: since removing the drive D partition certain programs have become unresponsive. Specifically, they'll hang - often with a 'program is not responding' message - for about two minutes or so. The programs include Word, CCleaner, Backblaze, File Manager, iTunes, Photoshop... basically just about any program with the exception of internet browsers (Firefox and Chrome).


For example:


- File Manager will open, but the window will remain empty for a couple of minutes before eventually displaying the folders and files. Once File Manager is open and working it will work as expected until I leave it open and unattended for a while then it will again become unresponsive for another couple of minutes.


- iTunes will hang on playing a file (music, audiobook, podcast, video); it will hang on downloading podcasts; or it might sometimes play a file that's already partially played but has been paused, then hang before playing the next one (implying, perhaps, that it will play what's in its 'cache' but hangs when it has to consult the file directory).


- Word, CCleaner and Backblaze will open but will be immediately unresponsive for a couple of minutes.


Once that two or so minute period of unresponsiveness has passed the programs work as expected for a while but, as mentioned above, if left open and untouched for a while they will go back to being unresponsive for a couple of minutes.


There's clearly some problem with the computer accessing programs without a period of unresponsiveness. It's driving me batty. Any ideas what's going on?

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Here are three suggestions (not in any particular order)


Using key combination Cntrl Alt Delete launch the task manager

Select the performance tab

You will see thumbnail graphics for processor, hard drives, network.

Usually within 5 minutes of switching on, each graphic should be less then 10%.


Boot into Safe Mode, is the computer still unresponsive?


Check the drives for errors



Finally, I had a similar problem a few months ago, it was driving me crazy, turned-out to be the left mouse button.

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Was the Windows 10 install a fresh one?

No. The partition was removed because Windows 10 was nagging me about not having enough space to install the last big update. Once the partition was gone, Windows 10 updated itself apparently successfully only for the issues with hanging programs to manifest. Bit of a confounding variable there, then: is the issue with the big new Win 10 update, the partition removal, or a combination of both?


I've gone through lists of potential issues, drive integrity and whatnot, but nothing obvious has suggested itself. So, I reckon I've faffed around enough and I'm going to use the blunt force approach and reinstall from scratch.


Thanks to both of you for the responses to my question.

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The issue was that the last big update to Windows 10 changed the advanced power settings so that the hard disk turned off after a period of inactivity. Setting that value to '0' resolved the problem completely.


Why the disk should take two minutes to power up again remains a mystery.

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