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100% Disk Usage


Nanor

New Member
Posts
5
#1
A week ago I did a completely fresh install of Windows 8 64 bit and everything was working great. When I booted up my laptop on Wednesday I noticed it was running terribly slow. When I opened task manager I saw that disk usage was at 100% despite the combined total of data transfer being 0.8MB/s.

The problem occurs constantly if I set my laptop power mode to balanced but only occurs intermittently at high performance. I've run a chkdsk and everything is showing up fine and bizarrely there is no slowdown whatsoever on safe mode.

Any idea what I may have done wrong?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Studio 1558
    CPU
    Intel i3 2.27GHz
    Memory
    3GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5400

whs

New Member
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Guru
Germany/Florida

Posts
4,514
#2
Can you id the process that is doing it. Look into Resource Monitor > Disk tab.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

whs

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Germany/Florida

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#4
The first one is hard to tell. It could be the system writing out all kinds of error reports.

The second one is MSE.

The third is one of your applications.

All the others are low and benign.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

Hopachi

Polyhedric Stellation
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Orbiting the Moon

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#5
I get that kind of stuff as well. But not always.

Hope you're not using too much programs on 3GB RAM. That's 32bit?
The pagefile seems to be used frequently then... but there can be other processes as well that all fall under the system name.
One particular process is the one that gets dumps from crashes and error reporting.
It could be the system writing out all kinds of error reports.

Yes that one.

Also maintenance, auto-defrags and virus scans seem to use a lot of disk.

You can also look in the Win8 Task Manager and see the disk usage.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Envy DV6 7250
    CPU
    Intel i7-3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
    Sound Card
    IDT HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6' built-in + Samsung S22D300 + 17.3' LG Phillips
    Screen Resolution
    multiple resolutions
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 250GB + Hitachi HDD 750GB
    PSU
    120W adapter
    Case
    small
    Cooling
    laptop cooling pad
    Keyboard
    Backlit built-in + big one in USB
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei
    Internet Speed
    slow and steady
    Browser
    Chromium, Pale Moon, Firefox Developer Edition
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    That's basically it.

whs

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Germany/Florida

Posts
4,514
#6
With 3GB of RAM, you should not really have any pagefile activities. The hard faults you see in e.g. Resource Monitor are false page faults. Some programs use the mechanism to allocate RAM but it never really hits the pagefile - it goes directly to RAM.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

Nanor

New Member
Posts
5
#7
What my task manager shows is what worries me. As you can see I'm transferring a miniscule 0.5MB/s and it's apparently using 100% of the disk capacity. Surely it's capable of more than that or is it not showing every process? There must be something using all my disk capacity.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Studio 1558
    CPU
    Intel i3 2.27GHz
    Memory
    3GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5400

Hopachi

Polyhedric Stellation
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2,975
#8
I see. You probably sorted the items in task manager and the highest is above, but, as you said, it's not showing...

You have a good reason to be worried, until some explanation is found.
I don't know of a good way to show all possible processes.

We can try to run taskmgr.exe (this is task manager, it you search it in start screen) as administrator and see if it can show more. Sort the disk list again with the highest above.
There is also Process Monitor: Process Monitor

There has to be a way to show that process.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Envy DV6 7250
    CPU
    Intel i7-3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
    Sound Card
    IDT HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6' built-in + Samsung S22D300 + 17.3' LG Phillips
    Screen Resolution
    multiple resolutions
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 250GB + Hitachi HDD 750GB
    PSU
    120W adapter
    Case
    small
    Cooling
    laptop cooling pad
    Keyboard
    Backlit built-in + big one in USB
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei
    Internet Speed
    slow and steady
    Browser
    Chromium, Pale Moon, Firefox Developer Edition
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    That's basically it.

