Question 100% Hard Drive Spike Causing Lag

Sep 21, 2020
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Every minute or so either when I'm gaming or using Google Chrome my hard drive will momentarily spike to 100% usage and my display will freeze momentarily as well; however, audio continues as normal and all my inputs still work. It's really annoying and I would like a solution if possible!
I ran CrystalDisk and HDSentinel and both say the hard drive is in perfect condition, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

For context I have an Acer Predator Helios 300 17" laptop
Thank you!



D: is how I feel every time this happens
Any other screenshots I can provide, just let me know what would help!
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I have no idea what paging is, but here's my RAM
Paging, also known as swapping, is when you run out of physical RAM and your computer has to swap some of it to disk. With 12GB RAM used, it is quite possible you are running out of RAM. Your "committed" RAM IS greater than your physical RAM. That means that something had to go to disk.
Getting rid of your spinning HDD and replacing it with an SSD will improve your performance significantly also.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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Paging, also known as swapping, is when you run out of physical RAM and your computer has to swap some of it to disk. With 12GB RAM used, it is quite possible you are running out of RAM. Your "committed" RAM IS greater than your physical RAM. That means that something had to go to disk.
Getting rid of your spinning HDD and replacing it with an SSD will improve your performance significantly also.
My computer has 16GB of RAM, so it shouldn't have to be paging where it is right now. It also has an SSD, but only the HDD is causing the issues. Another update, whenever the lag spike happens, I can hear the HDD whir.

For some reason my computer appears to be capped at 75% RAM and maybe it pages every time it would go above?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
My computer has 16GB of RAM, so it shouldn't have to be paging where it is right now. It also has an SSD, but only the HDD is causing the issues. Another update, whenever the lag spike happens, I can hear the HDD whir.

For some reason my computer appears to be capped at 75% RAM and maybe it pages every time it would go above?
Your HDD then probably spins down for power saving. You hear it when it has to spin up.
You would have to look at what files are on the HDD to see why it might be accessing it.
There is not enough info yet to give you an answer.
But 75% RAM usage is really high if you aren't doing anything.
Chrome is a PIG. If you have lots of tabs open that could be your RAM hog.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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Your HDD then probably spins down for power saving. You hear it when it has to spin up.
You would have to look at what files are on the HDD to see why it might be accessing it.
There is not enough info yet to give you an answer.
But 75% RAM usage is really high if you aren't doing anything.
Chrome is a PIG. If you have lots of tabs open that could be your RAM hog.
I definitely do have quite a few tabs open, but I close them before gaming, so it shouldn't interfere with that.
Is there any way to check exactly what my computer is doing on my HDD when it spikes?
 
Sep 21, 2020
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The problem has only been getting worse, so if anyone has any potential solutions or things they want me to try, it would be much appreciated!
 
Sep 21, 2020
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The raw value should tell you how many times the drive has parked and unparked its heads. If this number increases by 1 when your HDD lags, then that would explain the lag.
It does not increment whenever the lag happens. It has remained at 83 despite lots of lag spikes.
 
The problem has only been getting worse, so if anyone has any potential solutions or things they want me to try, it would be much appreciated!
Upgrade ram to 32GB.
In your screenshot you can see that system wants to use 21.3GB of ram, but only 16GB physical ram is available.
Any excess is being written/read to/from virtual memory on your slow mechanical hard drive.

Upgrade to SSD. This will speed disk operations tremendously.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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Upgrade ram to 32GB.
In your screenshot you can see that system wants to use 21.3GB of ram, but only 16GB physical ram is available.
Any excess is being written/read to/from virtual memory on your slow mechanical hard drive.

Upgrade to SSD. This will speed disk operations tremendously.
I have an SSD as my main drive with all my system files. That drive is my auxiliary hard drive for storing big games and stuff
 

neojack

Prominent
Apr 4, 2019
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I had the same problem before. I have a SSD for system, and another 1TB ssd for games , and a 8TB HDD for raw storage.

turns outs each time the HDD went to sleep, the system hanged up for 1-2 s

solution is to disable sleep for the HDD (or set it to like 3 hours)
check this article, (just the part with the windows power saving options, you don't need to install any software)

https://www.thewindowsclub.com/prevent-hard-drive-going-sleep-windows
 
Sep 21, 2020
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I had the same problem before. I have a SSD for system, and another 1TB ssd for games , and a 8TB HDD for raw storage.

turns outs each time the HDD went to sleep, the system hanged up for 1-2 s

solution is to disable sleep for the HDD (or set it to like 3 hours)
check this article, (just the part with the windows power saving options, you don't need to install any software)

https://www.thewindowsclub.com/prevent-hard-drive-going-sleep-windows
Thanks for your suggestion! I'll see if that helps! It was set to a much longer time than the intervals between the problems, but I will still keep you posted. Thank you
 
Sep 21, 2020
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Upgrade ram to 32GB.
In your screenshot you can see that system wants to use 21.3GB of ram, but only 16GB physical ram is available.
Any excess is being written/read to/from virtual memory on your slow mechanical hard drive.

Upgrade to SSD. This will speed disk operations tremendously.
Also the VRAM is on my SSD anyway, so paging doesn't even explain these spikes
 
Sep 21, 2020
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Check, if system restore is enabled on D: drive. If it is, then disable it.

BTW - VRAM and virtual memory are different things.
It was already disabled for that drive. System restore is enabled for my C: drive, but not the one that's having issues.

Also you are correct, I had a brain fart, and wrote VRAM instead of virtual memory lol. My brain saw the "virtual" and said, oh that's what the V in VRAM is for, definitely.
 

neojack

Prominent
Apr 4, 2019
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2 more things could be tested :

- what are the exact models of your SSD and HDD ? maybe firmware updates are available ?

- what is the exact model of the motherboard ? you may have to isntall the AHCI drivers. by default those drivers are those from microsoft, but you can manually install those from the manufacturer

since it's a laptop, you should be able to find the latest firmwares and drivers on the support page for your model on the manufacturer's website
 

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