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Mysterious Activity

Posted on 2000-02-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Probably two or three times within an 8 hour period, my machine with Win98-SE on it goes into a mystirious spate of activity :

Firstly and most noticable the floppy drive makes a noise as if it was trying to be accessed
I can here my second HDD spin up as it is usually sleeping
then the main HDD sounds like its doing a defrag
then after about 2-3 mins it stops!

I have seen this happen even if I am not near the machine.
If it happens when I am working/playing, everything goes very sluggish even the mouse movement.

I have nothing in the task manager nor in startup. I have checked the taskmanager at the time it is doing it and nothing out of the ordnary exists.

Any ideas ?
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Question by:manney_mcvicker
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15 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2555306
I have nothing in the task manager nor in startup. I have checked the taskmanager at the time it is doing it and nothing out of the ordnary exists.
____________________________________________________________

What about virus software?  What are you using?  Try disabling it for a test and see if the problem persists.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2555309
SYMPTOMS
========
 
When your computer seems to be idle, intense hard disk activity may occur,
sometimes for up to a minute or more.
 
CAUSE
=====
 
When your computer is idle, Windows performs various housekeeping activities. One such activity is compacting the virtual memory swap file after one minute of inactivity. This is done to conserve disk space.
 
You can confirm that this is what is happening by running the System Monitor tool and monitoring the Swapfile Size item in the Memory Manager category. When the hard disk activity is finished, you should see the Swapfile Size file decrease.
 
RESOLUTION
==========
 
No action is necessary. Windows stops all housecleaning tasks the moment you begin using the computer and resumes them when the computer is not busy.
 
STATUS
======
 
This behavior is by design.
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Accepted Solution

by:
paulof earned 100 total points
ID: 2555324
Have you recently installed anything? This sounds like something that FidFast would do. Go to Control Panel and double click on the Find Fast icon if it present and disable it or reconfig it to run once a week.

Give it a try and let us know what happens.

Or this could be a AntiVirus software kicking in.


/PauloF
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Expert Comment

by:Devgirl
ID: 2555347
maybe
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 2555406
To add to the list, you may have active content (offline assignments in favorites that you've identified for updates);  Windows Critical Updates are at 5 min intervals by default; newsgroups; resizing of virtual memory (swapfile) are just a few others which come to mind.

Asta
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 2555414
As regards the swapfile (sorry, 1cell, didn't mean to reiterate your comment); meant to state that I've opted for a permanent swap file 2.5X my RAM (and modify as needed if I'm doing activity involving huge graphics or sound files ... have 192MB RAM).  I've implemented a permanent swapfile AFTER a complete scandisk/defrag so that the new swapfile is contiguous and minimal churning by Windows.

It's made quite a positive difference.

Asta
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Author Comment

by:manney_mcvicker
ID: 2555466
As regard the housekeeping on the swapfile, I do know that windows performs this when idle BUT this activity also happens while I am programming away at work/or even playing a game
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2555506
what about the virus software?
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 2555561
The swapfile is rebuilt almost constantly, anytime things happen (at least that was my observation prior to creating a permanent swapfile).
 
What game were you referring to that causes the disk other than the one which contains the disk and pertinent drivers or APIs that the game interfaces with?

Learning as I go; helping if I can along the way.

Asta
0
 

Expert Comment

by:paulof
ID: 2555585
oops I was just reading over my suggestions and noticed that I was making reference to fidfast.exe I ment FindFast.exe doh!!!


/PauloF
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:AdamWoodland
ID: 2555921
I would personally go with the FastFind option, as paulof said, providing that you have installed Office (if not, FastFind isn't the problem)

Simple click on Start -> Programs and check the startup group for an entry called FastFind, its upto you, but I suggest you right click on it and choose Delete.

It does no harm to the system.
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:christalnet
ID: 2555926
has anyone thought to check the power supply? how old is it? most of the intermittant problems i run across are do to a flux in the power, your windows software will detect this and try to examine the components to insure all is ok. sounds a little far fethched but i have learned this the hard way, also putting more hard drives and such will load a system and cause surge problems
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:funkyfish
ID: 2556646
Here's another vote for FindFast.  When I Upgraded to Office 2000, I forgot to uncheck FindFast and am plagued with the most annoying program known to man.  I sought it out and eradicated it immediately!

My money is on FIndfast for this one.

-FFish
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Author Comment

by:manney_mcvicker
ID: 2557634
It was findfast that was causing the problem, which WAS in my startup (sorry for the miss-information there chaps)
& cheers Paul for recognising the symptoms
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 2557774
Great news, congratulations!  

I've ALWAYS disabled FindFast on all versions, and see by this Q that it's done quite frequently.

;)

Asta
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