Question HP Elitebook 840 G2 keeps running Seagate 1TB HDD at 100% disc usage

Jun 6, 2017
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Hello, good day!

HP Elitebook 840 G2 Specs:
RAM: 16 GB DDR3L​
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-5200U CPU @ 2.20GHz 2.20 GHz​
OS: Windows 10 Pro 22H2​
HDD: 1 TB​
System type: 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor​

I realised my PC was running slower than usual after a restart this week (I'm a mobile developer).
I used the Windows 10 Installation Media to upgrade my installation, and slow was it! Took almost a day. After the upgrade, there wasn't improvement, and on opening Task Manager, I saw a 100% disc usage; RAM was around 50%, and CPU was definitely less.
I googled 100% disc usage and found out it's a common issue; I opened a few websites, followed the instructions, and I did the following:
  1. Disabled Telemetry on Group Policy Editor.
  2. Disabled Superfetch.
  3. Reset Virtual Memory (to No paging file).
  4. Ran Full Scan on Kaspersky.
  5. Enabled High Performance power plan.
  6. Currently rebuilding search index.
  7. Ran chkdsk (to check only), which reported no problems on either of 2 partitions.
  8. Deleted temporary files.
  9. Changed File Explorer options, unticking "Always search file names and contents (this might take several minutes)".
  10. Disabled CompatTelRunner on Task Scheduler.
I did not fix StorAHCI.sys driver, as my PC uses iaStorA.sys;
One more thing: Hard Disk Sentinel kept showing that the hard disc health degraded when I ran it while I was running a full scan on Kaspersky, but CHKDSK hasn't detected any issues.
View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/197963681@N06/52764307618/

View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/197963681@N06/52764307568/

View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/197963681@N06/52764307473/

View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/197963681@N06/52764307418/


Ref.:
 
Solution
Is it an SW or HW issue?

Could be both.

But if it is hardware issue, you'd only have short time window, before everything is lost. (You can't clone the OS over.)

So, i still suggest getting a new drive. Namely SSD, since it is ~10x faster than HDD. Once you have SSD up and running, with bootable OS on it, then you can rule out hardware issue and if the issue remain (which i doubt), you can deal with software issue, without the fear of drive dying on you.

HDD slowing down considerably is a good sign of HDD dying.
I've had HDDs die on me and i could tell it by 2 factors: HDD usage was 100% and defrag took far longer than usual. Usual defrag time was ~2h, while when drive was dying, defrag took ~17h.

Nowadays, i don't use HDDs...

Aeacus

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Sounds like dying HDD. That explains disk usage 100% and also why the Health of it drops, fast, in Hard Disk Sentinel.

Fix: New OS drive. Preferably 2.5" or M.2 SSD, for superior read/write speed over slow HDD.

Oh, if you go with Samsung drive, you can use Samsung Data Migration Tool, to easily clone your entire OS from HDD over to SSD, while OS will also be bootable.
 
Jun 6, 2017
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10,710
Sounds like dying HDD. That explains disk usage 100% and also why the Health of it drops, fast, in Hard Disk Sentinel.

Fix: New OS drive. Preferably 2.5" or M.2 SSD, for superior read/write speed over slow HDD.

...
It's intriguing... CHKDSK found nothing. Made me doubt Sentinel, with the way it reported degradation after every screen lock. Is it an SW or HW issue?
 

Aeacus

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Is it an SW or HW issue?

Could be both.

But if it is hardware issue, you'd only have short time window, before everything is lost. (You can't clone the OS over.)

So, i still suggest getting a new drive. Namely SSD, since it is ~10x faster than HDD. Once you have SSD up and running, with bootable OS on it, then you can rule out hardware issue and if the issue remain (which i doubt), you can deal with software issue, without the fear of drive dying on you.

HDD slowing down considerably is a good sign of HDD dying.
I've had HDDs die on me and i could tell it by 2 factors: HDD usage was 100% and defrag took far longer than usual. Usual defrag time was ~2h, while when drive was dying, defrag took ~17h.

Nowadays, i don't use HDDs in my PCs. Instead, i have M.2 NVMe SSDs as OS drives and 2.5" SATA SSDs as data/backup drives.
 
Solution

Aeacus

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Is there a chance Hard Disk Sentinel malfunctioned?

So, you're asking a probability.

In your opinion, which of the two is more likely to be at fault;
  1. Software which is coded to read HDD telemetry, which HDD itself outputs.
  2. HDD actually dying.

You're software developer yourself, and you should know the instances when software produces and error (bug). It does it either by a fault in code, or when input data is wrong.

Software having an error in code, is far more unlikely, than the input data provided by HDD. Since HDD is physical, mechanical drive, they do fail. Far often than software "fails".

In the end of the day, until you replace the hardware, you can not rule out HDD dying. I suggest doing it sooner than later. Unless, fresh OS install isn't an issue to you, once your HDD completely dies and takes all the data which is on it - with it.
 
Jun 6, 2017
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10,710
So, you're asking a probability.

In your opinion, which of the two is more likely to be at fault;
  1. Software which is coded to read HDD telemetry, which HDD itself outputs.
  2. HDD actually dying.
You're software developer yourself, and you should know the instances when software produces and error (bug). It does it either by a fault in code, or when input data is wrong.

Software having an error in code, is far more unlikely, than the input data provided by HDD. Since HDD is physical, mechanical drive, they do fail. Far often than software "fails".

