How to Fix: IAStorDataMgrSvc High CPU Usage

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Ian S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Recently I noticed through Task Manager that I have very high CPU usage, even with the computer idle. I looked at Task Manager and it says that 'IAStorDataMgrSvc' is eating 25% of my CPU constantly. I read that this is an Intel program and that my computer's BIOS may not be set up properly, which is causing the problem. I also read that if I set the BIOS improperly (in order to correct the issue), my computer may get stuck in a blue screen loop. I am afraid to make any changes for fear that it may screw something up. Can you help? "

My response:

I have not had this problem before, so I asked Ian if he would like me to connect to his machine using my remote desktop support service to have a closer look, and he agreed.

After a bit of research, I discovered that "IAStorDataMgrSvc" is a Windows service for "Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology", which manages SATA and RAID configurations. In other words, it's a driver for hard drives that use the Intel chipset (which is usually part of the motherboard). Most of the time this program is not needed, though Intel suggests it is used to optimize I/O (input output), which means that it can improve load times of applications and the operating system itself.

That said, it is not a critical program and is safe to remove from the Windows startup - instructions to follow further down.

Upgrading Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology May Fix the Issue

It's worth noting that whenever a program has high CPU usage, it's often due to a corrupt program installation or configuration inside of Windows (but not always). If you install the latest edition of Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology, this may very well resolve the issue, and therefore fix the high CPU usage. You can download Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology from Intel's website - but please be careful to select the appropriate version as per your operating system.

IAStorDataMgrSvc and the BIOS: Improper Configuration

In Rob's original question, he mentioned that his BIOS may not be set properly, which is causing the high CPU usage with the IAStorDataMgrSvc service. From what I read online, this may be true. Inside the computer's BIOS there is a menu for specifying SATA configurations (video), which allows you to set the SATA ports as: SATA, AHCI, IDE, or RAID configuration.

For the most part, users will want to use AHCI (if the option is available) inside the BIOS, as this is most compatible with SSD drives. If AHCI is not available, then use SATA. Also note that some machines, such as Dell may have this labeled as "Normal" or "Legacy" mode - in this case, you would want "Normal". If you are specifically setting up a RAID with two or more drives, then you would specify RAID.

IMPORTANT: please note that before you change the SATA configuration in the BIOS, you will need to go to Windows Devce Manager and install the appropriate SATA / AHCI / RAID driver(s), otherwise Windows will not boot and likely produce a blue screen. Also, for peace of mind, I suggest making a disk image backup of the system before applying any changes, just in case something goes terribly wrong.

With that said, let's look at an example:

If you are using Windows 10 and the SATA configuration is currently set for IDE and you want to change it to AHCI or RAID, you will need to boot the computer in IDE mode (as it was originally) and then go into Device Manager -> Action -> Add Legacy Hardware -> Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced) -> (Show All Devices) -> Next -> Have Disk, then specify the path for your AHCI / RAID / SATA driver and let the driver install.

Once this is done, reboot, go into BIOS, change the SATA configuration to AHCI, save changes and reboot, and Windows should now boot in AHCI mode. At this point, the "IAStorDataMgrSvc" in Task Manager should no longer be an issue - if it is, you may want to upgrade the Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology.

You can watch a Youtube video here which shows how to go into the BIOS and change the SATA to AHCI mode.

If all of what I mentioned above is too much hassle, you may simply want to disable service, described next.

Disabling the IAStorDataMgrSvc Service

Since we know that the IAStorDataMgrSvc Service isn't a critical service, it can also be disabled. One way to do this is using the Windows Services snap-in.

To do so:

  1. Click Start, then type in "services.msc" (no quotes); wait for "Services" or "service.msc" to appear in the list, then click it.
     
  2. The "Services" window will appear; scroll down the list until you see "Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology", then double click it.
     
  3. A new window with the title: "Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology Properties (Local Computer)" will appear. Under the heading "Service Status", click the "Stop" button. Then, where it says "Startup Type", set the option to "Disabled", then click "Apply" and "OK".

At this point, the IAStorDataMgrSvc service will have stopped and will not launch at startup again.

If you still have issues with the IAStorDataMgrSvc service, you are welcome to contact me for 1-on-1 support, described next.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If this article is over your head, or if you're still having issues with the IAStorDataMgrSvc service eating your CPU, you are welcome to contact me for remote desktop support, where I can fix this problem for you. Simply send me an email, briefly describing your issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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