HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY: HDD Light Blinking Every Second....

By denkile ·
HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY: HDD Light Blinking Every Second....updated 2007-01-03-2:22 pm

What causes the busy-work hard drive activity;
with nothing open the HDD light blinks every second.

How do I find what causes the incessent blinking HDD light ?
It masks HDD activity which should be monitored when installing software, etc.

It seems to be a software problem:
_does not occur in clean install of XP SP1.
_started with install of something after SP2.
('Will watch for it next "clean install")

Doubt that it is a memory or pagefile issue:
_1 GB RAM/memory, 50% free.
_Pagefile set at 4 GB (4096 MB), max and min
(same as virtual memory)

'Tried turning off everything in the
Startup Menue without success.
(Used Advanced Systen Optimizer utility)

Have checked but cannot find in:
_taskmgr.exe > Processes

"Have seen this issue on other home systems.

Windows XP-home, SP2, IE7.

HD internal, SATA, 50 GB NTFS partition
33 % free.

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All Answers

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Fire up task manager and see what's running in the background

by ManiacMan In reply to HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY: HDD ...

You can press CTRL-ALT-DEL and click on the processes tab to see what background processes are consuming the most CPU cycles. Also, if your system has little RAM, your paging file usage will be excessive and will cause the hard drive to thrash as the paging file will be used extensively to for virtual RAM. This can also bee seen from Task Manager when you click on the performance tab and look at the PF Usage stats. If the bars are in the red zoneand the Page File Usage History line is towards the top, then you need to add more RAM. How much RAM does your system have?

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by denkile In reply to Fire up task manager and ...

Thanks for your reply.
'Had pondered and watched taskmgr.exe
but cannot find it there.
See updated question on memory and PageFile.
This does not seem to cause the clockwork
HDD activity when it should be idle.

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you can always unplug the HDD connector


that way the annoying light goes away.

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HDD ACTIVITY: Thanks. Have you tried this ?

by denkile In reply to you can always unplug the ...

Actually, I had experienced this by chance
and learned:
_better to use SATA cables with latches
(bought a half dozen at
_could hotswap my C:drive like a flash drive

Have you tried this ?
Pls share your results...what did the
BIOS say ?

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I think that post was just messin' with you

by seanferd In reply to HDD ACTIVITY: Thanks. Hav ...

Try turning off the Indexing feature in Control Panel, or set it to index when you want it to, if you need that feature. There could be other services or processes/threads running in the background that you cannot detect in taskmanager. WGA is a possibility, especially if you don't have all the updates yet. Look here: <br>
Windows Sysinternals Documentation, downloads and additional resources <br>
for some utilities that can show you what is going on inside your system. You can also try a task manager like ATM (very nice, you can find it on or one of many others. Some of these utils (usually quite small, many are free) will show you what Windows will not. You can find out what is running, and check on the programs' settings to see if it is running in the background all the time. Decide if you need the feature, and how much of it you need. A lot of things you can just turn off.
Anti-virus/ anti-malware / security programs, depending on their settings, may cause quite a lot of disk activity, even when the system is otherwise idle.
Have fun exploring Windows.
P.S.: I really think that the post you were responding to was meant as a joke, just pulling your leg. My interpretation was literal: Just unplug it. That's all. No connection=no running drive=no blinkenlights. I thought it was pretty funny, but, yeah, some other issues with drives can be resolved by resetting the BIOS. Disconnect drive, boot, shutdown, reconnect drive, boot. Sometimes this is a fix for an apparently dead drive, etc. I have very little experience with SATA, so I don't know. Maybe confused device drivers cause a lot of HDD activity, and the above procedure might possibly help. If that is the case, uninstalling the drive from the hardware tree would be your first move, as Windows would then re-detect it on boot.

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Other things that cause activity

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to I think that post was jus ...

... especially activity that seems to be timed (ie, HD blinks ever second), are various programs set to monitor devices, such as printer monitors. They "poll" on a regular basis, like every second or so, to check the status of the device and MAY be creating log entries as they work.

File indexing can cause what appears to be a regular blink of the hard drive.

Quite simply put, there are a TON of things that can be going on in the background which create the "regularly blinking hard drive activity light". So, without actually SEEING your particular setup, it's tough to put our finger on it for you. You'll have to be our eyes and ears.

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And there you have it

by seanferd In reply to Other things that cause a ...

It could be all sorts of things, and all we can do is give you general ideas of where to look. Heck, if you really have no idea of what you are looking at, you could probably post a HijackThis log. I don't think that it would be an issue, but Beth Blakely is free to smack me upside my head if I am wrong here.

One other minor suggestion: To make sure it is not network activity related, disable/disconnect from the network and see if the HDD activity is the same.

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HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY: Thanks for Your Replies

by denkile In reply to HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY: HDD ...

HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY: still working on it

'Have not found it. It is not:
_network activity
A possible suspect is the chipset hotswap
(VIA P4M800, VIA VT8237R).

'Had hoped that someone had solved this
issue like the ME indexing thing.

I plan to do a "clean install" next weekend
and to catch what causes the blinks.
I will post my results in a week or so.

(Working on a backup problem:
my Nero 6 DVD+RWs will not open
in XP Explorer)

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re: Nera 6 DVD+RW will not open in XP Explorer

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY: Than ...

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you have to finalize the RW disk (close it) before XP Explorer can read it. While it's still set to add more files, NERO is the only thing that will open it again. Roxio's DirectCD works in much the same way.

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Just for kicks

by seanferd In reply to HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY: HDD ...

Try disabling auto-insert notification for the CD drive. Older versions of Windows used to cause blinking due to drive polling.

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