How to Fix 100% Disk Utilization?

What does 100% Disk Utilization mean?

100% Disk Utilization refers to a condition in which the disk drive on a computer is working at its maximum capacity, which can cause performance issues and slow down the computer.

When the disk utilization is at 100%, it means that the computer's storage is fully occupied or overloaded with data requests and the disk is unable to keep up with the incoming requests, resulting in slow response times, delayed system startups, and overall sluggish performance.

Why do our laptops show 100% disk utilization?

This is not an error but it's an issue.

This issue can be caused by various factors such as malware, outdated hardware, corrupt files, or a lack of system resources, among other things.

Resolving this problem typically involves identifying the root cause and applying the appropriate solution, such as disabling unnecessary services, freeing up disk space, updating drivers, or upgrading hardware components.

The issue for the performance of your SATA Hard disk are:

Noticeable issues :

➤  Task Manager shows 100% disk utilization.

➤  Laptop slow processing.

➤  Laptop seems to overheating.

Reason for issues :

● Hard disk issues - like bad sectors,

● Hard disk non-defragmented for a long time.

● Laptop infected by malware,

● Windows services.

  1.  wsearch
  2. superfetch (sysmain)

● Google Chrome browser (Flash plugin ) - for old version Chrome.

● Skype with Windows 10.

● Anti Virus update

● PCI-Express Firmware Bug - Interrupt value changes.

● Gaming Steam - Clear the Steam cache.

● Diagnostic Tracking in Windows 10 (Hidden service should be off )

● Windows Update causes 100% Disk usage

● Virtual Memory & RAM mis - combination.

● Performance Mode

● SATA Drivers mismatch

● PSU - Power Supply Unit

● Windows Help - Notification & Actions

● Windows Medi Service

Warning :

Despite discovering a solution, alterations made may be nullified by a Windows Update. Bookmarking this page will help you find it in the future and run through the fixes again.


So you can re-fixing every time after the Windows update.

17 Disk Utilization Issues And Their Solutions

Here we look at the step-by-step solution for each Symptom:

Issue:1 Hard disk issue - like bad sectors,

Issue:2 Hard disk non-defragmented for a long time.

Solution: Run Disk de-fragmenting frequently. Normally Windows 10 itself self-disk analysis at the time of startup.  But that's not sufficient for full operation. So that we can do the disk de-fragmenting operation once a month.

If the hard disk has hardware-related issues , replace the hard disk.


Issue : 3 Laptop or PC infected by malware

Solution: Use the tools like Malwarebytes Anti - Malware should be able to scan your system drive and detect any problems. If any threats are found, use anti-virus software for cleaning the issue.


Issue: 4 Windows services. - wsearch & superfetch (sysmain)

Solution: We can stop the service at the time of Windows startup,

1. Press WIN+R

2. Type msc, then click OK

3. In the Services window that opens find Windows Search and double-click to open

4. In Windows Search Properties find Startup type and select Disabled

5. You can also click Stop to abort the service

6. Click OK to save your changes.

sysmain service disable -

  1. Open CMD with administrator pre-villages

  2. type the following command

  3. net.exe stop sysmain

After that, you can run the following command also.

chkdsk.exe /f /r


Issue: 5 Google Chrome browser (Flash plugin ) - for old version Chrome.

Solution: Windows 10 has the latest update of Chrome. So skip this step.


Issue:6 Skype with Windows 10.

Solution: Disable Skype from autoloading at the startup process.


Issue:7 Anti Virus update.

Solution: Update the anti-virus regularly, and must be scanned after the update.


Issue : 8 PCI-Express Firmware Bug - Interrupt value changes.

Solution: PCI Host control update error,  Try to solve this kindly follow the steps,

1. Right-click Start and choose Device Manager

2. Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers

3. Double-click the AHCI Controller entry

4. In the driver tab select Driver Details

If the driver indicated as C:\Windows\system32\DRIVERS\storahci.sys, there is a possibility that this glitch may impact you. 


