Windows 7 recently running very slow due to heavy disk activity PID 4

I have had a Windows 7  Core I7 system running at home for several years and performance has been fine. Lately, the system has started running very slowly and I can see the disk activity light stays full on for extended periods. I looked at the Performance Monitor to see what was bogging things down and it seems to be  PID 4, the System process, that is using all the disk resources.

I did some searching and found some similar posts in various places but most of those posts are several years ago and pretty generic, like check your disk for errors. I have a disk monitor that says my disk is perfect. I ran the troubleshoot which cleaned up a bunch of temp files. I removed a few startup programs. Nothing has really changed on my system in the last few days but it sure is acting different.

I tried rebooting and boot time seems to have become excessively long. If I leave the system alone for a a while the disk activity slows down but as soon as I web browsing, the activity goes way up and everything runs slowly. Again, this is new behavior within the last two weeks.

 

Question Info


Last updated October 22, 2019 Views 5,639 Applies to:

well I sort of fixed the issue. On further digging in Resource Monitor I found the list of everything going on in pid 4. The big disk users were all using files starting System Volume Information. So I searched on that and found that is due to System Restore. Turning off SR fixed the problem. My disk is nice and quite now and am getting great system performance.

But this bring up another question. Why did SR recently start overacting? I've had the system for several years and never changed the SR setting before. So why now did SR start causing problems?

below is a screen shot showing the high disk usage.

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Hi,

With the issue description, I understand that you are experiencing issues with the performance of your Windows 7 machine. I will certainly help you in getting this issue fixed.

This issue might occur due to multiple restore points because of which the virtual memory has been occupied. Let’s follow below mentioned steps and check if that helps:

Method 1: Run the Check Disk Utility

You may also try the check disk utility from command prompt and check if it makes any difference.  

1. In the desktop screen, press Windows key + R

2. Type: CMD, right click CMD then click Run as administrator.

3. At the Command Prompt, type: chkdsk /r /f

4. Exit the command prompt.

When you restart your system, your computer will be scanned for errors and attempts will be made to correct them.

Important: While performing chkdsk on the hard drive if any bad sectors are found on the hard drive when chkdsk tries to repair that sector if any data available on that might be lost.

Method 2: Change the size of virtual memory

If you receive warnings that your virtual memory is low, you'll need to increase the minimum size of your paging file. Follow the below steps and check if that helps:

1. Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.

2. In the left pane, click Advanced system settings. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

3. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

4. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.

5. Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.

6. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.

7. Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.

Note: Increases in size usually don't require a restart for the changes to take effect, but if you decrease the size, you'll need to restart your computer. We recommend that you don't disable or delete the paging file.

Hope this information is helpful. Please write back to us if you need any further assistance, we'll be glad to assist you.

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My disk reports no errors.

All due respect but your response doesn't seem to address my rather detailed post about how System Restore was causing the excessive disk usage and that it didn't do that in the past.

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Hi,

I apologize for the inconvenience.

Let's try to follow below mentioned steps and check if that helps:

Method 1: Run System Maintenance Troubleshooter

Follow the steps given below:

1. Type Troubleshooting in the Search box from the desktop.

2. Select the Troubleshooting option.

3. Select View All option and select the System Maintenance.

4. Click on Next to perform the System Maintenance troubleshooter and follow the steps.

Try method 2, if the issue persist

Method 2: Clean Boot

A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows. To know more, follow the article below:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

Note: After troubleshooting, refer to this section ‘How to reset the computer to start normally after clean boot troubleshooting’.

Hope this information is helpful. Please write back to us if you need any further assistance, we'll be glad to assist you.

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