Nanor

New Member
Posts
5
#9
I tried running tasmgr.exe as administrator but it didn't show any new processes. I've run process monitor but I'm not sure what I'm looking for?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Studio 1558
    CPU
    Intel i3 2.27GHz
    Memory
    3GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5400

Hopachi

Polyhedric Stellation
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Pro User
Orbiting the Moon

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2,975
#10

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Envy DV6 7250
    CPU
    Intel i7-3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
    Sound Card
    IDT HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6' built-in + Samsung S22D300 + 17.3' LG Phillips
    Screen Resolution
    multiple resolutions
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 250GB + Hitachi HDD 750GB
    PSU
    120W adapter
    Case
    small
    Cooling
    laptop cooling pad
    Keyboard
    Backlit built-in + big one in USB
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei
    Internet Speed
    slow and steady
    Browser
    Chromium, Pale Moon, Firefox Developer Edition
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    That's basically it.

neocero

New Member
Posts
2
#11
Sorry to jump in, I don't want to hijack the thread... But I'm having the exact same issues with kind of the exact same processes eating up my disk usage, and hanging up windows every now and then.
If anyone can come up with a solution I'd really appreciate it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows Phone 7.5

HBHB

New Member
Member
Posts
153
#12
got news for ya:p but no easy solution.
I had same issue running win 8 enterprise on i7 processor, this was driving me nuts for a bit, but that was on my second spare pc so didn't dig too too much.
For upgrade reason i ended up reinstalling win8 again , but before I fixed up all my partition as I was dual booting Win7 ; and deleted the latter.
Guess what, I don't notice spikes in disk usage hardly ever, now that I think of it. So I am not sure if dual boot had anything to do with it, or having many partitions.
I wish I have a better solution, but that is what worked for me.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1 64 bits Ent- Pro
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel 3000-Radeo hd 6370- Nvidia Ge540

Hopachi

Polyhedric Stellation
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#13
After a few days of usage I noticed the same behavior as the op states.

To explain what happens, here is the original screenshot that Nanor posted:
activity-disk.png
As you can see, a few programs use just a fraction of the HDD but the disk activity is monitored.
If you look at the transfer rates, just about 0.5mb spread to 5 programs is enough to produce a 100% activity graph.
This means that the disk is used but not that a program uses it all. We didn't had this function on Win7 or earlier but the 100% usage came very frequently (you could hear the spinning disks doing something).

What all this means is that as long as the disk is active, even for 0.01kb transfers, there will be a noticeable activity of the disk.
When the disk is not used AT ALL, only then we can speak of 0% reports.
I have a pretty clean, offline Win8 pc and had 99% disk activity for 2 processes with 0.1kb transfer. Look at the details in the performance tab, and right click on the disk graph: you'll see that the activity is displayed, not the transfers. Look at the transfers and from 10 up to 100mb/s (some 100% transfer, the max that the disk can give) per process (memory dump from system took 78mb/s here!) usage we can speak of serious issues or data transfers.

There are no background executables that are not seen because Task Manager in Win8 runs as administrator (elevated) by default.
Sorry I had to find this out myself: go to details tab and choose columns, you can choose "Elevated" and you can see there which program runs as admin (marked with yes).

The mentioned Process Monitor program seems useful but is not always necessary. If you got a clean stable pc and see 100% activity of disk, look at the transfer rate and usually it's nothing. So if more than 1 process is using the disk even with very low transfers, this can result in 100% activity.

A long period of 100% activity means that a program or more use the disk constantly or periodically or all at the same time, or just on or two at a time. This can be your browser viewing or you listening to something, checking mails... The pagefile of the system can also use the disk (as I said very low transfer speeds are enough). As long as the HDD (heads are moving) or SSD transfer some data, the 100% activity can be achieved easily so it seems.

This is NORMAL and we don't have to worry. We'll just have to get used and understand the new Task Manager graphs.
It's normal for the disk to be used. System is running well.

If you're still worried and pc might no be as clean as you might want, use Process Monitor as described in a previous post.

I'm convinced after seeing the graphs myself: 100% activity is not 100% transfer.

 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Envy DV6 7250
    CPU
    Intel i7-3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
    Sound Card
    IDT HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6' built-in + Samsung S22D300 + 17.3' LG Phillips
    Screen Resolution
    multiple resolutions
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 250GB + Hitachi HDD 750GB
    PSU
    120W adapter
    Case
    small
    Cooling
    laptop cooling pad
    Keyboard
    Backlit built-in + big one in USB
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei
    Internet Speed
    slow and steady
    Browser
    Chromium, Pale Moon, Firefox Developer Edition
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    That's basically it.

