How can I track disk access?

April 10, 2017 at 11:30:23
Specs: several
Windows 10.

I can use Task Manager to monitor which processes are accessing
the hard drive. But if I notice disk access going on and then start
Task Manager, it is too late: the process that was accessing the disk
will either finish or be interrupted, and loading of Task Manager itself
takes its place. I want to find out which processes are accessing the
drive at times that I don't expect activity. For example, Prefetch,
Defrag, or Search Indexing.

How can I either:

- Start Task Manager (or other disk activity monitoring app) at startup

or

- Read a log of disk activity for the last few minutes or since last start?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#1
April 10, 2017 at 12:41:31
diskmon: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us...

But beware; there are an awful lot of disk accesses.


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#2
April 10, 2017 at 15:41:22
Prefetch will never access anything in its own right. It only comes into play when you use the program it is associated with.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#3
April 10, 2017 at 23:25:48
I've downloaded DiskMon and will try it out soon. Thank you!

I don't remember exactly what Prefetch and Superfetch do or
how they do it. I think they keep track of what is loaded, and
at some (in effect random) time, maybe in connection with a
run of Defrag, they rearrange those files on the drive so that
they can all be read and loaded in the minimum time. So at
some time when nothing else seems to be happening, they
must do a lot of disk accesses. I know that Prefetch (or is it
Superfetch?) stores lots of files

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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Related Solutions

#4
April 11, 2017 at 04:08:45
Prefetch is not linked to defrag. It makes its arrangements the first time a program is run and then follows that arrangement thereafter in order to speed its start.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
April 11, 2017 at 07:02:16
I found I had to run DiskMon as administrator.

It appears that DiskMon doesn't indicate what process is accessing
the disk, just that the disk is being accessed.

Probably all I need is instructions for running Task Manager at boot
and capturing a log of disk accesses, and where to find the log.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#6
April 11, 2017 at 13:07:10
You can take defrag out of the equation if you wish by switching it off then running it manually.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#7
April 11, 2017 at 13:11:47
Well, if you feel like it, you could always use Process Monitor. It isn't exactly a background program, but you'll find out exactly what's going on in your system.

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