I've noticed for some time that with Windows NT 6.1 operating systems there's an enormous amount of disk i-o, even on idle systems. This seems to be a possible
sorce for why some users drives won't spin-down on Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, and is a concern for many SSD users due to the effects high volume write traffic has on write amplification and SSD life.
I've tried in vein to find out what the source of all the disk activity ; I have eliminated a lot of what it isn't, as many processes that read and write to disk like the 'Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN
' services only run one time or intermittently when something .NET is updated...
So I fianlly took it all the way and even running a minimal diagnostic setup, with all performance counters disabled, and with just these eight services running:
...and just these 14 essential processes (Explorer was disabled, but reenabled for the screen shot):
Server 2008 R2 still shows an enormous volume of idle disk i/o, and specifically disk writes on the order of dozens per second (which is exactly what you don't want on an SSD due to write amplification):
Windows 7 running a similar minimal service and process payload with performance counters disabled shows even higher disk i-o traffic in a quiescent state (sitting idle for over 15 minutes), and again most of it appears to be disk writes, exactly what you wouldn't want in the case of using an SSD as the cumulative write amplification at this rate over time will be significant.
So, what's going on here; what are all these disk writes? Is the system still attempting to write to the event log? Is there means in the registry to disable all event logging? Is there a tool that will actually monitor what resource is associated with the disk activity shown in the SysInternals DiskMon?
Anyone in the know please chime in; curiosity is killing me!