Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » D »

disk thrashing

In 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.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
LATEST ARTICLES
8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
Java Basics, Part 1

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 »