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XP SP3 Hard Drive Light indicates almost constant activity


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#1 sailinstuff

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 07:43 PM

Hi folks. My hard drive appears to be working almost constantly. I have cleaned the pc with ccleaner, defragged and Malwarebytes reports no infections. Any help is appreciated!

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#2 Allan

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 08:38 AM

1) Does this happen only shortly after boot or all the while the system is up?
2) What is new or different since the last time everything worked properly (ie, new hw, new sw, virus, error, etc)?
3) Open Task Manager to the Processes Tab and sort on the cpu column with highest usage at the top. Which process is using the cpu cycles?

#3 sailinstuff

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 11:54 PM

1. all the while
2. nr3610 ruggedized computer from ebay with a vendor supplied 100G hd installed with win xp pro. Has always done this since I've had it. Few months. Actually, I thought the light was malfunctioning for a long time and was always on. I only recently realized the hd has been constantly spinning. Other than that the computer works very well.
3. system idle process 99/98

#4 jhayz

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:26 AM

1. all the while

Is the hard drive led lit solid all the time or blinking?

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#5 sailinstuff

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:44 AM

solid almost all the time. goes out intermittently, not enough to call it blinking.

#6 Allan

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 07:59 AM

Please boot to safe mode. Does the same thing happen there?

#7 sailinstuff

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:11 PM

Yes. Light is on indicating constant activity in safe mode.

#8 sailinstuff

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:07 PM

I also ran Malwarebytes again. It continues to find nothing. I ran ckdisk. It finds no problem.

#9 Allan

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 07:34 AM

1) Please run a full scan with your anti virus application. MalwareBytes is not an anti virus app. Constant hd activity is often caused my malware.

2) Please boot to the recovery console and run chkdsk /r

Edited by Allan, 15 November 2011 - 07:48 AM.


#10 sailinstuff

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:18 AM

1. Avira scan reports zero problems. Is there another program?
2. I do not know how to boot to recovery console. OS was installed by vendor. I do not have installation or recovery disc. Is there a stand alone program that can check the disk?

#11 jhayz

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:21 AM

You can compare the Hard drive activity from your task manager CPU usage under performance tab and process tab. But generally, I would not worry of that if CPU usage is running low and your idle is on 90% or above. You could also collapse Task manager on system tray to monitor event for sudden CPU spiking to compare with hard drive light activity.

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#12 sailinstuff

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:52 AM

Thank you, but the issue is that the hard drive light activity is (virtually) constantly on so I see no way to compare that to any cpu usage spike. Pleas explain.

#13 Allan

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:29 PM

Here's the problem: Nothing is using the cpu (system idle process shows how much of the cpu is free) and there doesn't seem to be any malware, yet you say the hd is constantly active. SOMETHING has to be using the hd, but nothing seems to be running and you say there's no malware. To be perfectly candid, I don't know where to go from here. Is Disk Indexing enabled?

Edited by Allan, 15 November 2011 - 03:30 PM.


#14 hamluis

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:35 PM

FWIW: When chkdsk or defrag is running in the background...the light reflecting hard drive activity will appear constant...and there will be spike of any sort apparent in Task Manager. Of these two, chkdsk is the only one that will initiate on its own, if Windows determines there's a problem with the drive/files.

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#15 sailinstuff

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:53 PM

Allan: Just for the record, I do not say there is not malware. I report that after a scan neither MB or avira find and report malware to me. I find it puzzling as well, which is why I opened this discussion.

I will add: Note that I said earlier that from my first use of this computer I thought the light was malfunctioning and was always on. After I ran defrag the light now goes out once in a while. Frankly, it now seems to me like the light indicator is "backward/reversed" and it goes out when the hd is working and is on all the rest of the time.

Yes, Disk Indexing is enabled.

I love candid! If you can offer no solution... shrug... you can offer no solution. Either way, I do appreciate your help. :)

Louis: I do not find either chkdisk or defrag running in program manager. I ran them a couple days ago or so but they are not on now to my knowledge.




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