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Windows 7: Constant hard drive activity?

17 Oct 2010   #51
hello people

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Is it safe to do that?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #52

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot

As safe as any such thing can be. At the very least export the registry key to a file before the change so you ca n restore it if needed. The change can be undone by setting the new value to 0 instead of 1.

You will loose performance monitoring of your disks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #53

Windows 8 Professional x64

Just check for disk activity in the resource monitor..
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Oct 2010   #54

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

This might help those of you wondering what your hard drive is doing after you leave your computer/close your lid/etc.

While trying to figure this out myself I was looking at ProcessMonitor output. (My HDD is pretty quiet but I really need total silence to sleep, and all that activity kept me up). I noticed a lot of this:

C:\Windows\system32\rundll32.exe /d srrstr.dll,ExecuteScheduledSPPCreation

Turns out that by default, Windows 7 schedules System Restore to create restore points every night at 12am, but only after the system has been idle for 10 minutes. So if you go to bed at 2am, it'll start building the restore point just about the time you're drifting off to sleep. Bad for us light sleepers.

There are many processes that could take advantage of idle processor time, but assuming you've eliminated other possibilities like scheduled virus scans, defrags, windows indexer, superfetcher, etc., this is probably the issue.

To modify this behavior, go to Start Menu -> Administrative Tools (may need to enable this in start menu properties if you don't see it) -> Task Scheduler ->

In the Task Scheduler tree on the left, expand Task Scheduler Library -> Microsoft -> Windows -> SystemRestore. In the middle pane, click the "Triggers" tab.

By default you'll see two entries here, both enabled: One "Daily, At 12am every day" and one "At startup". To make changes to these, click the "Properties" link in the RIGHT pane of the Task Scheduler window.

Go to the "Triggers" tab and double-click the "Daily - 12am" trigger, then uncheck "Enabled" at the bottom. Obviously you can alternatively edit the trigger settings, or the conditions, to set parameters that won't end up disturbing you.

Just learned this and thought I'd share. Hope it helps.

PS, Task Scheduler is a good place to look when you're investigating mysterious automated Windows activity. It's a much more complex and integral part of Windows than it used to be (ie. in Win XP), and Windows 7 makes much use of it to run processes. Several things are set to run regularly there in a default Windows installation. In my research into these issues on the forums, I've found that people aren't really all that aware of this yet. Especially after you've eliminated all third-party software possibilities, this is the place to look next.

More info:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #55
hello people

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bagavan View Post
Just check for disk activity in the resource monitor..
And then?

I have checked and the only things really running are the Microsoft Security Essentials dll and 'system'...

For the post above...I have system restore disabled...and no scheduled tasks.

Anyway, late last night I defragged and tonight everything seems pretty quiet from my hd...maybe it was a defrag that helped me....but I still dont really know what my hd was doing before the defrag...because I also have Windows auto defrag disabled
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #56

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hello people View Post
For the post above...I have system restore disabled...and no scheduled tasks.
It's hard to believe you have no scheduled tasks, cause Windows 7 has many tasks scheduled by default -- at least mine does, which is Ultimate... so it's possible Home doesn't, but I really doubt that. Have you actually expanded the folders on the left of the Task Scheduler window? There's a whole tree full of stuff there. Nothing will show up in the main section of the window until you expand the folders a bit on the left.

One of the tasks Windows 7 runs regularly is defrag, so if that was the source of the mystery activity, it makes sense that running a defrag yourself would cause the activity to stop. If that's what happened, then you'll have to deal with this again in a week.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2011   #57

XP Pro SP3 / 7 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
Wanting to know is fine, but not as the cost of obsessing over unnecessary things or trying to make other users figure it out.
Actually, I am not getting a good night's rest because of this. One of my HDD's is loud enough to piss me off when trying to take a nap or fall asleep. It usually takes me longer to doze off than most. So of course, while I am still trying to fall asleep, viola! HDD activity!

LED's I can unplug or cover up. HDD noise is harder to eliminate.

I will have to try many of the suggestions posted here. I expect to have a hard time discovering a solution, but I will post back with any info I come up with.

If I can't sleep, I may as well try to solve this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2011   #58

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

My disk activity was always pretty quiet until I installed SP1 a few days ago. The first couple of install attempts failed and I had to do a disk cleanup and disable AVG antivirus to install it. Now the disk seems to be in heavy use most of the time even when the PC is sitting idle. See screen shot, not sure what it could be...

Constant hard drive activity?-capture.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2011   #59

1. Windows 7 Home Premium x86

Hi everyone

Thanks everyone - advises in this topic have helped me to battle the problem of constant HDD activity while the PC is idle under Windows 7.

Here's what I did:
- Disabled following services:
* Windows Search
* Superfetch
* Defragmenter
- Uninstalled anti-virus software (I have had Notron Internet Security - going to try if real-time protectionn by DR Web or Avast is any faster and if those programs utilize HDD less)
- PERMANENTLY disabled swap (page file) - set "No Paging File" on ALL disks (4 GB of RAM shold be enough anyway - don't have a lot of programs running simultaneously)
- Disabled HDD free space monitoring (look for "Disable Performance Counters" DWORD value to 1 - in this topic)
- And last but not least - restarted my PC (did not notice any difference before restarting).

Well, after restarting I now have 1.2 to 1.7 GB RAM free (instead of 800 MB before) while running Visual C++, Skype, Open Office Writer and a tab or two in Google Chrome.
And all that suspicious disk activity in idle is gone - now HDD led lights up once in 5 seconds to several minutes.

But one thing still bothers me - CPU fan speeds up in idle mode for a few minutes. Well, according to advises in this topic, its best to look for more pesky processes under Administrative Tools - Task Scheduler.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #60

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I apologize for necroing the thread, but its on top of googles search results for this particular problem and maybe someone might find it useful.

I've had a fresh install of windows x64 the other day and like some the noise is just giving me grief while playing, sleeping, etc. After going through Services and turning off everything not important to me, looking through multiple monitoring programs and finding the culprit (System), I've resorted to googling to find a solution. >_>

One thing that stopped the annoying writing sounds was COMPLETELY disabling page files as HAPKAH mentioned in the post above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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