Vista disk thrashing eats my lunch


Commerce_hourglasses_185183_2This morning began like many other days.  I grabbed the Fujitsu P1620 out of the dock.  I put it dutifully to sleep which took only 3 seconds and then threw it in my gear bag.  I headed across town and walked into my morning meeting and sat down.  At 9:10 the meeting got underway and I hit the power button on the Fujitsu to wake it up from its slumber and to get to work.  The disk thrashed for almost 20 MINUTES before the Fuji was ready to be used and I missed taking notes for the first part of my meeting.  The hard disk indicator light was on solid for that 20 minutes and the system was not usable for that time.  It took 10 minutes before the fingerprint reader was asking for me to swipe in which I did and another 10 minutes while Vista Business resumed to a point that the system was responsive.  This is the first time I’ve experienced this on the Fuji but not the first time I’ve seen it on other systems.  Vista is so bad on mobile systems and it’s time for something to be done.  I’ll likely have to edit the registry and turn off pieces of Vista to get around this.  Sheesh.


Stefan Kirov

Make yourselves a favor- put LINUX. My wife’s laptop (VISTA home premium) burned 2 disks in less than a year.

Michelangelo Capraro

hey there James, i get this a lot too and in the same situation! i miss the first part of meetings and such and this never happened with XP. problem is aside from the dirk thrashing and “Not Responding” messages, Vista has such a nicer UI for the pen that i dont want to give it up!

i discovered (but its not very helpful) that if i kill the heavy apps before sleeping (mainly firefox with a zillion tabs open) then i dont have the thrashing as much.

please keep me posted on if and how you get around this issue!

Steven Vance

A Mac (no less than 4 years old) takes about 10 seconds to wake from sleep. It takes about a minute to wake from hibernation.

All Macs with OS X come with InkWell handwriting technology, developed by Apple about 5 years ago. It works in 3 languages. It will activate when a touchscreen driver is added to a Mac.

Dion Forster

I’ve just had to make the move from my trusty Macbook Pro to a Windows Vista Acer Travelmate 6292.

Thus far (2 weeks in) the notebook seems to be working well. However, startup and shut down time is a bit of an issue for me. I got quite used to opening the lid of my Mac and being ready to start typing.

HOWEVER, it sure is great to simply plug the Acer into the network and have everything just sync up the Exchange server and work with every other Windows PC out there…

I’ll confess, the Acer is growing on me!

I’ll be off to Israel for a trip in about two weeks time and will leave my Macbook Pro at home… I’m a little nervous already… Yikes!


I have also been suffering from this problem on a plain duel-core laptop! I can’t imagine it on an ultra portable solution…

Mickey Segal

bluespapa: I have Process Explorer running and the times I checked the offending process was svhost.exe, but about half the threads are svhost.exe so I don’t know if that adds much information. I don’t know what to explore beyond that; if someone has an idea I’d be glad to check.

I don’t see the 100% CPU problem once the tablet is settled into the dock or settled out of the dock. Similarly, I don’t see it in two Vista desktops, which don’t have docking considerations. I expect that people wouldn’t see it with convertible tablets for the same reason. The only problems I have with sleep are with the tablet when it has just changed to or from being docked.

John in Norway

I’ve been dual booting my m200 for some time and have finally gone back to XP permanently. The thing that kept me in Vista (at least so I thought) was the better handwriting recognition. However, I’m finding that it’s not that big a deal even after training Vista. Maybe my handwriting isn’t that bad anyway. About two weeks ago Vista started the same disk thrashing as you seem to be having. I forced a shutdown and started up XP – haven’t been into Vista on it since.
SP3 for XP is coming soon as well.

Jon Dee

I have just had the same problem today with Vista. I have just spent 8 hours trying to get my computer working as I’ve had problems with Vista and Office 2007.

Constant hang ups, ‘not responding’ messages and full system crashes. Even launching the computer in Safe mode didn’t help much.

Would defintely want to be going back to XP on my tablet at the moment…


Suggestions all look good. Keep the peace and rock the P1610

Group Hug


Oh I just remembered that on my P1610 with vista business that I am using “out of box” with no thrashing—-I did put project lasso on it. I know nothing about how that really works but could that have something to do with minimizing thrashing or have I only been lucky (so far).


