100% Hard Disk Usage at startup?

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I now have 4 different machines exhibiting this issue, so I'm positive its not a hardware problem. In task manager, when the PC boots up, I see 100% disk usage on the Performance page(with the attendant performance slowed to an absolute crawl) and no corresponding process on the Processes page.

The latest machine to exhibit this problem is a Dell Precision M6400 laptop I loaded with windows 10 last night. Its an outdated machine, but still plenty capable(quad core 2.52ghz CPU, 8 gb of RAM, 500gb hard disk). I loaded it from a 22H2 ISO and it didn't seem to have any issues until I hooked it up to the internet and let windows update run. Its still running version 22H2 after the updates.

On the most recent boot, the HD usage stayed at 100% for over 10 minutes, then remained high with only occasional dips. Its been about half an hour and its still running strong.

Anyone have any ideas? This seems to be happening on every system I load 10 on these days.
 
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I haven't seen that issue in the last half dozen machines I've done, even one with a 1.1GHz CPU. But I use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to create both the .iso file used to burn the bootable DVD+R/DVD-R disc [no RW disc] and also the bootable USB 8GB Thumb drive. The MCT gives a choice of x86 or x64 or both on a Thumb drive. I've not had to use third-party solutions for creating the installers.

It also helps to know exactly which version of Windows, Version number plus the Build number as there's more frequent Build updates which also are known as Patch Tuesday, second Tuesday of each month. Just had updates on the 12th. Press the Winkey plus R, type winver to show that information or right-click Start, click System.
 
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I eventually traced the problem to Windows Defender. Not sure why but it needed 100% IO for about 30 minutes after EVERY SINGLE BOOT. Once I turned off real-time protection it very suddenly became useable.

But at that point I got so frustrated I wiped the drive and re-loaded windows 7.
 
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Haven't experienced it with Defender but some time ago with a different antivirus program would see the av run at startup scan but going in and doing a full/deep scan would take care of it for awhile.
 
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I have experienced your symptom on my old laptop as well. Defender hogs both, Disk and RAM after startup and my old laptop has only 4GB RAM. RAM usage goes up to 75% at times. That does not leave much to work with. I contributed it to the old hardware. Unfortunately one cannot disable the Defender.
Do you have a HDD or a SSD in your laptop?? Changing to a SSD really improves performance and if even possible, max out the RAM.

That is what I did and it helped in a big way.
 

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