My computer works hard, and that’s a good thing. I made sure it has lots of memory and a couple of large hard drives so that it can do what I need it to do as efficiently as possible.
However, there are certain times when I have to wonder about it.
I’ll be at my desk in my home office, perhaps working on a client’s computer, or reading something on my Kindle Fire. Not doing anything with my own computer at all. But for no apparent reason, the computer’s hard drive starts spinning up and the little light starts flickering, indicating some type of activity. And it sure seems like there is a lot of activity going on!
I look at the screen, and see no indication of anything happening. At times like this, I feel like asking my computer, “What the heck are you DOING right now??”
Obviously it does no good to ask your computer a question. But there is a way to find out what is happening, thanks to a little free program called, appropriately, What’s My Computer Doing? You can get more information about the program, and download it free, here.
Once you have it downloaded and installed, you can find it in the programs list and run it. But before you do that, start up a few other programs like Outlook, Firefox, Word – it doesn’t really matter, just have a few programs running.
When you run WMCD, you’ll see that it is pretty busy tracking your computer’s activity. The top part of the window will constantly update to show what program is actively working:
You can see that it lists programs that are known, such as Outlook and Firefox, as well as other programs such as the files that are just part of the Windows operating system.
When you see something come up in the list and you want to get some more information about it, just check the “Freeze” box at the top of the window:
When you do that, the list of programs stops updating and just sits there. That means you can click on one of them and get some details about it. For example, I can click on Outlook and I immediately see this list of details about Outlook:
Over on the right side, you have some buttons giving you other options as well:
For some reason, “Uninstall program” is ghosted so it is not an option – but that is actually a good thing, because it would be best to uninstall through the more traditional method than by using this program.
The other options listed should be harmless. Even if you somehow closed or terminated a program or process that was part of Windows, you can just restart your computer and it should be running fine again. If you do find a program that is not needed, and seems to be running on its own without serving any real purpose, just close the program and then uninstall it through Control Panel.
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