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Windows 7: Constant 100% Hard Drive Activity

14 Feb 2010   #21
Flubb

Windows 7
 
 

(Not the OP here)

After having completely disabled hybrid sleep with an elevated console, the problem is as gone for me as it's going to get. Hybrid sleep was responsible for the very long periods of hard drive activity after waking the computer from sleep (even though the ONLY options I used were hard drive activity at 20 minutes and monitor at 10, it was actually sleeping the computer). Superfetch was responsible for mid day periods of extreme hard drive use--the reason being that it was trying to fetch huge video files.

I'm pretty surprised at both these things. How inefficient superfetch is when dealing with large files, and how little control I actually have over hybrid sleep and what it does. I don't want to disable either of these features, but I was forced to.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
16 Feb 2010   #22
Canowyrms

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 OEM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kernelist View Post
Download xperf and run these commands:
>xperf -on fileio+disk_io_init+drivers -maxfile 30 -filemode circular
<wait for a spike, and type the following command a couple of seconds after the spike>
>xperf -d diskspike.etl

Then upload diskspike.etl so that we can have a look at it.

Nothing specific came up when I searched for this.. I don't want to download something unknown. Can you provide a link or something more specific? Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2010   #23
kernelist

Win7 & XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Canowyrms View Post
Nothing specific came up when I searched for this.. I don't want to download something unknown. Can you provide a link or something more specific? Thanks
It's true that the access to xperf is now rather tricky. This very powerful debugging application from MS is now to be found within the "Windows Performance Kit"
Please follow these steps to get access to it:

  • Download the Windows 7 SDK installer from the following page:
Download details: Microsoft Windows 7 SDK
  • Use the downloaded winsdk_web.exe file to download only the win32 Development Tools in the proposed installation options tree (this represents 42.8 MB).
  • Keep the default installation folders names
  • Go to the newly created Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0\Bin\ folder on your HDD.
  • Select the following file, depending on your system architecture (resp. 32 bit or 64 bit) : wpt_x86.msi or wpt_x64.msi (yours is x86, so pick-up wpt_x86.msi)
  • Install the selected msi by clicking on its name
  • This will install the Windows Performance Kit, where you'll find (finally!) xperf.exe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

17 Feb 2010   #24
Canowyrms

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 OEM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kernelist View Post
It's true that the access to xperf is now rather tricky. This very powerful debugging application from MS is now to be found within the "Windows Performance Kit"
Please follow these steps to get access to it:

  • Download the Windows 7 SDK installer from the following page:
Download details: Microsoft Windows 7 SDK
  • Use the downloaded winsdk_web.exe file to download only the win32 Development Tools in the proposed installation options tree (this represents 42.8 MB).
  • Keep the default installation folders names
  • Go to the newly created Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0\Bin\ folder on your HDD.
  • Select the following file, depending on your system architecture (resp. 32 bit or 64 bit) : wpt_x86.msi or wpt_x64.msi (yours is x86, so pick-up wpt_x86.msi)
  • Install the selected msi by clicking on its name
  • This will install the Windows Performance Kit, where you'll find (finally!) xperf.exe
Thank you, I have found the executable but when I run that specific file, it flashes open then closes. I tried running xperfviewer.exe and it doesn't do anything. Here is the message I receive: For your security, Performance Analyzer doesn't process traces while elevated. Do you want to run Performance Analyzer unelevated instead?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #25
kernelist

Win7 & XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Canowyrms View Post
Thank you, I have found the executable but when I run that specific file, it flashes open then closes. I tried running xperfviewer.exe and it doesn't do anything. Here is the message I receive: For your security, Performance Analyzer doesn't process traces while elevated. Do you want to run Performance Analyzer unelevated instead?
I forgot to mention that xperf is to be used via a command window.
With your mouse pointed at the folder where xperf is found, right click while pressing the shift key and in the menu which opens select "open a command window here".
In the command window which opens, copy and paste the following command:
xperf -on fileio+disk_io_init+drivers -maxfile 30 -filemode circular
This will start data collection on your system, without interfering much with other activity; keep the command window open, wait for a spike, and type the following command in the same command window a couple of seconds after the spike has subsided:
xperf -d diskspike.etl
This will create a 30 MB file named diskspike.etl in the folder where xperf is located.
Dismiss the command window by typing:
exit
You can click on the diskspike.etl file to open it with xperfviewer, answer yes to the message saying .[..].Do you want to run Performance Analyzer unelevated instead? ; you may also want to upload it here for tentative additional help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #26
Canowyrms

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 OEM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kernelist View Post
I forgot to mention that xperf is to be used via a command window.
With your mouse pointed at the folder where xperf is found, right click while pressing the shift key and in the menu which opens select "open a command window here".
In the command window which opens, copy and paste the following command:
xperf -on fileio+disk_io_init+drivers -maxfile 30 -filemode circular
This will start data collection on your system, without interfering much with other activity; keep the command window open, wait for a spike, and type the following command in the same command window a couple of seconds after the spike has subsided:
xperf -d diskspike.etl
This will create a 30 MB file named diskspike.etl in the folder where xperf is located.
Dismiss the command window by typing:
exit
You can click on the diskspike.etl file to open it with xperfviewer, answer yes to the message saying .[..].Do you want to run Performance Analyzer unelevated instead? ; you may also want to upload it here for tentative additional help.
But when the disk activity spikes the only way to recover from it is to reboot the computer. Nothing else will stop the activity spike. I wouldn't be so worried if the spikes would subside, but they don't, and that is the majority of the reason behind this thread.
What is the best that I can do with this situation? Wait for a spike, then enter the second command after about 5 minutes of activity?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #27
kernelist

Win7 & XP
 
 

Then wait for a spike and enter the second command about 30 seconds into the spike. Hopefully you'll get the entry into the spike in your trace, which could prove useful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #28
sbrads

Windows 7
 
 

Process Monitor is better at fault finding hard drive activity than Resource Monitor. It's basically the old FileMon from SysInternals that Microsoft bought out because it was so good. FileMon saved my life a few times in XP when disk thrashing was a problem. Tips........

Make 'File system Activity' the only item to show.
Autoscroll on.
Now juggle between 'Clear Screen' (CTRL+X) and 'Capture Events' (CTRL+E) to get a page or 2 of events during your HD high activity period, a few seconds should be plenty.
Stop Capturing and scroll back through the possibly long list looking for highly active files and the programs causing them to identify likely causes. There's always some activity with AV etc, but incessant activity should have loads of entries in the captured list.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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