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I have a problem that my windows 7 computer sometimes starts accessing the disk like crazy for maybe 10 minutes at a time. The process in question is the "system" process. I have disabled superfetch and hibernation on my computer, if that makes any difference. I disabled those to see if they were the cause of the problems, but no change. I have 6 GB of RAM and only the web browser was started when I took the screenshot, so I don't think it was thrashing due to page faults.

Any ideas on how to find the cause of this?

Screenshot of resmon

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You could use Process Monitor to see which files the system process is reading from and writing to. That might help you give a clue as to what it is doing. – Mr Alpha Oct 22 '11 at 10:23
Process – Moab Oct 23 '11 at 4:09
Ok, thanks. I've actually tried process monitor, and didn't see any activity at all from System then, even though it was very active according to resmon. But quite possibly I messed up the filters. I'll do another attempt the next time it happens. – Mats Ekberg Oct 23 '11 at 12:32
Now I've done some logging with Process Monitor. I could post a screenshot, but I don't think it would add anything. I logged all events from the System process (pid 4), no filters. I can not see any obvious intensive activity. Occasional reading/writing of a few kilobytes, but not the 10MB/s activity I can see in resmon. This is a complete mystery to me. Does anybody know of any other tools that might help? – Mats Ekberg Oct 30 '11 at 14:28
I have this problem but it's not IE updates. Resource monitor shows that system is visiting many, many files across the whole filesystem (some of them very large multimedia or blob files) and reading at a high rate. – andersoj May 28 '14 at 17:45

Use xperf from the WPT (part of the Windows 8 SDK) to trace disk IO:

Run the script, minimize the CMD Window and when you have the issue again, go back to the cmd, wait 15-20s, press a key to stop logging. Open it with xperfview and look in the Disk IO graph which files the SYSTEM process writes/reads.

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i'll throw out a link to a detailed answer where i used xperf to solve an issue. It might be useful to get started with xperf. – Ian Boyd Jul 9 '13 at 2:34

I had a similar problem. For me the trigger was opening IE10 (why would I use IE? I don't even know). The System process would hit the hard drive incessantly. It wouldn't freeze everything but it made the computer effectively unusable with an average disc response time of 10,000+ms.

I found the fix at Serverfault: System process (PID 4) constantly accessing the hard disk. My summary below:

The problem is windows update. When certain programs are started, for me it was IE10, or intermittently the system will check for updates. It takes some time and locks up the machine. To fix: deactivate updates, first for the running programs. If the problem persists, consider deactivating windows updates.

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And also, this AdskScSrv.exe process makes lag too. It's from autocad, the services is "Autodesk Licensing Service"

Yes I just remove that services.

Steps: 1. Start 2. type "msconfig" and enter 3. goto Services tab and find "Autodesk Licensing Service" (make it easy by sorting the name) 4. Uncheck then click apply. and restart now if you want

For me it was: sharing the whole drive (C:) into network.

And when I delete that sharing rule, well it works and run normally.

To do this (Win 7, believe similary in Win 8):

  1. Right click on Computer and select "Manage"
  2. In the left explorer choose "Computer Management (Local)" => "Shared Folders" => "Shares"
  3. You will see Folder Path, which is the path you share to your network.
  4. In my case, I was sharing C:\
  5. So I delete this rule, "Right Click" and choose "Stop Sharing"

Vote it to help others

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