We detail the operation of traditional hard drives, and that of SSDs. The malfunction of a hard drive that runs at 100% of its capacity (Windows 10 disk usage 100%), mainly affects conventional hard drives. Often associated with problems of slowness, a “disk that turns 100” or “100% disk” as we often describe our customers during their computer troubleshooting, is both a symptom and an additional cause of slowness. This problem is a real vicious circle that can slow down the operation of a computer and can sometimes make it unusable for several minutes. It is particularly visible directly in the task manager, which will display the percentage of disk usage, as well as the list of applications and processes that solicit the most.
So, how to solve a hard disk problem that runs at 100% frequently or permanently?
In this article, we will discuss the main areas of work to address this problem. This list is not exhaustive and does not include the more advanced solutions to consider if the problem persists.
Before you start
Why Windows 10 disk usage 100% ? The causes can be multiple and the diagnosis of such a problem is never realized in a snap of a finger. The most “radical” cause to diagnose is that of a hardware malfunction of the disk: indeed, a shock or a degradation of the state of the disk can be responsible for this type of problem. The disk is no longer able to provide a read speed to meet the needs of software and system processes that claim their data! If an unusual noise (such as a regular snap, for example) comes from your computer, it is likely that the drive has been shocked or that its health is severely degraded.
If the problem is not material, then a hard drive that runs at 100% of its capacity very often or permanently, may be disproportionately solicited by a software, service or process, more or less visible and less easy to stop! Here we will go through the various solutions to apply to advance on this problem.
Checking and repairing the disk (Chkdsk)
First of all, a check of the state of your hard disk is necessary. Here we will explain the simple way to check your hard disk and repair damaged areas. This method will require a restart of your computer.
First, right click on the start menu, then click on “Windows PowerShell (admin)” or “Command Prompt (admin)” depending on your version of Windows.
Access PowerShell from the Start menu
On the next page, then type the following command: chkdsk C: / F / R
Attention, here the letter C: must be replaced by the letter of the disk to be checked, if this one is not called C:
Press Enter key: you will most likely see a message saying “Chkdsk could not run because the volume is being used by another process. Chkdsk can run after this volume is unmounted. ” This is perfectly normal. Tap “Y” and then Enter to validate.
The check and the repair of the disk will thus start at the restart of your computer, here is the screen which you will then be able to consult. Attention: this operation can last from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the configuration of your computer. Your computer will not be usable during the disk check and repair operation. When done, your computer will start. This operation allows in many cases to find the performance and solve the problems of Windows 10 disk usage 100%.
Complete cleaning of the computer
A complete cleaning of your computer is, besides an excellent habit to adopt to ensure the longevity of your computer, often a solution to slowness problems, encountered on a disk or on the random access memory (RAM) of your computer. A cleaning consists of various operations.
First, we recommend that you get rid of as many temporary files as possible. To perform this operation easily, a large number of cleaning software exist, such as CCleaner or MalwareBytes. Their free versions make it easy to remove unwanted files that can slow down your computer and cause a hard disk problem that runs at 100%.
Finally, defragmentation of your hard drive can be done. All of these operations, and more, can be done by one of our computer repair experts as part of our slowness troubleshooting service.
Restore your computer to an earlier point
If the problem of overloading your hard disk stuck at 100% appeared suddenly, it is possible that restoring your system to a date prior to its appearance solves the problem. If this is the case, it is possible that a setting of your system was the person in charge of the overload of activity of your hard disk. We invite you to read this article to find out how to create or access a restore point.
Check that a update is installed / if Windows is up to date
Another common culprit of the activity overload is Windows Update. Indeed, the Windows Update Manager is resource hungry. The download, and the installation of updates strongly solicit the hard disk. You must therefore check if an update is being installed on your computer. If this is the case, you will have to wait, the time that this update ends.
To check if an update is in progress, go to Settings, then to “Updates and Security” and finally to “Windows Update”.
We see here that all the updates are installed, and so there are no updates in progress.
On this page, it is possible to set Windows Update to prevent it from launching updates on specific time slots (the “hours of activities”): a great way to prevent him from updating on these slots, and thus remove the hard drive problem that runs at 100%!
Should I enable or disable Superfetch? This debate rages between the most experienced computer scientists and the most convinced geeks on the web.
But what is it exactly, Superfetch?
This is a feature of Windows, available from Windows Vista, that allows your computer to launch the software you use the most, faster. By keeping the information on the launch of these programs in memory, your system saves time. The problem is that this feature can create imbalances in resource consumption, including those of hard disk, if the system decides to store a lot of information in memory in an attempt to fulfill its promise. Result: the computer is even slower.
The “double protection” antivirus
During our computer repairs throughout France, we often find installations of 2 different antivirus, active on the computer of our customers. Indeed, they make the mistake of thinking that 2 active antivirus will be better than one! On this specific case, the best is the enemy of good. Indeed, 2 antivirus active on a computer will most likely conflict on the different processes they manage.
These conflicts are a major computing requirement for a computer, and a hard drive. This is a fairly common cause of a hard drive that runs 100% on Windows 10. At Super Geek, under normal use, the use of Windows Defender on Windows 8 and 10 is more than enough. If you choose another antivirus, you must ensure that Windows Defender is disabled on your computer.
Programs known to over-solicit the hard drive
Some programs, some very well known, are feared by computer repair experts for their tendency to over-request computers and operating systems. Their use by a user not knowing how to make the optimizations to achieve will generate problems of slowness and hard drive that runs at 100%.
Google’s internet browser, which is now the most common on computers, is very resource intensive, and occupies a lot of our hard drives! Indeed, it uses the memories of your computer to store temporary files. The initial goal is to make navigating easier, but sometimes the result is frustrating slowness, especially on entry-level or mid-range computers.
If you’re using Google Chrome and you’re experiencing 100% hard disk problems, we recommend limiting the number of active windows or tabs. We also recommend that you monitor your extensions: some of them can be quickly voracious in resources! In order to know if any of them are particularly greedy, you can uninstall them and reinstall one by one to identify the culprit.
Sync software (Google Drive Sync, OneDrive, DropBox, etc.)
These programs allow you to permanently synchronize a disk of your computer, or a part of it, with an online storage space. They are particularly useful for securing your data. However, syncing large volumes of data, or large amounts of files, requires constant indexing of the folder or disk to be synchronized. Result: your drive is monitored and analyzed continuously by the software. It is often the “drop of water” that overflows a vase filled with temporary files over-abundance. These synchronization operations are common causes of hard drive running at 100%.
If you do not have a strong need for file synchronization (for example, if the files you are working on can be edited online, such as Google Sheets files for example), we recommend that you do not use a synchronization tool . Otherwise, we recommend that you set specific synchronization folders, which are not too large. Finally, frequently modified and updated files, and the frequent addition of new files, will regularly activate the indexing process, which will solicit the hard disk.
Malware filtering software
These software, often complementary to antivirus, and often free, are of interest to users visiting sites considered “at risk”. However, their consumption of computer resources is often not optimized. They constantly scan the activity of browsers and software, as well as the incoming and outgoing flows of the hard disk.
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