1. Close the driver details box

2. In the Details tab select Device instance path from the drop-down menu

3. Right-click the value, then Copy.

4. Launch Notepad and Paste the contents

5. Next, press WIN+R and type regedit, and click OK

6. Find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\ and use the pasted

string from Notepad to open the correct AHCI Controller, followed by the random number.


Here, expand Device Parameters\Interrupt Management\MessageSignaledInterruptProperties and you should see MSISupported listed on the right hand pane.

Double-click this, then change the Value data: to 0.

Click OK to confirm and follow the instructions to restart Windows.

Note:  This is a registry editing process take care of yourself.


Issue: 9 Gaming Steam - Clear the Steam cache.

Solution: Stop the background process of game downloading and clear its cache.


Issue:10 Diagnostic Tracking in Windows 10 (Hidden service should be off

Solution: Stop the hidden service of Windows , follow the steps

1. Click Start and type CMD in the search box

2. Choose run as an administrator

3. Input sc config "DiagTrack' start= disabled

4. Input sc stop "DiagTrack"

When it's done, close the command prompt. Restart the windows.


Issue:11 Windows Update causes 100% Disk usage

Solution:  Leave your computer alone, allow it to update your Windows patches,  and Restart the computer after the updates.


Issue:12 Virtual Memory & RAM mis - combination.

Solution: Reset the virtual memory, follow the steps,

1. Press Windows+Break/Pause

2. On the right, find and click Advanced System Settings

3. In the Advanced tab go to Performance > Settings

4. Select the new Advanced tab

5. Under the section labeled Virtual memory click Change

6. Clear the checkbox for Automatically manage paging file size for all drives

7. Next, select the Windows drive (usually C:) and then Custom size

8. Add an Initial size and a Maximum size; note both are measured in MB rather than GB

9. Once the values are inputted, click Set then OK to continue

Once it's done restart your system.


Issue:13 Performance Mode

Solution: Change the Windows power options,  follow the steps

1. Click WIN+X > Power Options

2. In the Power & Sleep screen click Additional Power settings

3. Here, choose High performance, then OK

Once done restart the system.


Issue:14 SATA Drivers mismatch

Solution:  Driver updates should be done regularly, it's part of the Windows update but sometime the older driver is unable to update. So kindly follow the steps.

1. Right-click Start

2. Open the Power User menu and click on Device Manager.

3. Expand Storage controllers

4. Identify the correct controller for your SATA devices

5. To update right click on each controller and select Update Driver.

6. Opt for the "Browse my computer for driver software" option.

7. Afterwards, click on "Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer". 

8. Select the Standard AHCI Controller and evaluate its impact on the system's performance.

After this kindly restart the system.


Issue: 15 PSU - Power Supply Unit

Solution: Sometime the power supply unit has some problem,  check with your hardware vendor, and if it's a fault or malfunction replace it.


Issue:16 Windows Help - Notification & Actions

Solution:  Disable the notification and actions service, follow the steps

1. Press WIN+I to open Settings

2. Here, select System > Notification & actions

3. Find and disable Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows


Issue:17 Windows Medi Service

Solution: Disable this hidden service by using registry edit. follow the steps.

  1. Press Win+R to open the run box

  2. Type regedit to open the registry editor

      3. Before proceeding, make a registry backup with File > Export, saving the backup somewhere safe

      4. In the browser bar, paste this path: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WaaSMedicSvc

      5. In the right pane, right-click Start and choose Modify

      6. Set the Value data to 4 then OK to close.

To Conclude

100% Disk Utilization can be a frustrating and debilitating issue for computer users.

Fortunately, by identifying and resolving the underlying causes of this problem, you can restore your system's performance and improve your overall computing experience.

If you're experiencing 100% Disk Utilization issues on your computer, don't hesitate to take action. Follow the step-by-step solutions we've outlined in this article to identify and resolve the root cause of the problem.


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Saravana Raja

Saravana Raja

Saravana Raja is an accomplished Senior Manager in IT with expertise in infrastructure and networking. He is a passionate biker & traveller and shares his experiences through vlogging.