In the end of the day, until you replace the hardware, you can not rule out HDD dying. I suggest doing it sooner than later. Unless, fresh OS install isn't an issue to you, once your HDD completely dies and takes all the data which is on it - with it.
Understood. I was just trying to squiggle my way out of replacement. Thanks!
 
Jun 6, 2017
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st1000lm035 is SMR drive. It is not suitable for having windows installed on it.
Upgrade to SSD.

Also your drive is increasing Relocated sectors count rapidly. It's failing.
You have to replace it anyway.

Whoa! Good to know. Replacement inevitable.

Don't do that. Ever.
You get virtual memory subsystem errors this way.
That's technical. One more error I can't handle. Thanks!
 

Aeacus

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Any recommendations for tools I could use to check an SSD's quality, health, and assess it?

Depends on which brand SSD you go with. If you go with Samsung (which i suggest), then Samsung has "Samsung Magician" to monitor, test and otherwise keep tabs on their SSDs (both 2.5" and M.2).

Here's how it looks on my system:

ZLG2s2I.png
 

Aeacus

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What're the signs of a failing SSD?

Two:
  1. SSD doesn't show up in OS/BIOS, like it isn't even there. <- Really rare to see SSD die outright, but i had one die on me (less than 30 days from purchase). Did do RMA and it was manufacturing fault, that caused my SSD do die.
  2. If SSD has all it's TBW (TeraBytes Written) filled, you can not write any more data on it. Instead SSD remains read-only and you still can access all the data on it (e.g similar like CD/DVD/Blu-Ray discs are, you can read stuff but you can't write any on them).
I've been using SSDs since Q3 2015, and when excluding that one exception i had, i haven't had any my SSDs die on me, or having their TBW filled. I've used/using SSDs from: Kingston, Crucial and Samsung.

But if you keep regular, updated backups (which you should), SSD failure wouldn't be an issue for you. It would just be matter of taking dead drive out, putting in new drive and exporting your stuff from backup.
 

Aeacus

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Sometimes, there is NO sign.
A few years ago, one of mine died suddenly.

As in...power off, come back 10 minutes later, power up.
'hey, where's the G drive?'

Gone gone gone.

My M.2 NVMe SSD gave up the ghost exactly the same way.

Powered on the PC, booted into OS fine, logged-in to Win, went AFK for 2mins to make some tea, came back and saw that my PC has restarted (was facing the Win log-on screen). Once i logged in, i noticed differences. Some looking up and saw that PC booted from my old OS drive, which i still had in the system and was configured as 2nd boot option, when main boot option doesn't work. Sure enough, my main OS drive wasn't nowhere to be found, not in OS or even in BIOS.

Ended up RMAing the drive and got replacement cost free.
 
Jun 6, 2017
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Two:
  1. SSD doesn't show up in OS/BIOS, like it isn't even there. <- Really rare to see SSD die outright, but i had one die on me (less than 30 days from purchase). Did do RMA and it was manufacturing fault, that caused my SSD do die.
  2. If SSD has all it's TBW (TeraBytes Written) filled, you can not write any more data on it. Instead SSD remains read-only and you still can access all the data on it (e.g similar like CD/DVD/Blu-Ray discs are, you can read stuff but you can't write any on them).
I've been using SSDs since Q3 2015, and when excluding that one exception i had, i haven't had any my SSDs die on me, or having their TBW filled. I've used/using SSDs from: Kingston, Crucial and Samsung.
...
So, it either dies abruptly, or slowly, allowing you to take off your file load, easing its burden.

But if you keep regular, updated backups (which you should), SSD failure wouldn't be an issue for you. It would just be matter of taking dead drive out, putting in new drive and exporting your stuff from backup.
I assume you keep those backups on another SSD?
 
Jun 6, 2017
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Aeacus

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I assume you keep those backups on another SSD?

Besides having online backup (another drive within the system), i also have offline backups. Meaning that when i upgraded both of our systems from Win7 to Win10, i bought two Samsung 870 Evo 1TB 2.5" SATA SSDs, where i cloned both OSes (one OS per drive) and made them bootable. After which, i took the drives out the PCs and am storing them offline, in a secure location.

So, if either of our OS drives happen to die, or OS gets corrupted otherwise, i can take the offline OS storage drive and hook it up to the system, and it will boot to OS problem free. Or i can clone the OS from backup drive onto new drive.

Data drives also have backups on SSDs, as online backup (within the same system). Though, the old HDDs i have (WD Blue 1TB), which used to be data drives in my system, are now used as offline storage for data drives.

Of course, i don't have NAS and automatic backup system, like USAFRet has it. But i'm happy with what i have. :)


No. It "supports" far more. Actually, there is no limit on how high capacity of a drive it "supports".

It says that it will support 2.5" SATA SSD. And if you click on "Compatible Storage Upgrades", you can see that Kingston KC600 goes up to 2048 GB (2 TB). And just because Kingston hasn't made higher capacity drive for their KC600 series, doesn't mean you can put a bigger capacity drive in there. Heck, if you have the money, you can put this fine number in your PC: Samsung 870 QVO 8TB;
amazon: https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-870-QVO-SATA-MZ-77Q8T0B/dp/B089C3TZL9/

There are even 16TB 2.5" SATA SSDs out there. But those cost few grand...