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Windows 11 drive slowdown bug is finally fixed (but apparently not for everyone)

Windows 11 running on a laptop
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 has received a new cumulative update which applies some important fixes, including patching up some File Explorer problems, and tackling the big SSD and hard drive slowdown bugbear which has been looming over the OS for a long time now (at least, in theory the patch deals with it – more on that later).

Update KB5008215 has been released for Patch Tuesday and brings with it the new emoji previously seen in testing (including Clippy replacing the paperclip), along with a whole bunch of bug fixes, most of which were already present in November’s preview update.

That includes solutions for Bluetooth audio volume problems, and various glitches with File Explorer such as it crashing after closing a window, and problems with displaying shortcut menus.

The big fix, though, is the cure for the gremlin causing sluggish drive speeds for some users. As Microsoft notes, the patch “addresses an issue that affects the performance of all disks (NVMe, SSD, hard disk) on Windows 11 by performing unnecessary actions each time a write operation occurs”.

Those write slowdowns can cut drive speeds in half, or worse, going by previous reports, so this is a major spanner in the storage works, and it’s good to see the fix go live.

Windows Latest reports that the cumulative update fixes these drive-related problems in its experience, but on a cautionary note, we have seen a few reports on the likes of Reddit from users who say their drive is still slower than it should be under Windows 11, even after applying KB5008215. There are also satisfied users commenting on those threads, too, saying their performance has been improved after the update.


Analysis: New patch is a positive step forward, but there are still concerns here

The fix for the driver issue is obviously an important one, as the performance reduction is huge in some reported cases, which hardly puts the new operating system in a good light. While this patch seems to fix things for a good number of Windows 11 users affected by sluggish drive performance, there are folks out there reporting that it didn’t do them any good; and that must remain a concern.

The drive slowdown bug is an issue which has been around for a good while now, indeed it surfaced a few months ago before Windows 11 was even released, and this – plus some scattered reports of it still not being cured now, with the fix applied – clearly point to it being a seriously thorny problem.

Hopefully Microsoft will be able to finalize any fresh tweaks that need to be done soon enough, but given that the holidays are almost here, the software giant won’t be putting out a preview update late in December. In other words, it won’t be until January that we see any further movement on this issue.

Obviously it’s also useful to see some File Explorer issues cleared up as well, but it’s another point of concern exactly how much has gone wrong with these fundamental building blocks of the desktop on Windows 11, all adding to the perception of the OS having been released a bit too early.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).