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I usually have several application running simultaneously on the system. The biggest memory-wise are MS Visual Studio and a Chrome with a bunch of tabs.

Something is always keeping my hard drive loaded though. It is not Torrent application, which could be an obvious reason. Is there a Windows 7-compatible application, that can tell me, which processes are loading up the hard drive performance-wise?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Windows "Resource monitor" will show many of the Performance data items, in a very nice display. In the disk section it will lay out all the programs that are, and were recently accessing the disks.

There is a gadget available called TopProcess that can be configured to show which processes are using the most cpu ,mem, and (I think) disk load. very small. I used to use a similar sidebar like guage that would show the top processes and in its small package it came in very handy, telling me who the hog was at the moment. without taking a second monitor to see it :-)

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Yes, Resource Monitor does it even better! –  Maxim V. Pavlov Oct 18 '11 at 20:30
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@Maxim: Please note that the Resource Monitor has a decay effect while Process Monitor has not, you might see different results if you want to use this over a prolonged time interval... –  Tom Wijsman Oct 18 '11 at 22:19
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Sysinternal's Process Monitor will show you this information quite handily. It's a pretty powerful tool, especially if you have some idea of what you're looking for to filter by.

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I use it on a daily basis. No way to find out disk load by process that I know of. –  Maxim V. Pavlov Oct 18 '11 at 20:01
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Well, ok, there is. I needed to add I/O Reads and Writes into the monitored columns on the main data grid. Thanks –  Maxim V. Pavlov Oct 18 '11 at 20:04
    
I feel obligated to point out that you never specified HOW you wanted to see it anyway... :) –  Shinrai Oct 18 '11 at 20:16
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