Have you ever asked yourself why the computer's hard drive is trashing like mad or why everything seemed to come down to a halt without you doing anything on the computer at the time?
What's My Computer Doing is a free software program for the Windows operating system that tries to provide you with answers to these and related questions.
It displays an activity list in its interface upon startup that lists running programs and their activity.
The activity is usually hard disk or processor activity or both. System processes are hidden by default in the list of running programs to make things easier to detect.
System processes can be displayed by clicking on the also show system processes link at the top, something to keep in mind if the open programs don't reveal the answer to your question.
Selecting one of the programs in the list displays additional information about it in the lower half of the program window.
The information displayed include the name and installation directory on the hard drive, the date and time the program was started, installed and modified, product details that include the producer's name and copyright, security information, known problems and external links both to the producer's website (if available) and a Google search.
The right side of the program window contains action buttons that can display the program properties, open the installation folder, terminate, close or uninstall the program as well as use the online services Virustotal or Kaspersky for scanning the file for malicious content.
What's my computer doing can be a helpful tool for finding out about programs that use more than their fare share of disk or cpu when they are running. While it can be useful at times, especially since it limits the display to user-run applications by default, it lacks information like a history that would make it more useful.
Advanced users can get the same information with the Windows Task Manager or process managers which often reveal more than just cpu or disk activity.
What is my computer doing can be downloaded from the developer website free of charge.
Update: While not as user-friendly, I suggest you take a look at Microsoft's Process Explorer which provides you with a similar set of information.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.