Statyk

New Member
Posts
1
#14
Hi, I registered just now to respond here to this thread while looking for an answer to the same problem.
I too have had the 100% disk usage even though I'm not running anything at all. And for me at least it is not just a cosmetic/graph that is bothering me, the system is really sluggish due to the disk activity. I can see the hard drive light on my pc is lit completely and it sits like that for a few minutes, any attempts to open programs during this time is useless. The hard drive access has slowed my system down to a crawl.

This is on Windows 8 Pro fresh install on a SSD drive, 2.6 Core i7, 18GB ram with no swap file. I recently removed the swap/page file to see if that would help but it didn't.
I didn't have this issue with Windows 7 home edition and I'm having a hard time pinpointing the cause.
Thought I'd give my situation on this problem since I'm sure others are having the same problem.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8 Pro

BroVVn

New Member
Posts
1
#15
I seem to be having the same problem. When I play games my computer will be handling them just fine and then randomly my screen will freeze for 3 - 10 seconds and then fastforward to catch up. I got my computer a week ago and at first I did not have this problem, but it has gotten progressively worse. The last time it got unbearably choppy I opened task manager and saw my Disk usage was at 100% and my whole computer was working extremely slowly. I don't know if this is a Windows 8 issue or an AMD issue (I have an HD 7850). Does anyone know what I can do to fix this problem?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

cmould

New Member
Posts
1
#16
Disk Controller

Hi All,

I had the same problem, upgraded an HP probook to Windows 8 and the disk activity was constantly at 100% and the system was unstable. It turned out that the disk controller was an unknown device. Right clicking and updating the driver fix my problem. You may wish to see if this is your issue (find it under device manager, unknown devices)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

cc10

New Member
Posts
1
#17
Very same problem here. The system disk utilization is suddenly 100%, the read/write is 0KB/s, CPU utilization is low, usually few %, and all the opened apps become unresponsive and they sometimes crash. It happens randomly for no reason, but I also can provoke this by opening WhereIsIt as administrator. After minute or two the app process shows up in the task manager and if I kill it, everything goes back to normal.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 x64
    CPU
    Phenom II 955BE
    Memory
    12GB

JoeLeF

New Member
Posts
2
#18
Possible Solution

I had this same problem. Disk use read 99-100% so I opened Resource Monitor and saw that svchost.exe was running Disk Defrag in the background. It had, in fact, been "Defragmenting" for over a week without stopping. I simply shut it down in Processes and it seems to have solved the problem. I'm averaging 1-11% Disk use now.
Try this out and see if it helps you. (Be sure to run Resource Monitor as an Administrator)
Cheers!:party:
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 x64
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2328M CPU @ 2.20GHz
    Memory
    4.00 GB
    Hard Drives
    500GB internal.

DasaniIV

New Member
Posts
8
#19
firmware upgrade

I was having this issue on my sony viao. I installed a verbatim SDD 128Gb and conducted a mirror image of the drive which was windows 7 using nit cloning software and then I upgraded to windows 8 and everything was fine. I started to load all my old legacy apps then noticed my disk was running 100% after awhile. I had this issue for several months and was searching through forums after forum to resolve this issue. I did all the SDD tips and tricks to optimize drive. i couldnt figure it out... :mad: I found another forum that was talking about firmware upgrades (mine was S5FAM014) I followed the instructions from the forum to upgrade my firmware to S5FAM017 and wow :D my computer woke up from its slumber and everything was just snappier so i believe that fixed my issue. I completed this last night so i am axious to get back on my laptop to see if the problem has been resolved 100%. You will have to clone or sdd to a hdd because upgrading the firmware deletes the sdd data. The site that was on is as follows:

MyDigitalSSD mSATA, Half Slim, and 2.5 Inch SATA SSD Firmware Update | My Digital Discount (Page 2)

I really hopes this helps!
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    ASUS X550CA
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i5 3337U - (1.80GHz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1066MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel(HD) Graphics 4000
    Sound Card
    Sound System: Intel® High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.5"
    Screen Resolution
    (1366x768) widescreen
    Hard Drives
    Intel 128Gb Solid State Drive SATA III
    Mouse
    Microsoft Arc
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Symentic

TONSCHUH

New Member
Power User
Wynnum Australia

Posts
466
#20
After a few days of usage I noticed the same behavior as the op states.

