Question 100% disk usage when gaming (HDD)

Jan 15, 2021
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Hi.
3 months ago i build my first pc, and recently I've had some games freeze up and noticed when that happens my disk usage (HHD) goes to 100%. This only happens to games on my hard drive, primarily story games like GTA V and Mirrors Edge Catalyst (what I'm currently playing right now) as well as others. Games on my SSD run fine. I've tried every fix I can see including disabling windows search, SuperFetch, and I've checked the health of the hard drive. I bought everything new so the hard drive isn't even 3 months old yet, its not full, and its good heath. Its also not a ram issue as like I said I've reinstalled games to my SSD and they run fine, and i also have 24gb of ram installed (all of its available and working). Appreciate any help!

My specs:
Ryzen 5 2600
GeForce 1660ti (6gb)
24gb RAM
Gigabyte B450M DS3H
Western Digital 1tb HHD
Kingston 240gb SSD
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Can you pop Task Manager up and see what application is using the hard drive? Also, I'm not real clear on when the drive is busy. You'll be playing, the game will freeze, and then you notice the drive is spinning away. Does it keep going hard or does everything stop after some time?
 
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Jan 15, 2021
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Can you pop Task Manager up and see what application is using the hard drive? Also, I'm not real clear on when the drive is busy. You'll be playing, the game will freeze, and then you notice the drive is spinning away. Does it keep going hard or does everything stop after some time?
Thank you. but my PC on drive C ssd it's ok.....but other drive sata 2 still 100% when I use program install in this drive.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Can you look at the first tab and track down what processes are using the I/O? The link to the resource monitor might work even better to see if it's writing to a log file or something like that.
 
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Jan 15, 2021
12
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Can you pop Task Manager up and see what application is using the hard drive? Also, I'm not real clear on when the drive is busy. You'll be playing, the game will freeze, and then you notice the drive is spinning away. Does it keep going hard or does everything stop after some time?
Hi, it's always the game application, it'll freeze the game and spin at 100%, then after 30-60 seconds it will stop and go back to pretty much 0%. It does this consistently about every 5 mins. I must note when I play mirrors edge catalyst it only does this during cutscenes but in gta is does it in gameplay too.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Well, it probably is loading when pulling in cutscenes but it shouldn't stop the computer - especially not for 30+ seconds!

I wonder if the data cable connection could be a bit loose and it starts to lose connection when it gets too hot. The game stops, the computer cools a tiny bit, and the connection works again. (And yeah, I'm really grasping at straws on this one.)
 
Jan 15, 2021
12
2
15
Well, it probably is loading when pulling in cutscenes but it shouldn't stop the computer - especially not for 30+ seconds!

I wonder if the data cable connection could be a bit loose and it starts to lose connection when it gets too hot. The game stops, the computer cools a tiny bit, and the connection works again. (And yeah, I'm really grasping at straws on this one.)
I didn't know that could cause it, I did fiddle with the cables and it seemed to help for a while but went back to the freezing, you think I should buy a new SATA cable?
 

Lutfij

Moderator
Jan 2, 2020
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100% Disk usage ever since Windows 8 is known as memoryleak, this often happens when the OS has a corruption in it. You might want to see if disk defragmentation is disabled, if drive indexing is also disabled. You will also need to mention the make and model of the PSU.
 
Jan 15, 2021
12
2
15
100% Disk usage ever since Windows 8 is known as memoryleak, this often happens when the OS has a corruption in it. You might want to see if disk defragmentation is disabled, if drive indexing is also disabled. You will also need to mention the make and model of the PSU.
Ive disabled them and my PSU is: EVGA 500 W1 80+ WHITE 500W 100-W1-0500-K3
 
Jan 15, 2021
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Task Manager is only showing 7 out of 16 GB of memory being used. I suppose if this is a 32-bit game, though...?
ah just realised that a screenshot before I added more ram, it uses the same amount of 7gb and the same problem persists just as frequently as it did with less available ram.
 

OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
Just throwing it here: maybe the HDD goes to "sleep" and then when app tries to access something to load assets, it has to "wait" for HDD to awake? It's possibly not the solution, but you can switch this easily and fast to see if it gets any better.

 

Lutfij

Moderator
Jan 2, 2020
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Just cross referenced the BIOS version you're on and the one that is latest on Gigabyte's support site. Also, I just noticed one small detail now, you didn't mention how you have 24GB of ram. Are you on 2 sticks with one being on 8GB and the other on 16GB? If so, parse a link to the sticks as well. In short, you don't try to drive a car that's meant to be running on 4 wheels, with only 3 wheels. Yes, you can drive a car with 3 wheels however that practice isn't practical.

Could you also list the other titles you're gaming off of that disk? The fact that the games don't exhibit the issue when installed on the SSD is that you're facing a bandwidth/throughput limitation. Considering that even HDD's in RAID 0 can't populate the bandwidth on a SATA 3 port(6Gbps). In this day and age, it's advised to have an SSD assigned as your game library.
 
