Alternative to Windows Resource Monitor?

Sometimes my hard disc LED illuminates continuously for hours, and the system is very slow.  I'd like to identify the item(s) which are accessing the drive during those episodes, but I can't use Windows Resource Monitor.  The Monitor opens as a transparent window, with only the frame and title bar visible, but the desktop shows through.  I've tried uninstalling KB 2670838, as some authors have recommended, but the uninstall fails.  Checkdisc and SFC /scannow don't report any errors.  I use a Windows Classic theme.  Unless there is a fix for Resource Monitor which I've overlooked, I'd be interested in an alternative application to determine what's occupying the disc when the system is slow.
ddantesAsked:
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jcimarronCommented:
ddantes--
There are many alternatives to Resource Monitor.
I thought it simplest to give you a list
http://alternativeto.net/software/resource-monitor/
I use Process Explorer quite frequently.  It shows a list of the currently active processes
And do not forget Windows Task Manager.
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ddantesAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  I can see which processes are active in Windows Task Manager, and how much CPU they are consuming.  But I can't see how much they are accessing the hard disc.  I also use Process Explorer, but it doesn't seem to show how much disc utilization is associated with the processes.  Is this quantifiable, like memory or CPU usage?
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jcimarronCommented:
ddantes--
What about Process Monitor
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645  ?
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ddantesAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the link.  I've started running Process Monitor, but I don't see where it quantifies hard drive access by the active processes.  Can you coach me on that?
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MereteCommented:
ddantes
Here's an open source tool that watches the  disc activity
Activity Indicator
Windows tray HDD led like indicator with keyboard lights support.
Description
The Activity Indicator utility is a simple program that indicates the HDD activity in the system tray. It contains advanced logging capabilities and friendly interface. It can be used to log the drives and supports indication of many drives by running multiple instances.
Read the comments for a few more tips
http://sourceforge.net/projects/activityindicat/

Sysinternals has an inventory of utilities for all aspects of windows checking under
Sysinternals File and Disk Utilities !!
I chose these two for you to test
DiskMon
This utility captures all hard disk activity or acts like a software disk activity light in your system tray.
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896646
Disk Usage (DU)
View disk usage by directory.
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896651

Here's their main page you can browse through under File and Disc Utilities
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb545046.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396
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ddantesAuthor Commented:
Thank you for those resources.  I'm running DiskMon  but I don't know how to interpret the data, which seems instantaneous.  Perhaps my question is unrealistic.  Is there a way to tell which application is occupying the disc to an excessive degree?  This would be analogous to viewing the CPU usage in Windows Task Manager.
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MereteCommented:
Probably not what you need ddantes, most of these tools tells you when there are writes and how much activity not necessarily what program is running at that time.
Read and write offsets are presented in terms of sectors (512 bytes). Events can be either timed for their duration (in microseconds), or stamped with the absolute time that they were initiated.
DiskMon uses kernel event tracing. Event tracing is documented in the Microsoft Platform SDK and the SDK contains source code to TraceDmp, on which DiskMon is based.
Sorry ddantes
but in order to see disc activity you'll need to learn how to read the data log files and especially how to set them up.
Try a few simple process of elimination,
To see what's running at startup check your start-up process, if you dont know how to, windows 7>go to start orb >run type in msconfig press enter, open the start-up and uncheck non necessary programs.
startupI don't have the time to show you step by step, please have a quick look at these to gain a base understanding.
Calculating disk usage and capacity using Diskmon
http://www.orcsweb.com/blog/jeff/calculating-disk-usage-and-capacity-using-diskmon/
a brief video showing how to set up Disc Mon
http://video.informer.com/s1/win/sysinternals-diskmon/diskmon.htm

Putting a name to the process you can use  the TaskManager to some extent/
Open your task manager put it processes then at the top open View " SELECT COLUMNS"
This article may assist you using the taskmanager
How to hunt down hard disk resource hogs
Find out how to narrow your search for the cause of system slowdowns by configuring the Performance Monitor and Task Manager to reveal rogue processes that can tie up valuable system resources.

Here's some tips on using /  Running Procmon
how to use Process Monitor
http://www.howtogeek.com/school/sysinternals-pro/lesson5/all/
 how the Process Monitor utility allows you to peek under the hood and see what your favorite applications are really doing behind the scenes — what files they are accessing, the registry keys they use, and more.
http://www.howtogeek.com/school/sysinternals-pro/lesson4/all/
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ddantesAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all that detail!
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MereteCommented:
Glad to help ddantes
I'll just ad
Most systems have a defrag scheduled, please check if your defrag was  scheduled. May explain constant writes occasionally.
Right click your C drive then properties>
Disc scheduled.Remember windows updates can run on a Tuesday.
Adobe Flash auto updates, anti virus software may run a scheduled scan
 HDD software programs loading on start.
Regards Merete
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