Why does Windows 8 show 100% disk usage even when I am not running any applications?

Shaurya G August 6, 2013

My laptop is running Windows 8 and all drivers are up to date. My laptop is only 1 month old too – so why does it show 100% usage even when I have nothing running?

  1. Tsf O
    August 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    This problem usually arises due to some 3rd party softwarees running in background to ensure if that is the case follow the steps below to place your computer in “clean boot”
    • Click the Start
    • Type msconfig in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
    • On the General tab, click Selective Startup.
    • Under Selective Startup, click to clear the Load Startup Items check box.
    • Click the Services tab, click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, and then click Disable All.
    • Click OK.
    When you are prompted, click Restart.

  2. nick
    August 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    just got this problem with a client of mine's laptop running windows 8. After banging my head against a wall and checking numerous things that were not it, i noticed i he doesn't have windows updates enabled. I ran updates and they installed and just like that, the problem is gone. MS must've known about the issue and supplied an update recently cuz everything works fine now except those logical blocks being retired, go fig... =/

    • arnold
      August 28, 2013 at 2:11 am

      be patient. It will return. I have had the 100% disk utilization problem soon after I started using Win 8 on my HP p7-1446s desktop (about 5 months ago). Many, many Win 8 users have had it (try googling it).
      AFIK, MicroZoft has no clue. I have updated, removed suspicious applications and keep Task Manager running in a corner of my desktop.

      The Performance screen will show "100%", but the process screen will show (e.g.) "20% Disk" while the Disk sort can't find any process using the disk(all 0%). After a minute or 3 (feels like 10), the 20% abruptly subsides to almost 0 as does the 100%.

      The 100% bug/problem ebbs & flows. Just when I think all is well,
      it returns, apparently uncorrelated with what am I doing, recovers
      only to return in about 1/2 - 1 hour.

      I see 8.1 is coming out - maybe??

  3. Oron Joffe
    August 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Shaurya, is this 100% DISK usage or CPU usage?

  4. Harish J
    August 6, 2013 at 9:07 am

    You can also use SysInternals. They come with a host of monitoring utilities through which you can figure out which process is utilizing your disk. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals

    • Bruce E
      August 6, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      In Windows 8, the Task Manager has been revamped. Now when you look at the process list, you can see CPU usage, Disk activity, Memory usage and network utilization for each item in the list. It is no longer necessary to rely on the SysInternals tools for this unless you want to know specifically what files, addresses, and registry entries are being accessed.

  5. Hovsep A
    August 6, 2013 at 8:38 am

    clean boot windows, see if things are better, then you can enable each process and reboot each time until to find which process causing this problem.

  6. Bruce E
    August 6, 2013 at 2:26 am

    What are you looking at to see this 100% disk usage? Are you looking at a performance monitor watching disk activity or are you looking at the amount of storage space consumed? If it is the latter, you simply need to move data from whatever drive you are watching to another device. If it is the former, does it remain at 100% all the time or does it vary over time? Looking at Task Manager, are there any processes that are taking up a lot of CPU time or causing a great deal of disk activity? (You can sort on the Disk column on the Process tab to see the highest users.)

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