Re: Hard drive light almost constantly on even when sitting idle


T

Twayne

In
Jim said:
I noticed my hard drive light is now almost constantly on,
no matter if nothing is running, with just the desktop
showing.

Doing CTL ALT DELETE I see all kinds of processes running,
and tried to look them up doing google search, but can't
find anything that
I can recognize that might cause this. My laptop running
the same XP Professional doesn't do that, when you stop
running programs the hard drive activity light stops.
Have you compared the processes list between your laptop and desktop? What
are the differences?
If, say, you're not running background AV searches on the laptop but are
on the desktop, then that explains it all. But be careful; a laptop and
desktop require entirely different sets of system files to be run so you're
looking for programs not of the operatng system.
How can I find out what is causing this and remove it from
my system? I tried stopping various processes but am
afraid to terminate too many for fear of what might happen.
Download, update and run the following programs (use Google to find them):
Malware Bytes,
MSE from Microsoft, and
Spybot Search and Destroy, and
Adaware.
Start the machine from a cold boot and run each of those one at a time,
keeping track of what they remove. Always allow the programs to save them to
quarantine so you can undo the changes if you need to for troubleshooting
purposes or the addidental removal of something you wanted to keep.
All those programs are free and easy to understand. If you have any
questions about what they find, feel free to ask here before you delete
them.
Would a list of the processes running in the Task Manager
help
in diagnosing this problem?
Maybe; it's hard to say. Autoruns and other such programs might tell a lot
more about what you have there in a more understandable way.

I'd hate to have to do a
complete re-install again, it takes days.
Again, why would you consider a full re-install?

Include more information on your system in your response, including RAM
amount, free drive space and drive sizes, anything you think might be
relevant to your situation. And be certain to answer/respond to each point
asked/raised here. It will help others to help you.

HTH,

Twayne`


Thanks.

Jim
It sounds like you have no other problems happening except you noticed the
drive light running a lot more than you expect.
First, this could be normal process such as background AV checks and/or
file indexing in process, especially if you only recently turned it on, or
made a lot of file deletions and/or additions to your system.
There are several other programs that could be running in the background,
thus keeping the drive busy. I have never seen a drive light be on when the
disk was not doing anything; it makes no sense.
These kinds of background tasks automatically stop if you want to use the
computer, allowing you full access to the cpu. It's all quite legitimate in
this case.

Yes, a list of the processes might be useful; it's hard to say and depends
on what they turn out to be.
An easier way to do that sort of thing would be to get Autoruns from
http://autoruns.en.softonic.com/ and install it. It'll give you a lot more
information and makes it easier to test things. Every process windows loaded
at boot is listed, along with information about it.

WHY would you consider a reinstall if there are no other problems? You never
mentioned anything else wrong with your system, so I'm betting on the above
being so in this case.
You could, of course, minimize the number of background tasks running but
you'll have to figure out what a few of them are and not just kill tasks
willy nilly. 50 Tasks isn't an unusual number of tasks to have running in
windows XP.

Another possibility is malware.
Did you update and run your AV program?
Which one do you use?
 
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T

Twayne

In
Jim said:
The laptop has at least 3 times as many processes running
as the rack mount, because the XP PRO on the rack mount is
almost a brand new install of WIndows. I use it just for
video work, and it has a minimal number of programs
installed.

Jim
Ah, that means it could be indexing or backgroun d AV working. You should be
able to find your settings for those and tell whether those or other
programs are workiing in the background. Both are easy to check & turn off,
just to check. If you turn off AV, disconnect from the 'net first.
Since you mentioned video work: those are very disk intensive, especially
when you do renderings. Have you kept that disk defragmented? In my case I
had to defrag after every full session; the fragmentation would be anywhere
from 80% to 100% on the dedicated drive I used for video work. I'm not sure
exactly how those relate, but they did in my case.
I started out letting it run in the background but listening to all the
disk accesses all the time bugged me so I switched off the background work
and did it manually. Done after every session it's not that time intensive.
Also, with video work and the gazillions of temporary files it creates,
you may also be indexing those. Turn off the indexing on that drive & see if
that helps.

Sounds like you just have to figure out which program is running in the
background and take care of it. Autoruns is still a good tool for figuring
that out.

HTH,

Twayne`
 

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