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Disk @ 100%

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bungeejumper
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Disk @ 100%

#164462

Postby bungeejumper » September 5th, 2018, 5:38 pm

This is really getting a bit beyond a joke. My computer (Acer Aspire, Windows 10, 8gb, 20 months old) is freezing for 10-15 minutes at a time and sometimes takes three attempts to boot beyond the login screen. (It all goes black.) Grrr! Or at best, it does everything it's supposed to at the speed of lumpy treacle, and it constantly declares that various files are "not responding". (If I wait long enough they come back.)

Whenever this happens, Task Manager shows 100% disk activity but it doesn't show any processes that seem to account for all that usage. (Although any number of Windows service host routines do seem to be on the go.) And then just when I'm ready to chuck the machine out of the window, it behaves itself perfectly for 10 minutes before it goes off and does it again. I can't get any work done!

I've checked that all vents are free on the case and that cooler fans etc are running. I've seen it suggested that my drivers may need an update, because they may be clashing with the latest Windows updates. Hmmm, it ought to be possible to do that. What's the best/quickest way to do a sweep for updates?

Questions, questions. Any thoughts? Disk check, maybe?

BJ

Infrasonic
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164465

Postby Infrasonic » September 5th, 2018, 5:48 pm

Have you tried booting it into safe mode and seeing how it behaves there?
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/hel ... -safe-mode

uspaul666
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164487

Postby uspaul666 » September 5th, 2018, 7:51 pm

Easiest First thing to do is to turn it on, log in, then leave it for a few hours and see if it manages to do what it’s trying to do.

Ashfordian
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164501

Postby Ashfordian » September 5th, 2018, 8:55 pm

Windows Defender or some other anti-virus product?

Try turning them off for an hour and see if that helps

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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164541

Postby vrdiver » September 6th, 2018, 2:13 am

uspaul666 wrote:Easiest First thing to do is to turn it on, log in, then leave it for a few hours and see if it manages to do what it’s trying to do.

If that doesn't help, you can try using the W10 utility to re-install Windows (leaving the data alone). I'd suggest a backup of any key files first if you can ;)

This may give you some inspiration: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/repair-windows-10

VRD

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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164544

Postby Breelander » September 6th, 2018, 2:40 am

vrdiver wrote:...you can try using the W10 utility to re-install Windows (leaving the data alone). I'd suggest a backup of any key files first if you can ;)


The problem using any of the built in tools to 'Reset this PC' or to do a 'Fresh start' is that the do exactly what they say - they reinstall Windows with the option to keep your personal files. They don't make it clear that this will be a reinstall of a clean copy of Windows - none of your installed software will remain after doing so.

There is a way to reinstall Windows and keep all your installed software, user files and most of your settings. That is to do an in-place upgrade.

Download the Media Creation Tool, run it and chose 'Make media for another PC'. Make an ISO file, double-click on the ISO to mount it as a virtual DVD, then run the Setup you will find there.

If you currently have version 1803, this will reinstall 1803 for you. If you are on 1709 or earlier, this will upgrade you to 1803. Either way, this is an upgrade not a clean install, so you will keep all your installed software as well as your user files.

As VRD said, backup your files before you start anything like this.

bungeejumper
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164558

Postby bungeejumper » September 6th, 2018, 8:05 am

Thanks guys, that's all great advice. I'm crossing my fingers here, but I might have found something. And apologies if this sounds a bit vague.

While running one of the various troubleshooting routines yesterday evening (I think it was the Windows Troubleshooter from my Kaspersky Internet Security), I was informed that my machine was set to be able to read/write to external drives (or something like that - it's maddening how we non-techies can forget all the important details, isn't it?) And I was recommended to turn it off, which I did. And so far, so good. No more slowdowns - yet......

Kaspersky says this sort of thing can be caused by "malware, system crashes or malfunctioning operating system optimizers", which seems to cover all the likely bases, I suppose. Anyway, if it hasn't locked up again by the end of today, I shall feel that I'm getting somewhere. :P

Thanks again!

BJ

bungeejumper
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164564

Postby bungeejumper » September 6th, 2018, 8:33 am

bungeejumper wrote:Kaspersky says this sort of thing can be caused by "malware, system crashes or malfunctioning operating system optimizers", which seems to cover all the likely bases, I suppose. Anyway, if it hasn't locked up again by the end of today, I shall feel that I'm getting somewhere. :P

Okay, scrub that, it's just done it again. Drat. :evil:

BJ

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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164566

Postby vrdiver » September 6th, 2018, 8:47 am

bungeejumper wrote:
bungeejumper wrote:Kaspersky says this sort of thing can be caused by "malware, system crashes or malfunctioning operating system optimizers", which seems to cover all the likely bases, I suppose. Anyway, if it hasn't locked up again by the end of today, I shall feel that I'm getting somewhere. :P

Okay, scrub that, it's just done it again. Drat. :evil:

BJ

Can you re-run the Kaspersky tool that "fixed" it last time? If the same problem has re-occurred at least you will have a focus for your problem investigation....

