Abnormal and unrealistic disk usage by VirtualBox

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Abnormal and unrealistic disk usage by VirtualBox

Postby FrankieW » 18. Sep 2021, 22:57

- Host OS: Windows 10 Pro 21H1
- Guest OS: Ubuntu 20.04
- Host OS and Guest OS are running on SSD M2 drive
- Guest OS has shared access to Seagate HDD 18 TB SATA for read / write purposes (2-10 Mb/s all day)

Recently I noticed that S.M.A.R.T. parameters of the HDD showed abnormal growth on Total Host Reads from 400 TB (already too high) to 600 TB in a couple of days.
After close investigations it appeared that periodical grow of 2 TB happens every 30 minutes out of the blue, so the parameter Total Host Reads is NOT growing steadily, but in bursts.

Task Manager -> Users -> VirtualBox Virtual Machine shows usually 15-20 Mb/s in Disk column with periodic spikes up to many-GB/s, that simply sounds IMPOSSIBLE -> see the attachment
Somehow VirtualBox is making unrealistic read operations and Windows puts that nonsense in S.M.A.R.T. statistics.

What can it be? How to resolve this?

What is already tried:
- VirtualBox to the latest version - no changes
- Restart Guest OS - no changes
VM_abnormal_usage.png (56.49 KiB) Viewed 1203 times
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Joined: 18. Sep 2021, 22:39

Re: Abnormal and unrealistic disk usage by VirtualBox

Postby scottgus1 » 19. Sep 2021, 03:08

First, we'd have to check if it is the guest OS doing this, not Virtualbox. Find the Ubuntu version of Task Manager in the VM OS and have it open in the VM while the host Task Manager is open. When the host disk geyser starts, what is the VM doing?

You might also try Process Explorer on the host instead of Task Manager to see if the disk usage is reads or writes (if Task Manager can't differentiate).
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