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Windows 7 won't stop reading/writing to hard disk


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#1 kjm782

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 05:46 PM

I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit installed on my computer and it has worked fine for the last 3 months or so. However, for the last 3 or 4 days though the system won't stop accessing the hard drive. It is so bad that every minute or two the computer will freeze for half a second or so (especially noticeable if I am playing music or watching a DVD). This happens whether I am running a bunch of programs or nothing at all. CPU and memory usage appears to be normal. If I open the Resource Monitor the System appears to be reading on average 6 - 8 mln b/sec and writing about 5 - 7 mln b/sec for a total of about 12 - 15 mln b/sec. Most of the files with the heaviest usage are in C:\System Volume Information. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? The only things that have changed on the computer recently are a Java update and a Windows update where the following was installed:

Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB978601)
Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB979309)
Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB981332)
Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool x64 - April 2010 (KB890830)
Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB980232)
Update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Junk Email Filter (KB981432)
Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB979683)
Security Update for Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 (KB980469)

That could be completely unrelated. I can't really pinpoint when the problem started, I just know it was somewhere around the time those updates were installed. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you for the help.

EDIT: Moved from Win 7 to Am I Infected, more appropriate forum ~ Hamluis.

Edited by hamluis, 19 April 2010 - 08:03 PM.


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 06:41 PM

Can you post your system specs?

#3 keyboardNinja

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 08:25 PM

Also, what anti-virus are you using?

It's possible the Malicious Software Removal Tool is doing its monthly scan.....although I've never known of one dragging down performance.
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#4 kjm782

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 05:28 PM

Can you post your system specs?


Yes, sorry forgot to do that. Here are my system specs:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 6400+
Gigabyte M57SLI-S4 motherboard
4 x 1 GB Kingston HyperX DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) memory
MSI ATI Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB video card
Seagate Barracuda ES.2 750GB 7200RPM hard drive (with 75%+ free space)

I am using Symantec's Endpoint as my anti-virus. Also, I forgot to mention that I would try doing a system restore to see if uninstalling the updates fixes the problem, but unfortunately Windows says that some of the files are corrupt and it can't proceed. My computer has been on for at least 72 hours and it is still accessing the hard drive at about 12 mln b/sec when idle. Thanks for the help.

#5 kjm782

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:45 AM

Ok, so I ran msconfig and did the diagnostic startup (only loaded the minimum needed) and the problem goes away. I guess it will just be a process of elimination of slowing turning services and startup programs back on and restarting until I find the culprit.

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 12:41 PM

I would remove Symantec, and try Avast or Avira.

#7 Eric ~ Computer Guy

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:01 PM

I would remove Symantec, and try Avast or Avira.



There are plenty of antivirus programs that will run happily alongside the Endpoint Security program. Plus, Symantec End-Point may have been installed as part of a corporate or dorm network, and may be required for the OP to use the internet. I see this all the time in my line of work. If the program is required for the OP to get online on the network, removing it will disconnect him, requiring him to call IT and have it reinstalled. And possibly cost money.

I wouldn't advise any poster to remove security programs until you know the whole situation (ie: why it was installed, who installed it, and what the OP uses the PC for in the first place)

It's more than likely all of the programs listed in the MSCONFIG area caused the original issue, which is what should have been addressed first.

This issue is PC 101, and shouldn't have ended up in the "Am I Infected?" thread until the Startup list was evaluated.

Edited by Eric ~ Computer Guy, 20 April 2010 - 02:08 PM.


#8 cryptodan

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:10 PM

I would remove Symantec, and try Avast or Avira.



There are plenty of antivirus programs that will run happily alongside the Endpoint Security program. Plus, Symantec End-Point may have been installed as part of a corporate or dorm network, and may be required for the OP to use the internet. I see this all the time in my line of work.


I have seen Symantec bring servers to a crawl. I have been in the industry for quite sometime, and have seen Symantec/Norton Cripple the best computers. Its one reason why where i work we dropped Symantec and went to McAfee. Symantec was just producing so much overhead on mail scanning that it made mail servers come to a complete crawl like molasses in January.

Constant disk activity can also be the cause of Virus Scanners, and that can take up a lot of system resources.

#9 Eric ~ Computer Guy

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:12 PM

I would remove Symantec, and try Avast or Avira.



There are plenty of antivirus programs that will run happily alongside the Endpoint Security program. Plus, Symantec End-Point may have been installed as part of a corporate or dorm network, and may be required for the OP to use the internet. I see this all the time in my line of work.


I have seen Symantec bring servers to a crawl. I have been in the industry for quite sometime, and have seen Symantec/Norton Cripple the best computers. Its one reason why where i work we dropped Symantec and went to McAfee. Symantec was just producing so much overhead on mail scanning that it made mail servers come to a complete crawl like molasses in January.

Constant disk activity can also be the cause of Virus Scanners, and that can take up a lot of system resources.



I've seen it too, but the startup list should always be checked first. Plus, removing it can violate the OP's T&Cs for using whatever network they are on, which is what I intended the point to be there.

#10 kjm782

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 06:08 PM

I found the problem! I have everything checked to run in msconfig under both services and startup except for "Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider" under services and my computer is back to normal. As soon as I check that box to enable it though the problem comes back. Although I can't really tell from the descriptions, this leads me to believe that one of the Windows updates I installed must have modified that service. From what I understand it is used for a backup service so I assume that I can leave this disabled and everything will be fine?

Also, to answer a previous question, this is a personal computer in my home so I don't have any restrictions on what anti-virus I can use.

#11 cryptodan

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 06:11 PM

ID remove Norton, and enable that service to see if the issue is gone.




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