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Why is Win7 always waking up sleeping secondary HDD?


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#1 kenancy

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:31 AM

I have a Win7 system that works fine, except, for whatever reason, Win7 constantly feels the need to wake up my sleeping secondary HDD (Drive D:) at any given time, for no reason.

I click on a photo on my SSD drive, Win7 wants to wake up my HDD. I click on the START button, Win7 wants to wake up my HDD. I want to click on a browser tab, Win7 wants to wake up my HDD. Etc ,etc.

I have the HDD set to go to sleep (spin down) after one minute because I DO NOT need to access 98% of the time, so once it has spun down, ideally, it should STAY down unless I actually go to Explorer or Computer and actually try to access the drive. The only thing I have it for is photos and videos, like a storage drive. It has NO applications or temp directories/pagefiles on it.

Anyone know what to do?

I've seen a lot of other people with this same problem, and to be honest, I am really surprised that the problem doesn't yet seem to have a fix because I'm sure a lot of us has gone the SDD+HDD route.

Same question on MS site, no good answer...
http://answers.micro...74-4b790a022e8c
http://answers.micro...43-d2a6d532d09f

#2 Kdawgca

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:51 AM

Open up task manager and click on Resource Monitor button(in Performance tab). See if you notice anything in Disk Activity(Disk tab)

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#3 kenancy

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:19 AM

Hmmm. OK...I did see that "pagefile.sys" is being accessed on the D drive (my HDD). I thought the pagefile was something that Win used only on the main OS drive. What is it doing on the D drive? Is Windows saying it wants a pagefile on all HDD in the system?

#4 FastMHz

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

Generally, the pagefile is best on a platter drive because there's a lot of writes made to it. How much ram do you have? If you have 16gb or more, you can probably disable it completely. It wouldn't hurt to put it on the SSD, but again, your SSD will get written to more often, especially if you have low ram.

The best solution if you don't want your HDD waking up and staying on, or putting the page file on the SSD, is to get enough RAM to disable the page file (16gb or more is safest).

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#5 continuum

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:30 AM

pagefile is best on a platter drive because there's a lot of writes made to it.

I would actually prefer it on my SSD, the much faster access times reduce the impact of having to page out of memory in the first place...

is to get enough RAM to disable the page file (16gb or more is safest).

You really do NOT want to disable the page file, even if in practice your system never hits it. See:
http://arstechnica.c...ser-experience/

Applies to all previous modern versions of Windows as well...

#6 Kdawgca

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:53 AM

Yes, some programs can misbehave if there is no pagefile and even Windows won't write a memory dump file(important if you computer BSOD/crashes a lot) without a pagefile.

But, depending on what kind of tasks are preformed on the computer and the fact that enabling the pagefile is as easy a few click, it can be perfectly okay disabling the page file especially if the constant spin up is leading you to throw the computer out the window.

Also, if you have plenty of ram, use a RAM disk(lastest program I have used it AMD's rebrand of a Dataram application) and make a small pagefile there. It is counter intuitive and I am sure some experts won't like it, but it can be a nice compromise(if somehow no pagefile leads to crashes/errors).

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#7 FastMHz

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

All good points. I have 32gb of RAM, no page file, and an 8gb ramdisk using the open source IMDisk that I use for I/O intensive activity (MP3 tagging, etc). I'm not worried about the crash dump, this system doesn't crash (yay AMD).

My gaming rig on the other hand has 16gb of RAM and I *do* have the page file enabled, as some games don't like doing without.

I suppose if you have a ton of RAM, it's definitely worth a shot to disable it and if something doesn't work, selectively enable it or keep a small one around.

And, from experience, XP did *not* like having it disabled at all.

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#8 continuum

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

use a RAM disk(lastest program I have used it AMD's rebrand of a Dataram application) and make a small pagefile there.

/me facepalm

*sigh*

#9 Kdawgca

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:59 PM

The other part:

and make a small pagefile there. It is counter intuitive and I am sure some experts won't like it, but it can be a nice compromise(if somehow no pagefile leads to crashes/errors).


FYI: even more discussion on why it can be a bad idea:
http://www.overclock...e-on-a-ram-disk

I am not saying it will work or you will get 1,000,000 times the performance. All I am saying is to try it out if you don't want to disable the pagefile or don't want to put it on your SSD. Turning off hibernation and system restore(after making sure to have backups) can free up some room if the SSD is small.

Also, remember that internet discussion can sometimes forget to factor in how very easy to try out. Also most people on the internet who answer these types of question deal in absolutes, work with business application, and don't always factor in consumers in the "real world"(some people may know this world as the AFK world :P).

And again - any mission critical computers will want pagefiles... even machines that have 256GB of ram will still want a page file.

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#10 cbrworm

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

I just leave the pagefile on my SSD. I am not too worried about that shortening the life.

#11 Valleyforge

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:24 AM

use a RAM disk(lastest program I have used it AMD's rebrand of a Dataram application) and make a small pagefile there.


You do what now?!?! :blink:

That's a real life paradox right there.

