Question Intermittent 100% C Drive Usage


Jan 2, 2017
My PC (details below) will randomly use 100% of the C: drive (where Win 10 is installed) for 30 seconds. It's doesn't immediately affect whatever application I am using, instead sometime between 5-25 seconds later the application hangs up.

For example Chrome goes gray with the (Not Responding) in the corner, File Explorer will just lag (but once the 100% usage stops, whatever I clicked on will load), videogames are almost entirely unaffected except the crosshair will disappear?? and rarely I will disconnect from the server.

I tried to record Task Manager and Resource Monitor with OBS, but unless i had OBS at an almost unreadable resolution, the recording would be terminated and lost. Here is the recording I did get during one of the usage spikes.

Task Manager doesn't show anything strange in the Processes tab, but the Performance tab shows that Disk C: is at 100%. I haven't been able to find a program/application/operation that has a massive uptick in disk usage during these spikes. It's very rare, but sometimes the spikes happen back-to-back ( View:

My best guess has to do with the Resource Monitor (sorted by total disk usage) showing a bunch of (usually Chrome, but not always) cache/log processes all using disk resources. I don't know enough to make any meaningful conclusions, forgive me for my ignorance.

Another thing my spidey senses tell me is a clue is that the spikes always last for 30 seconds. Do I know what it means? Heck -> No. Is it salient? Of course.

I have tried most of the solutions for 100% disk usage out there, but most of them apply to HDDs or a consistent 100% usage (instead of intermittent). Nothing has worked so far. I come to you (arbiter of technology wisdom) for advice. Hear my plea and have mercy.

PC Details

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700
RAM: 32.0 GB Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 (4 x 8GB)
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 (hand-me down)
C Drive: PNY SSD Optima Series 240GB (hand-me down)
D Drive: Toshiba HDWE140 4TB HDD
E Drive: Western Digital 8TB HDD
G Drive: Samsung SSD 860 EVO 500GB

OS: Windows 10 Pro


Does this happen when the system is powered up from cold boot and left idling at GUI? If so, you might want to see what version of Windows 10 you're on at the moment. If the issue persists when idle, most likely you have what's known as a memoryleak which can be remedied with reinstalling the OS(as it happens with a corruption of the OS).

Make sure you're on the latest BIOS version prior to reinstalling the OS. Also, you should create your bootable USB installer using Windows Media Creation Tools.


Win 10 Master
does it stay at 100%? Or is it spiking at 100 and going down again?
Does it slowly get to 100% over time?

IS ram filling up at same time?

thats not a memory leak as it releases the disk afterwards

Memory leaks chew memory resources until PC just grinds to a halt

A clean install might fix it but its a hammer...

Download Process explorer and run it as admin (it comes from Microsoft so its safe)

the default view is tree structure meaning like your task manager screen, it will show what processes are under each service, but unlike task manager, it shows the ram usage of each part so you can see what is eating your ram

Private bytes = actual ram usage
Working set = Ram + page file usage

This page shows what all the colours and headings mean, link at bottom of it shows how to use it to find problems. You can right click headers and run an av scan from within the program.