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Windows 7: Never-ending background(?) harddrive activity - Is this normal?


20 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Never-ending background(?) harddrive activity - Is this normal?

Greetings.

Background: I'm quite new to Windows 7 and even newer (as of a few minutes ago) to sevenforums. I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this question... and it very well may be a laughably stupid question, but here goes . . .

I've just finished a clean install of Win7Pro.x64 on my new Thinkpad W520. I've completed all the Windows Updates including SP1 and its follow-on updates. Beyond this, I've installed only three apps/utilities: AVG Anti-Virus, Adobe Flash Player and Revo Uninstaller.

That's the background... here's the question:
My harddrive light flickers on at an average of about one flicker every 1.4 seconds. I emphasize average because, these "flickers" are definitely not in any regular pattern that I can discern.

My last OS was XP and I'm pretty sure that when my system was idle, there was virtually no HDD activity. So, having upgraded to Windows 7, and seeing this ongoing HDD activity (and by "ongoing" I mean it's been doing this all day), I'm just wondering: is this normal? Or do I need to be investigating some kind of a problem? If the latter, I'd appreciate any recommendations for how to investigate the cause of this HDD activity.

Thanks,
--Thri
-----------------------------------------
PS - Okay... this is a little embarassing, but I may have found my own answer. I discovered something called the Resource Monitor, and it's certainly giving me a good picture of what "Images" and files are being read and written to. I guess there's really a lot of background activity that happens with Windows 7. So, I'm tentatively assuming that all is well; that is, normal. Would still appreciate any reassurance by way of a brief reply. Thanks again. --Thri

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2012   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Probably normal but you can use resource monitor (built in) to ltell
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

I would uninstall AVG bloatware and replace it with free lightweight Microsoft Security Essentials
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Thanks...

Thanks, Z. I took a look at the Resource Monitor, and didn't see anything in there that looks like it doesn't belong. So, I guess I'm okay. The Resource Monitor seems like a pretty cool feature.

Anyway, thanks again.
--Thri
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I would uninstall AVG bloatware and replace it with free lightweight Microsoft Security Essentials
Whoa! I thought Norton was the bloatware! But I guess it's a relative concept. Anyway, I do appreciate the advice, and I've already browsed the link you so kindly provided.

But after using AVG Free fro some years now, I just thought I'd go all out and actually get the "Pro," (read: paid) version. Now I feel like I should get my money's worth!

Anyway, I have to re-up in a year, and when the time comes, I just may go with MSE as you suggest. Like I said, I do appreciate the tip. Thanks!
--Thri
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Not so much any more. Norton has slimmed down and is tolerable according to many experts I respect here. That said, I just spent an hour trying to yank it all out of a Toshiba laptop I was optimizing for a friend until I can get cross-country to Clean Reinstall for him. It was maddening, especially since their special uninstaller tool (normally needed for viruses) wouldnt' run but parked in the Task Manager sucking up RAM, snickering at me while I yanked dozens of reg keys out by search.

It once was AVG and Avast that were favorites, but AVG bloated up some years back and never slimmed back down again. We solve issues here regularly by having users uninstall it. Avast isn't as bad but MSE really gives best performance if you're not prone to infection. Nothing will prevent the new Fake AV trojans if you click on their webpage popups - which only remain harmless pop-ups if you don't click on them and shut down to close the webpage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I know what you mean about AVG "bloating up" over the past two or three years, but I'm hoping that the online protection features make it worthwhile. Then again, maybe similar features are offered in Windows (vis-a-vis, MSE or otherwise).

As for the performance hit from AVG, it's hard for me to notice, given that my new Quad-Core laptop is so much faster than the 2003/4-vintage Pentium M machine I'm upgrading from.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #8

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Uninstall AVG.
Install MSE, now not in a year.

Hard disk activity is rather normal on a fresh install since MS is indexing everything in the sun on your disk so that searches are faster and better.

You can expect continued high activity for a few weeks even. AVG will contribute forever and a day to hard disk activity.

Other programs can also be guilty, before I give AVG all of the blame.

If you would like, upload these TXT files and I'll take a gander to see what may be adding to the activity.

Install CCleaner:
CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download

list of STARTUP PROGRAMS

CCleaner | Tools
icon | Startup button | Windows tab |
click on Save to text file button (bottom right side) |
accept Startup.txt as file name | SAVE button

list of SCHEDULED TASKS

CCleaner | Tools
icon | Startup button | Scheduled Tasks tab |
click on Save to text file button (bottom right side) |
enter Scheduled Tasks as File name | Save button

List of INSTALLED PROGRAMS

CCleaner | Tools
icon | Uninstall button |
click on Save to text file button (bottom right side) |
accept install.txt as File name | Save button


UPLOAD the startup.txt file
UPLOAD the Scheduled Tasks.txt file
UPLOAD the install.txt file.

HOW TO UPLOAD
Post a File or Screenshot in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
:
UPLOAD the startup.txt file
UPLOAD the Scheduled Tasks.txt file
UPLOAD the install.txt file.
:
Karl, thanks for offering to take a look at what's running on my machine (attached). I have some questions, but they can wait until after you've had a chance to do a little look-see.

Anyway, the help is much appreciated.

Thanks again.
—Thri


Attached Files
File Type: zip KS·Help.zip (3.0 KB, 5 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2012   #10

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

WIN | type MSCONFIG | ENTER | STARTUP tab

UNCHECK ALL except for:
Code:
AVG_TRAY        "D:\Utilities\Security\Anti-Virus\AVG\avgtray.exe"
SynTPEnh        %ProgramFiles%\Synaptics\SynTP\SynTPEnh.exe
vProt            "C:\Program Files (x86)\AVG Secure Search\vprot.exe"
REBOOT!

WIN=key with microsoft logo on top
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Never-ending background(?) harddrive activity - Is this normal?




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