Cybersecurity matters. As I type, the world is in the grip of another major ransomware attack, dubbed NotPetya (because it’s not the one called Petya, just similar). As usual, it targets Windows machines. A potential vaccine has been found in the past hour (3:19 pm PST, about 11:19 pm BST), so this is just a very quick post to help publicise that ASAP.
The vaccine, courtesy of the excellent security site BleepingComputer, is to create a read-only file in C:\Windows . That’s easier said than done, so the following batch file should do it for you:
…and if not, this post in BleepingComputer explains how to do it manually. Huge thanks also to WordFence for highlighting this in their excellent post here.
Do you find Windows 10 slow at times? That it goes from speedy to sluggish for no obvious reason? Well, before you start worrying about malware (which used to be the most common culprit), try these quick fixes.
- Open the Command Prompt in Admin mode. You can right-click on the Start menu and choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” – or try one of these other ways to open the command prompt.
- If a “User Account Control” warning appears, click “Yes” – you do want to let this app to make changes to your device. If nothing seems to happen, check your taskbar for a new icon – this warning sometimes hides behind other windows.
- Once you see a black box with the title “Administrator: Command Prompt”, click into it and type the two following commands, one after another:
net stop "Windows Search"
net stop superfetch
You should see an improvement within seconds of these two services stopping.
Why Does Windows 10 Slow Down Like This?
Why is this happening? Well, Windows 10 seems to have forgotten how to do basic OS tasks that previous versions did pretty well – like managing disks and its own processes. The “Windows Search” and “superfetch” services are supposed to help to keep your system fast and responsive. Unfortunately, they often just decide to demand all the resources they can. Other applications then struggle to get any access to your disk drives.
You can see this happening in the Task Manager. Right-click on the taskbar to start that, then look at the disk usage in the ‘Performance’ tab. If it’s maxed out, that’s a problem. However, starting extra programs – even the Task Manager – when your system is slow just aggravates things. So, I find that these two services are so often to blame that it’s quicker to just open the command prompt and stop them anyway.
With luck, Microsoft will get around to fixing this eventually and this post will be obsolete. Until then, I hope this will help you fix your Windows 10 slowdowns. Please feel free to share it to help others.