Redmires
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164568

Postby Redmires » September 6th, 2018, 9:04 am

Another thought. Task Manager isn't that thorough so try running "Process Explorer" so see if you can see what's causing the utilisation. Like the other Sysinternal tools, this is one I always recommend, especially "Autoruns" for those pesky startup programs.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysint ... s-explorer

stewamax
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164680

Postby stewamax » September 6th, 2018, 2:26 pm

As an aside to Breelander's points, is there a chance that Windows 10 is actually trying to either download or install the latest (1803) major update and getting utterly bogged down through shortage of something (main memory; free disk space?). These big updates on a slow machine can take hours.

Infrasonic
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164683

Postby Infrasonic » September 6th, 2018, 2:33 pm

stewamax wrote:As an aside to Breelander's points, is there a chance that Windows 10 is actually trying to either download or install the latest (1803) major update and getting utterly bogged down through shortage of something (main memory; free disk space?). These big updates on a slow machine can take hours.


The A/B for that would be to put the PC on 'metered connection' so it can't auto download any updates, if it behaves itself for a few days straight it may well be the culprit. Before I put an SSD in my sisters PC it was taking a day and a half to complete major W10 updates (often failing) not helped by ultra slow copper only BB. (Now Fibre @ 35Mbps down.)
The SSD has transformed it.

bungeejumper
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164686

Postby bungeejumper » September 6th, 2018, 3:04 pm

stewamax wrote:As an aside to Breelander's points, is there a chance that Windows 10 is actually trying to either download or install the latest (1803) major update and getting utterly bogged down through shortage of something (main memory; free disk space?). These big updates on a slow machine can take hours.

Nice thought, and thanks, but it's already on 1803, which it installed back in May. :( Rarely less than 4gb of free memory, and well over half a terabyte of free disk space. Hmmmm. And the freeze-ups seem to be happening every couple of hours.

Remind me, somebody, how do I force a full scan of my disk for errors and bad sectors? (Windows 10.)

Infrasonic
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164688

Postby Infrasonic » September 6th, 2018, 3:11 pm

^^ So did it behave exactly the same in safe mode then?

If you want to get to the bottom of this you'll have to adopt a rigorous A/B methodology otherwise you'll drive yourself insane with all the variables... :?

BobbyD
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164699

Postby BobbyD » September 6th, 2018, 4:24 pm

Have you run a hard drive health checker?

Do you have a disk image from a time when it was behaving itself? Is all your important data safely tucked away on a different drive to your os?

Breelander
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#164793

Postby Breelander » September 6th, 2018, 11:21 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Remind me, somebody, how do I force a full scan of my disk for errors and bad sectors? (Windows 10.)


Open a Command Prompt (Admin). Type this command...

CHKDSK C: /F /R

...and type Y to "...Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)" then restart the PC. This will check for and fix file system errors. The /R option will check for bad blocks and attempt to recover data from them. Be aware that if there are any bad blocks this could take many hours to complete.

Do not turn off, even if it seems to have stalled - it hasn't, it just slows to a crawl with multiple retries on any bad blocks it finds.

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Re: Disk @ 100%

#165335

Postby Slarti » September 9th, 2018, 4:14 pm

bungeejumper wrote:While running one of the various troubleshooting routines yesterday evening (I think it was the Windows Troubleshooter from my Kaspersky Internet Security), I was informed that my machine was set to be able to read/write to external drives (or something like that - it's maddening how we non-techies can forget all the important details, isn't it?)


When you get messages like that, your mobile phone is your friend. Photograph the error messages, then you don't have to remember them!

But, do you have Kaspersky and Windows defender (or whatever the Win10 security is called) both running?

Slarti

bungeejumper
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Re: Disk @ 100%

#165519

Postby bungeejumper » September 10th, 2018, 4:52 pm

Okay, a belated update - with my special thanks to all of you who have taken the time to reply to my rather garbled versions of events. ;) I've spent the weekend right out of broadband range, which quietened the mind somewhat and gave me space to think.

Sooooo….. on Monday afternoon, here's the state of play.

