Constant Accessing of Hard Drive

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Judge Dee, Apr 4, 2011.

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  1. Judge Dee

    Judge Dee Guest

    On a brand new Asus G73 notebook, and Windows 7 64 bit, my hard drive light is steadily flashing, even when the computer is idle. I've scanned with 2 AVs, with no result.
    Does Windows 7 constantly access the drive?
     
  2. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Check using Resource Monitor > Disk > Total (B/sec).

    Alternatively, you can use a third party software.
     
  3. Judge Dee

    Judge Dee Guest

    Thanks J_L.
    Really nice resource.
    It shows master file table, NTFS Volume log, and pagefile.sys constantly reading/writing (with very low usage).
    I assume that's normal?
     
  4. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I guess that's normal, as long as the usage is very low. What are the numbers?
     
  5. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    It is probably a service, either an OS default one, or a tool that was included with your computer. I think I remember something like that when I first started using w7. I believe I got rid of it by disabling a service, but I honestly can't remember now. I would do some searching on the services you have running and see what you might find.

    Sul.
     
  6. Judge Dee

    Judge Dee Guest

    J_L, last night the numbers were around 200-300 b/sec. This morning they're higher.
    Sully, thanks for the tip. I had already disabled some services, but I'll search some more. Asus does seem to have more services running than the computers I'm used to.
    The clicking of the drive drives me nuts (even though it's soft).
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Personally, I would not rest until I found what was causing it. You might try process monitor, to see what is accessing the hdd. That tool will bog your machine down usually as it logs, but it should tell you what is accessing what.

    As an example, I was using Cyberhawk when they changed to Threatfire. I started using threatfire, but thought that it did more activity at idle than cyberhawk. I used (I think) filemon and regmon and diskmon (older tools) and with them could see what areas each program was accessing, and how often the access happened. Threatfire and Cyberhawk both would do some action that I could "hear", much like you do. It turned out that every X seconds or minutes those programs checked a bunch of registry keys and file/directories. So, maybe you can use a similar approach?

    Sul.
     
  8. Judge Dee

    Judge Dee Guest

    Well the Resource Monitor showed svchost.exe (LocalSystemNetworkRestricted) doing most of the reading/writing.
    I've spent the day disabling everything I could.
    Then I downloaded (after reading your post Sully) Process Monitor. Whooo! It listed svchost until I thought my eyes would bug out.
    I'm tired. Tomorrow is another day.
    Many heartfelt thanks!
     
  9. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I would disable the Windows Search Service (only disables indexing) unless you need it, and disable WinSAT (Microsoft > Windows > Maintenance) from Task Scheduler.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  10. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    i have the same problem
    but i can't find the service that makes this
    for example my antivirus avira , scan lots of file ,without starting programso_O o_O
     
  11. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    svchost is synonymous with service host -- meaning each instance of svchost is the parent of other services. In XP I would use tasklist /svc to view the svchost children. This let me see what each svchost was responsible for. You can then find the PID of the svchost that is doing the most accessing, then determine what that svchost is the parent of, then figure out if there is anything you can tweak. Windows 7 might offer an easier way than using tasklist, I haven't tried that though.

    Sul.
     
  12. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    Prio makes that easy. I sort processes by CPU usage in Task Manager because usually the one that constantly reads and writes uses more CPU too.
     
  13. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    i tried with process hacker , i was not lucky
     
  14. Judge Dee

    Judge Dee Guest

    Thanks J_L, did that.
    Just about every asus and windows service I disabled.
    I installed a linux to see if it is connected with hardware, but it didn't occur.
    Sully, after an image restore I installed System Explorer, and it showed several svchost processes alternately running.
    I've got to be honest - I've lost patience. :'(
    I'm just going to live with it.
    I really do appreciate the help, I'm just too old. My brain is mush.
     
  15. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    You could try svchost viewer; a free "program to see what all those svchost.exe are running." Another tool I like is Anvir Task Manager because it shows you the "disk load" imposed by each process (that is separate from CPU usage). Also if you single click its tray icon, it creates a small window that shows the basic stats and which processes are exerting significant CPU use and/or disk load.

    Process Monitor is awesome but tough to use imo. It gives so much info that it's hard to make sense of any of it so you need to filter some of it out, but that in turn takes effort and expertise.

    The usual suspects for heavy disk usage are defraggers that have a "background optimization" component (e.g. Diskeeper) and search engines that index files (e.g. Copernic Desktop Search). I disable Windows and other automatic updates too. Real-time AV and firewall normally cause some amount of semi-constant disk usage that I think we just have to put up with to be semi-safe.
     
  16. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    me too i bored
    in idle mode soon as the boot , i see avira that scans many files 1400o_O o_O
    can't understand why?
     
  17. Cvette

    Cvette Registered Member

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    I had this same problem too with Windows Vista x64. I eventually narrowed down the source, superfetch.
     
  18. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    Is Volume Shadow Copy running? and

    This is from the AxCrypt Blog

    so its like a double wammy Shadow copy and NTFS Last access both writing at the same time :thumbd:

    I dont use any of these features...
     
  19. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Last Access should be 1 by default for Vista and above. It's 1 on my clean Windows 7 64-bit virtual machine.
     
  20. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    can you tell me how fix it?
    should i edit the registry?

    thanks
     
  21. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    but i guess ntfs last access is useful to optimaze the program load up

    about shadow copy i guess i have on , never seen in xp
    how could i know if it's on ?
    is a service?
    thanks
     
  22. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Shadow Copy is necessary for most disk imaging programs and system restore.

    It's manual, not automatic, anyways. There's no point of disabling it.
     
  23. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    right! bingo
    it's this service sysmain in english superfetch

    but i don't know if it's a good idea to disable i mean for w7 performance
     
  24. Cvette

    Cvette Registered Member

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    You may notice a slight performance drop by disabling superfetch (see block-quote below), but it shouldn't be major.

    I do remember reading about a way to adjust what superfetch 'fetches' by changing a registry key. If your result of disabling superfetch is a noticeable performance drop, I'll look into it for you.

    Via Wikipedia:

    -EDIT- Off to bed for now. It's 2:49 AM o_O but I'll check in with you tomorrow, and dig up that registry fix if need be. Good luck!
     
  25. Bambo

    Bambo Registered Member

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    Not sure who has which problem but to the OP with Asus go to this forum http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus/ Clean it off the Asus crap. Install latest bios, drivers - and don't use a crappy AV. You will need to look but there will be a mile long thread about your model as well. Chances you have been unlucky with a std. Windows are zero, bundle crap is a more real danger. "Brand new" is probably the problem. No point in experimenting with Windows until computer is cleaned for Asus stuff, updated too. That forum has a "Asus utility and bloatware guide" for good reasons. If you really are unlucky it will be because models page on Asus site does not have latest drivers for whatever unit and without that nothing works properly. Asus can be bad with this. A few drivers will be Asus specific but most are 3rd. party and can be installed from other sources in newer versions. Use forum for getting correct info.

    Superfetch on 7 should not cause problems after it has settled in. Give it a few days. Is not dumb and aggressive as on Vista and there are real speed benefits on both laptop and desktop.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
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