What a hassle! I have had more of that sort of waiting around with XP than with Vista, but you might try putting Sysinternals Process Explorer, which is like the task manager, but breaks down the services and such so you can pinpoint whatever is chewing it up. I don’t know that I would have waited so long before swiping. I think I’d have forced a shutdown and opened in Safe Mode if I had to to ensure a smooth boot.

I’m never tempted to shake or slam these fine instruments, but maybe drag it from the back of the car a few blocks.


I have a P1610 with vista business for a month and have had no problems with thrashing. I have turned no services off. But I do not dock and the only time it goes into hibernation rather than sleep is if the battery runs out (only happened once, no thrasing).

By the way can someone tell me again how to turn those two services suggested off–might as well take no chances.


Wow that sucks. I run Vista on 3 machines, my u810 is my “take everywhere” machine and I have vista stripped with no indexing, minimal features activated and it runs flawlessly (Knock on wood)

I know everyone loves to jump on the vista bashing bandwagon, I use 3 vista machines daily with pretty much zero issues. I have no idea what the hell happened with your machine.. seems like you have a lot of issues with your equipment, mac or windows based.

Andrew Beery

You know I hear a lot of Vista bashing and certainly I’ve had my share of problems with it but I seriously would never consider using a tablet pc without it… No flavor of XP is even close to handling handwriting as well… sorry to disagree with the masses. BTW- I just turned superfetch off on my p1620 and it seems to have helped.


All I know is you have the patience of a saint. I’d have held that power button down for five seconds after roughly a minute of that trashing and rebooted the thing.


And yet everytime I say that Vista is single handedly devastating the mobile market, people give me crap. I have money to spend on new toys and gadgets, but if my toy comes with Vista, I put my wallet back in my pocket. I have yet to own a Vista mobile device that does not suffer as a result of this crappy OS.

The only thing that surprises me, James, is not that you have suffered, but that it took this long. And while quick’s tips are probably spot on, why should I have to disable what purports to be integral and “improved” parts of the OS in order for me to function?

Mickey Segal

I see problems of this sort often, typically related to docking or undocking. I don’t think that superfetch or indexing can explain problems that last 20 minutes. Maybe it has something to do with the recent undocking. Although James’ account was of putting the computer into sleep after undocking, in my experience it takes at least a minute for a computer to settle down after undocking, so this may be related to undocking. (Docking is far worse – half the time I need to reboot to avoid many minutes of processes consuming 100% of CPU (killing the process often works even faster)).

Things worked way better with XP.

Vista and its drivers are still not ready for prime time, particularly for “built for XP” hardware and its drivers This is unfortunate, since many companies will wait until all hardware bought in the past few years can be upgraded before moving to a new operating system. Vista is just not there yet, and I see no sign that it is getting closer anytime soon.

Bob Russell

I don’t notice thrashing much (search services are off and I leave the computer on), but I do find that my USB external drives keep annoyingly rev up every so often. Would love to be able to turn them on and off without unplugging/plugging them in. (No on/off switch on them, but that wouldn’t help when I’m remote or if I forget anyway.)

Constable Odo

Why don’t you just upgrade to Windows XP? It seems it would be more suitable for your mobile rig.


If you want to get rid of all the disk trashing, here are the important services to disable.

Windows Search service
(this is what indexes your hard drive, disabling this will slow searching for files quite a bit)

Superfetch service
(this is what was grinding your HD for 20 minutes, when Vista put your computer to sleep it unloaded the large amount of ram that was holding superfetch data, which makes programs launch almost instantly)

Others that can help: (at your own risk)

Windows Defender service (and program from startup/msconfig)
My virus scanner handles malware as well so no need for windows defender, and windows defender has one of the worst malware databases anyway.

Readyboost service
If you are not using it.

If you have Vista home premium
You can disable Windows Media Sharing service, if you don’t use your UMPC to stream media, I’m not sure if this affects Media Center from functioning though.

Ricky B.

Poor Vista… and poor you. As much as Vista has going for it, all the negatives outweigh the positives a lot, don’t they?

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