Constant disk and CPU activity mystery

  Ian in Northampton 14:18 01 Sep 2013
Locked
Answered

My wife has a month old Acer laptop. The disk activity light is almost constantly on, either solid or flickering. There are no apps running. Checking in task manager, no process seems to be using more than 2% of the CPU - but looking at the 'performance' tab, CPU usage is typically a minimum of 20% and often above 50% for several seconds. Sometimes, disk/CPU usage is so high that the laptop loses the pojnter - or it won't move. Like I said: this, despite there being (apparently) nothing running. Anyone have any thoughts? We're taking it with us on holiday tomorrow, so I don't have time to do anything other than 'quick and dirty' with it.

  Ian in Northampton 15:31 01 Sep 2013

Thanks Chronos. I'll take a look at those things. Yes, it's Win 7. Where do I find Resource Monitor - somewhere other than Task Manager, I guess?

  northumbria61 15:37 01 Sep 2013

Click the Start button and type Resource Monitor into the search box.

  Ian in Northampton 16:00 01 Sep 2013
Answer

Thanks guys.

  Ian in Northampton 16:36 01 Sep 2013

Well, I think I now know it's svchost.exe - multiple instances are thrashing the disk. However, what to do about it is a different matter, if my initial research is anything to go by. I'll take a more in-depth look when we get back. Thanks again to all - I'll mark as resolved.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:37 01 Sep 2013

svchost.exe is used to run various dll files for the services that windows uses.

its likely on any windows PC you will have 10-12 of these processes running

The only way to reduce them is to cut down on the muber of services i.e. disable those non essential services you don't use.

Black viper's site tells you exactly what to (and how) disable services for the various Windows op systems.

  Ian in Northampton 18:27 01 Sep 2013

Woolwell: it's scarcely been used at all - there are, for example, not even any user files (documents etc.) on it, so it would be strange if it were indexing as the culprit.

Fruit Bat /\0/\: many thanks - I'll take a look when we return. It interested me that two of the many svchosts that were running were way ahead of the others in terms of disk accesses.

  alanrwood 19:22 01 Sep 2013

svchosts will run several dlls that are required for Windows to run at all. These are not your problem. It may be another problem which is using svchost to run ie some nasty or other. Run a virus scan and a malware scan.

  Ian in Northampton 19:38 01 Sep 2013

Thanks Alan.

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