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What's causing hard drive activity even when my computer is idle?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Larry, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Larry

    Larry Flightless Bird

    Is there a way in XP to tell what Windows is doing at a particular moment?
    Sometimes I am on the internet and the hard drive light will begin to work
    furiously, and I wonder that AVG might be downloading virus updates. And the
    hard drive light sometime also begins working when I am offline and doing
    nothing. I downloaded a Microsoft update for an XP task bar search feature
    maybe a year ago, and I've wondered if that was when this activity began.



    Is there a way to know what might be happening in Windows or in something
    else when this commotion starts?

    Larry
     
  2. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    See
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/technicalresources/indexing.mspx

    Larry wrote:
    > Is there a way in XP to tell what Windows is doing at a particular moment?
    > Sometimes I am on the internet and the hard drive light will begin to work
    > furiously, and I wonder that AVG might be downloading virus updates. And
    > the
    > hard drive light sometime also begins working when I am offline and doing
    > nothing. I downloaded a Microsoft update for an XP task bar search feature
    > maybe a year ago, and I've wondered if that was when this activity began.
    >
    > Is there a way to know what might be happening in Windows or in something
    > else when this commotion starts?
     
  3. Jose

    Jose Flightless Bird

    Re: What's causing hard drive activity even when my computer is idle?

    On Jan 12, 5:46 pm, "Larry" <m...@noisp.com> wrote:
    > Is there a way in XP to tell what Windows is doing at a particular moment?
    > Sometimes I am on the internet and the hard drive light will begin to work
    > furiously, and I wonder that AVG might be downloading virus updates. And the
    > hard drive light sometime also begins working when I am offline and doing
    > nothing. I downloaded a Microsoft update for an XP task bar search feature
    > maybe a year ago, and I've wondered if that was when this activity began.
    >
    > Is there a way to know what might be happening in Windows or in something
    > else when this commotion starts?
    >
    > Larry


    You can guess or you can know. Even if you are not doing anything,
    there are still things going on.

    Download Autoruns which will reveal more than the Windows Task
    Manager.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx
     
  4. thanatoid

    thanatoid Flightless Bird

    "Larry" <me@noisp.com> wrote in
    news:-OX1ljk9kKHA.2468@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl:

    > Is there a way in XP to tell what Windows is doing at a
    > particular moment?


    The /general/ answer is a decent task manager. The windows task
    manager is severely limited especially in the lack of info it
    provides. You can't even look up file properties - if you want
    to know, you have to start searching for the file, and don't
    even get me started on Windows "search". There are good process
    viewers like TaskInfo, get one.

    > Sometimes I am on the internet and the
    > hard drive light will begin to work furiously, and I wonder
    > that AVG might be downloading virus updates.


    NO program, I don't care WHAT it is should have "auto update"
    turned on.

    > And the hard
    > drive light sometime also begins working when I am offline
    > and doing nothing. I downloaded a Microsoft update for an
    > XP task bar search feature maybe a year ago, and I've
    > wondered if that was when this activity began.


    I can't answer that, but I have NO MS software on this computer
    except for the OS's because everything they don't outright steal
    (or sometimes buy-out) from others is crappy and invasive and
    the only reason I even USE Windows is because after 20 years I
    am not about to learn a new OS, I'm too old for that.

    > Is there a way to know what might be happening in Windows
    > or in something else when this commotion starts?


    Stop using MS Internet Explorer/Outlook and MSOffice when you
    are online and this mysterious activity (I'll let you figure out
    what is going on) will stop.

    I highly recommend Opera, the latest version is incredible, and
    for basic simple and faster than you thought possible browsing,
    OffByOne - no flash, no scripting, so totally secure - does not
    "do" some "modern" sites. Which are usually garbage anyway. I
    mainly use it for my bank and for various sites which force you
    to use javascript or flash, and I don't go to many of those.

    --
    There are only two classifications of disk drives: Broken drives
    and those that will break later.
    - Chuck Armstrong (This one I think, http://www.cleanreg.com/,
    not the ball player. But who knows. I can't remember where I got
    the quote. But it's true.)
     
  5. HeyBub

    HeyBub Flightless Bird

    thanatoid wrote:
    > "Larry" <me@noisp.com> wrote in
    > news:-OX1ljk9kKHA.2468@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl:
    >
    >> Is there a way in XP to tell what Windows is doing at a
    >> particular moment?

    >
    > The /general/ answer is a decent task manager. The windows task
    > manager is severely limited especially in the lack of info it
    > provides. You can't even look up file properties - if you want
    > to know, you have to start searching for the file, and don't
    > even get me started on Windows "search". There are good process
    > viewers like TaskInfo, get one.
    >
    >> Sometimes I am on the internet and the
    >> hard drive light will begin to work furiously, and I wonder
    >> that AVG might be downloading virus updates.

    >
    > NO program, I don't care WHAT it is should have "auto update"
    > turned on.
    >
    >> And the hard
    >> drive light sometime also begins working when I am offline
    >> and doing nothing. I downloaded a Microsoft update for an
    >> XP task bar search feature maybe a year ago, and I've
    >> wondered if that was when this activity began.

    >
    > I can't answer that, but I have NO MS software on this computer
    > except for the OS's because everything they don't outright steal
    > (or sometimes buy-out) from others is crappy and invasive and
    > the only reason I even USE Windows is because after 20 years I
    > am not about to learn a new OS, I'm too old for that.
    >
    >> Is there a way to know what might be happening in Windows
    >> or in something else when this commotion starts?

    >
    > Stop using MS Internet Explorer/Outlook and MSOffice when you
    > are online and this mysterious activity (I'll let you figure out
    > what is going on) will stop.


    Heh! Not if the activity is caused by the MS indexing function. Or a bit of
    malware that's sending a quarter-million spams.

    >
    > I highly recommend Opera, the latest version is incredible, and
    > for basic simple and faster than you thought possible browsing,
    > OffByOne - no flash, no scripting, so totally secure - does not
    > "do" some "modern" sites. Which are usually garbage anyway. I
    > mainly use it for my bank and for various sites which force you
    > to use javascript or flash, and I don't go to many of those.



    A few non-MS products actually cause your cat to develop warts. Using a
    non-MS bit of software is roughly equivalent to dating a blow-up doll:
    cheap, attractive (at a distance), and easy to use.
     

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