System very slow, Task Mgr shows disk 100%. Need help troubleshooting

  1. Posts : 180
    Windows 10 Professional

    System very slow, Task Mgr shows disk 100%. Need help troubleshooting


    This is actually happening to a friends computer. The computer is a couple years old and is almost solely used for gaming. The disk is a 1TB traditional hard disk with only 300GB being used. He reports that every time he starts the computer up it runs ultra slow. Checking the task manager he sees that disk usage is at 100% and a process called "System" is running around 98% of that. This goes on for maybe 20 minutes and then settles down. "System" disk usage drops down to 50% and lower. Then the computer runs as it should.

    He reports his antivirus scans show nothing. I am trying to help him troubleshoot this computer, but I am 1800 miles away. Can anyone here help me with some troubleshooting tips?
      My Computers

  2. Posts : 646
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Not really an answer, but my three PCs do the same thing. Not for 20 minutes, but maybe 5 minutes or so. All are about 4 years old. Maybe because it's so old, and his hardware takes longer to settle down, that it takes so long, or maybe it has to do with what he has on his PC (games, programs, etc) that takes so long for Windows to go through it all on boot.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 4,547
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

    Malwarebytes' scanner
    If this program is already installed: Skip the installation and run only the scan!
    Download and install: Please download Malwarebytes' scanner to your desktop.

    • Double-click mb3-setup-consumer-3.x.x.xxxx and follow the prompts to install the program.
    • Click Finish.
    • On the Dashboard, click the 'Check for Updates' button.
    • After the update completes, click the 'Scan Now' button.
    • A Threat Scan will begin. Please allow it to progress through the scanning process.
    • When the scan is complete, if there have been detections, click Quarantines Selected button to allow the program to clean what was detected.
    • In most cases, a restart will be required.
    • Wait for the prompt to restart the computer to appear, then click on Yes.

    How to get logs: (Export log to save as txt)

    • After the restart once you are back at your desktop, open Malwarebytes once more.
    • Click on the Reports tab > Scan Report. (if you have done more than one scan in the past, select the most recent that shows the Date and time of the scan just performed. Press View Report button.
    • Click 'Export'.
    • Click 'Text file (*.txt)'
    • In the Save File dialog box which appears, click on Desktop.
    • In the File name: box type a name for your scan log.
    • A message box named 'File Saved' should appear stating "Your file has been successfully exported".
    • Click Ok
    • Find the log on your Desktop and Attach that saved log to your next reply.

    (Copy to clipboard for pasting into forum replies or tickets)

    Open the Command Prompt as a administrator and execute following command one at time:

    Sfc /Scannow
    Dism /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

    Ccleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history.

    Check the Hard Disk Drive For Errors
    Makes Sure all file system is not damage and eliminate bad sectors.

    1. Click "Start Menu"
    2. Then click on "My Computer"
    3. Click on C: partition.
    4. Right click it and select 'Properties'
    5. Click On the 'Tools ' tab.
    6. In the first box 'Error-Checking' Click 'Check Now' button.

    7. 'Check disk options' will appear, select both options... Click start.

    Defragment Your Hard Disk Drive
    Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so your hard disk can work more efficiently. Disk Defragmenter runs on a schedule, but you can also defragment your hard disk manually.

    To defragment your hard disk:

    1. Open Disk Defragmenter by clicking the Start Menu. In the search box, type Disk Defragmenter, and then, in the list of results, click "Disk Defragmenter".
    2. Under Current status, select the disk you want to defragment.
    3. To determine if the disk needs to be defragmented or not, click Analyze disk. Once Windows is finished analyzing the disk, you can check the percentage of fragmentation on the disk in the Last Run column. If the number is above 5%, you should defragment the disk.
    4. Click Optimize Button.

    Disk Defragmenter might take from several minutes to a few hours to finish, depending on the size and degree of fragmentation of your hard disk. You can still use your computer during the defragmentation process. But I advice you to not to use computer while defragmenting the hard disk for better result.
    For better Disk Defragmenter use Perfect Disk or Diskeeper they can defragment page file, registry hives and NTFS/FAT file system at boot time.

    Optimize Windows Boot Time

    The Prefetch directory has one additional salutary function when used in conjunction with the built-in defragmenting tool. Every three days, during idle times, this utility rearranges program code, moving it to the outside of the disk to make it more efficient when loading (to force Windows to perform this optimization without having to do a full defragmentation, use the Defrag.exe command with the /b switch. For instance:

    1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
    2. Type Defrag c: /b press Enter key.

    Registry Hives Defragment Them
    Registry file fragmentation can be one of the leading causes of performance degradation.
    PageDefrag uses advanced techniques to provide you what commercial defragmenters cannot: the ability for you to see how fragmented your paging files and Registry hives are, and to defragment them. Quicksys RegDefrag can also defragment Registry hives.


