High disk activity for 1 volume

I have an issue with one of my volumes where I have very high disk activity. I can't seem figure out the reasoning. At points the drives just run non-stop when my employees are running programs.

It's a VM server that runs 3 machines - data/programs, printing, and Exchange. The only machine that has this issue is the data-program machine and based on the vmware server console screen it's the data-programs folder which is the one maxing out.

I can not figure out what the problem is. There's very little CPU usage (system process gets up into 20-25% but everything else is pretty low). The disk usage issue seems to correspond with the system process. When the system process is not using CPU then the drives seem to work fine.

It's an older machine (4 years) that had quad Xeon 3.66GHz processors (data-programs has 2 dedicated processors) and 4 GB of RAM which we can't upgrade since the consultants installed server 2003 standard.

Any ideas how I can figure out what's going on?
dak11Asked:
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castellansolutionsCommented:
"When the system process is not using CPU then the drives seem to work fine."
Not sure here may be off the wall... but....

What happens if you download process explorer and see what the systemprocess is really doing (like open files)?

Have you scanned the system for viruses?

Are there any updates for vmware? What version of vmware server are you running?

Just some ideas....
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kadafitcdCommented:
First suggestion for high disk activity on one program is to defrag your hard drive.  The analysis in the Disk defragmenter may tell you, that you don't need to defrag, but the data-program machine may be fragmented like crazy but it is just a little part of your hard drive.  I would try to defrag first then if it's still acting up we can troubleshoot some more.

Also, if you can't take the machine offline to defrag it overnight or something then you may want to try diskeeper.  It's a great program to help keep your Server running great.  http://www.diskeeper.com/diskeeper/diskeeper.aspx

Good Luck HTH.
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castellansolutionsCommented:
IS there anything abouthigh disk activity in the relase notes of your existing vmware server?
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castellansolutionsCommented:
I wonder if this is a simple RAM issue? If your system is saturated (beucase of a lack of additional ram) i wonder if this is just paging ?


You can also use the perfromance monitor to see what the page file is doing
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castellansolutionsCommented:
This may help:

http://www.theeldergeek.com/paging_file_performance_monitoring.htm

Also when using performance monitor is always a good idea to review the 4 cores of monitoring:

processor
ram
disk
network
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
1.What version of VMware Server are you using ? v1.0 or 2.0 ?
2.Is the system configured with RAID ?
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dak11Author Commented:
Thanks for all the ideas guys. Seems like I've fixed the issue.

It was either something up with the page file or a bad network cable. I set all the volumes up as no page file, restarted the server, and then reset the page file. Also swapped out the network cable.

This morning the server is running like a charm with no complaints yet.
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Windows Server 2003

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