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Hard Drive Constantly Reading/Writing


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#1 retnavydoc

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:50 PM

Probably a really simple question with a really simple answer, but ???? I can usually sort out the problems on my own, but I am not sure about this one.

I have a Compaq Presario with a 2.93 gHz Celeron processor, 1 GB RAM, running Windows XP Home Service Pack 3. I have an Intel Ultra ATA controller and Intel Bus adapters. I use AVG Free Anti virus, Spybot S&D, and Comodo Firewall. I use Firefox and Chrome browsers. I have used Start up Inspector for Windows and the only programs that auto load on start up (other than Windows files) are my firewall, anti-spyware and 1 anti-malware (Spybot S&D), Java Updater, Google Updater, hpsysdrv, Site Advisor, ctfmon.exe and NvCplDaemon.

The front light that indicates that the HD is reading/writing is constantly flickering, which has only been occuring that week or two. During that this time the system also seems to be performing slower than previously. When the performance has gotten really bad I have opened Windows Task Manager (which takes longer than normal) and it shows only the program I am running, but also shows 90-100% processor usage. This usually occurs when online, but even after a page a page has fully loaded processor usage stays at 90-100%

I run a anti-virus scan daily, have also manually ran one in safe mode. I have ran scans with Spybot S&D, Malwarebites and Superantispyware in both regular and safe modes with nothing out of the ordinary. I also ran a test with KL detector with no abnormal results. While checking System Properties in control panel, I noted under Device Manager - Hardware showed a new entry. The last entry (the new one) in the list is titled "Unknown" and lists Intel 82801DB Ultra ATA Storage Controller, Primary IDE Channel and Secondary IDE Channel. Under the "Storage Devices" section it lists four Generic Volumes.

Could these problems be caused by a corrupted Intel controller file? If so, to repair this, will I have to totally reinstall Windows XP or is there a less time consuming (but just as effective) fix? If not a corrupted file, any ideas what could be the problem.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:06 PM

What is the exact model number of your Compaq Presario?
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#3 retnavydoc

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:36 PM

Model is Compaq Presario SR1420NX

#4 retnavydoc

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:38 PM

Don't know if it matters but I have installed a second hard drive, but it has been in since I purchased this computer (new) - I am guessing about 5 years ago. Also, I have added an additional 512MB of RAM (it only had 512 MB upon purchase) this was also added when I first bought it.

#5 bruhowes

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 06:27 PM

I deleted my idea, you already answered my suggestion.

Edited by bruhowes, 10 April 2010 - 06:28 PM.


#6 computerxpds

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 06:51 PM

check to make sure all your drivers are up to date and go into task manager and go to the process's tab and see which process is using all of the processor.
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#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:11 PM

Well, I was going to recommend that you update your drivers, primarily your ATA controller. But Compaq's website has very few drivers for your model, unfortunately. So were out of luck there.

Not really sure what else to try...

I'm sure somebody will come along with some relevant advice, but I got nothing for now.
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#8 retnavydoc

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:38 PM

Thank You all for your help. I appreciate it. I assumed it was a driver problem, but was trying to make sure. May have to reformat and start from scratch. Thank You again for your time.

#9 keyboardNinja

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 02:00 PM

Well, the only problem with reformatting is that you lose the drivers you have installed now, and you can't get them from Compaq's website (as mentioned earlier). Windows is smart enough to gather the generic drivers needed for basic functionality, but normally you should get the proper ones from your manufacturer's website. Unfortunately, that is not an option in your case. So hold off on the clean install for now.

To be honest, just because the hard drive light flickers all the time does not mean something is wrong/broken/missing.

But the "Unknown" in Device Manager throws up a red flag. I'm assuming you can use that second hard drive?

The poor performance and hard drive light flickering could be directly caused by running more than one active protection AV/AS (AVG and SpyBot). Try disabling them and see if you get the same results or not.
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#10 cryptodan

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 02:27 PM

Bring up task manager and tell us how many processes you have running then go to performance tab and tell us how much memory you are using.




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