Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Hard drive caching in new laptop

  1. #1


    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit

    Hard drive caching in new laptop


    I swear my hard drive is caching. ( same PC as in my specs below) I can hear it almost constantly.. it's Not the fan, because the fan is on the other side it I can hear the difference when the fan turns on. The PC was factory configured with 4 gigabytes of ram in it. I added another 4 BUT that should not make a difference with Windows managing the virtual memory settings. I really dont know if this is a hardware issue or a Windows 8 settings issue.

    I have another laptop a Compaq with 4 gigs of ram thats 3 years old and I have never heard the sound of a drive caching once. It had default Virtual Memory settings.

    Here is the screenshot of the virtual memory. Click image for larger version

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Webster NY US
    Posts : 325
    Win 7 / Win 8


    You mean you think it's paging (not caching) excessively?
    Does your drive access light flicker almost constantly even if you're not doing anything?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit


    I have always called this effect caching but i'm sure we are talking about the same thing. This model doesn't have a hard drive light on it like most models. It only has a light for on/off.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Webster NY US
    Posts : 325
    Win 7 / Win 8


    OK. I assume you've let it run for a bit of time to see if it settles (like maybe it was busy doing some background task like an update or something). Your virtual memory settings should be good for a system with 4G of RAM. Outside of all that, you could check the task manager to see what's running that might be doing something. It's certainly not normal unless you have a Windows background task going like file backup or update.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit


    But my system has 8 gigs of ram. Should I increase the value? It does say the recommended value is twice what it's set at.

    Yes, it will settle down after a while but I should not hear it just doing normal things like browsing the web and not running much else.

    I'll have to open task manager and try to find whatever is writing to the disk.

    Thanks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Rider View Post
    But my system has 8 gigs of ram. Should I increase the value? It does say the recommended value is twice what it's set at.

    Yes, it will settle down after a while but I should not hear it just doing normal things like browsing the web and not running much else.

    I'll have to open task manager and try to find whatever is writing to the disk.

    Thanks.

    I have that too.

    But I think is due to the SuperFetch service and Maintenence. If those are turned off you'll notice decreased responsiveness/performance over time.

    First looking in Task Manager is a good idea. Most of the time I see the process called System that has disk activity and a transfer rate of about 3mb/s. It will settle down after a while, that's true.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Webster NY US
    Posts : 325
    Win 7 / Win 8


    Unless you have some special circumstance, you should be able to let Windows manage it automatically, even with 8GB.
    I would expect intervals if disk accessing regardless of what's going on. Windows always has something sinister going on in the background you don't know about.... But seriously, if it's affecting the user experience performance of the system consistently, then there could be something not right. If it's not impacting performance and it's intermittent (not incessant) "thrashing" on the disk, it's probably normal.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit


    What about the virtual memory - would changing the value help?

    I'm at a loss - If Windows is managing the virtual memory, then how come it's not already using the recommended value of 4472 MB's? Seems to me if it knows that's recommended, and it's managing things.. it should have changed the value by itself?

    I have noticed in Task manager when the disk usage goes up to 99% System and Service Host Local System ( Network Restricted) (6) is both writing heavily to the disk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Webster NY US
    Posts : 325
    Win 7 / Win 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Rider View Post
    What about the virtual memory - would changing the value help?

    I'm at a loss - If Windows is managing the virtual memory, then how come it's not already using the recommended value of 4472 MB's? Seems to me if it knows that's recommended, and it's managing things.. it should have changed the value by itself?

    I have noticed in Task manager when the disk usage goes up to 99% System and Service Host Local System ( Network Restricted) (6) is both writing heavily to the disk.
    I don't think it would help. The reason Windoze isn't using the full 4472MB is because it's determined it doesn't need to. I really don't think your problem has to do with the virtual memory setting. However, there's no harm in trying to set it and see what that does. It might prove me wrong. It's an easy thing to set, reboot, check behavior, decide if you like it. If not, change it back, reboot, you're back where you were.

    I found this somewhat related post. Looks like a MS employee responded with a canned response, but there might be something useful to consider:
    A process called Service Host: Local System is using up all of my - Microsoft Community
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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