High Disk Usage and slow IO RRS feed

  • Question

  • **Trying this again because apparently Microsoft doesn't trust me**


    After upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 Professional, there seem to be a few disturbing problems.

    When I have the Task Manager open, I sometimes notice the disk usage climbing to 50, 75, or 100 percent, even though there's scarcely any disk activity going on. When I sort the processes by disk usage, it's always the system process that's doing it, but the amount of data it's transferring seems to have no effect on the recorded disk usage.

    I've seen task manager say 100% disk usage with .1 MB/s being written by the system process, and do the same with 20 MB/s being written by system. Whenever this happens, the mouse seems to work fine, in that I can still move it around without it lagging, but any sort of IO happens on a massive delay.

    If I try to click things, the click only registers a few minutes later. If I try to type anything, nothing happens, then after a few seconds the entire sentence appears.

    Sometimes, rather than the actual actions happening on a delay, after a few seconds I'll hear a series of beeps corresponding to every key press or click.

    The problem has gotten exponentially worse today though. Previously, it occurred seemingly at random (although I thought it might have happened a little more frequently when Chrome was running) but now it starts as soon as I start my system and makes the entire computer unusable.

    I was able to ignore this problem until now but it has become so obstructive to work that I need to fix this soon.


    Other sources I've seen have suggested checking for disk errors. I ran chkdsk, and it said that everything was fine, though I haven't run it since this latest incident.

    I haven't tried booting into safe mode yet, mainly because Windows 8 boots almost too quickly to use the hotkeys, but I'll update once I do.

    I know I've seen posts that suggested faulty hardware, but I would imagine that chkdsk would have found that. I've also seen a suggestion that it might be some sort of inefficient storage software, but the only thing that I have is intel RST, which I've disabled.

    One interesting thing to note was that a few months ago, when this had only happened maybe once, I looked at the Windows Performance Diagnostics to find that it was reporting that nearly half of my system events were being lost. I don't know if it's relevant, but I never managed to fix it so I suppose it could be related.

    Finally, I've seen numerous sources suggesting running an xperf trace, which I managed to do before starting up chrome. A few moments in, I tried starting chrome, hence the massive jump in disk usage and lag. Here's the link to the zip: links not allowed for this user

    It looks to me like it might have been caused by CrashPlan, with which I've found I've had some problems with the backup engine crashing and my not being able to kill the service. When this happens though, I don't get high disk usage every time, so it might be the disk usage that's crashing CrashPlan, not the other way around.


    • HP Probook 6460b running Windows 8 Professional
    • 8 GB DDR3
    • Intel HD graphics 3000
    • 2.4 ghz dual core processor (i5)
    • HDD: 300 GB, 7200 RPM and SATA-II

    Here's a link to a full system summary generated by winaudit: links not allowed for this user

    Please help me out if you know anything as I desperately need this laptop for school, which, incidentally, is the same reason I can't just reinstall windows.

    Update: looking at the resource monitor, it looks like the system process doesn't raise the disk active time up too high right after the boot, but then it spikes whenever I start a program. With most programs, the spike goes away after a couple of seconds, but when I open chrome (or firefox, although probably any big program would cause it) the spike doesn't go away, instead, the active time climbs to and stays at 100% and the actual file IO has little spikes that occur every couple of seconds. Eventually, it seems, it goes away and the usage goes down to normal, but it takes a good few minutes. This doesn't make sense to me because it would seem like the actual program should be the one reading the disk when it starts, not the kernel.

    One other thing I notice is that when I open a program like chrome or firefox, the system process starts reading a whole bunch of random files on the disk, most of which have nothing to do with the actual program. I don't know if this is the search indexer or if it's something called Superfetch that I saw mentioned as a potential cause in another forum. 

    After that stops, the disk usage seems to be caused by a whole bunch of reading and writing to the log files, which could tie back to the events being lost that I came across before.

    Update 2: I've found that it still happens in safe mode, and I've run system restore back to before my computer became unusable, and it seems to have done nothing. That leads me to suspect that it's a hardware problem, but at the same time, I don't think it can be because it started right after I installed windows 8; it's not like it just started this weekend. It's been happening for months (since the install) but it's only just gotten this bad since Friday. Not only that, all the software I've used (chkdsk and speccy) says that my disk is doing fine, so I can't possibly see it being a hardware issue.

    Sunday, May 5, 2013 5:56 AM


  • looks like you are the same user like on superuser.com. Make a new xperf trace with the DISK_IO flag and run xperf -d to dump the result into a good file.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    • Proposed as answer by Juke Chou Monday, May 6, 2013 8:17 AM
    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Tuesday, May 21, 2013 10:27 AM
    Sunday, May 5, 2013 6:23 AM