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My system shows hard disc activity right after booting/logging in and never stops. I was able to countermeasure it already with disabling the Windows Search service, but still it seems the disc is accessed to much.

Using Vista tools, I made this screenshot:

alt text

However I was not accessing Crysis or any other files shown there but they got accessed. It seems they were completely read by the svchost.exe process or whatever this means.

I'm currently using GData anti virus and I understand that such kind of software will do exactly such things, however my system was running for a year now without any such performance issues. They really starting only a few days back and I'm seeing lag when playing games like Crysis because the disc access slows down the system.

Is there a way to find out which process exactly is causing the IO access? Or this information already that it's the svchost.exe process?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Download and use Process Explorer.

Invaluable tool.

svchost.exe is a hosting process for services, and can host more than one. Process explorer will help to isolate which one.

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No, it won't. It can just tell which services are in a svchost process (something which the Task Manager also tells). You can't see which service is doing I/O or computational tasks. – Joey Oct 31 '09 at 13:22
I agree, but there can be more than one instance of svchost.exe running, so you can isolate which group of services is causing the cpu usage. That is what I meant. :) – Andy Oct 31 '09 at 13:25
Since Windows Vista you can find which services are in a given process in Task Manager. Open Task Manager (Alt+Esc) and open the services tab. Match the process id (PID) in that list to the PID listed in the activity monitor. – shf301 Nov 1 '09 at 1:38

You should be able to determine the process with Process Monitor v2.7 by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell:

Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity. It combines the features of two legacy Sysinternals utilities, Filemon and Regmon, and adds an extensive list of enhancements including rich and non-destructive filtering, comprehensive event properties such session IDs and user names, reliable process information, full thread stacks with integrated symbol support for each operation, simultaneous logging to a file, and much more. Its uniquely powerful features will make Process Monitor a core utility in your system troubleshooting and malware hunting toolkit.

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I much prefer Anvir Task Manager over PE, a far more accurate and detailed system resource usage monitor (even the free variant) - the Swiss Army Knife for techie's toolbox. :)

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There is also a portable version available.

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