Saturday, June 30, 2007

What's making my hard disk thrash in Windows Vista?

Wondered what is causing your Vista machine's hard disk to thrash at seemingly random times in Vista? Well on a bare clean Vista install here is what is what I believe is causing the usage, and when - use this guide to help diagnose which you have:

ProcessOccurs When?
Superfetch/ReadyboostReadyboost device inserted, first run, when Vista analyses that you use particular programs/data regularly.
Indexing service/Windows Search
Assumed after every new file write/delete - reindexing for greater index performance occurs randomly (well, when the index needs cleaning up).
Windows DefenderPeriodically in the background, automated scheduled scans.
System RestoreWhen a new driver or piece of software is installed.

If you have Vista on a laptop and use Readyboost (via built in card reader or similar which I do), I'd recommend leaving Superfetch/Readyboost enabled, and System Restore for obvious reasons. I've disabled Windows Search via the services (because of heavy disk/battery usage) and Windows Defender as I'll enable and use this manually when I need it (I don't need it bugging me every 3 days/running whilst I work).


Conrad said...

My Vista hard drive thrashes for days, apparently because of Windows Indexer. The "Help" files say it's not optional, because it speeds up searches.

But I don't do searches on my local PC, and this service prematurely ages the hard drive, and slows my work.

There needs to be a way to turn it off. Stopping the service is not effective because the indexer comes back to life after a few seconds.

It's all wasted cycles and unecessary disk usage.

Unknown said...

My machine did the same. I stopped indexing and superfetch. Still churned away by itself. Finally I defragmented the hard drive and problem solved. No noise at all. I restarted indexing and susperfetch and still no noise. In the past when I tried to defragment the machine would report the performance was GOOD and defragmentation was not necessary. It was wrong. It did need it.