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How to Fix: 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

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Posted July 7, 2019

In IT practice, many users report that their disk utilization reaches 100%, leading to lagging and unresponsive system. In this article, we’ll show how to fix the Windows 10 100 percent disk usage problem.

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Symptoms of 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

Did you notice that your computers or laptops are becoming slower with a notice popping up frequently, warning you that disk is disk at 100 percent load limit? How to fix the “disk 100% usage” issue? Don’t let these problems bother you anymore. Here below you’ll find some possible and often effective solutions to fix “100 % disk usage” issue in Windows 10 with ease and the worth-trying 12 ways to address Windows 10 100% disk usage problem.

This particular problem can be observed in the following Task Manager screenshot, where you will notice disk constantly being under full load:

Disclaimer: please always make a backup copy of your files before using any of the advices provided here. The reason for the described problem may be related to failing hard drive, and therefore safeguarding your data is the primary task. If not sure about what to do, seek a qualified assistance before proceeding on your own!

Method 1: Fix Your StorAHCI.sys Driver

According to Microsoft support, Event ID 129, the resets of the disk controller, can be caused by many factors. Some of the known ones are related to the fact that some Advanced Host Controller Interface PCI-Express models cause these symptoms in Windows 10 when running with the inbox StorAHCI.sys driver.

Due to a firmware bug, the SSD doesn’t properly complete input/output when MSI mode is enabled. As a result, the Windows storage will reset the device after waiting on unresponsive read/write for a period of time.

So, the first method to fix 100 percent disk usage Windows 10 here is to disable MSI mode. Follow the detailed steps below:

Step1: Press “Win+R”< then type “devmgmt.msc” and hit Enter< Under “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers”, right-click “Standard SATA AHCI Controller” and select “Properties”< Navigate to the “Driver” tab and click “Driver Details”

Step2:  In the same properties window, navigate to the “Details” tab and select “Device instance path” from the Property drop-down menu< Open the registry editor by typing “regedit”  <Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\<AHCI Controller>\Device Parameters\Interrupt Management\MessageSignaledInterruptProperties”< where <AHCI Controller> refers to the device instance path you noticed in Step 1<  Then change the value of the MSISupported key from “1” to “0”.

Method 2: Change Energy Options from Balanced to High Performance

Go to Power Options > And then change plan settings > then change advanced power settings, then choose High performance from the drop-down box <Make sure all plan settings are on default.

Method 3: Change Settings in Google Chrome

In Google Chrome, go to “Settings”< click “Advanced”< Click the “Privacy and security” category < make sure the “Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly” is turned off< and then ensure that “Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed” is disabled in “System” settings.

Method 4: Disable Windows Search

Windows Search enables to search for files on your PC fast. When you don’t use it or don’t need it at all, you can disable it completely. Disabling Windows Search service will stop the indexing of all files on your computer. However, to identify whether this is the cause of your 100% disk utilization problem, we recommend temporarily disabling Windows Search first.

Method 5: Disable SuperFetch Service

SuperFetch helps to decrease boot time and makes programs load more efficiently. However, it has been identified as a potential cause of high disk usage Windows 10. You can try to disable this service.

Press “Win+X”< then choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” <  In the Command Prompt window, type “net.exe stop superfetch” and Enter.

Method 6: Disable Antivirus Software

If you’ve installed some antivirus programs on your computer, you can temporarily disable them to see if they’re the cause of your 100% disk usage problem.

If your computer’s disk usage returns to normal and no other solution is offered from the vendor of your equipment, you don’t need to worry too much, because Microsoft has its own default and built-in anti-malware software Windows Defender. So even if you disable your antivirus programs, Windows Defender is always there and protects your computer (unless it is disabled too, in which case you would need to enable it manually).

Method 7: Uninstall Any Flash Player Update

Uninstalling all the flash player update is also reported as a good solution that has helped some users get out of the situation related to 100% disk utilization problem in Windows 10. To do so, go to Settings > and then click Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options > View your update history > Uninstall updates. Then uninstall the flash player update.

Method 8: Reset Virtual Memory

Virtual memory is a portion of your hard drive and is regarded as an extension of your computer’s memory. When the computer RAM is not enough to perform a task, Windows will temporarily store files in virtual memory, and swap them back to RAM when required.

Type “Win+Pause/Break” keys to call out “System” information<Then choose “Advanced system settings” on the left panel< Go to the “Advanced” tab, and click “Settings”< Go to the “Advanced” tab, and choose “Change…”< Make sure “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” is NOT checked< Then click “Set”, and then “OK” to continue< Press “Win+R” keys to call out the Run dialogue, then type “temp” and hit Enter.

Method 9: Disable Windows Update Service

Some of my users suggested that Windows Update Service could also cause 100% disk usage Windows 10. In this case, you can try to disable it and check later if it really was the true cause of the problem.

Run “services.msc” and press “OK”<Find “Windows Update” and double-click on it< choose “Disabled”<Then press “Stop”, “Apply” and “OK” orderly.

Method 10: Perform a Disk Check

If the above solutions do not help you, it is necessary to check your hard drive. You can do this by using the MiniTool Partition Wizard Free which simplifies things within a few clicks. With this tool, you can manage hard drive and disk partitions in all aspects even you are not professional.

Step1: Download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free and install it on your computer.

Step 2: In the interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard, select the system partition and choose “Check File System” .

Step 3. Select the second item of two options displayed in the pop-up window -“Check & fix detected errors”.

Method 11: Wipe SSD and Reinstall Windows 10

The last method is to totally wipe your hard drive and reinstall Windows 10. You may completely back up the SSD, and prepare a Windows 10 installation media, then do a clean install.

Step 1: Back up SSD

Here you can also use the MiniTool Partition Wizard Free to do this.

Launching the MiniTool Partition Wizard, select the system disk and choose “Copy Disk Wizard” from the menu.

Choose the hard disk as the target disk. Please note: all data on the target disk will be removed for a successful disk clone.

Continuing to the next steps, you will see that several copy options are listed here. Select the options you need and then proceed.

When coming across the “how to boot from the new disk” message, read it and click Finish. The last click is“Apply” to start copying the whole drive.

Step 2: Reinstall Windows 10

Download Windows 10 media creation tool from Microsoft to create a Windows 10 installation media.

Connect the installation media and follow the installation process to complete. When you see “Where do you want to install Windows”, select partition to do the deletion and then choose the unallocated space to do a clean install.

Now you can check whether the Windows 10 100% disk usage is reduced. If NOT, replace the hard drive, because it could be possible that the original hard drive may be failing.

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