Overview: 100 % disk utilization is one of the most frustrating issues on Windows. The system becomes unusable when the disk usage goes high, it results in freezing and very slow performance. Today in this post we will troubleshoot 100 % disk utilization issue.
Let’s Start with Few Practical Scenarios
Scenario 1: High/100% Disk Usage on Win 10
Hello everyone, I’ve Win 10 Home installed on my laptop and I’m facing a horrible problem, which is 100% Disk usage. I tried many things to solve this problem like disabling the Windows superfetch, windows search and I changed Google chrome settings and many other things, but nothing helps, it stills 100%, sometimes 75%-95% and in other times its 0% and that’s confusing! I hope that you guys help me to solve this problem because I swear I’m gonna break my laptop I can’t deal with that anymore! Thanks In Advance 🙂
Source: Microsoft Community
Scenario 2: Disk Usage at 95-100%
For some reason, my disk usage spikes up to 95-100%, which causes my fan to turn on. I am not doing anything particularly demanding (e.g., web browsing, One Note, Office, etc.), which makes me wonder why this is happening. Looking in the task manager, the offending processes are Service host local system, Outlook communications, Unistack service group. They will all take turns spiking up to 2-3 Mb/s. It will go like this for 20-30 minutes and die down for a while, only to spike up again later. I’m not sure what it is exactly what it is I’m doing to make this happen. I’ve looked online and it seems like many are having this problem, but no solution has been found. I’m using a brand new (less than a week old) Surface Pro 4, and this is already the 3rd issue I’ve had with it (high CPU, missing notifications, now this). This is getting really annoying…Does anyone have a solution?
Source: Microsoft Community
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Check the Disk Space and Run Hardware Test
Sometimes the hard drive is almost full with data and this may result in 100 percent disk utilization, so make sure that hard drive is not red.
In some cases, the hard drive is the failure, run a hardware scan on your system to be sure about it. If any hardware component has failed, hardware test will let you know about it and you can replace that faulty hardware, For Dell system – start your system and then immediately keep on tapping F12, select Diagnostic to run the hardware test.
Update your System Drivers and Windows
All Windows 10 users must update their system drivers provided by the system manufacturers- Dell Users can visit the below link and enter the service tag number of the system and select Drivers and Downloads and click on Detect Drivers to install the latest updates.
All Windows users should always update their system BIOS to the latest. Updating System BIOS can fix multiple issues with your system.
How to update Windows 10
Open Windows 10 Settings by pressing Window + I on the keyboard and go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Check for updates. From here you can update the Windows 10.
Click on Check for Updates and update your Windows, restart your PC after Windows update so that it can install those updates.
After System restarts it may take a couple of minutes to load all the services, while services are loading up, it may show high disk usage but after some time the disk usage may go down, this is normal.
Update the Antivirus
Sometimes outdated antivirus may be the cause of 100 percent disk utilization. Update your antivirus, if the issue still persists, uninstall the current antivirus and switch to Windows Security previously known as Windows Defender. Type in Windows Security in Windows search box and open Windows Security. Also, make sure to update Windows Security, click on Virus & threat protection and click on Check for updates.
Also, run a system scan to check for Virus and other potential issues which may be the cause of 100 % disk usage.
Perform Clean Boot
Type in msconfig in Windows search box and click on System Configuration.
Click the Services tab and check the box to Hide all Microsoft Services, then click the Disable All button.
Now click on the Startup tab, then click on Open Task Manager.
Click each of the Startup programs in the list then click the Disable button. Disable all.
Close the Task Manager window.
Click OK on the System Configuration window to save your changes and restart your computer.
Make Some Space on The Hard Drive
Avoid running multiple applications at once which may result in 100 percent disk utilization.
Delete temporary files from your system, these are junk files which slow down your Windows
Open Run box by pressing Win +R and then type in temp or %temp% and hit ok to bring up temporary files, select all by pressing Ctrl + A and delete them permanently by pressing Shift + Delete on the keyboard.
