identifying activity on drive or modem

May 8, 2012 at 18:04:50
Specs: Win 7
When I see that a hard drive is being accessed or data is being
transferred through the modem when I have not initiated the activity,
what is the easiest way for me to find out what program or process
is responsible?

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#1
May 8, 2012 at 19:58:16
Tasks Manager will tell you what is using the hard disk and Netlimiter will tell you what is using the Modem.

http://www.netlimiter.com/

You can download a restricted free version which will tell you what you need.

Stuart


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#2
May 10, 2012 at 14:57:52
I tried to install NetLimiter 3. It gave this error message:

Error 0xe0000243: Problem in SetupCopyOEMInfW (File:** ).

Where I typed asterisks were two Chinese characters.


To use Task Manager effectively I presume I need to start
it running before I see drive activity, not after. And have
"Show processes from all users" checked. What else do I
need to know?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#3
May 11, 2012 at 00:08:52
I have no idea what the error is. It is problem with your computer, not Netlimiter. There is now way you should get Chines characters on a properly configured English version of Windows except when accessing a Chines site in your web beowser.

I suspect you have some malware installed which a good reason to be worried about unexpected disk and network activity. Do you have an Anti-virus application installed.?

Run Malwarebytes to root ut any Trojans that might be lurking.

http://www.malwarebytes.org/

You can start Task Manager any time you feel it necessary. Sort it on the CPU column and see which one is taking up most CPU time. That will give you a clue as what is using the hard disk. Don't worry about a high count for System Idle Process, that is normal and should be high and would indicate a problem if it were low.

Stuart


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#4
May 11, 2012 at 06:38:15
I'm pretty sure the Chinese characters are in the installer
as the name of one of the files to be installed. I get the
impression from Google hits that the error is due to a file
whose certificate has a problem.

I only installed Windows 7 two weeks ago, on a clean
drive, and before I went online I closed *every* port in
both directions in Windows Firewall. GRC Shields UP!
showed my computer to be completely stealthed for the
1055 ports it tested.

Flash Player is the only software besides NetLimiter that
I've downloaded and installed since installing Windows,
so opportunities for malware to get in have been limited.
I turned off the options for Flash to update or share any
info. All my other installed software is stuff I've used
previously on the same computer with no problem.

I have turned off almost every Windows process that might
access the network or the hard drive without my knowledge.
I keep finding more, though. Search indexing, ReadyBoot,
Media Center, etc.

I think the process that I've seen using the hard drive a
couple of times is one that runs when the computer is idle.
When I start Task Manager and check the box to show
processes from all users, it shows a long list for a second
or two, then removes something from the list. It is probably
something involved in starting Task Manager, but there is
no way I can see which line gets deleted. (Well, maybe if
I do it a dozen times...)

Generally I see all zeros in the CPU column except for that
System Idle Process you told me about.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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