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Thread: Ghosts in the PC?

  1. #1
    beingbobbyorr
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    Default Ghosts in the PC?

    Ever notice your PC once in a while starts thrashing your hard drive even
    though you're not doing anything with it? When I do a ctrl-alt-del and look at the Task Manager, it shows no programs active.

    I assume the Windows Operating System is doing some kind of maintenance / background task. Do we have any software (Wintel) experts here who know what is going on?

    I don't object to Mac lovers piping up about whether their machines do anything like this .... but not if it's going to start another PC vs. Apple war. I don't consider this phenomena a problem worthy of switching computing platforms, merely an academic curiosity.

  2. #2
    I get around




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    Mine did (HP) before the motherboard fried.

    Last time I owned a PC.

  3. #3
    FBJ
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    I had that issue with this PC when it was new back in March-ish.

    Use filemon.exe to figure out what's accessing your drive. I found a part of a resident program that was turned on by default that ran some sort of file check every now-and-again. Took that app (don't remember what it was now) out of the startup and now I don't have issues like that.
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  4. #4
    VF
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    It could be a lot of things, most likely it is paging information from memory to the hard disk, or vice versa. In addition to the app FBJ recommended, there is also a process monitor from Microsoft which is also built for this kind of thing.

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    I grew a Fatmanchu. Kingsfan626's Avatar




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    Some of the time it's just a memory dump from the RAM that's causing the excess CPU usage.

  6. #6
    beingbobbyorr
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    Quote Originally Posted by ValleyFan View Post
    It could be a lot of things, most likely it is paging information from memory to the hard disk, or vice versa. .....
    Maybe half the time this happens is at power-up when there's no history of any applications even having used the memory yet ..... so it's still a mystery why the O/S feels the need to move nothing (from blank memory) to the HD or something (from the HD) into memory before any app (that might have used that something) has launched ..... but I'll try the monitors & programs you and others have recommended.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    trdi
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    Pres CTRL+ALT+DEL again. Now click the Processes tab. You see all that stuff? All those processes are running. Applications tab might be empty, but that's only for programs you manually start. There can be 100+ processes working in the background.

    Also when that happens, click the Performance tab. You can see CPU usage and Page file usage there, plus some additional stats. Do you see anything special regarding these percentages when your disk works like you have described?

    What else? Virtual memory file. It's better if you set it to a constant size, at least 1.5× the RAM size you have. I know for sure that some of that HD work comes from changing size of the swap file that virtual memory uses. If it's constant size, there is no changing size.

    Check the fragmentation of the drive. Defragmentation of the drive can literally makes you sit there, not believing how much smoother everything works.

  8. #8
    Hand of the Kings Deadmarsh28's Avatar




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    Just to make sure, run a virus scan. Stuff like this can be caused by a trojan horse or some other nasty program.

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