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I am using Windows 7 on my laptop and it is really slow - probably because the HDD led is on most of the time. How can I figure out which process (ab)uses the hard drive? On Linux this is usually reflected as the kernel cpu usage, but it doesn't seem to be the case in Windows.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Run Resource Monitor (Start -> search for resmon, and then run the resmon.exe search result. There are detail views per-process for CPU, HDD, network, and memory.

An alternative is to download Process Explorer. It is a lightweight application that does not require installation. It shows a lot more detail, especially regarding svchost child processes. Run this as admin as well to ensure you can see all the processes running.

In Process Explorer, right click-the columns and display the following two columns:

  1. I/O Delta Read
  2. I/O Delta Write

Then go to View|Update Speed and select '5 seconds'.

You can now sort by the two columns you added to work out which process is performing the most IO.

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