‘100% Disk Usage’ means some processes are eating up the full hard disk read/write processing power, leaving nothing for the others to consume and run smoothly. This inevitably slows down the system, as the system struggles to function properly. There is an array of reasons that can be at the root of the issue on your computer. Starting from malware to misconfigured browser settings, anything may trigger this issue. But, before you jump to the main, broader solutions, we suggest you try these quick workarounds.
1. Restart your computer once. Like other users, it may stop the 100% disk usage issue.
2. Detach any external media storage devices (like – external HDDs, pen drives, etc.).
Table of Contents
Fix 1 – Disable the Windows Search
Windows Search runs in the background and can consume a hefty amount of hard disk processing power.
1. At first, press the Windows key and start to type “cmd“.
2. Then, right-click on the “Command Prompt” and click on “Run as administrator” to open the terminal as an administrator.
3. When the Command Prompt opens up, type this command in the terminal and hit Enter.
net.exe stop "Windows search"
This will stop the Windows Search from running in the background. Now, open the Task Manager and check it is still showing 100% or not. If it still shows the same issue, this is not the cause of your trouble and you can go to the next solution.
But, if the disk usage has gone down significantly, you can stop the Windows Search permanently.
1. At first, press the Windows key and write “Services“.
2. Then, click on the “Services” from the search results.
3. In the Services screen, go all the way down to the “Windows Search” service.
4. Then, right-click on the service and click on “Properties“.
5. Now, click on the ‘Startup type:’ and set it to “Disabled“.
6. Don’t forget to click on “Stop” if the service is ‘Running’.
6. Finally, click on “Apply” and “OK” to apply this change.
After that, close the Services window. Now, the high disk usage won’t be there.
Fix 2 – Run a malware scan
Viruses and malware tend to consume plentiful disk resources. You can run a malware scan to identify the threats and remove them.
1. At first, press the Windows key and type “Windows Security“.
2. Then, tap on the “Windows Security“.
3. In Windows Security, tap on the “Virus & threat protection“.
4. Next, click on the “Scan options” to see the detailed scan options.
5. Then, click on the radio button beside the “Full scan“.
6. Finally, click on “Scan now” to start the full scan. This process will take a long time depending upon the files on your computer.
Windows will complete the process and remove/quarantine the threats from the system files. This will solve the disk usage issue that you are facing.
Fix 3 – Check the disk defragmentation configuration
The regular disk defragmentation process could get corrupted due to malware and cause this issue.
1. At first, press the Windows key+R keys together.
2. Then, type this command in the Run terminal and hit Enter.
3. When the Task Scheduler window opens up, expand the left-hand side this way-
Task Scheduler (Local) > Microsoft > Windows > Defrag
4. Now, in the middle of the screen, select the “ScheduledDefrag” task.
5. Then, on the right-hand side pane, scroll down and tap on “End” to end the task.
6. You will see a confirmation prompt. Tap on “Yes” to end the scheduled defragmentation process.
7. Then, on the same side of the screen, click on “Disable” to disable the scheduled task from running on your system.
Then, close the Task Scheduler window. Reboot your computer to save this changes. Check if this works out for you.
Fix 4 – Reset the Virtual Memory
The misconfigured virtual memory settings may have caused this issue in the first place.
1. At first, right-click on the Windows icon and tap on “Run“.
2. Then, type “sysdm.cpl” and hit Enter.
3. When the System Properties opens up, click on the “Advanced” tab.
4. In the Performance‘ tab, tap on the “Settings“.
5. Go to the “Advanced” settings tab.
6. In the ‘Virtual memory’ section, click on “Change” to change the paged file size change.
7. In the Virtual Memory window, uncheck the option “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” so you can adjust it manually.
You have to select the drive where you have installed Windows 10 into.
9. Select “C:” drive from the list of drives.
10. Then, click on “Custom size“.
11. Then, set the ‘Initial size’ and the ‘Maximum size’ accordingly.
You can easily calculate the approximate size of these parameters using this formula.
Initial Size (MB) = the recommended size (MB)
Maximum Size (MB) =1 .5*1024* (Installed RAM in MB)
The initial Size of the RAM should be equivalent to the same amount of ‘Recommended:’ size. In our case, it will be –
Initial size (MB) = 2938
In our case, this system has 16 GB of RAM or 16*1024=16384 MB. So, the ‘Maximum Size(MB)’ will be –
Maximum Size (MB) = 3*(1024*16) = 3* 16384 = 49152
12. Once you are done, Don’t forget to click on “OK” to save the settings.
13. If a warning message pops up on your screen, click on “Yes“.
14. Then, click on “OK“.
15. Coming back to the Performance Options window, click on “Apply” and then click on “OK” to save the changes.
16. Same way, tap on “Apply” and “OK” to save the changes.
Now, restart your computer to see how this changes affect your system.
Fix 5 – Disable the Superfetch
Superfetch can preload frequently used apps for you. But in this process, it can use up an excessive amount of hard disk processing power.
1. At first, press the Windows key + R keys together.
2. Then, type “cmd” in the terminal. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter all together to open the terminal as an administrator.
3. When the Command Prompt terminal opens up, execute this command to stop the superfetch service.
net.exe stop superfetch
Now, check the status of the disk usage on your computer.
If you want to re-enable the superfetch on your system, you have to execute this command in an elevated command prompt window.
net.exe start superfetch
Fix 6 – Clean boot the system
Clean booting will let you boot your system without the interference of any third-party apps.
1. At first, right-click on the Windows key and tap on “Run“.
2. Then, type “msconfig” in the Run terminal and click on the “OK“.
3. Just, click on the “General” tab.
4. Then, check the “Selective startup” option and tick the option “Load system services“.
6. Then, go to the “Services” tab.
7. After that, you need to check the “Hide all Microsoft services” box. All the system services will disappear and all the third-party services will be selected.
