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Monitoring disk activity by process/program

Posted on 2009-03-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Many a time I'm asked why an XP computer is running slow. No applications running. All systray apps killed except volume. CPU usage is ticking along at 5% or less. Commit charge is far less than physical memory, as is the peak. Swap file usage is low and constant. The disk activity light is on, solid.

Presumably some portion of WIndows has decided to take the disk for a good long run. But how do I find out why? Even if I can't do anything about it, it would be nice to have an explanation.

I've serached for disk activity monitors, and the closest I've come is sysintenals diskmon. But I don't see any way to trace diskmon's results back to a process or program.

Anyone got a way to do this?
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Question by:JonFleming
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ctc1900 earned 63 total points
ID: 24022250
I'm not sure how detailed information and this might be too simple, but have you tried Process Explorer and look at the "I/O Read, Write, Other" and their deltas?? If you sort processes by deltas it will tell you which ones are the kicking off I/O activity.  You can also find some of the I/O columns mentioned on task manager.  

Cheers.

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Assisted Solution

by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 62 total points
ID: 24027765
SysInternals' Filemon will show you which process is accessing which file at the moment. I would turn capture on the minute disk activity is high.

I suppose you will find some kind of indexing service, because that behaviour is typically - running when CPU is idle, but full hard disk activity. But it should not affect performance, as even large files are read in parts by OS since W2000 (before, the whole file was tried to map into memory, blocking or delaying most other file operations).
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Author Comment

by:JonFleming
ID: 24030063
Hum, Process Explorer or Filemon might well do the trick. Of course, Filemon will not run on Vista, but that's not the question I asked.
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