Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

100% disk and/or CPU and/or memory usage upon start-up

  1. #1

    Posts : 2
    Windows 8.1

    100% disk and/or CPU and/or memory usage upon start-up

    I've posted this on another site but hope that by spreading the word, someone can help me (and seemingly countless others) soon : ) Here's the exact wording I've used:

    "Within a few minutes of starting up my son's HP15-p030nr laptop, the task manager shows a steady growth in disk usage to 100%. This is usually followed by the CPU level rising within in another few minutes (though the CPU mostly hovers in the 90s). The memory can also become very high. I've read many posts about 100% disk usage but not many on very high levels for all 3 categories. Please excuse me if I'm not using the right words, I'm not very computer-literate and it's only through reading many, many posts with great instructions that I've been able to try the following solutions - unfortunately, without success.

    For the record, here's what I'm working with:
    A series quad core AMD A8-5545M 1.7 Ghz Proc.
    1028GB 5400 RPM

    Processes tried:
    1) Disabled (vs. stopped) superfetch, windows search, background intelligent transfer service through Services as well as subsequently through the registry. When I disable superfetch, it worked for a little while (several minutes), then level(s) spiked again. Nothing happened with disabling the other 2 items.
    2) Ran anti-virus Norton 365. Also tried disabling Norton. Ran CCleaner and Malware Anti-Bytes.
    3) Readjusted performance/virtual memory.

    Interestingly, when I performed a clean boot, the problem STILL occurred. I've read much about what to do if the problem doesn't occur during a clean boot, but don't know what it means if the problem still exists in this environment.

    Because of this discovery, I haven't tried other suggestions yet like updating the chipset, or rolling back drivers. And as I mentioned, I'm just an everyday, not-very-computerish gal so the idea of installing a different OS is too mind-boggling to even consider right now. Even though I'm a novice, I've tried very hard to follow the instructions I've found and not further mess up the laptop. Just saying : ) My next step was actually going to be Googling "hard disk sentinel" (did I read about that here? I can't remember anymore) but am beginning to feel hopeless about this. However, I'm also hardheaded and don't want to give up just yet!

    The reason I don't just take it to a professional is A) it seemed so simple at first and B) I live in a kind of isolated area so it would be difficult to get it repaired at a "shop."

    I've been watching the task manager and there's usually only a few processes (services?) running, accounting for 1MB or less of disk usage. Highest users cycle around (local services, Steam, Norton, etc.) but the main user is System. But again, less than 1MB.

    The laptop is about 6 months old and had been working well till a few weeks ago. Also, I know that the process levels can get high, even for a few minutes, but these STAY high and continue for a long time. I usually have to force close it. I do not even get a chance to open any applications/programs (other that the task manager) before the problem starts.

    Please, can anyone tell me (in layman's terms) what is going on and what I can do about it?"

    One thing I failed to mention on another site is that this laptop is about 6 months old so it's not straight out of the box and has been working well for a while before this issue started a few weeks ago.
    Last edited by Unschooled; 01 Feb 2016 at 15:34. Reason: additional info

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    "Within a few minutes of starting up my son's HP15-p030nr laptop

    key words here.. I don't know how old your son is.. but I'm guessing by the services you list like "Steam" means he is playing games and while that's fine, there is usually only 2 scenarios when it comes to "sons" laptop and then also seeing "Steam"

    1. Anti-virus software is causing high usage due to games and whatever your "son" installed on the computer.. or Drivers have been changed/updated as you said this wasn't like this until recently...


    2. your "son" may have tried to use software from not so "fun" places and now there are minor malware/problems that you are seeing now 100% usage...

    there are of course other scenarios.. but these 2 are the most common..

    so first, see what is using 100% by using the Task Manager like so..

    you can press CTRL+Shfit+ Escape key all together to open task manager.....

    then look for things like this.:

    Click image for larger version

    you can also look through the other tabs and things like "startup" and see what is starting up etc..

    find that first to see what it is ...

    if you want, you can try taking a picture of your screen by pressing Windows button and PrtSC together and your screen should flash..

    you then have a picture in your Picture folder shown here:

    Click image for larger version

    and show us by doing this in the Reply box : Follow steps in order 1. 2. 3. 4. etc..

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    also try running Safe mode with networking like so.. see if you get high usage..

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 2
    Windows 8.1

    Brooksndun, I was part-way through re-reading my post to try to decipher why you kept referring to my son as my "son" before I figured it out! Yes, I does look suspiciously like a cover-up of some sort, lol! But that's ok by me, we just need a solution before I take a flamethrower to the darn laptop : ) My boy is 11 and while he has great faith that he knows what he's doing, he knows even less than I do. And I feel bad because he saved money to buy his laptop and now it's evil! As for the "fun" sites you refer to, I've got all of those teenaged years ahead too, argh!!!

    OK, sorry about digressing. First, I need to correct one of my statements: I inadvertently made it sound like all of the processes used 1MB or less. Not true. MOST of them do, but the top processes do sometimes use quite a but more.

    I couldn't do a screenshot: the laptop freezes before I can get it emailed to my computer for posting. So I took a photo and emailed that instead. Here's what I've got:
    Click image for larger version

    As I mentioned, other processes take turns in the top spot - including Norton (which, per others advice, I disabled for a bit, but other processes just took its place in moving to the top/near top of the list), Service Host Local Service and any number of other processes. That's one of the problems: with the exception of System, I can't seem to pin down a single process that is taking up a majority of the usage.

    Thanks for mentioning Safe mode: I've tried it before and it didn't show any issues at that point. Which reminds me, I'm sure there'll be groans of, "Gah, dumb question!" but here I go anyway - I couldn't run Malwarebytes (or Norton) in normal mode without freezing the computer and had to do it in Safe Mode so is that still effective to identify problems?

    I really appreciate your input, I don't know where to go from here!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    So you can get to safe mode? and safe mode with networking?

    if so

    start reading..

    How do I use the ESET Online Scanner?—ESET Knowledgebase

    When malware strikes: How to clean an infected PC | PCWorld
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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