I have Windows Server R2 setup, just as a simple webserver, although it has not gone live yet and is not connected to the network.

I notice quite often some random hard disk activity, that will make my computer unresponsive for 5 - 10 seconds until it finished.

I see no pattern to this, and there is nothing in the logs. I have tried using system internals process monitor to see what is causing this, but I can never catch it in time.

I have been playing some movies from this machine before it goes live, and this is wha is impacted mainly by the random hdd activity as the picture and sound stops while it is going on. However, even without this I notice the activity.

I have turned off obvious things like the indexing service and still it occurs.

How can I find the cause of this random hdd activity?

edit: It is definitely hard drive reads that cause the non responsiveness....how can I find out which process is reading the disk when this happens?

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    I'm less worried about it doing things in the background (OS's do that) but more worried about why your system goes unresponsive when this happens - I'd crack out perfmon etc. and track that down. – Chopper3 Feb 2 '11 at 19:10
  • I'd kind of suspect low memory to be a factor. If you don't have enough ram and windows is hitting your page file hard this could be exactly what your issue is. – ErnieTheGeek Feb 2 '11 at 19:20
  • I have 4gb, and the load never goes above 1.5, with 2 being exceptionally rare. @Chopper3: How exactly would I use perfmon to track this down – Jay White Feb 2 '11 at 19:53
  • Jay, check counters for CPU time, disk queue length, network bytes per second, and other general counters. See if there's any unexpected changes in the graphs when you experience the glitch. – Chris Thorpe Feb 2 '11 at 20:06
  • @Chris Thorpe: Yep, Disk reads spike when the glitch happens. How can I tell what is reading the disk though? – Jay White Feb 4 '11 at 1:06

Check for BIOS/firmware & driver updates. Don't forget about the firmware on your hard disks and RAID card.

  • Dunno why this was downvoted. Drivers are a common cause of hitching, especially graphics/sound/input drivers. I'm guessing a duff hard drive, though. – Chris Thorpe Feb 2 '11 at 20:07
  • I didn't read the question properly the first time round and had to heavily edit my first answer - proving the system works :-) – DutchUncle Feb 4 '11 at 17:33

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