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How can I view what percentage of my hard drive bandwidth is currently being used?

My HDD on a dock just started making noises like it's being accessed but I don't see any program accessing it.

Is there a program that shows which HDD is accessed by which program in percentages similar to how the task manager shows which programs use the most CPU?

  • 1
    Resource Monitor in Windows 7 and 8 will tell you what programs are accessing a disk, but I'm not sure whether they will specify which disk in a multi-disk system. – Miles Hayler Sep 19 '12 at 16:15
  • Use ProcessMonitor then you add a filer that says "Include Path if contains D:\" or whatever drive you want to monitor. I used this to see which program wakes up my D: drive from sleep. – Ultralisk Feb 15 at 20:16

If you're using Windows Vista or newer, try Resource Monitor. Just type resmon into the Start menu search, or open Task Manager and click the "Resource Monitor" button on the Performance tab.

Once in Resource Monitor, go to the Disk tab. There you can see which processes are accessing your disks, and exactly which disks and which files they're accessing.

You can also check out Process Explorer (from Sysinternals). It's a bit more flexible and fully-featured, for instance you can set a filter to show only the processes that are accessing a particular disk or path.

  • Thanks, I see no activity graph on the drive making the noise. I wonder if it's a legitimate seeking sound. – Joan Venge Sep 19 '12 at 16:18
  • @Joan Venge: No sure of what exactly triggers it, but Windows itself has always periodically accessed all of my HD drives. Also if any HD starts making noises for no apparent reason, it can indicate that it's going bad. – martineau Sep 19 '12 at 16:49
  • It stopped now. I don't think it was seeking sound. I tried to turn off my thermaltake HDD dock by pressing the button but it didn't turn off. After safely removing the HDD, I plugged the HDD out, and surely then no sound. As soon as I plugged it back, same sound. But now nothing. Really bizarre. – Joan Venge Sep 19 '12 at 20:17

I don’t know of a program that can show you access by percentage (at least not through a built-in function), but if all you need to do is to see what program is heavily accessing the drive, you can use Process Monitor to see all file and folder accessed. You can select the Files filter to see only disk access and right-click anything that seems normal to filter it out to further reduce the clutter and winnow it down to just the unexpected/heavy access:

You can also export the data to a CSV file and open it in another program to graph a chart, but it’s probably much easier just to view the accesses live in the list.

enter image description here (Personally I much prefer Filemon over ProcMon, but that only works in XP.)

DiskMon which shows direct disk access (i.e., to the disk itself as opposed to any specific files or folders, but it doesn’t show the process doing it.

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