Fixing the Windows 100% hard drive error can be a more painstaking job, as this little bug can happen for a variety of reasons. Therefore, in this case, the ideal is to try some more common ways that have shown positive results for many users.
Therefore, in this article we are going to talk a little about this error, how it affects the computer, and what are the most common ways to try to solve the problem.
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The error “100% disk usage” or “100% hard disk” can happen in any version of Windows, although lately it is more common in Windows 10, because it is the most used nowadays. It is a problem that causes the computer to become quite slow, practically making it impossible to use or open more programs and applications.
The error means that the computer has processes that occupy the entire HD writing and reading rate, affecting disk and virtual memory management. To identify this error, you must first access the “Task Manager”. You can access it directly by shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc or by right clicking on the taskbar and choosing this option.
When using the computer, it is common that part of the disk is dedicated to different processes, but in the case of this error it always stays at 100%, even if there is no apparent reason. It can even appear even after starting Windows, that is, without the consumption being already loaded.
To resolve this bug, there are some workable solutions, and we will highlight them now.
1. Disable Windows SuperFetch (SysMain)
This SuperFetch feature has been around for some time in Windows and its main function is to identify which programs are most used by the user and already cache them so that they can be accessed more quickly. That is, it is already open in the background to speed up this access, and this can end up interfering with the hard drive. One of the solutions is to disable it.
But as it is an interesting feature to use, it is worth checking first if it is really the cause of the problem, and it is possible to do so. First you will have to open the Task Manager. If it comes in the simplified version, click on “More Details” in the lower left corner.
In the Processes list, look for “Service Host: SysMain” and check how much hard disk it is using. It usually doesn’t spend anything, staying between 0 and 1 MB/s, so if it’s taking up more than that in the Disk part (attention, it’s in the Disk column and not Memory), then it’s a sign that it’s worth disabling it.
To disable SuperFetch, you must first go to Windows search (or press Windows + R and open Run) and type “services.msc” without the quotes. It will show you the “Services” app option, so click on it.
In the revealed list, look for SysMain and right-click on it. Go to Properties and, on the General tab, click on Startup Type. It will probably be on Automatic, so choose the Disabled option and then click Apply and OK.
Okay, now just restart the system and see if it really helped or not. Remembering that you can always follow the same steps to activate it again.
2. Also disable Windows Search
Another reason that can cause the 100% hard disk error is a failure in Windows Search. This flaw causes this search service to run non-stop, in a loop, and this ends up consuming the disk more than it should. This could be the problem with your computer, so it’s worth a try. If so, disabling the service will fix the 100% hard drive error.
To do so, you will follow the same path as SuperFecth, ie open Windows search or Run (by clicking the Windows + r button) and type “services.msc” without quotes to open the Services application.
In this case, you will search the list for Windows Search. When you right-click on it and choose the Stop option, it will stop and you can already see if it really was the cause of the problem. But whether it works or not, it’s still worth turning it off and restarting your pc to be sure.
To do this, right-click Windows Search in the list and click Properties. On the General tab, go to Startup Type and choose Disabled. Then click OK and restart your computer.
3. Manually reallocate virtual memory
Another source for the 100% hard disk error could be because the computer is using part of that disk as expanded virtual memory if it is out of RAM. If she is also fully used, this could use the same error, so she could be the villain of the case here.
That is, in this case, it is not even a low amount of RAM, but a bad allocation by the system itself. Luckily it is possible to configure this space manually from the computer itself.
First, open the Windows search box or Run (Windows + r) and type “sysdm.cpl” without quotes. It will open the System Properties window (if you use the Windows search box, you will need to click on the sysdm.cpl option that appears).
Go to the Advanced tab and in the Performance part, click Settings. It will open a new Performance Options window, so go to the Advanced tab and in the Virtual Memory part go to Change.
In the new virtual memory window, the first thing to do is uncheck the option “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” that appears at the top. Further down, click on “Custom Size”.
There is no clear rule about the values to put here, but many people advise to put half of your RAM memory in the initial size and the value x1.5 in the maximum size.
These values are in MB, remembering that each 1 GB of RAM memory is 1024 MB. That is, if you have 8 GB of RAM, you will have 8192 MB. To help, you can use ToConvert by clicking here.
In that case then you would put 4,096 in the Initial Size and 12,288 in the maximum size. Click Set and then OK. You will need to restart your computer for the change to take effect.
4. The problem could also be in the pagefile
If reallocating the virtual memory doesn’t improve the error, you may need to create a new paging file to do so. Over time this file can end up having some problems, so creating a new one from scratch is always a good idea to prevent this from happening.
It’s located in the same memory reallocation window, so you can follow the same steps until you get to it. This time you will uncheck both the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” and “Custom size”. It will only check the option “No paging file”.
Click Set, then OK and restart your computer.
After restarting, go back in that same window redoing the previous steps and this time select only the option “Size managed by the system” and click Set.
Then, check the option “Automatically manage paging file size of all drives”, click OK and restart the computer once more.
5. Scan your computer for viruses or malware
If none of the above options worked and the error persists, it is important to bear in mind that this could also be caused by a virus or malware. In this case, it is important to do a complete system scan using your antivirus or antimalware (or both, if you have one) to confirm this hypothesis.
Nowadays there are a variety of paid or even free antivirus options that do this, such as AVG, Avast or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. In the case of Windows 10, the system itself already has a Microsoft program for protection, which is Windows Defender, and you can also scan it with it.
To do this, go to the Windows search field and type “Windows Security” without quotes. Click on the option that appears to open.
Choose the option “Virus and threat protection” and then go to “Scan Options”.
Choose “Full Scan” and then click “Scan Now”. This will make it do a full scan. If it finds malicious programs, it will show you how to act step by step.
6. Limiting Automatic Maintenance
Another possible solution to the problem may be to limit Windows scheduled maintenance. To do this, open Run by pressing the Windows button + r. Then type “regedit” without quotes and hit enter.
Now open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder on the left side and follow the path: SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > Schedule. Go to the Start registry and double-click on it. Now change the value of item 2 to 4, and this will limit these scheduled tasks in Windows. With that some of them will not be executed, which can help to solve the error. It is worth restarting the computer for it to take effect.
7. Disabling remote settings
Often this solution can be the simplest and quickest to resolve. Just go to Control Panel, then System and Security and, where you have the System option, choose “Allow remote access”.
When opening the System Properties window, on the Remote tab, uncheck the option “Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer”. Click apply and restart your computer.
Other possible solutions
In addition to the solutions listed here, if none of them work, it’s also worth trying to disable third-party programs at startup, which can drain your hard drive more when you turn on your computer. To do this, click on Run, type “msconfig”, go to the Services tab and click on the option “Hide all Microsoft services”. Now just click on “Disable all”, apply and then click OK.
It is also possible to disable the printer service (spooling), which can be a source of errors if you have placed files to print. Another option is to defrag the disk drive as a last resort. If none of this works, the ideal is to take the computer to a technical assistance or consider formatting it with someone you trust.