I am running Windows 10 Home Edition on a Gigabyte Aorus motherboard. I have a Western Digital Blue 4TB spinning hard drive (connected with SATA) which seems to be functioning incorrectly.

In my task manager performance tab, I can see that the disk latency will suddenly jump from its usual 0-20ms to 3000ms or even 10000ms. The active time will freeze at 100% and everything on the computer becomes unbearably slow for about 1-2 minutes. I/O operations of even 50KB take about 30-45 seconds and some programs will stop responding or become very slow. After the 1-2 minute state of extreme slowness, the disk seems to return to its normal operation and the system functions normally. The laggy period begins again after 2-3 minutes of normal operation.


This is the disk entering its laggy state.

This is the disk leaving its laggy state.

I have opened resource manager and nothing seems out of the ordinary. I even watched the resource monitor while the disk enters its laggy state and noticed that there is very little change. No single process or application seems to be 'hogging' the disk or performing an excessive amount of operations.


Disk usage monitor while disk is in normal state

Disk usage monitor just after disk has entered laggy state

I have tried:

  • rebooting (at least 10 times)
  • performing a clean install/update of all motherboard SATA controller drivers
  • checking disk health (WD disk health and windows chkdsk both say the disk is healthy and functioning properly)
  • ensuring that physical hardware cable connections are tight and free of dust/debris
  • making sure WD disk drivers are correct and up to date
  • disabling Windows Superfetch, defender, antivirus, and Google Chrome caching

This disk issue does not seem to occur when I boot in safe mode, leading to the conclusion that something is malfunctioning on the system, not the disk.

If this question seems like a duplicate of the threads:

100% disk usage on windows 10

Windows 10 Disk usage 100%?

please note that I have tried all of the suggestions in these threads as well as numerous other threads from other forums and none have seemed to mitigate the problem. I would appreciate suggestions and possible solutions that have not already been discussed in these threads.

  • 1
    Does this happen while in Safe Mode? Please edit your question instead of submitting a comment. However, I have personally experienced similar issues, where 90% of the time the drive worked just fine, but the other 10% there would be huge delays in activity and mouse clicks. Several months later HDD eventually completely failed. The drive question likely is at least 2 years old? In my case the drive thought it was completely healthy except it wasn’t. S.M.A.R.T tests only reports specific problems it’s not a catch all
    – Ramhound
    Mar 31 '20 at 0:03
  • Notwithstanding SMART results (which are sometimes wrong) this sounds like a HDD issue to me.
    – davidgo
    Mar 31 '20 at 2:27

I had a similar issue with a WD 2TB drive. Very slow read and write speeds and the disk was spinning while idle. The issue was due to the new unreliable SMR technology present in many of the newer hard drives (2019 or later) https://blog.westerndigital.com/wd-red-nas-drives/

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