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#12 slyphnier

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:57 AM

you can put your hdd standby by setting your windows power setting -> harddrive power off timer set to disable
i do this and so far i didnt get any issue, even probably better this way for hdd rather than spinning up/down so often

windows7 power setting by default always put hdd to sleep every 20mins

Do you using monitoring software ? suchs as sidebar or rainmeter and suchs ?
probably something that always need check your hdd storage space causing it to wake up your drive

#13 jimmybgood9

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:42 PM

You really do NOT want to disable the page file, even if in practice your system never hits it. See:
http://arstechnica.c...ser-experience/

Applies to all previous modern versions of Windows as well...


I read that article and I can't find where it claims that I don't want to disable the pagefile. Could you either explain your claim in your own words or quote the relevant section of the article? Please don't think I disagree with you, as I don't. I'm just trying to find out what your argument is.

#14 cheflo

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:19 PM

Hi I'm having the same problem as the OP. My main OS is on the C: partition of my SSD and on my HDD I have a D: partition for storage and an E: partition for recovery. Indexing is disabled for E: and D: and currently paused for all locations.

Setting the Windows power settings to turn off my HDD after 1 min of inactivity makes the drive spin down, but then wake up after around 20 s. When I set it to turn off after 2 min of inactivity it spins down very rarely, suggesting that there is something that is accessing the HDD at irregular intervals between 1:20 ~ 2:00 min. I have identified a peak in the resource manager that corresponds to the HDD activity. This peak is high if the HDD did have time to spin down and then was woken up by the process causing the peak. The peak is tiny (but still there) if the HDD never had time to go to idle. Under the bar "Disk Activity", there is no image that has "D:" or "E:" in its path, so all I can do is to watch the peaks in the graphics to the right, not identify the cause in the list.

Using Sysinternals Process Monitor, I filter for any process that includes "D:" or "E:" in its path, and this made me able to identify and disable the QueryFullSizeInformationVolume via the registry key NoLowDiskSpaceChecks (more details in this thread http://forum.sysinte...1142_page1.html). However, this process did not correspond perfectly to my HDD wakes and disabling it did not help. As of now, Process Monitor reports that zero processes are accessing my HDD.

After reading this thread, I also tried disabling my page file (even though it's located on C:), just to see if this would make any difference, but it did not. I also tried to disable the controller for the HDD in the Device Manager, but this just made my drive remain spinning constantly. When I installed Win 7 a few months ago, my drive stayed quiet until I clicked it in Explorer, so I there is something that has changed within the last few months either with Windows or with some third party software. However, the same behavior is present when starting Windows with all non-Microsoft services disabled, suggesting that third party software probably isn't the culprit.

As of now I'm pretty lost and searching the web isn't helping me. I might try to boot another OS from a USB, but If anyone has any advice that can point me to a solution of my problem I would be very grateful.

Here is a pic of what the peaks look like. Sometimes they are slightly bigger, sometimes slightly smaller:
Attached File  Tiny Peak.png   13.11KB   0 downloads

Update:
By using DiskMon, I have located the sector that is written to be 1465147856, which WinHex labels as "unpartionable space" (yes, not unpartioned) on my secondary HDD. The write length is 2 and with Process Monitor I have identified the write size to be 2 kb and the process that is writing is "system", PID = 4. However, I have not been able to find any unique process registered by Prosess Monitor when DiskMon reports disk access. Only som IRP_MJ WRITE, but they occur pretty much all the time.

Edited by cheflo, 04 March 2013 - 11:15 PM.

#15 jaxx0rr

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 05:35 PM

I read that article and I can't find where it claims that I don't want to disable the pagefile. Could you either explain your claim in your own words or quote the relevant section of the article? Please don't think I disagree with you, as I don't. I'm just trying to find out what your argument is.

 

IT IS BS.

I have only 6gb of ram and havent had a pagefile since 2008.. And I use heavy memory load programs such as 3d Studio Max and .. thats it there are no other..

The only thing that causes problems are 2 Games running at the same time.. like yesterday I played Elder Scrolls Online and had to wait for a raid boss .. I tabbed and played some Carmaggedon Reincarnation. On the other hand thats a new game and has memory leaks..

 

Anyhow do not trust what continuum is saying .. it is pure garbage! My two 6 year old hard drives are still running perfectly even tho I sometimes Fraps some 27gb files on them or 60gb torrents.. but thats nothing compared to the permanent and systematic scratching that occurs when a pagefile is in use.

 

Also the reason why im so upset is: I always wondered why the OS would not have implemented a better way of pagefile creation.. Its because of people like continuum spreading the mentality of happy fellow the hard drive u need that pagefile its important.. also its not like u cant afford a new hard drive every year..

 

For a time nobody even gave a crap why the hdd is making those happy fellowing noises when pc was idle.. slowly people (like cheflo here) started asking questions and you would blame the proper culprits like 

 

-Win Sheduled Defragmentation (useless.. if you want to get rid of the fragments format the hdd dont defragment it will destroy your mechanical drive)

-AVG Antivirus cache 

-Windows Search Service

 

and so on..

 

so let continuum use a pagefile on his SSD lets see how long that will last LOL





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