I am getting started with monero. I installed the wallet on my windows 10 laptop. it appears to be very slowly downloading the blockchain. However monerod causes my disk utilization to max out at 100% and my laptop is unusable. I don't mind downloading for a few days in the background, but is there some way to prevent the 100% disk utilization? I am not using an SSD.
While syncing the blockchain, the Monero daemon generates a lot of disk IO calls to create its database, and HDDs are pretty slow at that compared to SSDs.
I'm not sure if there's a reliable way to limit the disk IO rate per process on Windows, but you could try to open the Task Manager and set the priority of the monerod process to "Low". It might improve the usability of the other applications running with a "Normal" priority.