After upgrading to Windows 10 or to a certain version of Windows 10, there is a certain issue of disk usage. This has happened with quite lot of Windows users. One of the common group of victims are those who have recently installed SSDs on their laptops and desktops. After installing SSD, or even changing the hard drive, the task manager would show 100% disk usage. The symptoms are that your laptop or computer would become very slow and hang at even the simplest of tasks. This will persist with no remedy. Moreover, the computer’s wakeup and shut down time might also be increased. Overall, the excessive disk usage will make computer very slow.
At 100% disk usage or even anything near it, you will experience that PC will hang during tasks like searching, opening a program, using Chrome or even playing some media. The startup time of PC will be massively affected. There are tons of possible reasons for this to happen. Normally, disk usage should be something like this.
This screenshot is taken when virtually nothing was done on the disk. Nothing is being copied or written over it. While taking this screenshot, the disk usage was 1%. So, you can say that these stats are the way they should be. If the disk usage is almost consistently 100% or something around it, then there is a problem. Most of the times, this has something to do with a software bug. In some cases, the 100% disk usage is caused by the drivers for AHCI PCI Express controller. This is caused by a bug in inbox StorAHCI.sys driver. The Message Signaled Interrupt (MSI) mode is enabled. If AHCI PCI-Express is the culprit for your issue, here’s how to identify and solve it.
Fix 100% Disk Usage caused by MSI Enabled with StorAHCI.sys driver
This is a software bug that is caused on some PCIe models which are running inbox StorAHCI.sys driver. This happens when the MSI mode is enabled on SSD drive. In actual, there would be zero to almost no workload on your PC. However, the task manager would show 100% or little less disk usage. In this case, follow these steps to identify and solve this issue. This method works only if it is caused by StorAHCI.sys driver.
- Press Win + X key.
- Click on “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
- Now type “devmgmt.msc” and press enter.
- This will open the Device Manager.
- You can access device manager by Right-Click on This PC > Properties > Device Manager (in top left).
- Once the Device Manager has opened up, look for “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers.
- Click on it and right-click on “Standard SATA AHCI Controller.
- Now click on Properties and then open the “Driver” Tab in next window.
- Click on “Driver Details”.
- If you see the “storahci.sys” driver installed then it means that you are running this driver and your PC might be affected by this bug.
Now that you have identified if your PC is running the storahci.sys driver, here is how to disable MSI mode.
- Go back to the Standard SATA AHCI Controller Properties.
This time open the tab “Details”.
The drop down will be showing “Device Description”.
Click on it and select “Device Instance Path”.
Right Click on the address shown below and click on Copy.
The path that you have copied, paste it somewhere to save it because we will be using it in next step.
- Once again open the Command Prompt (Admin).
- Type “regedit” and press Enter.
- This will open Registry Editor of Windows 10.
- You can access Registry Editor also by Pressing Win + R key and typing “regedit” in Run window.
- Once in registry editor, click on “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” > System > CurrentControlSet > Enum > PCI.
- This will show a window like this.
- It will show some folders that are starting with VEN_.
- Using the address copied in first step, navigate to next two folders using device instance path copied above. It is unique for every device.
- Once you have opened it, then navigate to Device Parameters > Interrupt Management > MessageSignaledInterruptProperties.
- It will look something like this.
Notice “MSISupported” under Name column in right side.
- Double click on its Data column value which should be 1 (0x00000001) right now.
- Change it to 0.
- Save it and close the registry editor.
- Now restart your PC to see changes.
After the PC is restarted, you should see that disk usage is back to normal. Now your PC should not get slower in any case. However, if this does not happen and disk usage is still abnormal and your PC seems slow, then follow the solutions given afterwards.
Scan your PC With Anti-Virus
This is quite possible that your laptop or desktop is affect by some kind of malware that is affecting the performance. The anti-virus of our choice is malwarebytes. This is available to use for free and it does what is says. It can scan your PC in a short time and come up with anything that is affecting your system. The excessive disk usage that can be up to 100% can be caused by malware, trojans and viruses that are running resources in background. It is not easy to identify for a normal user. There can be tons of possibilities. Therefore, one of the best ways to scan your PC is by using malwarebytes.
You can get the free version as well as premium version of Malwarebytes from HERE.
Disable Flash to fix 100% Disk Usage or Slow PC in Windows 10
The flash player is nearly obsolete because of HTML 5. This is for a good reason as well. Flash player is full of bugs and security holes. Therefore, it is always advised to not to use flash player for your usage. Most people would use Chrome now a days. Although Chrome blocks Flash by default, but this is possible that someone might have enabled it by mistake. Or you might have done this, in an attempt to run a media player or game online. To check and disable this on Google Chrome, follow these steps.
- Open Google Chrome Settings.
- In top left, click on 3 bars and then click on Advanced options.
- Open Privacy and Security Settings.
- Now look for “Content Settings”.
- After Content Settings, open “Flash” settings in next window.
- Disable Flash for all applications and websites.
- It should look something like this now.
- Now restart your PC and see if the disk usage has reduced or not. If it does not work for you, then you can move on to next solution here.
Change Virtual Memory Size to fix High Disk and RAM Usage Windows 10
- This is something that helped me when I had a problem of my PC getting slow and even programs closing down randomly. The error was something like “Low memory available” or “Not enough space”. The error was something like this. Other sources on internet claim to fix this by adjusting size of virtual memory by themselves but this did not help in my case. In my case, it was already set to a manual value. Increasing the max size did not help. However, changing to auto mode made everything working back to normal. Here is how you can do it.
- Open File Explorer.
- Right-Click on “This PC” and open properties.
- In the top left sidebar, click on “Advanced system settings”.
- In the new Window, open “Advanced” tab.
- Click on “Settings under Performance heading.
- Under Virtual Memory, click on “Change”.
- Tick the first option that says “Automatically manage paging file sizes for all drives”.
- Then click on OK and restart your PC.
This method should be able to solve 100% disk usage, slow PC and even programs random crashing for most users out there. You can check out next solution if this does not work for you.
Find the service that is using Disk to make it 100% or high manually
The above mentioned methods are the ones that we usually find as culprits. This is quite possible that some of you have totally different issues in your systems. In such a case, follow these steps to find out the service or app that is eating your PC’s disk resources. Here is how to do it.
- Press Win + X keys.
- Click on Task Manager.
- Now open “Performance” tab.
- At the bottom, you will see Resource Monitor icon.
- Click on “Open Resource Monitor”.
- This will open a new window.
- In this new window, open “Disk” tab.
- Here you can see all the services that are using your PC’s disk.
- You can no identify and close this app/service to fix the issue.
You can view, disable, modify behavior of services by opening “Services.msc” from Run app. Access Run by pressing Win + R keys.
There are number of factors that can be causing this issue in your PC. It can be related to apps like Skype and Google Chrome as well. Most of these issues have been patched with latest updates. If above mentioned methods fail, then you can always find the service that is causing this issue using last method.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments sections below. I will reach out to you ASAP!