hard drive spinning fast for no apparent reason

By brian ·
My hard drive has recently begun spinning for apparently no reason. I can reboot and disable extra items in Win XP (via msconfig) and after reboot the system idles fine for awhile. But in less than an hour, it starts working: the hard drive starts spinning very fast and it will keep spinning fast for hours, if I let it.

Virus scans (w/NOD 32) are fine. Spyware scans Adware, Ada-ware, S&amp Spybot, F-Secure BackLight, Registry Mechanic, Win Defender, Malicious Software Removal Tool, all come up negative.

I need to find out how to isolate what's using up my system resources. Googling has not turned up much.

Any help, or referral to websites for help, would be most appreciated.

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All Answers

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Free Space

by Mr.Wiz In reply to hard drive spinning fast ...

How much free space do you have on the HDD? When was the last time you defragged? Sounds like it it thrashing. How much RAM do you have in your system?

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hard drive spinning fast for no apparent reason

by brian In reply to Free Space

What's "thrashing"?

I have about 70GB on C: and another 170GB on ... also have an external hard drive with 100GB approx, but that drive is not racing. Most of my apps are on C: I probably have at least 60% AVAILABLE on C: and much more avail. (about 80%) on the other drives. C is what most my work is done on and my apps are all on C.

RAM is about 256MB.

I defragged a few days ago.


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by Mr.Wiz In reply to hard drive spinning fast ...

Thrashing refers to not enough system RAM and the hard drive is used to swap programs and data in and out of RAM. How many apps due you have running at any one time? If you're running more than a couple, 256MB may not be enough to prevent thrashing.

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running apps

by brian In reply to Thrashing

I made a mistake.... I don't know what I was thinking. I'm looking at the computer properties. I have 1GB of RAM. (The processor is Pentium 4 2.8 GHz). Sorry about that.

This problem occurs when the system is idle and I'm not even using the computer. At startup the computer loads the driver(?) for a USR dialup modem; Sygate firewall; Nod32 antivirus; NVIDIA settings (for dual monitors' properties); Ad-Aware; and 3 apps, which are fairly lightweight: WinKey, EditPad, & AceText... for windows shortcuts, and text editing, clipboard tool.

Everything else is off. Of course there is a lot of system stuff in the Task Mgr processes.

None of this is new or unusual. The computer has always worked well with this setup.

I had purchased a LogiTech webcam. When I use it, the hard drive races. And sometimes it races in a flash-based chatroom. But I uninstalled this app to see if it was the problem. And this speeding hard drive from a system idle state continues, without me using flash, web browser, email or anything else.

I can't leave my computer on, else this will occur.

As it shuts down the racing continues, even after Windows shuts down... it doesn't stop till the actual power to the computer turns off.

Hope that helps.


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spinning hard drive

by mts2010 In reply to running apps

Okay this is me. Just installed a Logitech webcam and off to the races I go. Everything Brian describes is me. Any solution?


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Is the cam constantly recording to the drive?

by seanferd In reply to spinning hard drive

That will do it.

Otherwise, it sounds like a Logitech driver/software issue. Check with Logitech support. Someone must have reported it there by now, I would think.

If you feel like it, find out exactly what is accessing the drive or ordering it to spin up to max rpm.

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