Need help narrowing down cause of 100% disk use

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  1. Posts : 2,770
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #21

    @Callender: I did suggest a safe boot.
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  2. Posts : 5,084
    21H1 64 Bit Home
       #22

    hsehestedt said:
    @Callender: I did suggest a safe boot.
    Okay, missed it.
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  3. Posts : 2,770
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #23

    No worries. Easy to miss in these long threads
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  4. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #24

    Does it tell us anything that I've been continuing to experience these episodes of 100% disk and dramatically-reduced performance without the Command Timeout Count continuing to increment? It has gone up by one in the last couple days, but the thing with the disk has happened at least three separate times over that period.

    hsehestedt said:

    You might also try a simple speed test on the HD - something like Crystal Disk Mark:

    CrystalDiskMark – Crystal Dew World

    Let's see if that also shows really poor performance. You might even compare that with an external disk drive (USB drive) if you have one available to test. It would be interesting to see if poor performance is limited to only the internal drive or if something on the system is also affecting an external drive.
    Okay, I did this first because it was the simplest. I need help interpreting the results though, because I have no idea what I'm supposed to expect. Here are two tests done while the system was (already) experiencing 100% disk use and reduced performance:

    Need help narrowing down cause of 100% disk use-crystaldiskmark_1.png
    Need help narrowing down cause of 100% disk use-crystaldiskmark_2.png

    And here's one done when the system was operating normally (not 100% disk use or reduced performance):

    Need help narrowing down cause of 100% disk use-crystaldiskmark_3.png

    I don't have an external HDD available, but in case it's of any use, I ran the test on a USB thumb drive too. The first is during the episode of reduced PC performance, and the second is during normal PC performance:

    Need help narrowing down cause of 100% disk use-crystaldiskmark_usb_2.png
    Need help narrowing down cause of 100% disk use-crystaldiskmark_usb_1.png

    - - - Updated - - -

    hsehestedt said:
    @Callender: I did suggest a safe boot.
    Yes, and I'll try that next. The only thing is my problem can be a little tricky to reproduce. The 100% disk usage comes in episodes of several minutes to an hour or two, but isn't present constantly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    OldNavyGuy said:
    I would suggest downloading and running Sysinternals Process Explorer...

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sys...ocess-explorer

    On the toolbar, click on Options > VirusTotal.com > Check VirusTotal.com

    Each process will be checked for malware, and the results displayed in a separate column.

    On the toolbar, click on View > System Information.

    In the Summary section, you'll see a series of live graphs.

    Hover your mouse over the peaks on the Disk graph, and you'll see which process is using the highest amount of disk resources.

    You can then cross-reference that process to the process list, and get more detail on what it's doing.
    No malware found, unless you count two Windows processes being flagged by 1 out of 70 of the engines (which I assume is erroneous).

    The process it names in the Disk graph tooltip is the same as the process at the top of the disk-sorted Task Manager column, no?

    Looks like this tool has a lot of information that could potentially be useful for diagnosing weird behaviors from particular apps, but unfortunately it's mostly over my head.

    - - - Updated - - -

    hsehestedt said:
    @eLPuSHeR, it's a laptop so a different SATA cable and/or port might not be possible.
    Correct. Anything involving handling or replacing hardware is going to have to be a very last resort. This machine doesn't even have an easy-access HDD door like my old one did. On top of that, I'm currently living in a hostel in Panama, where most stores are closed and ordering anything internationally takes two to three weeks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    dalchina said:
    What might be even more interesting would be to run the hardware in a different software environment.

    Try using Kyhi's boot disk (this one is based on an older build of Win 10) and may well use different drivers.
    You are being redirected...

    If you can get much better performance, that at least gives you confidence in your hardware.

