Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My Windows environment (main development machine) is running a bit slow with operations envolving hard disk. As an indication, the HD light is constantly flashing and e.g. saving and loading big files is really slow.

I'd like to have some tools to monitor which programs/processes actually use disk I/O and to which extent - and if possible, with which disk.

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would recommend Process Explorer. It is replacement for Task Manager and among many features it has tracking of IO statistics. That should enable you to find which program is problem.

Once you know which program is to blame and if you need more detail, you can track which exact files are problem via Process Monitor (filtered to exact program since otherwise there will be too much data).

share|improve this answer
    
I'll try with ProcExplorer as it's already installed. Any pointers where to find disk I/O in it? –  Jawa Aug 18 '10 at 8:07
    
Ok, found it. Under Select columns... | Process Performance. (If that's the best way?) –  Jawa Aug 18 '10 at 8:09
    
@Jawa: Right-click on columns and use "Select columns" menu. There you will get bunch of properties to chose from. I would recommend "I/O history" as starting point (under "Process Performance" tab). That should give you nice graph. –  Josip Medved Aug 18 '10 at 8:11
    
@Jawa: That is the way. :) –  Josip Medved Aug 18 '10 at 8:12
    
Process Explorer is excellent. Anybody else reading this - if you're looking for more power than even Process Explorer, and you're under something newer than Windows XP, you should look into XPerf. –  Shinrai Aug 18 '10 at 14:31

Beware-A word of advice from me: If this continues for a while (The hard disk slowdowns) and you did not install anything special or increase amount of I/O work needed, consider doing frequent backups.

This could be one of the signs of hard drive failures.

share|improve this answer

I'd suggest Precoess Explorer as well but Windows task manager can give you this information. If you switch to the processes tab, you can choose additional stuff to view from the "View" menu.

(On Windows 7 at least - I haven't access to an XP machine at the moment) The additional information to view includes I/O reads and writes, both by number of reads/ writes and number of bytes.

share|improve this answer

The Windows' Performance Monitor seems to do fit the bill. The program can be started from Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Performance or by running %SystemRoot%\system32\perfmon.msc /s. It probably needs elevated user rights to operate properly, as it's location suggests.

Within the Performance tool you can set various criteria to monitor, including relative, average or absolute disk read/write times, data amounts, queue lengths and a lot more - as totals or per selected logical disk.

share|improve this answer
    
Ok, this doesn't separate operations by process. –  Jawa Aug 18 '10 at 8:01

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.