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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Something continues to access my hard drive. I am running win 7 64 bit and my hard drive is being continuously accessed. I have gone into msconfig and shut down all programs listed in the startup list but the hdisk continues to run. I can't fiqure out which program is accessing it. Processes running in task manager don't tell me either. Any other way of trying to figure this out would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    If this is a new installation of Win 7, it is quite possible that the system is indexing files. This should slow down considerably shortly.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Is not a new istallation, it just started doing this out of the blue, I think, and has been doing it now for two-three weeks.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Doug,

    Are you experiencing a huge performance loss when you see your hard drive being frequently accessed? Or does your computer continue to perform normally?

    There are several processes that can cause your hard drive to churn away for what seems a long time. Aside from file indexing, there is the Disk Defragmenter routine that by default is set to run at 1:00 AM every Wednesday unless someone has adjusted it to do so every day or every month. Now if your computer is not on when the scheduled time comes and goes, it will start defragmenting your hard drive at the first idle opportunity when you boot your computer. Anytime defrag is running and you start to do some work, defrag will pause until there is another idle moment, and then will churn away again. You can check Disk Defragmenter by typing Disk Defragmenter in the Start menu search box and clicking on it when it shows in the search list. You can then adjust the scheduled time you want it to run, or you can disable automatic mode and manually check it yourself if you prefer do so.

    Another service that can increase hard drive activity, especially after you have used your computer for a while, as you mentioned in post 3, is Superfetch . Superfetch is a Windows feature that will load code from your hard drive to your memory (cacheing) as it intelligently "observes" the applications you use and the times you frequently use them. Thus Superfetch will dynamically work the hard drive as it fills empty memory with useful code in anticipation of your usage patterns. ZDNet's Ed Bott has an excellent article that explains how Windows 7 handles memory management. Basically, Windows 7 treats unused ram as wasted ram, so there is a whole lot of cacheing going on.

    Ed's blog article can be found here . There is a link in Ed's discussion to another article by Mark Russinovich, who is responsible for the Process Explorer and Autoruns software that are so popularly used to track processes and auto starting programs in Windows. Process Explorer has been described as Task Manager on steroids, and can help you see what processes and services are running (and consuming cpu cycles & accessing your hard drive). Autoruns is similar to but a whole lot more powerful than msconfig. Autoruns can show you everything that autoruns when you boot Windows.
    There are instructions included for each program and links to forums for further information on these great tools.

    There are other processes and services that contribute to keeping the hard drive somewhat busy such as your antivirus/antispyware downloading updates, etc. Process Explorer and Autoruns can help you see them at work, and you can right click them to "Search Online" for descriptions of what they are and what they do. This can help identify any that are not supposed to be there such as malware.

    Because malware can devour system resources, make sure to have an active protection antivirus/antispyware package in place and routinely scan your hard drive with it and other "on demand" scanners for supplemental protection. Among the favorite on demand scanning tools mentioned often in the Lounge are Malwarebytes Anti-malware and SuperAntiSpyware, both which are available for free download.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Gerald, I'll play with these two programs and see if I can isolate the culprit.

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