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Sudden spikes in drive usage

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Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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November 20, 2012 3:52:09 PM

Hi all,

I have a samsung rf511 laptop with an i5 processor and 8g ram. I installed a 240G ocz solid state drive a few weeks back and have been really enjoying the eerie silence of my laptop every since.

Now, randomly, the drive fan will kick into high gear for 3-5 seconds. It happens every minute or so. Then fan becomes very audible and the underside gets warm, near the disc caddy.
Looking at the resource monitor via task manager i can see the disc hits 100% during these periods, although the CPU and memory stay fairly normal.

I dont think this is load related as I have tried changing the performance behaviour via control panel > system and security > system > advanced system settings, and changed it from "adjust for best graphics" to "adjust for best performance" but this made no difference.

Also it happens when i am just running chrome by itself with 2-3 tabs open, surely an i5 machine with 8g of ram wouldnt need to page with that little running in the foreground?

I have run both malwayebytes antimalware and microsoft security essentials, both came back saying the system was clean.

Really confused by this hope the ssd isnt borked??
November 20, 2012 3:58:43 PM

If your disk is reading like there's no tomorrow, then either the HDD is about to die (not a surprise with OCZ) or virus.
November 20, 2012 3:58:50 PM

AlexH_99 said:
Hi all,

I have a samsung rf511 laptop with an i5 processor and 8g ram. I installed a 240G ocz solid state drive a few weeks back and have been really enjoying the eerie silence of my laptop every since.

Now, randomly, the drive fan will kick into high gear for 3-5 seconds. It happens every minute or so. Then fan becomes very audible and the underside gets warm, near the disc caddy.
Looking at the resource monitor via task manager i can see the disc hits 100% during these periods, although the CPU and memory stay fairly normal.

I dont think this is load related as I have tried changing the performance behaviour via control panel > system and security > system > advanced system settings, and changed it from "adjust for best graphics" to "adjust for best performance" but this made no difference.

Also it happens when i am just running chrome by itself with 2-3 tabs open, surely an i5 machine with 8g of ram wouldnt need to page with that little running in the foreground?

I have run both malwayebytes antimalware and microsoft security essentials, both came back saying the system was clean.

Really confused by this hope the ssd isnt borked??


Well it is an OCZ SSD so that's always a possibility. Does it happen only with specific apps or randomly? I would get a drive utility from oczs website and scan the drive for issues. You might have a lemon.
Related resources
November 20, 2012 5:38:02 PM

Thanks, i hadnt thought of a 3rd party HD app, will look for one now.

Happens when i run chrome, although most of the time im running chrome so i dont know if thats indicative, doesnt seem to stop when i close chrome.
November 20, 2012 5:40:55 PM

Hmmm, only thing i can find on the ocz website is a firmware update - do ssd's normally benefit from something like a firmware update?
November 20, 2012 5:52:32 PM

You could try setting the pagefile to zero. This way Windows won't constantly be caching on your drive. It will also improve the life of your SSD.
November 20, 2012 5:53:55 PM

Virtual memory sorry
November 20, 2012 5:54:44 PM

thanks bigbasedrum, ive read that tip elsewhere but most of the threads where its suggested it seems that people are 50/50 as to whether or not its a good idea. some even suggest it could harm the system more than help.
November 20, 2012 6:14:18 PM

Firmware updates are generally helpful, especially if you are encountering issues with the drive.

I can't imagine the SSD heating up enough that you could feel it through the chassis. We're talking about a drive that uses 5W or less at load. That's not nearly enough heat to noticeably increase the temperature of even the SSD enclosure.
November 20, 2012 6:20:18 PM

Thanks aicom, ill back everything up and give it a try. There is definitely a slight warmth to the touch, but i guess that must just be general running heat dissipation rather than anything unusual.
November 20, 2012 6:24:48 PM

go *** yourself roberta
November 20, 2012 6:30:52 PM

I doubt it can harm the system. The way virtual memory works is its like an overflow. If there's too much information to be stored in the RAM Windows stores it on the hard disk(in its allocated virtual memory space). Trouble is, Windows overestimates and by default assigns itself too much virtual memory space, and it also uses it constantly when it's not really needed. So by setting it to zero, you're just ensuring that Windows is using your RAM instead on unnecessarily using your much slower HDD or, in your case, much more read/write life limited, SSD. The worst that can happen is that Windows can run out of memory and even then it will politely inform you and you can increase your virtual memory size as you see fit.

However, I do second the heating up argument. SSD's really do use tiny amouts of power and put out very little heat. Maybe it's another component such as uour GPU or CPU. My personal theory (just a theory, I have no evidence), is that when your doing idle tasks such as using Chrome and so forth, the ambient temperatures in your room and the temperatures are of such a nature that they are on the threshold of your fan profile. That is to say, that at say 25 degrees the fan is running at 10%. But then the CPU starts to slowly heat up, when it's managing the disk caching operation for instance (this is just one example of the many backgroud tasks that your CPU may be busy with which you won't be aware of but will cause it to heat up). So now the temperature rises to say 35 degrees which causes the fan to spun up to 50 %, but the task is done so the CPU cools down quickly.
November 20, 2012 7:32:37 PM

Chrome has hardware acceleration. You wouldn't see that on CPU monitor, even if it's integrated graphics. Maybe download GPU temp and check GPU usage and temp. (Since you only seem to have the issue with Chrome running)

Also, Firefox has more hardware acceleration than Chrome, so maybe see if that makes it happen more often. Opra has like none, so that might show the issue less, if that is indeed the issue.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/internet-explorer-1...
November 20, 2012 7:36:55 PM

thanks for all the great suggestions guys!
!