    An analytical approach would suggest using the Windows Performance Toolkit (WPA, WPR) -free from MS, tutorial available, examples of use on tenforums with screenshots, which gives lots of detail graphically, but is not a tool anyone can simply pick up and use effectively immediately.
    Thanks! These both sound pretty involved a little over my head, but maybe I'll get to that point.
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  5. Posts : 1,867
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 20H1
       #25

    The process it names in the Disk graph tooltip is the same as the process at the top of the disk-sorted Task Manager column, no?

    Not necessarily.

    Windows Task Manager doesn't show the entire picture. I'm currently running a backup to an external drive that's spiking activity over 80% on the Performance tab, but doesn't show in the Processes tab.

    Sysinternals Process Explorer shows activity over the entire system, and what is running inside each process.
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  6. Posts : 34,931
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #26

    Thanks! These both sound pretty involved a little over my head, but maybe I'll get to that point.
    Download the iso, then use instructions here to create a bootable disk- but use this iso - bootable disks are very useful tools.
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10

    You will then be using an older build of Win 10 and different drivers, and may find you again get performance you achieved previously. If you can do that, you know it's at least achievable.

    You are going over well-trodden ground- and you will do many things that achieve little: examples:
    Disk usage 100% please help
    Constant 100% Disk Usage, 60-80% CPU usage. Both happen when idle.
    No superfetch No windows search No Defrag still 100% disk usage
    Source of 100% disk usage?
    Diagnosing 100% Disk usage?
    Disk usage 100% please help
    https://www.tenforums.com/drivers-hardware/133883-hard-drive-too-slow.html


    - search the forum for
    low transfer rate
    disk usage 100%

    - especially task manager, performance showing transfer rate limited to 10MB/s or less

    I think you will find most are not resolved, but you will see some of the things that were tried.
    Sorry, I've no magic fix for this rather too common problem.
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  7. Posts : 2,754
    Windows 10 Home x64
       #27

    hsehestedt said:
    @eLPuSHeR, it's a laptop so a different SATA cable and/or port might not be possible.
    Ooops! My bad.
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  8. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #28

    OldNavyGuy said:
    The process it names in the Disk graph tooltip is the same as the process at the top of the disk-sorted Task Manager column, no?

    Not necessarily.

    Windows Task Manager doesn't show the entire picture. I'm currently running a backup to an external drive that's spiking activity over 80% on the Performance tab, but doesn't show in the Processes tab.

    Sysinternals Process Explorer shows activity over the entire system, and what is running inside each process.
    Ah okay, good to know! Also different from what shows in Resource Monitor? I've noticed that sometimes sees things that Task Manager doesn't.

    - - - Updated - - -

    dalchina said:
    Download the iso, then use instructions here to create a bootable disk- but use this iso - bootable disks are very useful tools.
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10

    You will then be using an older build of Win 10 and different drivers, and may find you again get performance you achieved previously. If you can do that, you know it's at least achievable.

    You are going over well-trodden ground- and you will do many things that achieve little: examples:
    Disk usage 100% please help
    Constant 100% Disk Usage, 60-80% CPU usage. Both happen when idle.
    No superfetch No windows search No Defrag still 100% disk usage
    Source of 100% disk usage?
    Diagnosing 100% Disk usage?
    Disk usage 100% please help
    https://www.tenforums.com/drivers-hardware/133883-hard-drive-too-slow.html


    - search the forum for
    low transfer rate
    disk usage 100%

    - especially task manager, performance showing transfer rate limited to 10MB/s or less

    I think you will find most are not resolved, but you will see some of the things that were tried.
    Sorry, I've no magic fix for this rather too common problem.
    Understood. I appreciate your help, and your frankness about the difficulty in solving this. I'll put the bootable disk thing high on my list of things to try next.
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  9. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #29

    For anyone coming back to this thread and wondering what happened: I basically just forgot about it after awhile.

    It kind of seems like the problem might have been happening more during that period in association with me having OneDrive frequently spending long periods of time uploading backups, but I was never able to find any data to pin it to that. It still happens sometimes, but is rarely a huge issue anymore. I do often kill OneDrive when I don't have anything new I need it to be syncing.
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