Performance Issues - Device Performance & Health Scan?

I have a PC that is about 3 years old, running Windows 10 Home 64 Bit. Starting sometime in late Oct it started randomly accessing (drives/CPU/?) every so often, causing significant stuttering and making it generally unusable for a few minutes at a time until it is done. It does this once every 45-90 minutes, fairly reliably. Recently it has occasionally (once every day or two) set off a longer cycle of the same symptoms that forces me to either wait much longer (hours) or reboot if I want to get back to normal.

I did some cursory poking around, and it turns out that every time this happens, Windows Security is doing a Device Performance & Health Scan. (Not a threat or security scan; the Device Performance and Health tab only is updated, the Last Scan date and time.) When the "longer" variety occurs, it's running non-stop back-to-back Health Scans. Either something is causing Windows Security to do the Health Scan far more often than it should and that is causing the performance issue, or something unrelated is going wrong that is causing Windows Security to do the Health Scan as a result. The Health Report is green across the board and there are no obvious system issues, and I have had no other major problems for the life of this computer. No hardware or usage pattern changes. Looking at my update history, this would have started around the time that I installed the 2020-10 Cumulative Update (KB4578311); I have since installed the 2020-11 and -12 updates and am currently fully up to date on all Windows Updates.

My next step would normally be to turn off the Device Performance & Health Scan function to see whether that's the cause or the effect, but it doesn't look like I can do that without getting rid of Windows Security entirely (and maybe not even then?). I am generally tech-savvy but I have limited experience in digging too deep into the Windows troubleshooting tools. I'd really prefer not to do a fresh install without at least identifying the problem first (if only to make sure it's not hardware related or some unknown driver conflict). Thoughts on where I should be looking to hunt this down, or any other suggestions? I appreciate the assistance!

Hi! My name is Anderson Souza. I'm an Independent Advisor and a Microsoft user like you, I'll be glad to help you today.

The Safe Mode and doing a Clean Boot two methods we can try at first to try to isolate some software-related problem.

Safe mode starts Windows in a basic state, using a limited set of files and drivers. If a problem doesn't happen in safe mode, this means that default settings and basic device drivers aren't causing the issue. Observing Windows in safe mode enables you to narrow down the source of a problem and can help you troubleshoot problems on your PC.

See the reference below:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/sta...

A “clean boot” starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs so that you can determine whether a background program is interfering with your game or program. This is similar to starting Windows in Safe Mode but provides you more control over which services and programs run at startup to help you isolate the cause of a problem.

See the reference below:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/929135...

I recommend that you try these options when you have enough free time for experimentation, Clean Boot, for example, depends on third-party services and applications that start automatically to be reactivated gradually to try to identify a possible cause of the problem. But first, you need to confirm that the problem occurs even using Safe Mode and Clean Boot.

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Hi Anderson,

I just wanted to follow up and thank you for the guidance. Turns out that there's definitely some interaction going on with the network driver (bog-standard Intel drivers for on-board Gigabyte ethernet); rolling back that driver from the [current] 6/20 version to the 6/19 version fixed the most obvious of the symptoms. (Found it because Safe Mode with Networking was bad but normal Safe Mode was fine, as simple/dumb as that is.) Still not sure everything is 100% perfect but in a much more tolerable place now.

Thanks,

Jonathan

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I am happy to know that things have improved. I can then make an addendum and refer you to an article that shows you how to prevent a driver update from being applied by Windows Update, so if Windows Update tries to update this driver you will be able to block the update until a more stable version is available. Follow the link for reference:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/307393...

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Last updated January 30, 2021 Views 119 Applies to: