Windows 10 Notebook with Disk running at 100% and very slow performance.


I am trying to fix a pc which is unresponsive. The users profile is practically unusable.

I created a new local profile and although it was more responsive at the start it slowed down but the disk remained at 100%.

So what I am looking for is some steps to resolve plus some possible causes.

Can any of these factors alone cause this?

1. Hard drive fault.
2. Windows corruption.
3. Malware.

At the moment I am suggesting they go back to dell and get the hard drive tested first.

Then I am thinking of doing a windows reset.

But am interested in what other people think on how to resolve. Please though in your responses
give me feedback on 1, 2 and 3. As I would like be able to "at this stage" give explanations of why it is happening to the user as well.

BTW. I have attached a screen shot of task manager in the new profile I created.


Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
Start with a clean boot to exclude or confirm 3rd party app/service activity.
Any AV scan running on startup?

Also visit to see how to fix StorAHCI.sys driver.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Have you tried disabling Cortana?
whorsfallAuthor Commented:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will have a look at them.

Could malware or a hardware fault cause this issue?


Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

whorsfallAuthor Commented:

In addition the article:

Could doing this risk the machine not booting?


noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Are you using SSD drive in  this machine? If yes then yes the article applies to your case. And you have to take backup of the system and then try the suggested steps. Backup can be taken also from nion-Windows interface by booting the machine from Boot CD. Paragon, Acrnois, Ghost and many other tools let you do this.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Well yes, could be any of the three items you mentioned.

I'd try starting in Safe Mode and see if the problem still occurs.  If it doesn't then you can do a Malware scan there.  I'd try MalwareBytes  (the free version).

If the system is still under warranty then use it.  If it isn't then take the hard disk out and attach it to another machine for testing using manufacturer's util for that specific drive.  (We can specify the link).  If it is a SSD don't go this way.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
I have had this problem with my new installation of Windows 10 on Intel SSD drive. It got resolved for me as I disabled Cortana.
if it is a rotating disk - i'd suggest to run the manufacturer's disk diagnostic; eg WD lifeguard for WD, or seagate diag for seagate drives
i use the UBCD for this :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD
go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP :

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
direct download :
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)      

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick
*** note *** for SSD drives  use the tool from the manufacturer, like intel 's toolbox :

for completeness -here's how i handle disk problems :

==>>****in order to be able to  boot from CD or usb - you may have to disable secure boot in the bios
Sam Simon NasserIT Support ProfessionalCommented:
for me, i would do hardware checkking first,
download a free trial of HD Tune
screenshot.pngclick on health, is everything OK?
also click on error scan, and do double scanning, one quick and one slow. if you find any red dots, that means you have a corrupted hard disk.

also do memory scanning, you can download memtest from the above reply by nobus

if these both tests are fine, this means its a software issue.
Gerald ConnollyCommented:
In the days when i had a Spinning Rust disk, my laptop was unresponsive for at least the first 10 minutes after it was booted, while it did AV checks and WU checks etc - Disk 100% utilised (IOPS)

Upgrading to a SSD solved that problem!    Machine was responsive immediately once i had done the upgrade (i choose a Samsung SSD)
whorsfallAuthor Commented:

Thanks great answers from everybody. Turned out it was a corrupted dell service that was causing all the disk usage - disabled this and the problem went away.


It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 10

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.