Windows 10: Windows 10 Very Slow -- Disk 100% Utilization

  1.    22 Feb 2017 #1

    Windows 10 Very Slow -- Disk 100% Utilization


    My desktop computer has become unusable because it is so slow. I'm not very technical so any suggestions or input would be appreciated. (Apologies in advance for the poor quality of the information but the computer is so slow it is hard to get data)


    The computer is older (4 years?) with 8Gb of RAM and uses Windows 10 (came installed I think). The hard drive is not SSD and is only 50% filled. I use MS Windows Defender for virus protection.

    The computer is primarily used for browsing (now only MS Edge) and email. It is also used for MS office and gaming (World of Warcraft).

    About ten days ago the machine began to slow and 3 days after that became unusable as the interface doesn't respond to events. I believe around that time there was an update to WoW (quite common) and I was working with new Microsoft Cloud products (Dynamics 365 CRM).

    I started my investigation by looking at performance in the Task Manager (ctl-alt-del). CPU, network and memory seemed fine but disk was at 100% continuously. There were 3-5 processes that would typically show activity but generally less than 1 (k/s?) - nothing stood out.

    Given what I thought were generic symptoms I went to the internet for solutions.

    The following summarizes what I have done or tried over the past week as time permitted.

    disabled BITS - no apparent effect although I'm guessing it affected the windows update process laterdisabled windows search - no effect
    Disabled superfetch - no effect
    Manually set paging to be 8g with 16g max - no effect
    Did a safe boot (no network) - no effect
    Did a clean install (removed office, WoW) - no effect, did reset power settings which was a pain as no longer had time to finish jobs
    Downloaded tweaking windows fix tool - did a number of things and took a day. It did seem to fix an event viewer snap in problem but that's all
    Tried to update video driver but said I had latest
    Disabled onedrive
    Disabled real time Defender on multiple occasions (turns itself back on). No positive effect, if not off it takes longer to get back to an operational desktop
    Turned off windows tips and tricks- no effect


    After all of this and still very slow, I thought through the problem again.

    Is the computer just trying to do too much? It's it underspecced? I don't think so because there was a dramatic difference in performance all of a sudden and didn't add much load. Don't know what are reasonable numbers for some of the measures eg one process is consistently writing 80kb/s which is much higher than the others.

    Is the problem with the physical drive? Given that the machine will operate fine for 5 minutes each hour, none of the utilities indicate problems and the task manager says the drive is busy I've assumed this isn't the issue

    Is something in Win10 that controls the drives malfunctioning ie are the drives reading/writing correctly? Mostly based on the stats, it seems the drives are working fine. They are just too busy doing the wrong things than doing things incorrectly.

    To try and learn more I found out how to see what processes were using which files (windows + R, res mon). It isn't consistent as to which process is busy but usually system and servhost (figured out how to tell which instance was busy eg the updater). Sometimes saw Defender process as well.

    Regarding specific files, last night it was mostly software distribution files but they have seemed to have gone away now. Babi.log2, various Ntfs files, data store.edb and others were also busy. (Busy is defined as >30 k/s combined read/write.) However the file that consistently is busy is a 1M log file called Microsoft windows storage pnp operational.evtx. Currently trying to read the file to see the error. Maybe a driver issue on a portable storage device?A very slow job.

    Any recommendations on process or solution would be appreciated. Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. axe0's Avatar
    Posts : 13,723
    Windows 10 Pro
       22 Feb 2017 #2

    Please run HDTune to
    • check the health,
    • scan for errors, no quick scan but full scan
    • run a benchmark.

    It may take some time, but please take the time you need to perform it properly.
    When above is done please make screenshots of the following
    • the health,
    • the error scan,
    • the benchmark incl. following
      • transfer rate,
      • access time,
      • burst rate,
      • cpu usage.

    Please fill in your system specs
    Please follow this tutorial and download the tool. The tool will give you detailed information about your system specs, please fill in your system specs more completely including PSU, cooling and other used stuff like mouse, keyboard, monitor, case, etc.
    The PSU, cooling and other stuff are NOT mentioned in the tool.

    In the left corner below in your post you find 'My System Specs'. After clicking it you can find a link a little below that says 'Update your System Spec', click on this link to get to the page where you can fill in your system specs.

      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    23 Feb 2017 #3

    Updates to original message

    As requested

    Also updated system specs in Windows 7 forum (except for PSU/Cooling that will be added soon)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Capture1Benchmark.PNG   Capture2Health.PNG   Capture3Error.PNG  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. axe0's Avatar
    Posts : 13,723
    Windows 10 Pro
       23 Feb 2017 #4

    Looks like the hard drive is failing, backup your stuff and replace it.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    23 Feb 2017 #5

    Thanks. Will do
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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