Q. There appears to be a problem with Windows 10. At start-up, the drive use is at 100 percent. It can be impossible to open email or a browser or anything else for 15 to 30 minutes, sometimes even longer. What’s going on?
A. Microsoft addresses the problem in its Windows 10 Support database, pointing to a firmware bug in some computers with solid-state drives as the culprit. If the Windows Task Manager shows the disk use at 100 percent, your computer is unresponsive and your Windows system event log shows multiple entries of Event ID 129, the company suggests carefully following these steps to turn off Message Signal Interrupt mode.
However, depending on your hardware, other software and services could be jamming things up and dragging your disk to a crawl. It might take some time and experimentation to zero in on the problematic programs. Disabling Windows Desktop Search is often suggested, as is turning off the SuperFetch function that stores information for applications.
Third-party programs like Google Chrome and Skype have also caused disk slowdowns for some users. Certain browser extensions, file-syncing services or busy antivirus software scanning Windows as it starts up can also affect system responsiveness. If you are not running a security program, malware or spyware might be hogging resources.
Updating your device drivers may help, according to Microsoft, which hosts a page of tips for improving your PC’s performance. MiniTool, the company that makes the Partition Magic disk utility software, also has its own lengthy guide to troubleshooting the 100 percent disk utilization issue.