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Windows 7: Laptop hard drive almost permanently spinning and never idle

2 Weeks Ago   #1
catalogue

7 Pro 64
 
 
Laptop hard drive almost permanently spinning and never idle

The internal hard drive on my Thinkpad T520 is spinning virtually all the time and never stops. I have the power settings set to turn it off (go idle) after 1 minute but that makes no difference.

It spins completely 100% all the time if I am web surfing (visiting many sites; sites have lots of ads or video) or using photo software or watching video. It cycles on and off at random intervals ranging from about 10 to 90 seconds if I have no programs open and am not touching the computer at all; same if I am doing lightweight things like reading one web page that doesn't have ads and not clicking around, or using a text-only Word doc. There is never a time when it is idle for more than about 90 seconds.

I always thought hard drives generally stop spinning when they're not obviously in use for saving files and occasional behind-the-scenes activity by the OS (or rather, after a minute/couple of minutes of non-use). Is that correct?

As a test I tried manually stopping/starting the spinning with the HDDSCan program but someone told me that's not possible to do on a boot drive (i.e. only on secondary drives).

We know the problem is the computer and not the drive itself because the spinning will behave properly (stops when idle; can be manually stopped with HDDScan) if I take it out, put it in a USB-connected external enclosure, and install a different HDD (with Windows on it) internally in the laptop.

If I swap the two drives, whichever one is internal will have the almost-constant spin and whichever is external will display proper normal spindown.

I can see the disk activity in Resource Monitor but I don't know what is normal and what's abnormal. Under 'Processes with Disk Activity', System and svchost.exe are always there and writing (about 9,000 B/sec and 9 B/sec respectively) even with no programs open. Is that OK? Programs such as Firefox, MS Word or Windows Explorer come and go from Disk Activity depending on whether I am clicking in Firefox, saving the Word document, etc.

CPU use is normal - 0 to 2% in low-load situations, 20-50% with complicated websites, 100% with some really annoying sites. It does not go up and down in relation to the HDD spinning.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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1 Week Ago   #2
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by catalogue View Post
hard drives generally stop spinning when they're not obviously in use for saving files and occasional behind-the-scenes activity by the OS (or rather, after a minute/couple of minutes of non-use). Is that correct?
the word occasional above should be replaced with the word constant

Try downloading the world's fastest hard drive search program, Search Everything

https://www.voidtools.com/Everything....x64-Setup.exe

Then run it without any arguments so its looking at your whole hard drive, then click on Date Modified to sort by date. On my system it shows there are over 100 files updated in the last minute on my boot drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #3
catalogue

7 Pro 64
 
 

Search Everything shows 120 or so files when I'm not doing anything on the computer. From what you're saying that's normal but I still really really don't think hard drives are supposed to running full speed nonstop all the time (or maybe stopping for 5 or 10 seconds now and then) when you have no programs open and aren't touching the computer. Am I wrong about that?

Attached is my Search Everything log sorted by path.


Attached Files
File Type: xlsx search everything log.xlsx (348.0 KB, 0 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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1 Week Ago   #4
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by catalogue View Post
I still really really don't think hard drives are supposed to running full speed nonstop all the time (or maybe stopping for 5 or 10 seconds now and then) when you have no programs open and aren't touching the computer. An I wrong about that?
Yes that is pretty normal, as its pretty normal for there to be things running in the background constantly, and windows will purposely use idle time to do some of its own tasks.

Here's a neat program that can show you what is causing your issue..

What's my computer doing? - Strange hard disk access? Unexplainable processor activity?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Laptop hard drive almost permanently spinning and never idle




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