Real-time Disk I/O?

By NCSUFrenchie ยท 5 replies
Nov 2, 2006
  1. Since I have been a very frequent user of the Task Manager, I have found one big shortcoming (which the geniuses at Microsoft have fixed for Vista): I can't see which processes are accessing my drives (HDD, floppy, USB... any will do).

    I can see my HDD light just blinking away furiously, but that doesn't tell me squat about whether its Windows writing to the page file, or if its a realtime virus scan program. Either way, there seems to be a direct correlation between something accessing the HDD and system sluggishness.

    Does anyone know if there is a program out there that will allow you to see each individual processes' disk I/O? In realtime if possible.

    Thanks in advance y'all,

  2. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Not sure if this would note any I/O readings, but it would tell you otherwise on CPU usage and ram usage realtime.. its called Process Explorer

    If you reckon its spyware or the such, check out this thread, and post a new thread down at the security and web section.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Such a program cannot exist really, because processes don't access the disk directly. The system cache sits between the programs and the disk. And when the VM engine does something to a disk block, there is really no way to tell which process this request is serving. There is no way to get accurate readings.
  4. NCSUFrenchie

    NCSUFrenchie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I figured it would be that way.

    Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You can still get a general idea of disk usage by using a file monitor utility. Filemon from sysinternals shows you every file operation in your system in real time. Of course, it is virtually impossible to keep track of things in a multitasking situation unless you filter out only certain events.
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    You can add columns "I/O Read Bytes", "I/O Write Bytes" and "I/O Other Bytes" to Task Manager's Processes view. Add a PID (Process ID) too and you can see which service it is if it's one of those svchost.exes (Vista's Task Manager has a Services tab).

    I guess it's disk defragmenter, Windows Defender or Windows Search.
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