Windows 8 hangs due to disk 100%

outofbandii

Junior Member
Aug 2, 2011
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www.selfassemblysites.com
Anyone getting long periods of unresponsiveness (which resolve themselves) due to 100% disk activity?

I'm getting frequent 100% usage periods, figure may be to do with pagefile or similar. Any tips for troubleshooting?

I'm seeing this on Vertex 3 SSD in a SATA II slot on XPS420.
 
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Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,484
216
106
Reminds me of when I started using Windows Vista. A couple more gigs of RAM did the trick.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,484
216
106
Could be FF. You can always troubleshoot by seeing what's running during the slowdowns. I am planning to install 8 over the weekend.
 

KennyP

Junior Member
Apr 25, 2012
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YES!!! I'm seeing this more and more; it seems to happen randomly about 10 times a day. I'm running a Lenovo T420 laptop. The first time I installed Win8 (dual-boot) it didn't do this, and I was comfortable enough with Win8 to do a full system rebuild and install. Now it's driving me crazy -- and YES it's very Vista-like. UGHH!!!!

I don't have Firefox on this machine. I'm thinking a driver or something low-level. I'm going to start disabling unnecessary services and see what happens. I will report back any progress -- unless I get SOOO frustrated that I rebuild again....I'm just about there...
 

EricWhiteDev

Junior Member
Nov 2, 2012
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I'm getting 100% disk usage for long periods of time. I have a Lenovo T410 with Windows 8 installed. I have 2 rotating spindle disks installed. Periodically, Disk 0 goes to 100% usage, and stays there for hours, and the system becomes extremely sluggish.

Process explorer reports that Explorer.exe is the culprit. See the following link for image of ProcessExplorer.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=5E385848AF211BA9!8804&authkey=!AENr8bbtcbVoEuA

This did not occur for a number of months after installing Windows 8. Only started happening about 2 weeks ago.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,484
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106
See what software (I am mainly talking windows updates) was installed around the time you started seeing the problem.
 

man1sh

Junior Member
Nov 11, 2012
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Since August no problems by after windows 8 GA updates my OCZ Agility started doing the same thing but only when it wakes up from sleep. The computer is unusable for like 10 minutes.
 

exdeath

Lifer
Jan 29, 2004
13,684
8
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Your problem is that you are still using a tape drive from the 1950s to feed data to your 21st century computer.

Wait this is on a SSD? WTF? Possibly signs of the SSD getting ready to crash being a OCZ and all Lock ups and unexplained solid disk lights are usually the symptoms of an SSD on it's last legs. I doubt there is any standard program or process that is hitting your SSD with that much I/O, it's probably the SSD itself.
 
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hhhd1

Senior member
Apr 8, 2012
667
3
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You might want to check windows event viewer to see if there is any special events happening with the SSD, I suspect that the SSD is not playing nice with the of the OS power saving features.
 

iscribble

Junior Member
Mar 25, 2013
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Sorry to dig up such an old post; my wife's Lenovo Ideapad Y400 (95232FU) is experiencing this exact issue; periodically disk utilization is maxed for 15 to 30 minutes (usually after boot-up). I can't seem to pin-point the source either.

Did anyone resolve this issue?
 

Gunbuster

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,848
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This just happened to me. I'm on a Mushkin 256GB MSATA Sandforce based drive...

I'm thinking the drive is going bad.
 

Mushkins

Golden Member
Feb 11, 2013
1,635
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This happens to me frequently, tracked it down to the windows defender service (cant remember the name of the service atm) pegging the HDD at 100% for some unknown reason. I usually have to reboot to make it stop since you *cant* kill the service even as an admin, if it happens on first login after a boot I just let it sit for 10 minutes and it clears itself up.

Still running base windows 8, no 8.1 or Update 1. Seems like a known issue from googling.
 