Also, uninstall the program which you do not use, may be any particular program is causing the high disk usage. Open Run box by pressing Win +R and then type in appwiz.cpl and hit OK. This will bring up the list of all the programs installed in your PC, select the one you want to uninstall and click on uninstall as shown below:
Dell Users: Please uninstall a program named Smartbyte from the system- it causes 100% disk usage and slows down your internet speed
Run Disk Cleanup
open disk cleanup by typing Disk Cleanup in Windows 10 search box as shown below:
Once Disk Cleanup is open put a check mark in front of the all the list and then click on Clean up system files
Once you click on Clean up system Files it will pop up a window with C drive selected, hit OK. It will again bring up disk cleanup windows again, put a check in front of all the list and then hit OK to clean the disk.
This will get rid of all the unnecessary junk files on the system.
Disable Some Microsoft Services in Windows 10
Open Run box by pressing Win +R and then type in services.msc
Find below services and disable it from the list:
BitLocker Drive Encryption Service
Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
Select these services and make a right click and go to properties and then select startup type to disabled and then hit Apply and ok.
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Correct Windows 10 Virtual Memory/Pagefile
- Press Windows + R and type in Control Panel in the run box to open control panel.
- Select System and Security and then click on System.
- Now click on Advanced System Settings on the left side.
- On System Properties Window under the Advanced tab click on Settings
- On Performance Option Window under advanced click on Change
- On Virtual Memory window, uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
- From the list, select the drive on which Windows 10 is installed. (C: in most cases is already selected) click to select the Custom size radio button. Now type the minimum and maximum size of the Pagefile in megabytes (MB) according to the physical memory present in your computer.
Now how to calculate Windows 10 Virtual Memory: Initial size is one and a half (1.5) x the amount of total system memory. Maximum size is three (3) x the initial size. So, in this system we have 8 GB (1 GB = 1,024 MB x 8 = 8192 MB) of memory. The initial size would be 1.5 x 8192 = 12288 MB and the maximum size would be 3 x 12288= 36864 MB.
Now click on Set and restart your PC.
Fix Corrupted Windows System Files
In Windows search box type in Powershell and make a right click on Windows Powershell and click on Run as administrator and click Yes.
On the Windows PowerShell Window please paste or type in this command dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and hit the enter key on the keyboard (note the space between “dism.exe” and “/” and each switch (/)). This will find corrupted windows file and it will fix it.
Run System File Checker (SFC Scan): In Windows search box type in Powershell and make a right click on Windows Powershell and click on Run as administrator and click Yes. On the Windows PowerShell Window please paste or type in this command sfc /scannow (note the space between “sfc” and the “/”). It will take some time to complete. This will find corrupted windows file and it will fix it.
Adjust for Best Performance in Windows 10
In Windows 10 search box type performance and then select Adjust the appearance and performance of windows. Under Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance > Apply. Restart your system.
Reset Your PC/ Reinstall the OS
If all above steps do not resolve the 100% disk usage issue then you might have to reinstall the Windows 10 on the system as it might have gone corrupt. Please note that you will lose all the data and the apps you installed on the system so please backup your data before you reinstall Windows 10. To know how to reinstall the Windows 10 on your PC you can visit the below link.
Install Additional RAM
Few users use Windows 10 on the old system which has less RAM, keep it above 4GB for basic use, you can install more in case you want good performance.
Switch to Solid State Drive
Replacing your current Hard drive with SSD is an effective solution to 100 % disk usage, SSD is flash storage and has no moving parts whatsoever, SSD storage is much faster than HDD, your PC will boot in seconds and you will love the fast performance without 100 disk utilization.
Buy a New System
If your system is more than 5 years old then you might face difficulty in running a lot of current software and OS, it may not be compatible and hence those programs may result in 100 percent disk usage. So, in order to avoid this, buy a new computer with SSD which is top in the line.
I hope this post helped you to 100 % disk usage on Windows 10.