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  1.    24 Jan 2016 #1
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit

    Unusual hard disk behavior


    The last week or so my laptop has had a lot of unusual disk activity. It used to be behave such that unless there was a background scan running or an app was actively being loaded, the hard drive was idle. Now it's constantly making noises as if it's running. It will do be idle for a few seconds, followed by a couple seconds of activity, then idle again. This goes on for hours. Also, the hard drive will randomly shut off. I can hear it stop completely, and it won't resume running until something needs to read from the disk.

    None of this seems normal to me at all and is not how the drive used to behave. The SMART system values all look normal. I've attached a screenshot showing the constant spikes of activity followed by inactivity.

    The shutting itself off completely while the computer is running every couple of minutes is what concerns me most. Is this a sign of a failing drive or something else?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	5600267diskactiv.png 
Views:	54 
Size:	29.3 KB 
ID:	60463
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    25 Jan 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,387
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Hi, can you post a screenshot of just your task manager, organised by highest disk usage (click the Disk tab) when you consider disk use is high?

    Do you recall any significant change or update made about a week ago? (You can check logs and Window update history).

    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    25 Jan 2016 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 267
    Windows 10

    If you can hear the hard drive starting/restarting/stopping I suspect you are going to need a new hard drive soon. Make sure you back it up as soon as possible.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    25 Jan 2016 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,387
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Your priority should be to make a full backup. One easy way - and this allows you to replace your hard drive then recreate the partitions on it so you can get back to where you were as quickly and easily as possible is to create a disk image.

    E.g. Macrium Reflect or Aomei Backupper (free versions are ok) + create their boot disk - you'll need it! - and large enough external storage medium.

    The images are compressed, so you might be lucky and get away with about 60% of the total size of your data as an absolute minimum. But for routine use, allow 2-3 times bigger than your max anticipated data size, minimum.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    25 Jan 2016 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 24
    Win10

    Quote Originally Posted by TeeJay3800 View Post
    ........
    The shutting itself off completely while the computer is running every couple of minutes is what concerns me most. Is this a sign of a failing drive or something else?
    ......
    I think laptop drives spindown sooner and alot more frequently compared to desktops. The sound of it "shutting down" might be normal if its the drive spinning down and parking the heads.

    Open the resource monitor on task manager and see which process is causing activity on the drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    25 Jan 2016 #6
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,387
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Turning to the disk spinning down:
    You may find this of interest- compare your settings.
    Note "Turn off hard disk after" times
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Snap 2016-01-25 at 13.27.19.jpg 
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Size:	73.5 KB 
ID:	60578
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    25 Jan 2016 #7
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    I have power options set to never turn the hard disk off. So far the drive hasn't been shutting off, but the constant activity has continued.

    This is my task manager processes sorted by most disk activity:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	7448756diskactiv2.png 
Views:	29 
Size:	38.3 KB 
ID:	60671

    I also ran the Western Digital Diagnostics app and it passed the tests as you can see here:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1561675diagpass3.png 
Views:	30 
Size:	35.5 KB 
ID:	60669

    As suggested I'm in the process of backing up my drive, but I would certainly prefer it not die on me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    25 Jan 2016 #8
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,387
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    That, as you know, looks perfectly ok.

    So, if we assume for now that your HDD isn't about to die, perhaps what's left is a process of elimination.
    Try a clean boot.. if the symptoms disappear, then enable progressively until they recur.

    If no change with a clean boot, try safe mode.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    25 Jan 2016 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 24
    Win10

    Quote Originally Posted by TeeJay3800 View Post
    I have power options set to never turn the hard disk off. So far the drive hasn't been shutting off, but the constant activity has continued.

    This is my task manager processes sorted by most disk activity:
    ........
    Power options don't override hw spindown/idle settings. The resource monitor window under the performance tab gives more details.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    25 Jan 2016 #10
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by benedict View Post
    Power options don't override hw spindown/idle settings. The resource monitor window under the performance tab gives more details.
    Is this the screen you think would be more helpful?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1948659resource1.png 
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Size:	35.4 KB 
ID:	60703

    It looks to me that an Avast Anti-Virus related process could be the cost for the weird disk activity.

    EDIT: Actually this next screen shot seems to show "system" as being responsible for it:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	7928727resource2.png 
Views:	1 
Size:	36.3 KB 
ID:	60706
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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