In Progress - 100% Disk Usage being blamed on Windows services | PC Help Forum
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In Progress 100% Disk Usage being blamed on Windows services

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by emmyg, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    Hey all, so this is kind of a long story so I'll just begin with the beginning.

    This all began (I think) a couple of months ago when my laptop would randomly get 100% Disk Usage according to the Task Manager and it would basically slow everything to an incredible crawl. I noticed this issue began shortly after I had installed a new update to my laptop, so I assumed it had something to do with maybe programs I had installed conflicting or something like that. I don't know. I hadn't reformatted this Laptop since i got it in 2014, so I went ahead and did that.

    Things worked great at first, but one day I got a windows update and after installing that I started to have the issue again. I did a lot of careful watching of the programs Task Manager was blaming the 100% disk usage on, and eventually came to Superfetch and Windows Indexing as a potential cause of the issue. I rebooted into safe mode, disabled both of them, and went fine for another couple of weeks.

    Tonight it began again, though. I tried the same thing as befor and this time the blame seemed to be swapping around between Cryptographic Services, Diagnoistic Policy, and Windows Event Logs. I disabled Diagnostic POlicy and Windows Event Logs, but that didn't fully fix the issue. It took a solid 15+ minutes for my laptop to reach a usable state after rebooting, but it is now at least working so I'm thankful for that. Unfortunately in my quest to fix the problems, I did things like clear the event logs, and then of course disabled logging to try and fix it. I also ran without Windows Firewall for a time, but that did not resolve the issue so it's reenabled.

    Anyone have any idea what it could be? I was reading around a bit and a suggestion I saw a few times was that it could be a dying hard drive. I don't mind replacing the hard drive if that is in fact the issue, but I don't want to spend money on a new one unless that really really seems like it'll fix the issue.

    One final thing, when this all began my CCleaner stopped working for some reason. After my computer was in a usable state today, I managed to load up Firefox and redownload it and clean everything out. Things seem more smooth now, but I think there's something in the background causing chaos.

    I'm somewhat computer competent and I can follow directions so I'm ready to listen.I don't know what other info will be required so to start I uploaded a picture of my specs from Speccy.

    Edit: Small update. It turns out I also can't run Steam. Even in this somewhat stable state when I open Steam the usage spikes to 100% and the laptop becomes unresponsive again. One of the other changes I made when trying to fix things was to disable Steam from launching on startup so that may have been an issue in things being runnable now, but it's still far from ideal.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  2. Evan Omo

    Evan Omo Computer Support Technician Moderator Support Team

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    Hi emmyg, Welcome to PCHF! :)

    Your issue with 100% disk usage could indicate a failing hard drive but lets rule out any 3rd party programs that could be causing the issue.

    Lets make sure there is no corruption in the file system.

    Click Start< type Command Prompt in the Start search box, right click on Command Prompt and click on Run as administrator. After the Command Prompt window opens, type chkdsk C: /r and hit enter. Type Y to confirm that you want to schedule a Check Disk to run on the next restart. After the Check Disk has been scheduled, close the Command Prompt window and reboot the computer to allow Check Disk to run.

    Then lets see what is starting up with your machine.

    Please download Autoruns. After you download the zipped folder on your desktop, right click the zipped folder and click Extract All. After the folder has been extracted open the regular folder. Run the autoruns.exe program by right clicking on it and selecting Run as administrator. When you open the program, click the Logon Tab and then post a screenshot of all the startup entries on the Logon Tab in your next reply.

    Also have you installed all the latest drivers for your hardware devices on your laptop such as Chipset, Network, Audio, Video, System BIOS? What make and model of laptop do you have?
     
  3. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    I set the Checkdisk to run and I'll do that in a minute. In the meantime here's that Autoruns screenshot. I don't really know how to update th drivers on most ofthose things so I haven't. The only one I did was my audio drivers because I stopped getting sound after the reformat and managed to find some online that fixed it. I don't recall the specific models other than this being an Asus laptop I bought refurbished in 2014.

    Update: The checkdisk has stalled at 13% and hasn't moved for awhile. One more detail that might matter is this was originally a Windows 8.1 Laptop, and I took the free upgrade to Windows 10 when that was being offered.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  4. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    Another update: Chkdsk has not passed 13% even after leaving it all night and until 5 PM today. That's about 17 hours non stop. I could probably restart and get back in, but just thought I'd report back.
     
  5. jmarket

    jmarket PCHF Owner PCHF Owner Support Team Security Team

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    Has anything progressed @emmyg?
     
  6. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    Just checked and no, it was still at 13%. There's no animation or anything so I can't be sure if it's frozen or not.
     