Gunbuster

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,848
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SMART thinks everything is ok but I rebooted and got no drive found. Started the RMA process...
 

reallyscrued

Platinum Member
Jul 28, 2004
2,604
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Task manager will mislead you.

You will look at it as a snapshot in time and incorrectly believe a particular program is hogging resources. Same thing on my system, Dropbox 'supposedly' took up 100% disk usage whenever it synced...then Firefox whenever it updated, then SQL Management Studio during start up..no way all three programs were hogging 100% of resources during routine use.

Disable superfetch and prefetch.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
27,025
587
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sad to inform you but it is NOT windows 8.......don`t be so quick to blame windows 8....
 

RampantAndroid

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2004
6,591
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81
Disable superfetch and prefetch.
Those are disabled automatically when you have an SSD installed as long as Windows recognizes the SSD.

Task manager doesn't lie. If you want to see the actual usages down to the file level, go into the resource monitor, or process monitor.
 

reallyscrued

Platinum Member
Jul 28, 2004
2,604
1
76
Those are disabled automatically when you have an SSD installed as long as Windows recognizes the SSD.

Task manager doesn't lie. If you want to see the actual usages down to the file level, go into the resource monitor, or process monitor.
Never said the task manager lies, I said it would mislead you.

When dropbox synced, I'd see a 5 MB/s IO measurement with 100% disk access which is immediately suspect because my hard drive obviously moves more than 5 megabytes of data a second.

On the surface level, it looks like dropbox is hogging my disk, when in fact, it's probably a bunch of overhead logging and transactions associated with its changes.

And yes, it's designed to be disabled automatically...but never hurts to double check.
 

RampantAndroid

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2004
6,591
2
81
Never said the task manager lies, I said it would mislead you.

When dropbox synced, I'd see a 5 MB/s IO measurement with 100% disk access which is immediately suspect because my hard drive obviously moves more than 5 megabytes of data a second.

On the surface level, it looks like dropbox is hogging my disk, when in fact, it's probably a bunch of overhead logging and transactions associated with its changes.

And yes, it's designed to be disabled automatically...but never hurts to double check.
You're misreading task manager then. It isn't saying that you've saturated the throughput of the disk, it's saying how much time it's spending active. If you're running off a ramdisk and never hit the disk, it'll be 0%. If you are constantly read/writing on the disk, it'll approach 100%. It means the disk has been completely active.

If you want to see the throughput, look at the read/write speeds listed...but again, those do not correlate directly with the active time. The faster you can read/write and process small transactions, the lower the active time.
 

Gunbuster

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,848
22
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Correct, which is where it gets confusing for people when they see the disk activity monitor pegged at 100%.

They jump to the conclusion that whatever is using the disk is a problem. Not that suddenly a failing SSD is transferring at 4K per minute causing the process to hang up because it expects a trivial amount of data after a normal IO wait.

You would think this is something SMART would monitor, but it just derped along thinking my old SSD was in fine shape even though it was not recognizing at boot 20% of the time and was pegging out at 100% activity while not transferring much data.
 

reallyscrued

Platinum Member
Jul 28, 2004
2,604
1
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You're misreading task manager then. It isn't saying that you've saturated the throughput of the disk, it's saying how much time it's spending active. If you're running off a ramdisk and never hit the disk, it'll be 0%. If you are constantly read/writing on the disk, it'll approach 100%. It means the disk has been completely active.

If you want to see the throughput, look at the read/write speeds listed...but again, those do not correlate directly with the active time. The faster you can read/write and process small transactions, the lower the active time.
It appears you are correct - I have been misunderstanding 'Disk Activity'; it is explained here as well very much along the lines of how you described it:

http://www.eightforums.com/performance-maintenance/13390-100-disk-usage-2.html#post146692

I wonder how many others like me misunderstood it as 'throughput'...there's countless support threads out there on this very subject.

I still find it unusual however..how can activity be anything between the two states of active or inactive? Is it a function of time, perhaps, activity in the last second?
 
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