I've noticed in the last month or so, whenever I try to play online games, my hard drive starts become extremly noisy. It's the read/write sound and the led light on the front of the computer is also going wild. It's become so bad that it's annoying me while I play AND annoying everyone I live with (it's that loud). I've checked the task manager and I don't see any strange programs running. for the I/O System is the highest and it's just showing the game as reading only, NOT writing. What's going on? Any idea how I can fix this before everyone is driven crazy by this noise?
Many games read data as you play(very common on MMO games), this can cause lots of seeking noise.
How much memory do you have? if you run out of memory(maybe too much extra stuff running), windows will go nuts writing to the disc to free memory space for your game then it needs to read the new data into memory.
As far as how load it is, i have seem some pretty loud drives. If you have never heard this, it may be time to keep an eye on it in case it is starting to fail.