To explain what happens, here is the original screenshot that Nanor posted:
View attachment 11633
As you can see, a few programs use just a fraction of the HDD but the disk activity is monitored.
If you look at the transfer rates, just about 0.5mb spread to 5 programs is enough to produce a 100% activity graph.
This means that the disk is used but not that a program uses it all. We didn't had this function on Win7 or earlier but the 100% usage came very frequently (you could hear the spinning disks doing something).

What all this means is that as long as the disk is active, even for 0.01kb transfers, there will be a noticeable activity of the disk.
When the disk is not used AT ALL, only then we can speak of 0% reports.
I have a pretty clean, offline Win8 pc and had 99% disk activity for 2 processes with 0.1kb transfer. Look at the details in the performance tab, and right click on the disk graph: you'll see that the activity is displayed, not the transfers. Look at the transfers and from 10 up to 100mb/s (some 100% transfer, the max that the disk can give) per process (memory dump from system took 78mb/s here!) usage we can speak of serious issues or data transfers.

There are no background executables that are not seen because Task Manager in Win8 runs as administrator (elevated) by default.
Sorry I had to find this out myself: go to details tab and choose columns, you can choose "Elevated" and you can see there which program runs as admin (marked with yes).

The mentioned Process Monitor program seems useful but is not always necessary. If you got a clean stable pc and see 100% activity of disk, look at the transfer rate and usually it's nothing. So if more than 1 process is using the disk even with very low transfers, this can result in 100% activity.

A long period of 100% activity means that a program or more use the disk constantly or periodically or all at the same time, or just on or two at a time. This can be your browser viewing or you listening to something, checking mails... The pagefile of the system can also use the disk (as I said very low transfer speeds are enough). As long as the HDD (heads are moving) or SSD transfer some data, the 100% activity can be achieved easily so it seems.

This is NORMAL and we don't have to worry. We'll just have to get used and understand the new Task Manager graphs.
It's normal for the disk to be used. System is running well.

If you're still worried and pc might no be as clean as you might want, use Process Monitor as described in a previous post.

I'm convinced after seeing the graphs myself: 100% activity is not 100% transfer.




Uploaded with ImageShack.us




Uploaded with ImageShack.us




Uploaded with ImageShack.us

I doubt that your conclusion is right, as my tests result in a different outcome.

:)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows-10-Pro-Build-11099.rs1-x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom-Build
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3770k @4800MHz
    Motherboard
    Asus P8Z77-V
    Memory
    G.Skill 16G(4*4G) DDR3-2400 Quad Channel [TDX] F3-2400C10Q-16GTX
    Graphics Card(s)
    2x Gigabyte GTX980-Ti-OC-STRIX-6GB in 2-Way-SLI (1408MHz | Boost: 1544MHz | Memory-Clock: 8000MHz)
    Sound Card
    OnBoard Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus VE278Q 27" Wide Led Black Full HD 2ms | Dell S2409W 24" 5ms
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    - Intel 520S 240GB/SATA3/R 550MBs,W 520MBs/25nm/3.5"Kit/5yr
    - Samsung 840 EVO SATA3 500GB
    - Seagate Barracuda SATA3 1TB 7200RPM 64mb Cache
    - Seagate Barracuda SATA3 1TB 7200RPM 64mb Cache
    - Seagate Constellation SATA3 3TB 7200RPM 64mb Cache
    -
    PSU
    Corsair AX1200i
    Case
    Thermaltake Level-10 GT LCS
    Cooling
    EK H3O HFX 240mm Liquid Cooling Kit + 2x EK-480-Rads + GPU-Blocks + Gelid Extreme
    Keyboard
    Roccat Isku | Logitech G13 | XBox 360 Controller wired | Logitech Dual Action GamePad
    Mouse
    Roccat Pure Military Dessert Strike | Shogun Bros. Ballista MK-1 | Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Infection
    Internet Speed
    ADSL2+ ~15MBit/s DL | ~1MBit/s UL
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    - Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick
    - Plantronics GameCom Commander Headset
    - Logitech X-210 Speakers
    - Roccat Taito Mid-Size 5mm
    - PC-Master-Race MousePad (yellow)