Windows 8 100% C Drive Usage Problem Solved

When I first upgraded my workstation to Windows 8, I did not notice any performance change. The machine was running as smoothly as it had been with Windows 7. However, a few weeks ago, I noticed my machine started to freeze intermittently. I checked the event logs but did not find anything out of the ordinary. I found out what went wrong when I checked the Task Manager. The CPU usage was fine, but Disk 1 (C:) was constantly at 100% usage and caused the machine to freeze. The question was what was causing the C drive usage to be at 100%? I then checked the Processes tab in Task Manager and found that it was the System process. This was not very useful because it was not specific enough for me to pin point the exact cause.

I googled for a solution and there were quite a few people who had the same problem. I tried several solutions but they did not help me solve my problem. This issue had bothered me for several weeks and I was about to reinstall my machine with Windows 7. I decided to give it another try, before I reformatted my drive (and then reinstalled my machine), and did a search again. Finally, I came across this post which solved the problem!

The problem was the Intel Rapid Storage driver. After I installed the latest version of the driver from Intel, the intermittent 100% C drive usage disappeared. Here is the link to the driver that I used:

Intel Rapid Storage Windows 8 Driver

The version I used is 12.5.0.1066 and it was released on 03/22/2013. If the link is broken, you can try visiting the Intel Download Center to search for the latest driver.

Intel Download Center

Note that this solution only applies to the Intel Rapid Storage controller. If you do not have the Intel Rapid Storage controller, do not download and install this driver.

To find out what storage controller you have, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key and type device manager.
  2. Click on Settings -> Device Manager.
  3. Scroll down and expand Storage controllers to find out what controller you have.
    intel-express-chipset-sata

Once you have identified your storage controller, you can then try to visit the chipset manufacturer’s web site to download the latest driver and see if your problem is solved.


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