What is my hard disk DOING ?!?!

  Granger 15:31 20 Dec 2005

My HDD keeps grinding away when the PC is unattended, and it's driving me up the wall. It's a Acer Travelmate 803LCi, XP Pro SP2. I have it set so if I leave it unattended on mains power it shuts off the screen and disk but doesn't go into standby. Well, the screen does go dark but after a while the HDD starts grinding away like mad. If I wake the screen up the activity carries on for a few seconds then stops, and there's never any sign of what's happening.

I've disabled the Indexing Service. I have fully updated Norton AV and MS Antispyware doing their thing, and I'm pretty confident the system's clean. I've even disabled System Restore in case that was it. It even happens when there's no connection to the outside world, no internet connection (I even unplugged the cable to be sure), bluetooth and wireless disabled etc so nothing sinister going on there. Event manager reveals nothing. I don't have any system maintenance programs like Norton Systemworks that might do things in the background.

Looking at a previous thread here, I opened Task Manager and added columns I/O bytes write and I/O bytes read. This shows an instance of SVCHOST.EXE (System) and LSASS.EXE the only things ticking away - is that how it should be? But nothing disappears from the list just after I wake the screen up. I've gone through the list of running processes, typed everything into Google and there's nothing suspicious. Shall I post the list?

Please help me figure this out. This laptop has always done this since I got it about 3 years ago. Something's running in the background that I don't want, when the PC is unattended, no internet connection. What the heck is it?

I'm going to start using msconfig to disable things, but is there a good utility that would give me more useful information? I was looking at something called Filemon on sysinternals.com.

  phono 15:55 20 Dec 2005

Are your Antivirus scanner or disk defragmenter set to kick in when there has been no activity for a while?

  woodchip 15:56 20 Dec 2005

Looks like the computer is set to clean up drive when there is no activity. You can change this but forgot where

  Doire_Bhoy 16:00 20 Dec 2005

Your standards are slipping woodchip....lol

  woodchip 16:08 20 Dec 2005

If Write Caching is enabled this will slow the drive, but there is less chance of data corruption with it enabled. Double click "My Computer Right click C:\ Properties\Hardware\Properties

  woodchip 16:09 20 Dec 2005

We all have to go some day.........lol

  wee eddie 17:34 20 Dec 2005

I expect to see you helping the newbies soon.

As someone who appears to be riding shotgun on a multicomputer network as a professional commitment, you'll be the backbone og the gang, when many of us oldies retire in 30 or 40 years time!

  Granger 18:23 20 Dec 2005

Hi Guys, thanks for the replies. I've got Diskeeper Lite but set the service to manual, it can't run in the background. Can't find any options in Norton AV 2005 about doing anything when inactive.

Woodchip, I'd love to try turning off whatever you're thinking of if you can remember! I've disabled write caching, let you know how that works out in about 20 mins (this process kicks in after 15-20 mins).

  Skyver 18:25 20 Dec 2005

Leave this running and see what files are accessed click here

  Granger 19:11 20 Dec 2005

Well disabling write caching didn't stop it. But finally managed to spot something disappear from the Task Manager list - drfgfat.exe. This is a Diskeeper process, but I had this long before I installed Diskeeper. And I set the Diskeeper service to manual. Hmmm...

  Granger 19:12 20 Dec 2005

Sorry, I mean I had this problem long before I had diskeeper.

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