8. Finally, click on the “Disable all“.
9. You have to go to the “Startup” section.
10. Then, tap on the “Open Task Manager“.
Task Manager will open up.
11. Here, you will see many unwanted applications that autostart with the system.
12. Next, right-click on the service and tap on “Disable“.
When you have disabled all the startup of unnecessary applications, close the Task Manager window.
13. Just, click on “Apply” and then on “OK“.
As soon as you have saved the settings, a prompt will appear.
14. Just, click on “Restart” to reboot the system applying those changes.
Check if your hard disk is still showing 100% usage or not.
Fix 7 – Disable Diagnostic Tracking
1. At first, click on the Start icon and start to type “cmd“.
2. Then, right-click on the “Command Prompt” in the search results and click on “Run as administrator” to open the terminal as an administrator.
3. Now, copy-paste these commands one by one and hit Enter to execute these commands.
sc config "DiagTrack" start= disabled sc stop "DiagTrack"
Close the Command Prompt and check whether this solves your issue.
Fix 8 – Disk checkup
You can run the disk check up on your computer to test whether there is any hard disk corruption.
1. At first, press the Windows key+S and type “cmd“.
2. Then, right-click on the “Command Prompt” and right-click on the “Run as administrator“.
3. Then, type this command and press the Enter key.
Type “Y” in the terminal and then hit Enter to start the scan when your computer restarts next time.
chkdsk C: /f /r /x
Close the Command Prompt.
Fix 9 – Disable Windows Update service
Windows Update and other associated services always run in the background, gobbling up the hard disk processing power.
1. At first, press the Windows key and type “Services“.
2. Then, tap on the “Services” in the search results.
3. When the Services appears, scroll down to find the “Windows Update” service.
4. Then, double-click on this service.
5. Further, set the ‘Startup type:’ to “Disabled“.
6. If the service is running already, tap on “Stop” to stop the service.
7. Don’t forget to save the changes with a click on “Apply” and another on “OK“.
8. You should be back at the Services window. Scroll up to the “Background Intelligent Transfer Service“.
9. Now, right-click on the service and tap on “Properties“.
10. Just as before, set this service startup as “Disabled“.
11. Then, tap on “Stop” and click on “OK” to save the changes.
Close the Service window and restart your computer.
After rebooting the system, the disk usage should go down.
Fix 10 – Disable Chrome running at the back
Whenever you close Chrome, it does run in the background, consuming hard disk resources.
1. Open the Google Chrome browser on your computer.
2. Then, paste this address in the address bar and hit Enter.
3. Next, tap on “Advanced” to open the advanced settings.
4. Here, just toggle the “Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed” settings to “Off“.
Close Google Chrome and check if you are still seeing the issue or not.
Fix 11 – Opt for the High Performance mode
Windows limits the performance significantly in the balanced or power saver mode. So, choosing the High Performance mode should work.
1. At first, press the Windows key+R keys together.
2. Then, type “powercfg.cpl” and hit Enter.
This will open up the Power Options.
3. Then, look for the “High Performance” mode. If you can’t find it, tap on the “Show additional plans” to expand it.
4. Next, select the “High Performance” plan from the available options.
Then, check the status of the disk usage in the Task Manager.
Fix – 12 Run SFC and DISM scans
Run an SFC and a DISM scan to analyze and fix if there are any system files issues.
1. Press the Windows key+R keys together.
2. After type “cmd” and then hit Enter.
4. You have to run a DISM scan. Put this command in the terminal and hit Enter key.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
Wait for a while to finish the process.
5. After running the DISM scan, execute this command to run an SFC scan.
Close the Command Prompt window. Restart the system.
Fix 13 – Edit the value related to the AHCI driver
Some users have explained that the AHCI driver is the root cause of the issue.
1. At first, press the Windows key+X keys together.
2. Then, tap on the “Device Manager” to access it.
3. Once the Device Manager window opens up, expand the “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers” section.
4. Then, right-click on the “Standard SATA AHCI Controller” device and tap on “Properties“.
5. Now, go to the “Driver” tab.
6. Then, tap on the “Driver Details” to access the detailed driver information.
7. You can now see the name of the driver. If you see the ‘Storahci.sys‘, then that is the root cause of the issue.
Close the Driver File Details window.
8. Coming back to the Properties window, go to the “Details” tab.
9. Here, click on the drop-down icon and choose the “Device instance path“.
10. Now, carefully note down the paths after the “PCI\” and after the slash ends.
This will be crucial for later steps.
Example – The Device instance path is ~
In our case, Path 1 is –
and, Path 2 is –
Once you have done all these, you can close the Device Manager window.
Step 2 –
Now, you have to modify the registry key associated with this AHCI standard controller.
1. At first, press the Windows key and the R key together.
2. Then, type “regedit” and hit Enter.
Warning – Registry Editor is the most sensitive part of your system. Before you modify/delete a key from the registry, we recommend making a backup of the registry on your computer.
After opening the Registry Editor, click on “File“. Then click on “Export” to make a new backup on your computer.
3. On the left-hand side, expand this way –
Path 1 (noted before)
Path 2 (noted before)
4. Now, on the right-hand side, double click on the “MSISupported” dword value to edit it.
5. Then, set the value as “0“.
6. Finally, click on “OK“.
After that, close the Registry Editor window. Then, restart your computer to save this change. This should stop the disk usage issue on your system.
This should have solved your problem.
Sambit is a Mechanical Engineer By qualification who loves to write about Windows 10 and solutions to weirdest possible problems.