Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

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Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:59 pm

Okay, I'm concerned.

Windows 8 is writing, writing, writing to my SSD even when I'm doing nothing. Walking by the PC and seeing the disk activity display in Resource monitor, I have tons of writes going to my C: partition. This OS is a very chatty Cathy.

Most popular seem to be NTUSER.DAT, NTFS Volume log and MFT, AppData\local\Microsoft\internet explorer, and more. The list can go from 3 or 4 items to several dozen for long periods of time.

In the CPU display, I see WinDefend frequently pops to the top, though the CPU usage is fractionally small.

It's the middle of the day, no maintenance jobs should be running. Just sitting here doing no work, I'd like to see my PC write a little bit LESS FREQUENTLY to my expensive SSD. Is there anything that can/should be done?
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:09 pm

Just curious, did you do any SSD optimizations or did you run Windows Experience Index or anything else, or did you do none of that? I'm not sure how to tell how much writing is going on but from just eyeballing the Resource Monitor I'd guess around 100 KB/s.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:29 pm

Early on I ran the Windows Experience index (got an 8.1), but subsequently I did a refresh/rollback, so the results of the WEI are not currently registered. I haven't rerun it; haven't felt the need.

I have done no SSD optimizations and I haven't yet sent a trim command to it yet. I did redirect my C:\users\userid\downloads folder to my spinning HDD (due to sizes and quantity of downloads over time).

The hibernation and paging files still reside on the SSD. As far as I can tell, neither has appeared in performance monitor as yet.

APPDATA seems to get hit a lot with writes whenever I do something in Internet Explorer or Firefox; even just entering a search, going to a URL, or clicking on anything. But it's also at the top of the list (for writes!) whenever the PC is just sitting there.

I believe a lot of writes are happening based on the Resource Monitor's DISK tab. Sort descending on the writes column. This stuff is never-ending; constantly showing up with 2000, 4000, or over 100,000 B writes. It's never ending, even when the PC is supposedly not being used.
Last edited by BIF on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:31 pm

appdata is where your user specific profiles for applications live.

For example the history and temporary internet files live in that folder.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:36 pm

Right, but is it normal for them to get a lot of writes when the PC is supposedly idle?
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:38 pm

Depends on the apps that live there and are running in the background.

Also depends on the various tasks of the task scheduler.

I find it unlikely that it's an issue. Resource Monitor can confirm what tasks are busy.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:50 pm

Okay, I'm about to leave the house for a few hours. When I return, I'll investigate further.

In the meantime, I've got a copy operation running; moving some of my VST sample files from an old HDD to the new HDD. This one is a single piano instrument, and at 311 GB, it's too big to put on one of my SSDs. Copies are slow processes at SATA II speeds. I temporarily disabled Defender's "on access" scan; maybe it will copy faster.

Damn, this stuff is big! :o

It should be done by the time I return. It's the last library copy needed, so I think now I can begin installing my DAW software and the VST software and do some audio testing. Maybe.

By the way, I tried to install Samsung Magician earlier today, and the installer stopped me saying that it can't install to NT 6 something-something or above. So for now that may be a dead-end. Lucky for me you shared the TRIM command in that other thread. :)
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:32 pm

Are you sure this isn't a virus?
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startup ... 21842.html

I don't even have a windefend process running.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:51 pm

Might be a virus or rogue process?

My Windows 8 machine on an SSD in ACHI installed fresh and running for a few weeks at least now shows pretty much no disk activity in Resource Monitor, Task Manager or the HDD LED on the tower when it's idle.

What does Resource Monitor say is being written to the drive?
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:04 pm

New install => Indexing? So after the first indexing run things should settle down incrementally?
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:49 pm

Flying Fox wrote:New install => Indexing? So after the first indexing run things should settle down incrementally?

Windows is not supposed to use indexing at all for an SSD, if I recall.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:55 pm

morphine wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:New install => Indexing? So after the first indexing run things should settle down incrementally?

Windows is not supposed to use indexing at all for an SSD, if I recall.

May not be so.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:14 pm

Yeah, indexing stays on even in Windows 8. As discussed previously though the search service makes an effort to reduce writes to disk by leaving them in memory until they reach a large size. So constant writes isn't what you'd see.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:44 pm

Indexing was on for my C:, so for grins, I just now tried to shut it off.

I got hit with a "can't do" message, because swapfile.sys is in use by another process.

A perusal of my root directory shows that I do indeed have a pagefile.sys AND a swapfile.sys . Fascinating; I don't remember both of those names showing up in my root directory for prior Windows systems.

After getting that message, I hit "cancel". Now the properties/general tab shows indexing is off. Okay, now that's weird. I would expect it to show "on" after I canceled the operation, right?
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:23 pm

swapfile.sys is what Modern UI apps use as swap space.

I'd also note that all of files and locations noted in the opening post are not indexed.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:17 am

Ok, thanks.

So is it normal for resource monitor/disk activity to show writes like this?

Observations:

Just having the window open next to whatever task I'm performing typically shows between 5 and 20 "images" with write B/sec > 999 (some in the 100,000 to 500,000 range). Sometimes the total list is 50 or more entries, with varying values for writes/sec. The display is constantly refreshing of course, but it looks like many of the same images appear mulitple times in the list, and with each refresh the numbers continue to change (some rising, some falling), which I infer to mean that writes continue to happen over time. In any 10-second frame of time, I might see the same "image name" appear ten times, with two or three in the "top 5 writes" (I have the list sorted in descending order by writes).

As I type this post (via Firefox), SYSTEM and FIREFOX.EXE are both causing writes. I have no plugins installed and I'm not switching windows. Appdata\roaming is getting hit, NTFS Freespace and volume log, the C: MFT, and a few other things keep showing up. Under the storage section, the C: partition shows mostly 0.0 for "active time %", but it does fluctuate to small but nonzero values, even when I stop typing.

CPU is not in great use as I type this post (or stop to watch the display), but at this moment, my top CPU processes include Sierra2.GPU.exe, System Interrupts, atkexComSvc.exe, SierraService.exe, dwm.exe, firefox.exe, perfmon.exe, and aaHMSvc.exe .

One last observation: My hard drive lights are flickering for my two HDDs (the new one and the old one are still in place). My SSD hard drive lights are always-on; the latter don't appear to indicate when activity is occurring.

I suppose I should ask the obvious question. Is all of this behavior typical and expected?
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:16 am

Nothing you've listed is out of the ordinary.

This is what happens when people smoke SSDs. SSD Madness.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:18 am

Ryu Connor wrote:This is what happens when people smoke SSDs. SSD Madness.

Keeping them lit is the real bitch.
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Re: Windows 8 Writing a LOT to my SSD!

Postposted on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:24 am

Oh no fellas; it's always lit, that's what got me concerned!

I'll try not to worry about it, I promise. :)
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