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dell e521 disc continually spinning

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I have a dell dimension e521 machine, app 1 year old.
The disks are continually spinning, even when i have no major apps running.
It has 2gb ram, 500gb hard drive, and is running vista.
when i look at what is running, it's often searchindexer. should this run permanently?

Thanks, in advance, of any help.

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I'd suggest ending the searchindexer process to see if that stops the disk accesses.

Go to the Processes tab in Task Manager and click on the View menu item.
Then choose the "Select columns" option.

Select the I/O Reads and I/O Other (you can also select the I/O Writes, but that's not as likely to reveal what's going on).
Click on OK to accept the changes, then drag the Task Manager window out so you can see the different columns.
Let us know what's taking up the most I/O Reads and I/O Other.
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