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Zachary Roberts

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Dec 4, 2013
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I've noticed my PC running at 100% disk usage on more than one occasion. AVG seems to always be at the top of the list of disk reads/writes. So maybe this is the culprit?

I'm pretty sure nothing is physically wrong with my computer as I had issues like this before on Windows 8 (on a laptop) and those issues weren't reproduced when I ran Windows 7 on that laptop.

It can't be a driver issue as the latest drivers (Windows 8 compatible) are all installed and operational. Today my disk ran to 100% shortly after startup and it was so busy doing "stuff" that my PC froze for a few seconds (not even the mouse could move) then it unfroze itself a few seconds later. Like I said, I've had these issues before on Windows 8. I've also googled around and found this is a common problem.

Does anyone know if there is a solution to this? When my PC isn't running at 100% disk usage it performs well.
 

numair94

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Apr 13, 2014
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Hi,

I have been searching for a solution for over a month now and have finally solved the issue:

Go to charms bar and press search, then type view local services.
Once here, stop and disable BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service). Also, set windows update checks to manual.
Chrome also seemed to be a factor so uninstall that too.

I hope this helps you out ;)
 
I have looked at several different system that had disk usage near 100% Problem is that each one ended up having a different cause so it is hard to say what the fix would be. But I can give you some ideas to help isolate the cause down.

You start task manager, select the performance tab, open resource monitor, select disk tab

then open a cmd.exe as a admin (windows key+x+a)
now you stop various suspected services and watch how the system responds in resouce monitor.
for example:
net.exe stop superfetch (hit enter and see if your disk usage goes down after a min or two)
net.exe stop "Windows search"

I mention these two because I have seen disk corruptions that made these two services go nuts and take 100% disk bandwidth

I have also seen tasks in the task scheduler that did the same thing until you killed the task.

in all the cases you had to find out the cause of the problem and fix it and the service then worked as expected.

for example, one case had a filesystem corruption that made a loop in the directory structure such that when windows or any program scanning the files would never end and just continue scanning the same set of files forever. In one case it was building a search index and the database just kept growing and growing in size until all of the hard drive was used.

in most cases all you need to do is run cmd.exe as a admin then
chkdsk.exe /f /r on your drives and the condition that causes the problem gets fixed

there are also conditions where windows 8.1 will really use your disk while it is attempting to relocate data off of bad spots on your disk drives.
older versions of windows did not do this. windows 8 will attempt to read data from your disk drive even if you have not requested it. It is looking for errors during the read process so it can locate bad sectors before your data is lost. It will read, if it gets a read error, it will read the spot over and over and try to get a clean copy of the data, it will then move the data to a new good spot on the drive and mark the old spot as bad.

This process can take days on some drives and your system will seem to be at 100% disk used for no apparent reason. It will take much longer on a laptop it the laptop is allowed to sleep. This process is needed because a lot of OEMs do not format and install the os, they just plop a entire OS image on a drive with the assumption that all sectors of the drive are ok.

(I guess that is another point, turn your system to high performance and let it run at idle overnight and see if the disk is at 100% usage in the morning)

- there are also software bugs that will peg your disk access at 100 % but these almost always end up being bugs in 3rd party drivers. It is not because microsoft makes great drivers, it is because microsoft has windows update and when a microsoft driver breaks they get 100,000 automatic bug reports and then they put a fix in the windows update and you download the update and don't ever hit the problem. When the bug is in a 3rd party driver microsoft still gets the 100,000 bug reports but they tell the vendor of the driver, that vendor makes a fix and puts it on their website. Now you have to hit the bug, figure out the problem is caused by the vendor, look at the vendors website and hope they put the fix there. Not a fun process. After years of this problems and updates I find that about 95% of the problems are in 3rd party drivers, and you just have to figure out which one.

sorry if this is not so helpful, it is hard to figure out some problems when you can not actually get your hands on the system.

 

numair94

Reputable
Apr 13, 2014
7
0
4,520
1
Hi,

I have been searching for a solution for over a month now and have finally solved the issue:

Go to charms bar and press search, then type view local services.
Once here, stop and disable BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service). Also, set windows update checks to manual.
Chrome also seemed to be a factor so uninstall that too.

