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I have Windows 8 installed on PC, and another Windows 8 installed inside virtual computer. On virtual computer - without antivirus. In both cases, I see that OS intensively works with the hard disk at idle time. If I continue to work with computer, it stops this, and resumes later.

It looks like some background maintenance process, like hard disk scanning. What part of Windows 8 is responsible for this? Is it possible to remove/reduce this effect?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Windows has an idle maintenance task.

To stop it, open the Task Scheduler (run: taskschd.msc) and go to Task Scheduler -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Task Scheduler and disable the Idle Maintenance task:


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That's it - changing maintenance start timeout did the trick. It is impossible to disable it completely, because it is re-enabled automatically after some time. But changing the properties works. – 0123456789 May 20 '13 at 9:39

The activity you are observing is most likely disk cleanup and defragmentation. Since Windows Vista there is no need for manual defragmentation as it is done automatically when Windows notices idle time.

I don't know how to deactivate this but this article looks promising.

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Good guess, but I think there is another reason. I found "Defragment and Optimize Drives" command, it contains Schedule optimization option, which is set to "Weekly". In my case, it is definetely not weekly... – 0123456789 May 13 '13 at 8:23
Try the Process Explorer then. It shows you which files are accessed by which process. – André Stannek May 13 '13 at 8:29
Actually, there are a lot of candidates in the Task Scheduler. For example, Windows Defender. I will try to disable some of sceduled tasks and see what happens. – 0123456789 May 13 '13 at 8:34

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