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Extremely high disk activity without any real usage

Occasionally, like several times an hour, my hard drive will appear to lock up: Task Manager will show 100% active time with read and write speeds of 0.

I can still switch between open windows, but anything that requires a disk access will stall for around a minute until the hard disk starts working properly again.

It happens at apparently random intervals, and only happens in Windows 8. Not 7, nor Linux.

It is probably not a problem with the disk itself:

  1. This is a relatively new hard drive, and S.M.A.R.T. is showing no errors.
  2. Only happens in Windows 8: not any other OS that has used the same partition, or different partitions.

So, what is going on? How can I fix this?

Note: this is a different problem then this one: Extremely high disk activity without any real usage

My task manager would look similar, but Average Response Time, Read Speed, and Write Speed would all be 0.

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marked as duplicate by Synetech, RedGrittyBrick, soandos, ChrisF, HackToHell Nov 20 '12 at 12:45

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.

    
Except that it's not a duplicate, as noted in the post. The consensus in the other post seems to be that it is a hardware problem, and that running chkdsk solved the problem. Not so with this one. –  fingerbangpalateclick Nov 20 '12 at 1:44
    
Is Automatic Maintenance running in the background? –  pratnala Nov 20 '12 at 2:19
    
No, it is scheduled to run daily at 3:00 am (and last ran this morning at 3:00 am). –  fingerbangpalateclick Nov 20 '12 at 3:10
    
So basically when you see 100% it is not running, am I correct? –  pratnala Nov 20 '12 at 3:11
    
Go to the Task Manager and sort the column Disk Usage. You'll know which program has gone rogue –  pratnala Nov 20 '12 at 3:11

1 Answer 1

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

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ntdebugging/archive/2009/08/17/xperf-to-investigate-slow-i-o-issues.aspx

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Thanks for introducing me to this useful utility. I captured a disk lockup event lasting 30 seconds. There were several disk operations that lasted that entire time. Most of them reads, writes, and flushes from chrome (I was browsing at the time), one was a read by dwm.exe, and one write by system (xperf writing to a .etl file). I'll have to dig more to see if I can find a cause for the slowdown. –  fingerbangpalateclick Nov 20 '12 at 0:35

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