I hope this helps you out ;)
 

maulerftw

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May 17, 2014
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maxter99

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May 26, 2014
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Thanks so much, my disk was at 100% and kept freezing on and off so i did the admin command prompt and stopped "windows search" and everything seems to be normal now.
 

PeighDay

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May 30, 2014
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Thank you so much for telling me how to do this. I have been searching for an answer for months now. This immediately fixed my issue. Thank you once again.

 

zayeshk

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Jun 15, 2014
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Thanks a lot..your solution worked out

 

Devdo5

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Jul 14, 2014
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Could you please tell me how you set windows update checks to manual? I cant seem to find out how to do it. Thank you.
 

anthonymaw

Distinguished
Feb 1, 2011
6
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18,510
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I had this annoying problem too and it was caused by multiple stupid Windows 8 "features".

I analyzed it to a "deadlock" disk I/O scenario where my computer became totally useless.

You can analyze the problem down to Resource Monitor, Disk tab "Disk Queue Length", of your C: drive.

Looking at what was generating all the disk I/O, I observed it was msmpeng.exe which is Windows Defender.

Also I observed that Windows Search Indexer was hammering the hell out of my C: drive as it read files on my C: drive and then updated it's index also on the C: drive.

I'll note that the NTFS file system is relatively inefficient at disk I/O, requiring around six SATA IOPS per NTFS write command.

Of course all this background crap requires pageable memory, so the pagefile got constantly hit causing more C: drive I/O further delaying Windows Defender and Search Indexer.

Even more annoying was that I would leave it running overnight when it seemed to quiet down, and then instantly started up it's crazy shenanigans as soon as I started using it!

At one point I thought my computer had been hacked by the NSA or something and was snooping my files in real-time. LOL

Bottom line my fairly newly installed Windows 8.1 computer ground to a total useless halt where just starting Internet Explorer (or any other program) took several minutes and the Disk Queue Length shot up to 40s and latency around 15,000ms (should never instantaneously exceed about 8 and normally hovers around 1 or 2, with average response times in the low tens of milliseconds.

My solution (and I realize this may not work for everyone) was to hookup an inexpensive small capacity 40GB SSD drive that had been sitting around gathering dust anyways.

I suppose I could have also disabled the Windows Search Indexer but I actually use it extensively.

So I moved my pagefile onto the SSD as well as relocated the Windows Search Index database onto it.

I also pointed the TMP and TEMP user and system environment variables to the SSD drive for good measure.

Now my computer runs just as it did when it had Windows XP on it.....
 
Aug 1, 2014
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For those who have not found a solution yet, it is likely you have a virus in your computer. A virus called HackTool.Win32 can mess up your computers speed and make every program stutter, whilst causing your Disk usage to peak at 100% every second. I was using Norton Antivirus but deleted it to see if it was causing problems with disk usage. I found out that though it was not directly contributing to the problem, it was not able to detect the virus which was causing the problem, and in turn covered it up. If you are running Norton antivirus then uninstall it, and have windows defender solve the issue for you (threat detected/virus).

This is one solution to the problem.
 

NorJP

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Aug 2, 2014
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Go to: Control Panel/Troubleshooting/System and Security
Run troubleshooters to resolve problems with: Windows Update, Search and Indexing, and System Maintenance.
Reboot - et voilà.

Please make sure to restore wrongly stopped services such as:
BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service)
Superfetch
Windows Search

 

Mateusz Chodkowski

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Aug 13, 2014
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Hello,

I had also the same problem - i just downloaded CCleaner and used two main options - cleaner and registry repair (in english version it can name different). The problem is probably the memory taken by your web browser things like cookies, download history and cache. Now it works fine for me. Good luck :)
 

peter s

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Aug 21, 2014
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I'm experiencing something similar, 100 disk use even when it's just browsers. I've disabled superfetch and stuff like that. Now it only crashes if I try to open big files. Also McAfee firewall keeps hopping off and failure with every scan, what so you reckon I can do?
 

leopolder

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Sep 15, 2014
9
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Brand-new PC. Disk usage nearly 100% though no application was actually running. HD noise was suspicious.
I read someone saying it was normal as it might have been a background task (e.g. document indexing, defrag, windows update, etc... - see second link below: the Task Scheduler should show what was to run) doing stuff and it would have fixed itself after a while.

