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Something is constantly accessing my hard drive

thaugen

Senior member
May 31, 2000
208
0
76
Drive light flashes almost every second or twice a second and I can hear the drive clicking. No scans are running so I don't that's the cause. This happens the entire time the computer is on. Old Vista box. I looked at processes and the following are being accessed over and over in no particular order: services.exe, svchost.exe (many instances running), dwm.exe, WmiPrvSE.exe, rundll32.exe, spoolsv.exe and several others.

Thanks in advance for any good advice. (buy a newer one is not an option.)
 

ninaholic37

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2012
1,883
31
91
Maybe try disabling Windows Update then rebooting? You might need to kill a few tasks of those tasks before it lets you.
 

inachu

Platinum Member
Aug 22, 2014
2,387
2
41
Many things will always force data reads:

Windows Update
Antivirus - when no interaction happens on user end then a no activity script is run and virus update happens or hard drive scan while you are away.

Screen saver could be starting up.
Your instant messengers have maybe tiny advertisements in them and they are refreshing for new ads.

You left an internet browser open with ads on them also refreshing for new ads.

Your pc is unloading executables in memory that are no longer being used. Most often used apps are used in precaching to speed up interaction with pc user.

The swap file is shrinking because no heavy usage. so hard drive is gaining space back.

Apps are phoning home back to their servers when connected to the internet and getting new content.
 

denis280

Diamond Member
Jan 16, 2011
3,434
9
81
Many things will always force data reads:

Windows Update
Antivirus - when no interaction happens on user end then a no activity script is run and virus update happens or hard drive scan while you are away.

Screen saver could be starting up.
Your instant messengers have maybe tiny advertisements in them and they are refreshing for new ads.

You left an internet browser open with ads on them also refreshing for new ads.

Your pc is unloading executables in memory that are no longer being used. Most often used apps are used in precaching to speed up interaction with pc user.

The swap file is shrinking because no heavy usage. so hard drive is gaining space back.

Apps are phoning home back to their servers when connected to the internet and getting new content.
This.
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
27,370
237
106
One of the more common causes of disk activity is indexing. Whether or not that is disabled is a personal choice based on usage.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,494
220
106
One of the more common causes of disk activity is indexing. Whether or not that is disabled is a personal choice based on usage.
This is the biggest one for Vista. You can uncheck the option on hard drive properties, and you can uncheck locations that you don't want indexed from the control panel.

Check your hard drive's fragmentation and tell us free space you have on your drive.

I assume this is a new problem, so think about what may have changed between now and when you first noticed it.

If you did the above and are still having issues, go ahead and give it a good virus scan and malware scan.
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,895
640
136
It also wouldn't hurt to run 'sfc /scannow' from an elevated command prompt to check for corrupt system files as well.
 

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