Client doing an insane amount of writing to disk

I’m wondering if anyone else can second this finding. I was reading a thread about Spotify killing SSDs due to writing large amounts to the disk on a constant basis ( Curious, I opened Task Manager and found that the largest writer is not Spotify, but Whatpulse. You can check this yourself on Windows if you open Task Manager, go to the Processes tab, then add the “I/O Write Bytes” column in View > Select Columns…

Check out Whatpulse’s usage. On my PC, it’s the highest at having written 44GB to disk since the computer was last rebooted (4 days ago, and the computer was sleeping most of the weekend). Even at times when the computer is idle. Whatpulse.exe is constantly writing to disk. This is, as the spotify article mentioned, bad for SSDs that die faster with constant use. I imagine it could also be indicative of a performance hit, since the process is constantly using the disk.

My question for the devs is, what is the application constantly writing? Even if it’s updating the database on disk after each keystroke/click/whatever, how could that amount of data possibly add up to 44GB?

You can write over 200 terabytes to most modern solid state drives before they become unusable, thanks to wear leveling. Chances are the SSD will outlive your computer.

However, if you are seriously concerned about the amount of data that the client is writing to the disk, you can always run it from a mechanical drive or try using a ramdisk with it.

I have just checked myself, 300MB with 2 hours of uptime. Will continue to investigate this.

After further reading, I realized that in Task Manager, “I/O Write Bytes” is not just the storage subsystem, but also RAM and Network. I downloaded Process Explorer to get some deeper insight. It shows that Whatpulse has only written 5.7GB to disk, while the I/O Write Bytes is 47.4GB.

I wasn’t that concerned that Whatpulse was going to murder my SSD, more just interested in the huge disparity between other applications’ I/O vs Whatpulse, which I’ve always seen as a tiny-footprint application. Naturally I was surprised to see so much activity. But it makes sense as it measures network activity.


You are correct; most (of not all) the I/O is going to be from the network traffic module, as WhatPulse receives a copy of the network traffic going through your computer. It’ll be pretty varied between different computers how much I/O you’re seeing.

It’s not actually writing it to disk, but most activity monitors mark incoming netwerk traffic as disk traffic - which with ‘regular’ applications it would be (you’d download and store something).

We do our best to optimise the usage of system resources.