Anyway I solved following these 2 suggestions:

power management
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-performance/high-disk-usage-windows-8-pro/08400095-23e5-4895-865e-1150735c5559?page=4

virtual memory
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-performance/windows-8-keeps-slows-down-to-100-disk-usage-and/cd787f8d-e7b4-4872-aecb-6f0cd15ad942?page=1&tm=1380334962208

restart the system.

It helped what Wafiq replied on June 6, 2013 (second link above)
In order to know which process is utilizing the Hard Disk in Windows 8
1- Open Task Manager
2- Go to Details tab
3- Right click the columns headers and click "Select Columns"
4- From the "Select Columns" window, check: I/O Reads, I/O Writes, I/O read bytes, I/O write bytes --> click OK
Now the columns will be added to the view and will display how much each process is utilizing from the hard disk.
5- Sort by I/O read bytes, or I/O write bytes by clicking on the column header to see which process is utilizing the HD most.
I also run CCleaner (Cleaner + Registry).

Update:
next days, disk clog happened again.
In my case, I must blame Windows Update though I must credit that it is a background task doing stuff and will fix itself after a while.
Whenever disk usage permanently reached 100%, I noticed these Processes in the Task Manager:
Windows Modules Installer
Windows Modules Installer Worker
and
TiWorker.exe in the Details tab
So, it actually seems maintenance operations were running in the background as I had previously downloaded and installed updates and restarted the system.
The strange thing about it is that disk clog also appears when a new update is pending. In fact, whenever I hear some noise from the HD, check the Task Manager and see disk usage is constantly at 100% then I open Windows Update and find a pending update.
 

tcapanema

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Sep 28, 2014
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Thanks! Killing BITS also solved my issue. But what does this service does? Is it wrong or bad to simply stop this service?


 

MVBond

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Oct 4, 2014
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I had the same problem which occurred immediately after upgrading from 8 to 8.1. I spent a lot of time following suggestions but what rescued me was coming across a post, which at first I thought was a company promotion, saying that CCLEANER would solve the problem with their registry clean-up tool. And it's free. I downloaded the software and ran the registry cleaner three times (rebooting each time) and problem solved. My disk usage is running along at 5-10% and no more time wasted. I was just about to the point of buying a new computer but have to thank this company for saving me the time and money. QUICK, EASY & FREE
 

MVBond

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Oct 4, 2014
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I had the same problem which occurred immediately after upgrading from 8 to 8.1. I spent a lot of time following suggestions but what rescued me was coming across a post, which at first I thought was a company promotion, saying that CCLEANER would solve the problem with their registry clean-up tool. And it's free. I downloaded the software and ran the registry cleaner three times (rebooting each time) and problem solved. My disk usage is running along at 5-10% and no more time wasted. I was just about to the point of buying a new computer but have to thank this company for saving me the time and money. QUICK, EASY & FREE
 

Brandon H

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Oct 13, 2014
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I had seen a solution to this problem elsewhere - open Skype. I tried many of the other suggested solutions, even opened the desktop version of Skype that I usually use, just to test the theory (all of this took hours as my computer was so slow and Skype seemed like a long shot solution). Finally I tried opening the Skype App (8.1) and after taking around 10 minutes to open, disk usage immediately went down to single digits and has been fluctuating normally ever since. Odd, but effective.
 

M4DCRUSH3R

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Sep 30, 2014
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This is actually completely normal due to your antivirus quickly reading the process before initiation. I went through this only to find it is normal. Best of luck!
 

Brian Wallace

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Oct 17, 2014
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go to pc info. click remote settings. click advanced and performance settings. click adjust for best performance and

best performance of background services
 
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