[SOLVED] ntoskrnl.exe High Disk Usage

Sep 14, 2019
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My laptop runs for a short while (~30 minutes) after booting without much of a problem, but shortly after begins running hard and its fan goes into overdrive when I'm watching a video, I open a file (anything), etc. When I check task manager, the "disk" usage is always at least above 95%. After the first time this occurs each session, the disk usage will also go up to and stay at 100% if I leave the laptop alone.
I ran system file checker, which reported that it had found problems, but was unable to fix all of them. It gave me a text document title "CBS" and two named "CbsPersist", which I'd post if I could (I don't see a way to add files to a post?).

HP Pavilion dv6 laptop
Processor: AMD A8-3500MM APU with Radeon, 1.50 GZ, 64-bit x64-based, 4 core
Installed RAM 6 GB, 5.48 GB usable
Windows 10 Home, 10.0.17134 Build 17134
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
SFC -
right click start button
choose powershell (admin)
copy/paste this command into window:
Repair-WindowsImage -Online -RestoreHealth and press enter
SFC fixes system files, second command cleans image files,
re run SFC since it failed to fix all files and restart PC

saying ntoskrnl is using lots of hdd = saying PC is using lots of hdd. NTOSKRNL = windows kernel. It handles all driver requests, power management, and memory management. It sits between Hardware and Applications. PC cannot do anything without it.

when is last time you defragged hdd?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
SFC -
right click start button
choose powershell (admin)
copy/paste this command into window:
Repair-WindowsImage -Online -RestoreHealth and press enter
SFC fixes system files, second command cleans image files,
re run SFC since it failed to fix all files and restart PC

saying ntoskrnl is using lots of hdd = saying PC is using lots of hdd. NTOSKRNL = windows kernel. It handles all driver requests, power management, and memory management. It sits between Hardware and Applications. PC cannot do anything without it.

when is last time you defragged hdd?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
any process that requires disk activity has to go through ntoskrnl. It is its job. So you are looking at a symptom, not the actual cause.

You could download Process Explorer as it shows far more info than Task manager will, might help figure out what is feeding the system.

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. If you right click on the header row, and choose select columns, there is way more choice here than Task manager.
Go to the Process Disk tab and click Read Bytes and Write bytes and click OK
this will show actual hdd usage of all processes,

This page shows what all the colours and headings mean, link at bottom of it shows how to use it to find problems.
 
Sep 14, 2019
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Sorry for not replying yesterday, defragging took about 6 hours (7 passes).
I don't think I've ever defragged before.
I did the Powershell/SFC bit, and everything went smoothly (all files fixed).
Will check out the Process Explorer later as I'm busy ATM, but my laptop is running a tiny bit better, so that's good.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Take all the time you need. I thought I was a little rude in 1st post so I made a follow up today.

No wonder it took that long then, win 10 is meant to do them for you at idle times. If it never goes idle, it never gets around to it. If you have an ssd you never need to run it.

try running a clean boot and see if it improves your performance - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right - https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.

how much free space do you have on drive?
 
Sep 14, 2019
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Using the Process Explorer, it shows that Firefox uses a lot of memory/RAM (I knew that, as Mozilla made it to where Firefox has multiple instances open).
I have 112 GB of free space.

I'll try clean booting and seeing if any services cause the problem tomorrow.
 
Sep 14, 2019
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Found some free time to see how the computer runs, and now it's only doing the "100% disk usage" when I do something like open a new web page, open a file (of any type, really), etc., before immediately going back down to ~1-5%, so it seems like the Powershell/SFC must have fixed something.
I'll keep the clean boot in mind if I feel that this is still a problem, but I don't think it will be.
Thanks for the help!
 

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