I booted up today and my disk hasn't stopped thrashing in 20 minutes. CPU activity is flat; the only processes using anything right now are firefox and dwm.exe and it's ~1%. So I figured I'd look at what's happening with Procmon.
svchost.exe is making thousands of requests per second. It looks like something or the other is running an install, because it checks HKLM\System\Setup\SystemSetupInProgress every few milliseconds. It's also looking at files in C:\Windows\System32\wbem\repository a lot; I presume that's WMI queries. Everything else looks like random hard drive queries (for example, it looked for "close.WAV" in 7 or 8 program files directories.
I want whatever it is to STFU and stop thrashing my hard drive (since starting this post it sounds like it's calming down.) But since it's hiding in svchost.exe, it's pretty hard for me to tell it to calm down. The Event Viewer doesn't seem to indicate much, though there's about 15 failures that seem to hint it tried to install some automatic updates. I set my computer to ask before installing them; I'm not sure why it'd do this.
Why is there not a "WTF are you doing?" button? Why is it so easy for a process to perform hard drive olympics while I have nothing to do but sit back and hope it's for the better? Is there any way to figure out exactly what's going on when this happens?