Author Topic: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer  (Read 1252 times)

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Offline Zanvolt

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Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« on: June 13, 2021, 06:12:41 PM »
 When this happens everything become almost nonfunctional. Even opening task manager is a big wait. For some reason my PC think i have 4 hard drives, when i only have one. Because of this it shows as only 25% disk usage but it stops my system from doing anything. Usually it only lasts around 10 minutes but i've had it continue for a couple hours before. Is it possible that Avast is using my HDD more than it should because it thinks it's only pushing up to 25%?

Offline DavidR

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Re: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2021, 11:41:26 PM »
When this happens everything become almost nonfunctional. Even opening task manager is a big wait. For some reason my PC think i have 4 hard drives, when i only have one. Because of this it shows as only 25% disk usage but it stops my system from doing anything. Usually it only lasts around 10 minutes but i've had it continue for a couple hours before. Is it possible that Avast is using my HDD more than it should because it thinks it's only pushing up to 25%?

Re: "For some reason my PC think i have 4 hard drives, when i only have one."
A screenshot of where you are getting this information might help.

Have you divided that HDD into more than one partition ?
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Offline Zanvolt

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Re: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2021, 05:56:01 AM »
Sorry i see i wasn't being clear enough before, my apologies. The Task manager window processes tab will show my overall disk usage as 25%. it never goes above this. On the performance tab it will show 4 separate hard drives, i am only now realizing that 2 of them are removable media, but before they did not show up in the task manager or count towards my total disk usage. Im guessing that's a Win 10 change but if you know a way to turn that off i'd love it. Before it used to cap at 50% with only the main HDD and what i thought was a recovery partition. But i also have noticed that what i thought was a recovery partition doesn't have a letter and is listed as an SSD, which i do not have. So i don't know if that's normal or not.
https://imgur.com/a/pFXoyzO

Offline DavidR

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Re: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2021, 12:04:48 PM »
Unfortunately this would appear to be a system problem and one I'm not familiar with or experienced.

Your image shows your HDD, Disk 0 has two partitions (C & D) When you are in Windows Explorer, does that show two drive letters, does it show this ?
It is better to attach images to the topic as many won't visit unknown 3rd party sites, as I have done here.

Have you ever partitioned the HDD, Drive 0 ?
I used to do this on other systems with a high capacity HDD drive.  But not on my laptop with a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD.

I don't know what type of HDD drive that you have but some modern ones have a combined drive (Hybrid drive) to speed up access - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_drive - so I don't know if this would be seen in the task manager as two drives.

I'm running the latest Avast Free version and it certainly doesn't use or split the Drive/s
Task Manager > Performance, on my fully up to date win10 laptop is reporting my system correctly.
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Offline Zanvolt

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Re: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2021, 02:35:25 AM »
Ok i think after what you've said the drives are only responsible for the erroneous 25% and not the actual issue which is Avast eating all of my HDD capacity. The sequence of events seems to be something like this: Program i'm using starts using up all of the disk usage, then avast starts using it, then after avast is done system uses it all for a while. ntoskrnl.exe i think.
After this it seems to settle down and function normally. the actual read and write speeds appear random and dont seem to necessarily reflect high disk usage, but i don't know enough to know if that's actually the case or not.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2021, 03:23:17 AM »
The problem is you don't support that with information in your image as pretty much everything is cropped.  Another point it is preferable to post images in the post and not a 3rd party link, using the Attachments and other options below the reply window.

With a resident, on-access antivirus, when you are using programs/files, etc. avast is going to be scanning that for malware, it is the nature of the beast.

However, ntoskrnl.exe could be used by many functions - https://appuals.com/high-cpu-or-disk-usage-by-ntoskrnl-exe-on-windows-10/ so it isn't clear cut as to why this is happening.
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Offline Zanvolt

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Re: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2021, 12:19:40 PM »
Sorry at the time the drives and their labels seemed to be the only thing relevant since the problem wasn't occurring in that moment, and i just cant figure out how you attach files here I'm missing it lol. I've tried adding some programs as exceptions to see if this is enough to stop the problem. It seems to happen with any program but if i can use exceptions to limit it to programs that may not always be safe like a web browser i'll live. It's inconsistent enough though that i have no way to know if that works without just waiting a few days to see. I did use avast's recording function during an event and sent them that though. Thanks for your help so far.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2021, 01:49:25 PM »
Sorry at the time the drives and their labels seemed to be the only thing relevant since the problem wasn't occurring in that moment, and i just cant figure out how you attach files here I'm missing it lol.

I've tried adding some programs as exceptions to see if this is enough to stop the problem. It seems to happen with any program but if i can use exceptions to limit it to programs that may not always be safe like a web browser i'll live.


It's inconsistent enough though that i have no way to know if that works without just waiting a few days to see. I did use avast's recording function during an event and sent them that though. Thanks for your help so far.

Click my 'attached image' and you should see how.
There are only certain file types that you can attach (they are listed) and there is a size restriction also listed.

I'm not really sure what it is you are trying to achieve here ?
But randomly excluding programs is somewhat hit and miss and worse could leave you at risk, e.g. excluding your browser as you mention is just one instance.
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Offline bob3160

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Re: Frequent 100% disk usage, practically locks computer
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2021, 01:59:10 PM »
Protection of your system by an AV regardless of which product you use is a commitment.
Without a 100% commitment, there really isn't any reliable protection.
It's like the commercial for insurance that claims you only need to pay for the protection you need.
The problem is how do you know what needs to be protected. So, you're either all in or, you're not really protected.
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