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Windows 7: Quieting Windows 7 down....

15 Mar 2010   #1
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 
Quieting Windows 7 down....

I know this has been done to death, or at least the hits from Google makes it seem that way. However I still have the problem and I'm hoping I can get a little help...

I have three computers in a relatively large room. One is a desktop system running ASUS/AMD64 x2, the second is an Acer Aspire One and the third is an ASRock ION 330 which thinks it's my television set. All three are newly updated to Windows 7 Ultimate and networked in the "business network" fashion with half a dozen shares on each machine.

When I had these machines on XP they would sit in standby for hours on end. Even when not in standby they sat idle -- 0 CPU and 0 Disk usage for hours at a time...

Ok so here's the thing... Since updating to Win7 all three of these machines are thrashing their hard disks almost continuously. Even when they aren't bashing the drives the drive lights are still pulsing once a second (approximately)... I can hear the drives stepping so there is some kind of hard disk activity going on... and all three machines are running about 5 degrees warmer than when I had the system on XP. CPU usage is about 3 to 5% continuously on all three machines and even with 30 minute stanby timers it can take several hours before the network goes into standby. Oddly, standby is now all or nothing... the whole thing goes to sleep at once, waking any one of them wakes them all.

At night, when the lights are out and the blinds are closed, this puts on quite the light show... flickering amber and green leds lighting up the room and the soft click click of near constant drive accesses. It's really very disconcerting...

I'm not terribly worried about the desktop machine... I can simply turn it off. But I am concerned about the ASRock which is on 24/7 and the Aspire since it's on batteries...

So... how do I quiet these systems down?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
15 Mar 2010   #2
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
I know this has been done to death, or at least the hits from Google makes it seem that way. However I still have the problem and I'm hoping I can get a little help...

I have three computers in a relatively large room. One is a desktop system running ASUS/AMD64 x2, the second is an Acer Aspire One and the third is an ASRock ION 330 which thinks it's my television set. All three are newly updated to Windows 7 Ultimate and networked in the "business network" fashion with half a dozen shares on each machine.

When I had these machines on XP they would sit in standby for hours on end. Even when not in standby they sat idle -- 0 CPU and 0 Disk usage for hours at a time...

Ok so here's the thing... Since updating to Win7 all three of these machines are thrashing their hard disks almost continuously. Even when they aren't bashing the drives the drive lights are still pulsing once a second (approximately)... I can hear the drives stepping so there is some kind of hard disk activity going on... and all three machines are running about 5 degrees warmer than when I had the system on XP. CPU usage is about 3 to 5% continuously on all three machines and even with 30 minute stanby timers it can take several hours before the network goes into standby. Oddly, standby is now all or nothing... the whole thing goes to sleep at once, waking any one of them wakes them all.

At night, when the lights are out and the blinds are closed, this puts on quite the light show... flickering amber and green leds lighting up the room and the soft click click of near constant drive accesses. It's really very disconcerting...

I'm not terribly worried about the desktop machine... I can simply turn it off. But I am concerned about the ASRock which is on 24/7 and the Aspire since it's on batteries...

So... how do I quiet these systems down?
If those specs below are correct you are ram starved, that could make you use the page file almost all the time.

RE the lights put a piece of black tape over them.


Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2010   #3
IggyAZ

Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit)
 
 

Quote:
If those specs below are correct you are ram starved, that could make you use the page file almost all the time.

RE the lights put a piece of black tape over them.
Ken

I would agree.
Have thought of installing Win7 32bit instead of 64bit?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Mar 2010   #4
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by IggyAZ View Post
Quote:
If those specs below are correct you are ram starved, that could make you use the page file almost all the time.

RE the lights put a piece of black tape over them.
Ken

I would agree.
Have thought of installing Win7 32bit instead of 64bit?
I am using Windows 7 Ultimate X-86 and all three machines run very comfortably without swap files at all. I don't use monster apps (MS-Word is about as big as it gets) and I don't play computer games so I can squeak through on very modest specs. The memory load runs 400m or less, most of the time.

The big reason I've updated to Win7 at all is the upcoming change in hard disk sector sizes that neither XP nor 2k can accomodate. Plus I do a little amateur software development and probably should be in on the latest stuff.

And, with respect, I don't think black tape is the answer to the problem. These drives are busy enough that I'd be worried about their lifetimes... Both the ASRock and Aspire machines are on 2.5" laptop drives which only increases my concern.

I've already shut down a lot of stuff in Windows 7 and it has helped, but there's obviously a service or driver I haven't found that's doing this...

(Note I've updated my system info to be a little more helpful)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2010   #5
JimLewandowski

 
 

I have constant hard disc activity at full idle. 4G RAM. 32-bit W7.

Mostly write activity. Opposite of XP where the C: drive would actually spin down.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2010   #6
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JimLewandowski View Post
I have constant hard disc activity at full idle. 4G RAM. 32-bit W7.

Mostly write activity. Opposite of XP where the C: drive would actually spin down.
Interesting observation ... I don't think the drives on any of these machines have spun down since I installed 7... That poor ASRock machine has been blinking once a second for a couple of weeks now... It hasn't gone into standby, except my me putting it there and if the drive light is blinking it's pretty unlikely the drive has parked.

Makes me wonder if they went Dial Up on us and are using "keep alive" tricks to artificially improve system performance????
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2010   #7
antharr

Windows 7 64x
 
 

I have Windows 7 64x on a Toshiba laptop with an AMD Turion Dual Core and 4GB of memory and have little to no HDD activity at idle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2010   #8
JimLewandowski

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JimLewandowski View Post
I have constant hard disc activity at full idle. 4G RAM. 32-bit W7.

Mostly write activity. Opposite of XP where the C: drive would actually spin down.
Interesting observation ... I don't think the drives on any of these machines have spun down since I installed 7... That poor ASRock machine has been blinking once a second for a couple of weeks now... It hasn't gone into standby, except my me putting it there and if the drive light is blinking it's pretty unlikely the drive has parked.

Makes me wonder if they went Dial Up on us and are using "keep alive" tricks to artificially improve system performance????
My drive has never spun down ever since I installed W7. With XP it did all the time when I walked away.

If you look at Task Manager -> Performance monitor, it's mostly (if not all) write activity. $NTFS log, .PF files, and the paging file (writes, not reads).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2010   #9
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JimLewandowski View Post
My drive has never spun down ever since I installed W7. With XP it did all the time when I walked away.

If you look at Task Manager -> Performance monitor, it's mostly (if not all) write activity. $NTFS log, .PF files, and the paging file (writes, not reads).
I have been in there and I agree it seems to be timestamping or writing some kind of timed data to these files. I don't use swap files, so that's not part of the problem... But I do wonder what it's writing to the NTFS log and the PF files.

There is an option at
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Reliability
which sets a time stamping interval, but changing that doesn't seem to make much difference, to anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2010   #10
JimLewandowski

 
 

I've looked into this and got a "not all disc activity is bad" from the morons over at aumha.net. Research and find out where they're going (which I did AND posted).

Sure, these I/Os are not "bad" or "wrong" but is does beg the question:

why have a disc spin-down time for the C: drive (sure it works on my 2nd IDE drive) when even at idle it won't stop

I feel for those with SSDs as I would think this would really kill the life of the drive



I don't have any of the old sysinternals tools that do I/O trace so I could see what Cyl, Head, Sector is being written and possibly coming from what storage location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Quieting Windows 7 down....




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