Question Why is my secondary drive being used when my system is under load?

DynV

Distinguished
Aug 13, 2009
249
3
18,685
0
My main drive is an SSD, it's always been silent. A couple months ago, I got a great deal and acquired a secondary drive that is HDD. For the first day or 2 I heard it from time-to-time when not saving a file at what seemed to be random times. For weeks I only heard it when I set my system to power off, go to sleep, and saving a file. Now it's been ~10 days that when my system is under load, sometimes it seems minimal usage (activating the calendar sidebar from gmail inbox), even though there's more space free on the SSD than there is memory. Power was cut off a couple days ago, so I needed to power my system at least once since that started, and I think there was a 2nd time as well (that time with a normal power off).

Can someone explain why my secondary drive being used when my system is under load?

Thank you kindly
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Power was cut off a couple days ago, so I needed to power my system at least once since that started, and I think there was a 2nd time as well (that time with a normal power off).
Power failures or are you saying your system shuts off intermittently?

What sort of files does the HDD have? Perhaps the drive is being accessed by Windows Defender in case you're downloading content and saving it onto the HDD. Make and model of your motherboard and it's BIOS? Since you posted in the Windows 10 section, what version of the OS are you working with?
 

DynV

Distinguished
Aug 13, 2009
249
3
18,685
0
Power was cut off a couple days ago, so I needed to power my system at least once since that started, and I think there was a 2nd time as well (that time with a normal power off).
Power failures or are you saying your system shuts off intermittently?
~2 days ago was failure.

What sort of files does the HDD have?
Mostly file saved locally, but there's also backup from downloads, the latter falling in the category of the next quote.

Perhaps the drive is being accessed by Windows Defender in case you're downloading content and saving it onto the HDD.
I suspected that might be happening but my question is specific about my system is under load, as as provided an example in parenthesis.

Make and model of your motherboard and it's BIOS?
GIGABYTE GA-B150M-DS3H (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel B150 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard. Is there a way to know the BIOS info without rebooting? If not, is there a way to answer me without the BIOS info?

Since you posted in the Windows 10 section, what version of the OS are you working with?
Pro 21H2
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
if you don't have any files being saved onto the HDD while the OS is active(and powered off the SSD), then it's possible that the OS might have a corruption. As it stands, for me at least the HDD's that aren't being used show up as 0% resource usage while the OS and other apps are active(and powered off the SSD). Malware could also leech resources off your platform.

I asked the BIOS version since there are instances of updates that address a fault in Intel's resource usage.

Is there a way to know the BIOS info without rebooting?
You can use CPU-Z to show you what your BIOS version is, listed under Mainboard tab.
 
~2 days ago was failure.


Mostly file saved locally, but there's also backup from downloads, the latter falling in the category of the next quote.


I suspected that might be happening but my question is specific about my system is under load, as as provided an example in parenthesis.


GIGABYTE GA-B150M-DS3H (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel B150 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard. Is there a way to know the BIOS info without rebooting? If not, is there a way to answer me without the BIOS info?


Pro 21H2
Bios.

Type .....system..... in the search box.
Click on.....system info app.
 
Can someone explain why my secondary drive being used when my system is under load?
There are multiple services, that access drives from time to time.
Indexing service,​
Windows Defender/Antivirus,​
System Protection/System Restore,​
Telemetry Service.​
If pagefile is placed on HDD, then HDD will also be accessed periodically.

All of that is perfectly normal.

If you don't like sound of your HDD, then upgrade it to SSD.
 

DynV

Distinguished
Aug 13, 2009
249
3
18,685
0
it's BIOS?
American Megatrends F4 3/11/2016

if you don't have any files being saved onto the HDD while the OS is active(and powered off the SSD), then it's possible that the OS might have a corruption. [...] Malware could also leech resources off your platform.
How can I know which it is? I had and still have an anti-virus, so if there's malware, it's obviously a bad one.

There are multiple services, that access drives from time to time.
Indexing service,​
Windows Defender/Antivirus,​
System Protection/System Restore,​
Telemetry Service.​
If pagefile is placed on HDD, then HDD will also be accessed periodically.
How can I know which it is under that specific situation, the example provided in the OP
minimal usage (activating the calendar sidebar from gmail inbox)
 

DynV

Distinguished
Aug 13, 2009
249
3
18,685
0
at any particular moment.
I hear it from time-to-time when not powering up or down or sleeping, but it started to do so many times when the system is under load, there's like 1/1000 chance that it's a coincidence that the current usage (as in the example) has nothing to do with it. If it's in the 999/1000 category, is there a way to transfer that to the main drive, which has sufficient free space?

I think it's likely at a point there was little free drive on the main drive and some important process in current usage got transferred to the secondary drive, and I want to put it back to the original one.
 

DynV

Distinguished
Aug 13, 2009
249
3
18,685
0
It slowly increased but the last couple days it increased abruptly and for a couple hours the only time it stopped was if I stopped interacting 1-2 mins. Well... It turns out all I needed to do was run "SystemPropertiesAdvanced" tab Advanced and it turns out I had nothing on my SSD but a whopping 40 GB system managed page-file on the HDD of my 16 GB memory system. After making some room on the SSD, I unchecked for all drive to be managed then set system managed to the SSD and none on the HDD, and things seem to normal.

However, I don't have a good memory and I suspect some day things might be bad through my SSD and a short time through the HDD might be beneficial, but since automated all drive is disabled it won't do it. I'd love it if there was a way for the page-filing system to advise me when it reached the condition for it to normally change drive, but instead of doing the change, I do (ie on auto it switch when it reach 6/10 and each time it gets >= 6/10 it lets me know, with a cool-off period of say 1 day (which during that time it would have kept track of it and let me know of the worse once the alerts can resume)).
 
Putting pagefile on SSD will shorten life of your SSD. Degree of impact will depend on amount of writing done to SSD.

What are model names of your drives? I don't see that mentioned anywhere in this topic.
If HDD is SMR drive, then it would not be advisable putting pagefile on it.

Having 40GB pagefile also is a nonsense. Set it to 1BG initial, 8GB max.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY