Windows 8 100% Disk Usage Issue

After checking out several different system that had the disk usage 100% Problem I found out that each one ended up having a different cause so it is hard to say what the fix would be. But I can give you some ideas to help isolate the cause down.

Solution 1

You start task manager, select the performance tab, open resource monitor, select disk tab

  • Open a cmd.exe as a admin (windows key+x+a)
  • Now you stop various suspected services and watch how the system responds in resouce monitor. I would recommend you to stop Superfetch and Windows Search service.
  • For Superfetch: Open cmd and type – net.exe stop superfetch (hit enter and see if your disk usage goes down after a min or two) or you can stop it from Services under Computer Management.

For Windows Search: , net stop WSearch or Stop it from services under Computer Management.                                                              

What is Superfetch Service ?

Superfetch is a built-in Windows service that was originally designed to improve loading times for both Windows and all installed applications. It does so by analyzing which programs are frequently ran and automatically “pre-loading” them in advance by reallocating system resources (mostly just extra RAM) in the background. Note that this often involves writing data to the drive that Windows is installed on. But SuperFetch was made with slow HDD’s (hard disk drives) in mind. With modern 7200+ RPM drives, SuperFetch load time improvement becomes negligible, and this is even more true with SSDs (solid state drives) where the service actually becomes detrimental to both the system performance and health of the drive.

Windows Search builds a full-text index of files on a computer.  The time required for the initial creation of this index depends on the amount and type of data to be indexed, and can take up to several hours, but this is a one-time event. During indexing the Search Service constantly reads data from your disk for indexing making disk access slow for other services that require the disk. At times you may notice slow initialization of application icons and thumbnails when you open any folder. Once the indexing process is complete disk usage my go normal.

Solution 2

Go to charms bar and press search, then type view local services.

  • Once here, stop and disable BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service).
  • You can also set Windows Update checks to manual.
  • One more thing that conclusively worked for me was the combination of Disabling Hibernation and Turning Off the Pagefile. Try this and I guarantee that this will work if you’re having the pagefile disk usage problem.

What is BITS ( Background Intelligent Transfer Service) ?

Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) is a component of Microsoft Windows XP and later operating systems that facilitates prioritized, throttled, and asynchronous transfer of files between machines using idle network bandwidth. BITS uses idle bandwidth to transfer data. Normally, BITS transfers data in the background, i.e., BITS will only transfer data whenever there is bandwidth which is not being used by other applications. BITS also supports resuming transfers in case of disruptions.

I mention these two because I have seen disk corruptions that made these two services go nuts and take 100% disk bandwidth

I have also seen tasks in the task scheduler that did the same thing until you killed the task. In all the cases you had to find out the cause of the problem and fix it and the service then worked as expected.

For example, one case had a Filesystem corruption that made a loop in the directory structure such that when windows or any program scanning the files would never end and just continue scanning the same set of files forever. In one case it was building a search index and the database just kept growing and growing in size until all of the hard drive was used.

In most cases all you need to do is run cmd.exe as a admin then chkdsk.exe /f /r on your drives and the condition that causes the problem gets fixed.

There are also conditions where Windows 8.1 will really use your disk while it is attempting to relocate data off of bad spots on your disk drives.
older versions of windows did not do this. windows 8 will attempt to read data from your disk drive even if you have not requested it. It is looking for errors during the read process so it can locate bad sectors before your data is lost. It will read, if it gets a read error, it will read the spot over and over and try to get a clean copy of the data, it will then move the data to a new good spot on the drive and mark the old spot as bad.
In most cases all you need to do is run cmd.exe as a admin then chkdsk.exe /f /r on your drives and the condition that causes the problem gets fixed.

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