View Full Version : Hard drive thrashing?? (winXP)

06-04-2011, 01:00 PM
GENERIC comp question:

If you hear a lot of mysterious disk thrashing on your WinXP system, is there a way to determine which process is causing this activity??


06-04-2011, 01:12 PM
In the Task Manager, you can go to the Processes tab, then click on CPU to sort the results by CPU. That's not exactly what you asked, though, but it might give you some clues.

There are websites with explanations of many of these tasks. Some of the worst are anti-virus files.

06-04-2011, 01:25 PM
If I heard a bunch of noise from my hard drive first thing I would do is buy another drive and make an image while it is still working. Because the problem could be a physical one.

06-04-2011, 01:55 PM
It's not BAD noise, just the usual noise of operation. But when there shouldn't be any disk access at all.

06-04-2011, 03:37 PM
You can use Mark Russinovich's Process Explorer here (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653), but be warned it gives out an awful lot of info and you may finding yourself hunting needles...


06-04-2011, 06:15 PM
That's what I used in the past when I had a similar problem. I could at least hover over the hard disk peaks and see what was causing the thrashing. I was then able to gradually elininate various programs from the auto start menu that seemed to do little more than read or write data and slowly a sort of order was restored.

I've since upgraded to windows 7 and other than a 5-10 minute thrashing as various anti virus et al do their job initially the drives are fairly quiet.

So yes, I'd recommend process explorer but some background knowledge is advantageous.

06-04-2011, 06:22 PM
Downright essential to sort the wheat from the chaff, but it does narrow down the list of potential issues very rapidly once you have your filters set.


06-04-2011, 08:02 PM
Nifty! Thanks B., I'll be looking at that tomorrow.