  7. Evan Omo

    Evan Omo Computer Support Technician Moderator Support Team

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    In Autoruns uncheck the following items:

    Dropbox
    SunJavaUpdate
    CCleaner
    Discord
    FreeAC
    Microsoft OneDrive
    ShareX
    Both Windows Mail entries
    Both N/A entries

    Let Check Disk run overnight if necessary and see if it has progressed at all after a couple more hours. If it still has not moved at all then that could indicate a hard drive that is starting to fail.
     
  8. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    There was still no update past 13% as of a few hours ago, so I forcefully turned my computer off and I'll try that other part in a few hours. I'll reply again with info!
     
    jmarket likes this.
  9. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    There was still no update past 13% as of a few hours ago, so I forcefully turned my computer off and I'll try that other part in a few hours. I'll reply again with info!
     
  10. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    Okay! Update!

    I disabled all those things and surprisingly, after that, I was able to start steam up after with no issues. But I do actually make use of some of those programs so even though they weren't in the automatic launch upon logon thing anymore I reopened Dropbox, Discord and Sharex. For the moment of truth I tried launching Steam and it did work just fine!

    But that wasn't the only issue. I also would rather live with the Windows Services that I disabled in order to make the computer usable on instead of off. I reenabled Superfetch, Indexing, Event Logs, and Diagnostic policy. Then I decided to try running what I would consider "normal" usage with a Firefox window, a Tweeten window, Winamp, and Steam up at once. That was never an issue in the past, but here it made my usage spike to 99%, where it stayed for roughly 10 minutes and was almost completely unresponsive. It did eventually clear itself up again as it did in the past, and I can now use it. But I also don't have a whole lot of confidence it'll stay usable like this, and taking 10 minutes to become usable after opening a few programs isn't what I would consider ideal.

    Of minor note is that the usage was only at 99% this time though, whereas it was 100% previously. It felt just as irritating and annoying to try to use while stuck at 99%, but hey, a change is a change.

    The startup entries did seem to help, but I don't think they were enough. So yeah, I think that's all I have to report! I'm up for anything, or just defaulting to a new hard drive if this still sounds like the symptoms of a failing hard drive.

    Edit: One more thing I just remembered. I used to normally stick my laptop into Hibernation mode when I would be away from it for an extended period of time. When this issue began I wasn't able to do that anymore, cause there was about a 50% chance it'd come out of hibernation at 100% usage and I wouldn't be able to log back in it would move so slowly. So to work around that I started putting the computer to Sleep instead of Hibernation. This was also happening before the Reformat, so just thought that might potentially be interesting.
     
  11. Evan Omo

    Evan Omo Computer Support Technician Moderator Support Team

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    I would try running Check Disk one more time and see if the system still freezes. If the same thing happens then I would look at replacing the hard drive completely and see if that resolves the issue. Do you have another spare hard drive you can use to test the issue with?
     
  12. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    Sadly I do not. But I'll try Checkdisk again starting now and I suppose I can get a new HDD tomorrow if Checkdisk doesn't bring up any notable improvements.
     
  13. Evan Omo

    Evan Omo Computer Support Technician Moderator Support Team

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    Do you need assistance with figuring out what replacement hard drive to buy?
     
  14. vger

    vger PCHF Manager PCHF Manager PCHF Donator

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    Any updates for us?
     
  15. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    Hey there. Sorry about the no replies but I wanted to give the new configuration some time to see if it would return. I figured if, after a week with no issues I would declare the problem solved and just keep going.

    Unfortunately it resurfaced 2 days ago. I went through and re-disabled all of the Windows Services that I had before, and the computer is now stable enough to run Discord and Firefox without issue. But it spikes back up to 99% usage after something like ~10 minutes of Firefox up with a video playing. But if I stick to text+images on Firefox then it seems pretty stable. Any other programs tend to cause it to spike up just from being open, so I went ahead and bought a new hard drive. It'll be here on Thursday so I'm hoping that'll fix it once and for all. All my programs are backed up and ready to go.

    EDIT: Oh, and this is the hard drive I went with. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236496 It's not an enthusiast's laptop so I figured the WD Black would be extra performance that I wouldn't really make use of.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017 at 11:21 PM
  16. vger

    vger PCHF Manager PCHF Manager PCHF Donator

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    Thanks for the update.
     
  17. emmyg

    emmyg PCHF Member PCHF Member

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    Hopefully this will be my second to last post on the issue! My new hard drive arrived and I am installing Windows 10 on it. If the issue still exists I doubt it'll arise immediately (since reformatting a month ago seemed to temporarily fix it) so I'll need to take some time to find out if the issue reappears.

    If it doesn't resurface after a week then I'll reply commenting on it. If it does, well then I'll probably break down and start crying or something. Fingers crossed!
     
    vger likes this.
  18. vger

    vger PCHF Manager PCHF Manager PCHF Donator

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    ok..hopefully you will have it fixed.