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Windows 8.1 100% disk usage at startup

Posted on 2013-12-18
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Last Modified: 2015-09-18
Dear Experts

I'm having an issue with one of my Windows 8.1 computers. The problem is that the computer takes a very long time to setting down after logging on.

When monitoring task manager, it appears that the Disk is as 100%. I've disable windows search which helps a little but start up time is still much longer than i'm happy with. After around 10-20 mins things settle down.

Any suggestions on how i can resolve this issue? Maybe the drive is failing. I've defragged and run error checking by still no joy.

Antivirus is ESET
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Question by:mschneikert
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39726792
Run CHKDSK to see if it spots errors on the disk. You can also get a Hard Drive test tool from the manufacturer of the hard drive to further test the drive.

Other things that can cause this:

1. Indexing still going on and not completing. I see you disabled Search, but I think indexing can still go on.
2. Windows updates not yet satisfied.
3. Antivirus updating.

Open Task Manager, Performance tab and then see Resource Manager down at the bottom. Run Resource Manager and see under Disk what is running.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 39727029
windows search service controls indexing
if that service is disabled/stopped then indexing would not be occurring

how much memory does the system have?
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Author Comment

by:mschneikert
ID: 39727079
Thanks All

My machine has i5 CPU wuth 8GB RAM
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 39727154
do you have a lot of programs at startup?
you can use msconfig to disable some startup items and see how it behaves
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 39727176
@mschneikert  - I have Windows 8 Pro 64-bit running on a ThinkPad X230 with 8 Gb of memory.

I get bouts of high disk usage at random times during a day, but not usually at startup.

The two main culprits are:  
1. Antivirus updating and doing a "quick" scan.
2. PerfectDisk doing some real time defrag.

I think the latter is not too invasive. The former slows me down and I need to moderate the "quick" scan. It is usually about 15 minutes and mostly does not get in the way too much.

Indexing on my machine is complete (over 100,000 items) and index activity does not bog down my machine.

I run over 100 services on my laptop, but they are properly set up and only consume memory (of which I have lots).

Don't forget to scan for viruses. This could cause the activity you get.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 91

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39728674
run msconfig  -select startup tab- click disable all
reboot to test
if still bad - select services tab in msconfig, click "hide MS Services" then click disable all
reboot and test
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Author Comment

by:mschneikert
ID: 39728700
Thanks everyone for your help

thinkpads_user, i think your answer best helped solve my issue.

My Eset was running AV 4. I recently upgraded to Win 8.1 which seems to be the issue.

I upgraded to Endpoint and now my computer settles after 2 mins rather than 20.

Great job.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mschneikert
ID: 39728703
AV was out of date, needed the latest software (Endpoint) after upgrading to Win 8.1
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39728883
@mschneikert - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:shubham arora
ID: 40983192
I had seen a solution to this problem elsewhere - open Skype. I tried many of the other suggested solutions, even opened the desktop version of Skype that I usually use, just to test the theory (all of this took hours as my computer was so slow and Skype seemed like a long shot solution). Finally I tried opening the Skype App (8.1) and after taking around 10 minutes to open, disk usage immediately went down to single digits and has been fluctuating normally ever since. Odd, but effective. Might want to try it.
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