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Tool which finds which process is causing the heavy hard drive activity?

Did you notice that on Windows 7 (I use 64-bit) the hard drive LED is constantly blinking, which means that the OS is constantly wearing the hard drive by accessing it? It's something related to the system process, and it even occurs in safe mode, so I don't think it's a third party software problem.

Has anyone experienced this problem as well, and is it a Windows problem, or caused by something else?


My indexing service is reduced to indexing only the Start Menu. Even if it was set for the whole computer, it would eventually stop; that's not it. My friends also suffer from the same problem.

Please answer my first question: have any of you have seen a Windows 7 machine whose hard drive LED is at rest?

I'm also trying to track down the offending process using procmon and Resource Monitor, and it actually seems like a system process. It could also be svchost.exe, and I'm not sure which file they are accessing since I see a lot of activity which I can't make sense of. It's loading system DLLs, accessing registry keys, and other nonsense.

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marked as duplicate by Dave M, surfasb, Joel Coehoorn, Simon Sheehan, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 7 '11 at 3:54

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

get and start procmon, filter out reg and process activities (with the little icons on the upper right side) then you can see what process is accessing which file. probalbly the indexing service, virus scanner or some bad programmed tool constantly reading some file. – weberik Nov 3 '11 at 20:32

There's a fairly good chance the Indexing service is the culprit. Hit Windows+R and run services.msc. Find Windows Indexing Service at the bottom of the list and disable it.

Though it may run when the computer is idle, constant indexing can decrease the shelf life of a hard drive through normal wear & tear. The Indexing service is mainly used by Windows Search, and if you're not using that, then this service does not need to be running.

EDIT:OP This action is solve my problems with hard drive....kind regards...

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Indexing runs when the computer is idle. Don't disable it, it serves a good purpose. – Ciaran Nov 3 '11 at 22:55
Not the OP, but this was going on for me too on my external drive I use just for backup. Went into Indexing Options, found it was in the list, removed it, and now it's sitting silently, finally! So I'll say thanks, and +1. :) – Ben Richards Nov 3 '11 at 22:56

As mentioned by the others, the Indexing service, and Anti-Virus applications are good place to start.

you might also want to get yourself a hard drive analysing tool from your hard drive manufacturer and test to make sure your disk doesn't have any bad sectors. I have had cases where the disk is in constant usage and it is because the system is stuck trying to read a bad block on the disk.

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Superfetch is another culprit you can check.

Even in safe mode, there are lots of services running, and at any given moment any one of them might want to do some disk i/o. Linux and mac aren't really any different in this respect.

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