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What's Going on with Hard Drive that Slows/Stops My PC?

by lalaith1977 / November 8, 2009 4:14 AM PST

There are times when the chattering on my hard drive goes wild and everything else on my PC slows to a dead crawl or stops (shows as "Not Responding" on the Task Manager). I didn't tell it do anything. It just starts on its own. The Task Manager shows no CPU being used for whatever process this is with System Idle Process at 95% or more. There's 20 - 25% RAM free.

This is not a new thing. My PC has always been like this. Doesn't mean it doesn't drive me nuts.

So I've been trying to figure out what's going on at those moments.

I'm on my third anti-virus program (just switched to Avast! since it has a Rootkit function). I've got three different anti-spyware programs. The only things found are some tracking cookies. I've scanned my system with on-line scanners (TrendMicro Housecall and BitDefender) and they find nothing. So I'm as sure as I can reasonably be that there's no virus or spyware causing this.

I've used registry repairs (CCleaner and Advanced System Care).

The Disk Monitor program shows the hard drive as healthy. (Yes, I've defragged. Checked for bad sectors, etc.) There's plenty of space left on the drives: C disk is 145 GB with 95.9 GB free space; D disk is 3.06 GB with 865 MB free

I run Windows XP. The indexing is set to "Manual."

Since I couldn't find anything wrong, I decided to try to find out what exactly is happening on the hard drive when the chattering goes crazy like that. So I downloaded "File Monitor" and let it run.

This is part of the log:
http://i33.tinypic.com/e0rgpg.jpg

You can see there's a gap of 230 processes spanning 5 minutes and 59 seconds. That gap corresponds exactly to a time when the hard drive was crazily chattering. The Task Manager showed that "File Monitor" was not responding during that time period. Firefox was also "Not Responding." Those and the Task Manager were all the active programs I have open though things like the anti-virus, Smart RAM, etc run in the background.

I don't know what's going on with my hard drive at those moments. And the one way I thought would tell me apparently isn't gong to work as it's affected by the problem as well.

I'm at a loss of how to proceed. Any ideas of what might be happening at those moments and what I can do about it?

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That's a clue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 8, 2009 4:20 AM PST

Let's say we have overlapping protection software. AVG checks a file when you open it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it. IOBIT noticed the file opens and check its, AVG noticed the file being checked and checks it.

You get an idea why you see advice about not having 2 or more antivirus or in this case any titles that have overlapping protection.
Bob

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Not a Clue for This Situation
by lalaith1977 / November 8, 2009 4:28 AM PST
In reply to: That's a clue.

I only have one anti-virus program at a time. I said I'm on my third meaning I've tried three different ones with the current program being the one I specified: Avast!

Simultaneous multiple spyware programs should not cause a problem especially as I only keep one active at a time. The others stay off unless I am doing a scan.

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But what is
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 8, 2009 4:37 AM PST

that IObit Advanced System care doing at the same time as Avast?

Bob used AVG as an example. Avast and IObit may also conflict.

Look at your image again and look for the first entry timed at 1:19:52 PM

Now look at the last entry timed at 1:19:52 PM.

They are both Avast. But in-between is a combination of Avast and IObit, about 25 entries in all.

What's going on there, is IObit running something?

Mark

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SmartRAM
by lalaith1977 / November 8, 2009 5:18 AM PST
In reply to: But what is

IObit is a fairly recent download; something I downloaded to try to figure out this problem. This problem -- as indicated -- has always been happening.

The IObit you see going on there in the SmartRAM. That's doing what it's supposed to be doing. It's monitoring the RAM usage and freeing up RAM.

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There's another clue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 8, 2009 5:51 AM PST
In reply to: SmartRAM

FreeRam programs offer fail like this. It's a similar story to the one I told where Iobit frees ram. (Pick the program) notices free ram and gets some. Along the way a program eats ram, disposes it and may cause the virtual memory to read or write.

It's a simple issue of over tweaking.

Head back to simpler systems without free ram or such programs.
Bob

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Again -- No, It Isn't
by lalaith1977 / November 8, 2009 6:05 AM PST
In reply to: There's another clue.

As said, this problem PRE-DATES that download. The Smart RAM program has improved the PCs performance at other times, it definitely runs quicker. However, the hard drive access going crazy problem has not improved or gotten worse, but remains unchanged.

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All this confuses and muddies the waters.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 8, 2009 6:30 AM PST
In reply to: Again -- No, It Isn't

Until we boil off, remove all the optional stuff it reads like the usual software conflicts. I have no reason to ask for you to look at it with HIJACKTHIS with all this installed yet. When you can bring yourself to eject everything extra then we look at the HJT log for more clues.

Good hunting,
Bob

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The Waters Have Been Like This From the Beginning
by lalaith1977 / November 8, 2009 7:04 AM PST

I have turned off every process (including background processes)except what I'm actively using (Firefox, Open Office) and the problem's still there. I have added software, stripped software -- the problem's still there. It's been there since I turned this PC on and transferred files from my old PC. I don't know if it was there before that because, of course, one of the first things you do is move your files over.

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That's bad.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 8, 2009 7:19 AM PST

The story is that the machine was bad from day one. The reason this machine was bad is not clear with the clues so far. So far I see the usual items I peel off a machine.

Why didn't you take the builder of the machine to task for saddling you with a funky PC?
Bob

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Didn't Realize
by lalaith1977 / November 8, 2009 11:06 PM PST
In reply to: That's bad.

Because for all I knew that was the way the machine was supposed to perform. It wasn't an expensive machine -- it was the cheapest one I could find that came with a DVD RW. (And I can't afford to replace it not with one that also has a DVD RW.)

It wasn't until I learned more about PCs that I realized that it shouldn't be that way. Since then I've been trying to figure out what the problem is.

But when I discovered I can't even find out what's accessing the hard drive when it goes nuts like that because whatever it is affects File Monitor as well-- I'm stumped.

By the way, we're expecting a hurricane / tropical storm shortly. So I may not get back to this thread for a day or two, depends on the storm.

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Ouch!
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 9, 2009 1:44 AM PST
In reply to: Didn't Realize

Good luck with that storm.

I hope everything goes well.

Mark

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Okay
by lalaith1977 / November 10, 2009 2:01 AM PST
In reply to: Ouch!

Thankfully, Ida had weakened a lot before it made landfall, so other than a really thorough soaking everything is fine.

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same problem
by monsejour / January 14, 2010 7:31 PM PST

Hi. I have a similar problem on my AmiloPro laptop running XP Pro.
I am not a pc expert but I think my problem is related to virus/trojan/spyware protection software. My hard drive goes into overdrive, response time is measured in minutes and it can last for 15 to 20 minutes. It sometimes happens as soon as I log on but can also just start at random times. I reformatted and reinstalled XP but no difference. Some program is hijacking my hard drive and only returning control when it's done! I have Avast! Ccleaner and Spybot. I have disabled all sorts of things to simplify matters but still it remains. I now go and make a cup of tea when it starts but I hate giving in. Good luck with finding the answer.

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