Could you suggest any programs that makes statistics (e.g. stored in files as logs) of what applications are exactly reading/writing my HDD in a given period?

Longer explanation

Sometimes I hear my HDD clattering for a long time, which can also be caused by writing to or reading stuff from the pagefile (e.g. because of low free memory - I have 2 GBs of RAM, but on my Windows 7 x64, when using many programs, including some browsers with many tabs I sometimes run out of free memory, or have just little of it), but I would be curious if any other applications are using it too for example for writing temp files, config files, etc..

I can see the CURRENT stats in either Windows Resource Monitor or Process Explorer, but I would like to restrict stats for a given period of time, and store it for later inspection.

  • 5
    Life is short, get more RAM.
    – Chris S
    Dec 6, 2011 at 21:18
  • 2
    And preferably an SSD
    – syneticon-dj
    Dec 7, 2011 at 0:20
  • @ChrisS, syneticon-dj: funny, but I'm curious to see the statistics for an EXISTING configuration, not the one I wish had. :D
    – Sk8erPeter
    Apr 25, 2012 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


Performance Monitor also comes with Windows 7.

  1. Start logging with the System - System Performance log. It will run for 60 seconds.

    Screenshot of logging
    Click for full size

  2. View the report. It shows which files are accessed most in Hot Files. You can click the + to the left of the file to find out which images (processes) are accessing it, and how much. You can also view which images (processes) read/write most to a specific disk in the Disk Breakdown breakdown section, just click the + to the left of the disk number.

    Screenshot of report
    Click for full size

  3. For additional customisations, including logging time, you can create your own (User Defined) data collector. This is actually a rather advanced too, there is a lot of things you can log. I would recommend starting by basing off one of the System sets as a template, and just extending the time it runs for.

  • Thank you very much, Bob, I didn't even know this great built-in performance logging feature! Based on your answer, I've also created my first custom user defined data collector set where I could extend the 1 minute duration of the whole logging. Exactly what I was looking for!! This answer really deserves the 50 bucks and the acceptance (and also an upvote)! :D Thanks again!
    – Sk8erPeter
    Apr 27, 2012 at 6:12

Either the Windows Resource Monitor (built in)

Resource monitor disk stats

or the Sysinternals Process Explorer in either the system information view for graphs

Process Explorer system information

or the main window with the I/O delta read/write bytes columns enabled for numbers

Process Explorer list view

will give you an ad-hoc view about what's doing which amount of I/O.

If you need exact throughput numbers per process or per handle, you would want to look at the per process read/write columns.

  • sorry for the late answer, and thanks for your post. I couldn't accept your answer yet, because to be honest, this way it's not too talkative. :) HOW could I make complete statistics of which applications exactly write/read my HDD, and in which directories? I haven't found such opportunities in Process Explorer yet... Please extend your answer with these infos, thank you! :)
    – Sk8erPeter
    Dec 6, 2011 at 10:14
  • 1
    You can see the files with directories using their Process Monitor tool. Not sure about generating stats though.
    – mgjk
    Dec 7, 2011 at 18:29
  • @syneticon-dj: thanks for the updated answer (in the meantime, it was migrated to superuser.com :) ), my only problem is that I still haven't found any opportunity to create statistics files in a given period. Should I forget this opportunity? :)
    – Sk8erPeter
    Dec 12, 2011 at 8:00

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