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Author Topic: What's thrashing my hard disk?  (Read 4754 times)

rjbull

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What's thrashing my hard disk?
« on: January 18, 2014, 03:41:34 PM »
Lately, something's been rhythmically thrashing my hard disk.  Sounds like an old  combustion engine "hunting," speeding up and slowing down again.  Please, how can I find out what's happening?  Given that I'm not a supergeek, something easy to use and easy to interpret, please.

wraith808

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 04:32:11 PM »
What OS and version?

Curt

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 04:54:44 PM »
if nothing is wrong it would most likely be 1) Windows indexing, or 2) your security program scanning.

tomos

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2014, 04:56:08 PM »
What have you checked so far?
(I'm presuming you've had a look in Task Manager or equivalent?)
Tom

40hz

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2014, 05:47:53 PM »
That sounds more like a developing hardware problem than a software issue to me. I'm guessing it's a spindle bearing that's semi-seizing. If it starts binding, the controller will detect it and spin up the drive motor to get it back up to speed.

Check inside and see if the drive casing is unusually hot - or use a drive utility to check the actual temperatures along with the SMART stats. That will at least let you know whether it's a looming hardware issue or not. (See here and here for resources.)

Could also be power manager unnecessarily spinning the disk down then up. It happens. Go to your power settings and check the setting for your harddrive and change or disable to see if that's the culprit.

Luck! :Thmbsup:


4wd

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2014, 09:51:17 PM »
Given that I'm not a supergeek, something easy to use and easy to interpret, please.

Windows Resource Monitor - open a CLI or at the Start menu type resmon.exe, and then look at the Disk tab.

2014-01-19 14_44_35.pngWhat's thrashing my hard disk?

You'll get the process, how much reading/writing it's doing, the priority, and the drive response time, (which can be a very good indication of whether there are bad sectors - high response = possible read/write error possibly also indicative of a drive fault as 40hz mentioned).

wraith808

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2014, 11:11:24 PM »
^That's not on every version of windows, which was the reason for my query about OS version and such before I posted :)  But it is a good resource.  It didn't help me with my recent problem of the same sort however.

I was getting disk thrashing, and only with process monitor was I able to find out what it was by looking at the delta of disk writes and such.  I had Google Drive, Dropbox, Skydrive, Copy, Cubby, Syncovery, and Strongsync all running at once.  I guess they don't play well together :)  Turning off Google Drive and Skydrive was enough to stop the thrashing, though I added Copy to the ones that I turned off.

4wd

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2014, 11:57:08 PM »
^That's not on every version of windows, which was the reason for my query about OS version and such before I posted :) 

I'm assuming at least Windows Vista ... but I'm probably wrong  ;)

Deozaan

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 01:56:01 AM »
Don't worry. It's just the NSA cataloging your hard disks.


IainB

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 06:24:05 AM »
Don't worry. It's just the NSA cataloging your hard disks.
That's helpful of them.

rjbull

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2014, 02:21:08 PM »
What OS and version?
Windows Vista Home Premium, 32-bit, UAC On, user account.

rjbull

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2014, 02:48:53 PM »
What have you checked so far? (I'm presuming you've had a look in Task Manager or equivalent?)
I have now :-[, but I don't understand Task Manager.  I run Chameleon Task Manager, which on the surface at least looks more informative, but the default is not to monitor disk usage.  I've turned it on now, but it will need a day or two to gather enough statistics.  So far, the two biggest users are WinPatrol Plus (45%) and (Windows) Explorer (14%).

rjbull

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2014, 03:02:05 PM »
That sounds more like a developing hardware problem than a software issue to me. [...] Check inside and see if the drive casing is unusually hot - or use a drive utility to check the actual temperatures along with the SMART stats. That will at least let you know whether it's a looming hardware issue or not.
It's a laptop, and I'm a klutz  :(  But I ran Hard Disk Sentinel a few weeks ago, just before doing the last disk image.  As far as I understood it, which isn't very, it gave a clean bill of health.  I just ran it again, with this result:
HDSentinel_report1.pngWhat's thrashing my hard disk?
(Given that it's a Samsung laptop, I was surprised to see a Fujitsu hard disk)
Could also be power manager unnecessarily spinning the disk down then up. It happens. Go to your power settings and check the setting for your harddrive and change or disable to see if that's the culprit.
I'll have to go look for that.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 03:18:27 PM by rjbull, Reason: Changed full-size image to thumbnail »

rjbull

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2014, 03:09:00 PM »
^That's not on every version of windows, which was the reason for my query about OS version
It's in my Vista, but I don't understand it.
I was getting disk thrashing, and only with process monitor
A quick DuckDuckGo search showed Process Monitor as the most popular utility for investigating this kind of problem.

Curt

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2014, 04:23:28 PM »
Doesn't "Power On: 147 Days" tell that you haven't allowed Windows to update for about 5 months? Maybe you simply need to close Windows, (and start it again), for the updates to install, so your Windows Update can rest?

wraith808

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2014, 05:53:27 PM »
Doesn't "Power On: 147 Days" tell that you haven't allowed Windows to update for about 5 months? Maybe you simply need to close Windows, (and start it again), for the updates to install, so your Windows Update can rest?


That does not mean that.

rjbull

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2014, 02:15:48 PM »
need to close Windows, (and start it again), for the updates to install, so your Windows Update can rest?
I switched it off ("Not recommended") ages ago after the Update from Hell that I detailed in Windows Update disaster - recovery help, please!.  In that thread, you commented that given good security software (which I have) there wasn't much point in updating Vista because nothing worthwhile was being added to it.

4wd

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2014, 05:26:28 AM »
Just as a matter of interest, Fujitsu transferred their HDD assets to Toshiba back in 2009 - your HDD is over 5 years old, (2008 model).  Even though SMART says it's fine, if it's your main computer or you use it heavily, I'd probably look at replacing the HDD now or in the near future.

Depends on your mindset of course - I generally wait til they go toes up  :)

rjbull

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2014, 03:03:59 PM »
Just as a matter of interest, Fujitsu transferred their HDD assets to Toshiba back in 2009 - your HDD is over 5 years old, (2008 model).
I'm still surprised to find it inside a Samsung, though.  I'd have expected them to use their own HDs.

Even though SMART says it's fine, if it's your main computer or you use it heavily, I'd probably look at replacing the HDD now or in the near future.

Depends on your mindset of course - I generally wait til they go toes up  :)
I'll probably do the same :-\  But as it's a laptop, I suppose I'd have to replace the whole thing.  It's (probably) not quite as serious as it sounds, yet; I don't think I even used the machine much until a year or so after I'd bought it (maybe that's the effect Vista has on you) and it's my personal machine, not one at work that had an intensive life.  HD Sentinel gave it the all-clear, too.  But, I suppose I'd better start keeping an eye on laptop reviews  8)

wraith808

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Re: What's thrashing my hard disk?
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2014, 03:23:47 PM »
I'm still surprised to find it inside a Samsung, though.  I'd have expected them to use their own HDs.

Even if they had their own assets, it would be a toss up as to what they use.  It's always been that way.