disk thrashingIn systems that use virtual memory, the resulting condition of a hard drive being used excessively for virtual memory because the physical memory (i.e., RAM) is full. (The process of moving data into and out of virtual memory also is called swapping pages.) Disk thrashing considerably slows down the performance of a system because data has to be transferred back and forth from the hard drive to the physical memory.
A sure sign that your computer is thrashing is when an application stops responding but the disk drive light keeps blinking on and off. Thrashing is generally caused by too many processes competing for scarce memory resources. To temporarily stop thrashing, you need to terminate one or more applications. To stop it permanently, you need to install more main memory.
Disk thrashing can result in permanent failure of the hard drive; as the data is transferred back and forth, the hard drive��s read/write heads are subjected to considerable wear and tear.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
List of free online Java courses for students and IT professionals looking to enhance their skills . Read More »SEO Dictionary
From keyword analysis to backlinks and Google search engine algorithm updates, our search engine optimization glossary lists 85 SEO terms you need... Read More »Slideshow: History of Microsoft Operating Systems
Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems for personal computers. In this article we look at the history of Microsoft operating... Read More »
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 2
This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »The 7 Layers of the OSI Model
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »