a while back my laptop started running really sluggish and freezing once in a while, where i could still move my mouse but nothing would open and i'd be forced to restart. i noticed that my disk usage was stuck at 100% on task manager (no matter how little was running). it gradually became more frequent to the point where i couldn't have my laptop on for more than a minute or two before it'd freeze up. after googling i tried a lot solutions that helped other people with similar problems, and the only thing that helped (temporarily) was msconfig and changing the startup from normal to selective. there was also no freezing in safe mode.
eventually i backed everything up and reinstalled windows 8. the freezing stopped for and i thought the issue was fixed with that. although sometimes i still noticed that disk usage would rise weirdly high especially when a program/application was just starting up. then last night (a couple months after reinstalling) it started freezing again and at this point i'm under the impression that it has to be a hardware problem? but i don't know for sure. just now i switched the setting in msconfig like before and the disk usage is lower than usual and my laptop is noticeably less sluggish but i don't think it'll help for long. in addition my cpu% will randomly rise abnormally high.
on an asus, windows 8