Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup?

Solved: Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup? |

Disk Usage refers to the percentage of performance at which the storage hardware works while processing data and loading the operating system. 

It is not normal for any hardware to exceed and use 100% of its available capacity while processing the data. It can be a sign of hardware malfunction or a corrupt operating system loading programs inconsistently, causing storage hardware to exceed and use 100%. Preventing and diagnosing the reasons is essential.

This article will discuss and answer your questions regarding Disk Usage and whether it can be 100% at the startup. We will also discuss how to easily prevent and diagnose Disk Usage issues. So, let’s get into today’s topic without wasting more time.

Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup?

No, it is not normal for any storage device to exceed 100% Disk Usage at startup or any point while processing the data in an operating system. These signs can indicate possible intricacies, like your storage device or hardware is malfunctioning, or your operating system has been corrupted with malware.

If you use old hard drives with disk technology, you will face this issue due to their health, which decreases over time and significantly reduces performance and speed. A hard drive is not recommended for storing data for long-term backup, but it will easily function for up to five years.

Solid-state drives (SSDs) can last up to 10 years without causing health or usage problems. Still, sometimes bad sectors can damage an SSD’s chipset, reducing the performance and speed and potentially making the SSD use 100% of the available capacity to function and perform tasks.

Bad Sectors occur when a file stored in the storage device becomes corrupted or unreadable, making it impossible for the operating system to process the data. That point in the storage device becomes a lousy sector inaccessible to the operating system. Formatting the data can resolve it sometimes.

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Before making a diagnosis, make sure your storage devices are correctly plugged into your motherboard and PSU, and neither have any hefty software running in the background that can push the storage device to increase the Disk Usage. Here are the possible reasons why your storage device’s Disk Usage is 100% at startup:

Health And Performance

Almost all storage devices have the health aspect to determine their age and calculate performance accordingly. A hard drive’s health reduces faster over time than a Solid-state drive, but also depends on the data you store and applications you run. You can use different software to monitor.

The storage device’s performance is reduced due to corrupted or unreadable files that the operating system tries to load constantly but increases the Disk Usage above the recommended limit. Storing too much data in one volume and making it go Red will also reduce the storage’s health.

You can easily check and monitor your storage device’s health and temperature using different utility applications. Still, Hard Disk Sentinel is a recommended software for its accuracy and real-time monitoring. But keep in mind that increasing health using any method is not useful once the health reduces.

If your device’s health is below 50%, it is considered poor or critical, and you can’t do much about it except replace the storage hardwareIncreasing the health with false methods will not improve the performance nor fix the 100% Disk Usage issue.

You can also monitor your storage device’s performance to determine its health using CrystalDiskMark 8.

  • How To Fix It?

First, download the official Hard Disk Sentinel Professional setup or portable version from their website. Install or run the application; you will be greeted with a minimal panel. Select each installed storage device from the left panel to check its performance and health condition.

Solved: Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup? |

To monitor the performance of a storage device, simply download and install CrystalDiskMark from their official website. Launch the application and navigate to the drive where the operating system is. Choose the preferred size and run the test by clicking the “ALL” option at the top left.

If the speed of your HDD or SSD is almost the same as mentioned on the device, your storage device is working in excellent condition and doesn’t have any problems. You will require a replacement if the speed has been decreased to the point where it makes a discernible difference.

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Startup Programs

If your storage device is at 100% only at the start of the operating system, it is definitely due to the Startup Program that takes Disk Usage at the beginning. Startup programs are applications that load right after the loading of an operating system, which means at the Startup point of an OS.

Some of this software is important built-in applications of an OS like the “Service Host” applications of the WIndows. At the same time, users can install and modify some of these to run in the background or at startup, like Google ChromeThese programs take so much RAM and Storage Usage while running.

  • How To Fix It?

To disable the unnecessary Startup Programs, open your Task Manager by searching in the Windows search bar or using the shortcut keys “CTRL+Shift+ESC.” Go to the Startup tab of the task manager and select the unimportant application you want to disable; now click on the Disable button at the bottom left.

Solved: Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup? |

Corrupt Operating System

A corrupted or un-updated (old version) of the operating system can also cause various programs to run at the startup, causing too much strain to the storage device, potentially increasing the Disk Usage to 100%. Corrupted programs or files running in the background will make matters worse for your storage device.

Updating the operating system regularly will prevent many unnecessary files from loading; these files run in the background to fix bugs because the OS will not have the updated files to prevent those bugs. Missing or modified files will make the operating system functions intractable.

  • How To Fix It?

Install a fresh operating system version by downloading from their official website or using the right ISO to extract the files. File updates and remote diagnostics across a network can sometimes restore a compromised operating system. But if it still causes issues, try deleting and reinstalling the OS.

Solved: Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup? |

Malware Or Virus

It is the most common issue faced by users in which the malware inflicts the operating system’s files and preserves itself running in the background, consuming more Disk Usage and preventing it from closing. Viruses can misguide a user as the operating system’s host files.

These viruses use this crafty method to prevent the user from removing and misconstruing them as a part of the operating system. These viruses run right after the loading of an operating system, which can significantly increase Disk Usage and slow down the processes and functions of an OS.

  • How To Fix It?

Always update your Windows Defender or use any trusted antivirus software to prevent malware or virus attacks. To update the Windows Defender and run a quick scan to detect possible abnormalities, open the Windows’s settings and go to the “Update & Security” tab.

First, check for possible updates by clicking the “Check for updates” option on the settings.

Solved: Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup? |

Allow Windows to download and install these critically important updates. You must wait for Windows to finish the installation and download any necessary updates while you do so. 

Solved: Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup? |

Now go to the third option of Windows Security, which will open the security tabs. Click on the first security configuration named “Virus & threat protection” and now run a Quick Scan.

Solved: Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup? |

It will automatically detect and delete any possible inflictions of viruses or malware in the operating system files. To scan your data, right-click on the preferred volume drive or folder and click the “Scan with Microsoft Defender” option in the context menu.

What Is Normal Disk Usage?

Normal usage can go near 100% usage but will only stay there for a short time; it will just be there for a few seconds or a minute but gradually comes down to under 10% if no hefty programs are running on that storage device. But constant 100% usage causes performance degradation.

Consistent 100% Disk Usage will not be considered normal and will mean your storage device is malfunctioning. To precisely monitor the Disk Usage of your drives, open your Task Manager and head to the Performance tab. Select the preferred Disk from the left panel to monitor the Active time.

Solved: Is It Normal For Disk Usage To Be 100% At Startup? |


It is undoubtedly not normal for any storage device to consistently stay on 100% Disk Usage. It is a sign of hardware malfunction, a corrupt operating system, or the storage device’s low health, which is decreasing its performance by forcing it to use more active time while loading files and programs.

You can disable the useless programs that run at the operating system’s start from Windows Task Manager’s Startup tab to prevent these applications from using more Disk Utilization while the operating system starts. Due to corrupt or unreadable files, bad Sectors can also force the storage device usage.

Normal disk usage will be considered below 100%, which can reach 100% doing hefty tasks. Still, only for a few seconds, you can easily track and monitor the Disk Usage from Task Manager’s performance tab, which shows you every detail of your selected Disk drive.

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