Jan 15, 2021
12
2
15
Just throwing it here: maybe the HDD goes to "sleep" and then when app tries to access something to load assets, it has to "wait" for HDD to awake? It's possibly not the solution, but you can switch this easily and fast to see if it gets any better.

already done that unfortunately, thanks though
 
Jan 15, 2021
12
2
15
Just cross referenced the BIOS version you're on and the one that is latest on Gigabyte's support site. Also, I just noticed one small detail now, you didn't mention how you have 24GB of ram. Are you on 2 sticks with one being on 8GB and the other on 16GB? If so, parse a link to the sticks as well. In short, you don't try to drive a car that's meant to be running on 4 wheels, with only 3 wheels. Yes, you can drive a car with 3 wheels however that practice isn't practical.

Could you also list the other titles you're gaming off of that disk? The fact that the games don't exhibit the issue when installed on the SSD is that you're facing a bandwidth/throughput limitation. Considering that even HDD's in RAID 0 can't populate the bandwidth on a SATA 3 port(6Gbps). In this day and age, it's advised to have an SSD assigned as your game library.
my ram is installed as 2x4gb sticks and 2x8gb sticks, 4gb ones are corsair and the 8gb ones are I believe Kingston. they all work together and correctly as far as I know (I used to have a big problem with ram not working properly but managed fixed it) also I ran games such as Rome 2 when I had only 2x8gb sticks installed and the same issue persisted just as much. the games I've tried to run off my HDD are: mirrors edge catalyst ( freezes during cutscenes and textures don't always load properly) GTA V, CS:GO, and Rome 2 total war, all 3 of which freeze during game play, GTA V also has some issues loading textures properly, and when I checked this coincided with a 100% usage spike (same thing for the other games to). Its a pain but I probably will have to fork out on a 1tb SSD, I've asked a lot of different people and forums and so far no fix other then buy an SSD
 

Lutfij

Moderator
Jan 2, 2020
318
184
1,070
No two brands of rams are the same, let alone the same in terms of IC's used. I'd suggest you work with the 2x8GB sticks alone, for a proper dual channel mode memory layout. As stated, prior, you're running a mismatched set of tires on a car that needs a matched set of tires. Frequency for the 2x8GB rams? A link would help us two fold.

You might want to test with other titles, perhaps the HDD you have might be a dud, it happens in the world of technology/electronics. You could also try and use CrystalDisk to test your hard disk drive. WD HDD's IMHO have been hit or miss most of the times. Some drives last a great while while some exhibit a click of death when you populate 75% of the drive and then task it with data retrieval or media work.

If this was a couple of years ago, we'd probably have said to get a larger capacity HDD that was at least 7200RPM's on it's spindle. Today, with SSD's being really cheap, we're looking at nearly the same in terms of price per GB of an HDD, for an SSD.

Last thing, where did you source the games from?
 
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Jan 15, 2021
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No two brands of rams are the same, let alone the same in terms of IC's used. I'd suggest you work with the 2x8GB sticks alone, for a proper dual channel mode memory layout. As stated, prior, you're running a mismatched set of tires on a car that needs a matched set of tires. Frequency for the 2x8GB rams? A link would help us two fold.

You might want to test with other titles, perhaps the HDD you have might be a dud, it happens in the world of technology/electronics. You could also try and use CrystalDisk to test your hard disk drive. WD HDD's IMHO have been hit or miss most of the times. Some drives last a great while while some exhibit a click of death when you populate 75% of the drive and then task it with data retrieval or media work.

If this was a couple of years ago, we'd probably have said to get a larger capacity HDD that was at least 7200RPM's on it's spindle. Today, with SSD's being really cheap, we're looking at nearly the same in terms of price per GB of an HDD, for an SSD.

Last thing, where did you source the games from?
The 2x8gb ram sticks were given to me by a friends of my dads, he didn't give us a box or anything with it so all I know is that its Kingston and that they're 8gb DDR4 sticks. I didn't realise ram could cause problems with the hard drive (I'm new to this lol) so I guess that could actually be the problem. The 2x4 gb sticks are: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-(1x4gb)-corsair-ddr4-vengeance-lpx-black-pc4-19200-(2400)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-16-16-16-39-xmp
Ill try run the games with only the 2x8gb sticks in and then I'll try run them with the 2x4gb sticks and see if that helps. I've used crystal disk and everything's fine. If the issue isn't the ram then I guess ill probably just get a 1tb SSD.

Edit: GTA from G2A. Rome 2 and gcgo direct from steam. Mirrors edge catalyst from origin store.
 
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Lutfij

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Even if you don't have a box for the sticks of ram, there should be a sticker on the side of the stick with an alphanumeric code, to identify the kit. I just looked through the link you parsed for the 2x8GB kit, your first problem as of this moment is that the platform needs to breath more.

What I mean is that Ryzen platforms excel when you're using a dual channel DDR4-3200MHz ram kit. So, if anything look for a dual channel DDR4-3200MHz(or higher) ram kit with tight timings to help get more out of your gaming system. You can look towards selling the existing sticks of ram and then add a little to spend on a large capacity SSD. Point to note, make sure the SSD for your game library is 50% full, that way it's operating optimally. If you go beyond 50%, the SSD's performance drops.