    If you have two hard drives or a partition this tweak is for you.
    We are going to increase Windows OS performance by allocating PageFile to a separate drive or partition.

    1. Click "Start Menu"
    2. Click Control Panel
    3. Click "System"
    5. Select "Advanced" tab.
    6. Under Performance section click "Settings" button.

    6. Select "Advanced " tab Under "Virtual memory", click "Change” button.

    Now take a look under "Drive [Volume Label]" your page file is currently on the drive/volume where your OS is at we are going to ADD PageFile to a free drive or partition. Lets say my page file is currently managed on C:, and I have another hard drive called F: the only way to achieve optimal pagefile performance is to place it on F: partition/drive where the os not at.

    You can also reduce amount of PageFile fragmentation
    1. Disable PageFile by clicking “No Paging file”.
    2. Click Set button and click OK.

    3. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
    4. Type Defrag C: /x /h to perform free space consolidation on the specified volume.
    5. After free space consolidation finnish.
    6. Set paging file to a fixed size.
    7. Click “Custom size
    8. Type 1.5 times of RAM installed on PC so if you PC has 500 MB RAM type 750 into “Initial size (MB)” and “Maximum size (MB)” fields.
    9. Click Set and OK button in the Virtual Memory window to accept changes.

    Limit How Many Programs Run at Startup

    Many programs are designed to start automatically when Windows starts. Software manufacturers often set their programs to open in the background, where you can't see them running, so they'll open right away when you click their icons. That's helpful for programs you use a lot, but for programs you rarely or never use, this wastes precious memory and slows down the time it takes Windows to finish starting up.

    AutoRuns for Windows, a free tool shows you all of the programs and processes that run when you start Windows. You can stop a program from running automatically when Windows starts by opening the AutoRuns for Windows program, and then by clearing the check box next to the name of the program you want to stop. AutoRuns for Windows is designed for advanced users.

    Decide for yourself if you want a program to run at startup.

    You can also stop startup programs from "System Configuration Utility",or Task Manager.
    1. Click "Start Menu
    2. Type MSCONFIG
    3. Click on the "Statup" tab.

    4. Select any programs you find unnecessary and anything with a name you
    don't recognize simply Uncheck the box.
    5. When finished click "Apply" and restart your computer.

    Random access memory (RAM) temporarily stores programs when they are running, along with the data being used by those programs that is needed quickly.
    Although a hard disk can be used as virtual random access memory, we don’t consider that RAM either.
    Without RAM, Windows wont have enough resources to load heavy applications quickly and will store some of the data’s into slow virtual memory on hard disk drive.
    Adding more RAM will speed up your system.
    Visit HowStuffWorks website for more information.
    You can use “Crucial Advisor tool” or “Crucial System Scanner” tool to find correct RAM for you PC.

    Crucial Tecnology
    Crucial US | DRAM, Solid State Drive (SSD) & Memory Upgrades

    Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
    Rotational latency is the delay waiting for the rotation of the disk to bring the required disk sector under the read-write head. It depends on the rotational speed of a disk (or spindle motor), measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).
    Higher RPM ( Revolutions Per Minute) rate of the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) will help speed up access to files on HDD.
    This also has the benefit of improving (increasing) the throughput.

    Solid State Drive (SSD)
    Like a memory stick, there are no moving parts to an SSD. Rather, information is stored in microchips. Conversely, a hard disk drive uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head to move around and read information from the right location on a storage platter. This difference is what makes SSD so much faster.
    For more information visit below website.

    SSD vs HDD
    SSD vs HDD | - Storage Reviews
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 13,950
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503

    You need to make one change to your tutorial for using msconfig:

    System very slow, Task Mgr shows disk 100%.  Need help troubleshooting-image.png
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 4,547
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

    Ztruker said:
    You need to make one change to your tutorial for using msconfig:

    System very slow, Task Mgr shows disk 100%.  Need help troubleshooting-image.png
    I write the tutorial for all versions of Windows.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 13,950
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503

    Okay, but your example only shows msconfig which doesn't work on 8, 8.1 or 10.

    Another excellent tutorial though.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 39,994
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit

    Hi Ztrucker ,
    Please see the red text to use task manager.
    Once the blue text or task manager is clicked within msconfig it opens task manager.
    Then a right click to disable each row that displays enabled.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 4,547
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

    Ztruker said:
    Okay, but your example only shows msconfig which doesn't work on 8, 8.1 or 10.

    Another excellent tutorial though.
    Thank you!
      My Computer


  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 19:47.
Find Us

Windows 10 Forums