First, I've managed to get all my data off the disc, at a time when the computer was in a lucid and co-operative mood. In fact I'd done a fairly recent save, but there's nothing like the certainty of knowing that it's all safe. :D

Secondly, I've done a full scan (but not the full chkdsk yet) - and nothing came up. I have checked the start-up routines in Task Manager, and TBH there's only OneDrive, an audio driver and Windows Defender up there and running at the moment. There are, however, assorted Acer management routines permanently on the go, and I do wonder whether those need checking for updates?

Thirdly, some behaviour patterns are emerging. Firing up the computer from cold goes well until the Windows splash screen and login, after which it takes ages (10 minutes minimum) to load up my desktop. Everything works eventually, but by god it's slow.

Finally, loading up almost anything (such as a website) sends the Task Manager immediately up to 100% disk usage, but it settles back down again after a few minutes, which is when I can get my file copying done.

It's almost as if the computer was having epileptic time-outs. When it's on 100% disk usage (as per Task Manager), there will be ten seconds of absolute silence, during which not even the keyboard is functional, followed by two seconds of disk thrash, which is when things seem to get done. And then back to ten seconds of silence, then two seconds of disk thrash. The last time I heard that noise, it meant that my HDD was dying. But this time there's no screeching or clicking, which is an improvement. :lol:

It wouldn't be a terribly traumatic thing to replace the disk and put in a new copy of Windows, if that were what was needed. (I fear that it's too late for me to make a cloned disk now that my system is probably addled to the core?) But all encouragement gratefully received. ;)

Sincerely appreciate all your help!

BJ

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Re: Disk @ 100%

#165529

Postby Slarti » September 10th, 2018, 5:17 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Okay, a belated update - with my special thanks to all of you who have taken the time to reply to my rather garbled versions of events. ;) I've spent the weekend right out of broadband range, which quietened the mind somewhat and gave me space to think.

Sooooo….. on Monday afternoon, here's the state of play.

First, I've managed to get all my data off the disc, at a time when the computer was in a lucid and co-operative mood. In fact I'd done a fairly recent save, but there's nothing like the certainty of knowing that it's all safe. :D

Secondly, I've done a full scan (but not the full chkdsk yet) - and nothing came up. I have checked the start-up routines in Task Manager, and TBH there's only OneDrive, an audio driver and Windows Defender up there and running at the moment. There are, however, assorted Acer management routines permanently on the go, and I do wonder whether those need checking for updates?

Thirdly, some behaviour patterns are emerging. Firing up the computer from cold goes well until the Windows splash screen and login, after which it takes ages (10 minutes minimum) to load up my desktop. Everything works eventually, but by god it's slow.

Finally, loading up almost anything (such as a website) sends the Task Manager immediately up to 100% disk usage, but it settles back down again after a few minutes, which is when I can get my file copying done.

It's almost as if the computer was having epileptic time-outs. When it's on 100% disk usage (as per Task Manager), there will be ten seconds of absolute silence, during which not even the keyboard is functional, followed by two seconds of disk thrash, which is when things seem to get done. And then back to ten seconds of silence, then two seconds of disk thrash. The last time I heard that noise, it meant that my HDD was dying. But this time there's no screeching or clicking, which is an improvement. :lol:

It wouldn't be a terribly traumatic thing to replace the disk and put in a new copy of Windows, if that were what was needed. (I fear that it's too late for me to make a cloned disk now that my system is probably addled to the core?) But all encouragement gratefully received. ;)

Sincerely appreciate all your help!

BJ


It almost sounds as if you have a very small swap file (virtual memory) set and it is having to shuffle things from memory and back again, many times causing disk thrash.

Also, check what is loading at startup. Is it needed?

And when you say a full scan, what with? You mention defender in this post, but mentioned Kaspersky in a previous one. They don't play well together.

Slarti

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Re: Disk @ 100%

#165538

Postby BobbyD » September 10th, 2018, 6:01 pm

bungeejumper wrote:It wouldn't be a terribly traumatic thing to replace the disk and put in a new copy of Windows, if that were what was needed. (I fear that it's too late for me to make a cloned disk now that my system is probably addled to the core?) But all encouragement gratefully received. ;)


I'd start with reinstalling windows. You can spend weeks looking for the problem, ruling out this and investigating that or do a quick reinstall, which is good to do occasionally anyway. If a naive Windows install still doesn't work right you've probably got a hardware problem. If it does take an image to make it easier next time, and keep track of what installs/changes you make so that if it reoccurs you have a pretty good idea of why.

Slarti wrote:
And when you say a full scan, what with? You mention defender in this post, but mentioned Kaspersky in a previous one. They don't play well together.



Crystaldiskinfo or the like?


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