I noticed you removed a post, was that by mistake or was it because it was intended for another thread/person?
 
Jan 15, 2021
12
2
15
Even if you don't have a box for the sticks of ram, there should be a sticker on the side of the stick with an alphanumeric code, to identify the kit. I just looked through the link you parsed for the 2x8GB kit, your first problem as of this moment is that the platform needs to breath more.

What I mean is that Ryzen platforms excel when you're using a dual channel DDR4-3200MHz ram kit. So, if anything look for a dual channel DDR4-3200MHz(or higher) ram kit with tight timings to help get more out of your gaming system. You can look towards selling the existing sticks of ram and then add a little to spend on a large capacity SSD. Point to note, make sure the SSD for your game library is 50% full, that way it's operating optimally. If you go beyond 50%, the SSD's performance drops.

I noticed you removed a post, was that by mistake or was it because it was intended for another thread/person?
I thought the ram change had it fixed but after a while the problem started back up again haha. Some good new though I bought a new hard drive and downloaded GTA V on it, I've been on it for 1 hour and no freezes or missing textures and the drive usage look fine! I guess it must have just been a faulty HDD which crystal disk didn't pick up which is odd. If the problem starts happening again Ill just but an SSD (something which I'm now planning to do anyway), I really appreciate the help though. Also I don't have the best idea how ram works lol so thanks for the tips, any specific ram you recommend? I would like to get some proper matching ram in asap.
 
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Lutfij

Moderator
Jan 2, 2020
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The point of working through a checklist ensures that you've covered all bases and any anomalies are found/identified. In your case, as is with other system's parts, they often seem to be fine with software/benchmarks but one specific arena comes into question. You will also see HDD's that pass pretty much all tests with flying colors but throw a BSOD the moment you fire up Chrome, while idle.

Don't mention it, just here to help. If you're under warranty for the HDD, backup any and/or all data that you might need(which may be considered critical) and ask them to replace the HDD.

The key number to look for is DDR4-3200MHz, dual channel is the second keyword and tight timings as the 3rd. Any ram kit will do from this shortlist but please note that you didn't mention a budget for your probably ram purchase and what sort of capacity you're looking for.
 
Jan 15, 2021
12
2
15
The point of working through a checklist ensures that you've covered all bases and any anomalies are found/identified. In your case, as is with other system's parts, they often seem to be fine with software/benchmarks but one specific arena comes into question. You will also see HDD's that pass pretty much all tests with flying colors but throw a BSOD the moment you fire up Chrome, while idle.

Don't mention it, just here to help. If you're under warranty for the HDD, backup any and/or all data that you might need(which may be considered critical) and ask them to replace the HDD.

The key number to look for is DDR4-3200MHz, dual channel is the second keyword and tight timings as the 3rd. Any ram kit will do from this shortlist but please note that you didn't mention a budget for your probably ram purchase and what sort of capacity you're looking for.
Jeez really sorry but the problem just started happening, seems like its slowed down but not completely stopped, went an hour and a bit with no problems what so ever then it happened. I checked those ram sticks and i think i found what they are: HMA81GU6DJR8N-WM
I looked online and they're made by a Korean company, it seems to be 2933MHz, here's the website I found it on: https://www.skhynix.com/products.view.do?vseq=3245&cseq=75
checked crystal disk and once again everything is fine there.
 

Lutfij

Moderator
Jan 2, 2020
318
184
1,070
Please stop deleting posts, this only makes for gaps in information for the community. It will then look like I'm the only one helping and maybe pulling answers out of a magic hat.

Also, why are you stating the SK Hynix rams? I thought you were on Corsair sticks? You have one more BIOS update pending for your motherboard, update to that and also, what cooler are you on? Use Kingston's SSD utility to see if your Kingston SSD has ay firmware updates pending.

By fiddle, did you try replacing the cable that pairs the HDD to the motherboard?
 
Jan 15, 2021
12
2
15
Please stop deleting posts, this only makes for gaps in information for the community. It will then look like I'm the only one helping and maybe pulling answers out of a magic hat.

Also, why are you stating the SK Hynix rams? I thought you were on Corsair sticks? You have one more BIOS update pending for your motherboard, update to that and also, what cooler are you on? Use Kingston's SSD utility to see if your Kingston SSD has ay firmware updates pending.

By fiddle, did you try replacing the cable that pairs the HDD to the motherboard?
Apologies, I used the corsair 2x4gb sticks on their own and the 2x8gb sticks on their own and I've used both together and its the same problem. How do i update my BIOS? there's 3 different options to download on their website and I don't wanna do the wrong one. I've downloaded that and my SSD heath is good. Also I've bought a new SATA cable (SATA 3 6Gbps) and its expected to arrive on the 25th.
Edit: the cooler is the one that came with the CPU and I've got 2 fans for the case
2nd Edit: currently i only have the corsair 2x4gb ram installed and task manager says that speed is only 2133mhz, even though when I ordered them, it said they were 2400mhz
 
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