Your hard drive is buzzing, and you don’t know why. Finding out what’s going on is probably a good idea: at best a legitimate program is tying up resources and slowing you down, at worst you’ve got a malware infection. But what do you do now?
Launching FolderChangesView, the latest release from NirSoft, could be a good first move.
The program monitors file changes on your hard drive, and opens by asking exactly which base folder you’d like it to watch. By default this is C:\, but can be set to whatever you like. And you also have the option to view changes only in that folder, or all its subfolders as well.
For your first run, though, just click OK to accept the default settings, then do something which will create file system activity: launch Firefox, say. And immediately you’ll see the FolderChangesView window begin to detail what’s happening, listing the path and name of any files; whether they’ve been created, modified or deleted; and the date and time of each event.
If you have been experiencing any odd hard drive activity then this report, in particular the file and folder names, should give more clues as to the cause (Firefox-related action usually takes place in or below the \Users\[UserName]|AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox folder, for instance).
And simply leaving FolderChangesView running for a while can tell you a lot about what’s happening on your system. If you find a non-critical program is more active than you thought then maybe it’s worth considering removing or restricting it in some way, so reducing background activity and improving your PC’s performance.
Of course Sysinternals Process Monitor (a far more sophisticated tool) will do all the same things, and a lot more, including telling you which process is responsible for each action.
FolderChangesView is simpler and easier to use, though, so if you’d just like to find out more about drive activity right now – no need to mess around with filters or anything else – then the program makes a better first choice.
Although as the entire set of FolderChangesView files consume only around 92KB on our test PC, it’s not really as though you have to pick one or the other. We say: you need them both.