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-Spazmatic-

Hard Drive Is Constantly Spinning

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I need to figure out what's going on with my computer. It seems that the disc is always spinning and seeking and writing, and today I looked in task manager for some clues and I noticed I have 71 processes running, SVCHOST.EXE being 13 of them.

What should my first step be to calm my frayed hard drive? I've checked for viruses/malware/adware and the like, and I have none.

Thanks :unsure:

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Did that a few hours ago, there are 16 programs running at start up, all of them (I believe) are necessary.

By the way this machine is an HP 8010y, Quad core, 4 gb RAM, Windows Vista Ultimate.

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That is all typical of Vista.

Yes there are allot of processes running in Vista, But no harm is done to performance. And having numerous svchost,exe processes running in the background is also normal. It seems everything depends on it now.

As for your Hard Drive going crazy all the time. Vista is learning how you ...... Do things, How you operate. It learns your computing habits.

It might takes months before it calms down. And on top of that. Vista is always moving the programs you use more to the faster part of the platter. So if you are into gaming now, And playing different games. Vista is going to try to keep things as fast as it can. If you get tired of playing games and start making..... movies. Then it will relearn your new habits and try getting things working as fast as it can for the programs involved.

On top of all that. Vista is then in turn defragging itself to keep things neat and clean. Or more to the point kinda doing mini-defrags on it's library and on the prefetch area during slow computing times.

If you only do a hand full of things on your PC it will slow down in a month or two. Give it more time if you do allot of things.

Or if you all of a sudden start doing new things. It will start relearning and trying to figure out what your up too.

Everything you asked about is normal with Vista. If you have a fair to good amount of RAM installed. Then you have nothing to worry about. Vista is running like it was designed to run.

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Sounds like Vista is going to eat through hard drives then. I don't know about yall, but the hard drive seems to be the common failure point for my computers. I can't seem to get one to last more than a couple years on my main system. Spinning all the time is just going to accelerate this... :mellow:

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From some of the things I have been reading. We might see Flash Drives replacing hard drives in the next few years.

You can now easily boot different Linux distros off flash drives very easily now. And Ubuntu and Fedora9 work well from a flash drive.

I have been using Ubuntu off a flash drive for a while now. It takes a little work for Ubuntu to work on a FD. But Fedora9 is easy to do.

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JSKY I appreciate your repsonse. I have noticed that my habitual programs such as World of Warcraft or Photoshop load much faster than they did when they were installed. It makes sense.

I just wish HP's hard drives weren't so very loud, it's annoying at times.

Edit:

And by the way, thus far I've loved Vista. I came from WinXP Pro SP2 to Vista Ultimate, and I am not looking back.

I think the people with problems with it simply don't have the power to run it efficiently :rolleyes:

Edited by -Spazmatic-

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I need to figure out what's going on with my computer. It seems that the disc is always spinning and seeking and writing, and today I looked in task manager for some clues and I noticed I have 71 processes running, SVCHOST.EXE being 13 of them.

What should my first step be to calm my frayed hard drive? I've checked for viruses/malware/adware and the like, and I have none.

Thanks :unsure:

First lets deal with svchost.exe and why you have so many.

Svchost is an application which hosts NT Services , portions of applications (big installed programs) which cannot run all by themselves but often need to be launched independently of the application which installed them. If you go to start / run and type services.msc you will see some of them; others will show up as 023 entries in a hijackthis log , or in scheduled tasks folder or a number of other locations in the registry.

So, as windows loads, each time there is a call to launch services which do not have their parent application running , an instance of svchost is launched. Each instance can host several different services (if you use starter, on the process tab, select one and it will list the components it is running), and there are normally a minimum of five (one for each registry hive Root, Current User, Users, Local Machine, Current Config).

So do not panic that you have a bunch.

There are of course several things which can cause your hard drive to continuously seek and read and write.

Your thought of malware as a cause is valid; although malware is more likely to consume RAM and CPU cycles. But there are a great many things which can do this.

File indexing and search functions can do this; especially if you have conflicting ones. There are cases for example where installing google desktop conflicts with windows file indexing or fast find causing constant drive access.

I think the most common cause has to be people who install third party defrag utilities. You see, each defrag utility uses a different algorithm

to determine which file goes where. Some sort by name, others by frequency of use or date created or type of file (Operating system, program, data) or combinations thereof. Each defrag utility may want files placed in different orders. Not a big issue in the old days when defrag had to be run in safe mode; but today most defrag utilities can be run in windows normal mode with other applications running and actually constantly run in the background "optimizing " the drive when they sense that it is idle . Hence you stop using it for ten seconds (an eternity to a CPU) and it starts moving files around. Ideally a new defrag utility would disable the windows built in defrag (now based on executive software diskkeeper) when it is installed so that it no longer tries to do this; but often they fail or do not even try. THen you have battling defrag utilities,, each moving things and then the other putting them back. There are workarounds, using tweakui to disable the optimize in background function for example.

The next thing to consider is that you may not have enough RAM. Inadequate RAM (minimum 512MB for XP , 1GB for Vista) will result in using the page file / swap file on the hard drive more than needed; moving thing back and forth between RAM and swap file.

Yet another common cause goes back to svchost and all those services. While this more commonly affects CPU usage and RAM, it can cause havoc with hard drive access too. Often if you use MSCONFIG to disable startup applications which have services which are launched by svchost these services still run and keep checking ram and swap file to see if their application is there. Or scheduled tasks /jobs.

Whenever possible you should use a programs own built in options , preferences , settings to disable startup and if instructed to do so separately disable the services it launches.

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