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Hard Drive Light is Pinned for 10 Minutes Behind Logon Screen

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#1 eewiz


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Posted 02 July 2018 - 09:19 PM

Rebooting for the first time after running for a week or two always produces the same result.

On boot, I get the flying windows logo complete and steady after about 4 seconds (Good).

The logon screen then appears after about 10 to 20 seconds more (Good).

The hard drive stops the moment the logon screen appears (Normal).

The hard drive light then flickers a few times over the next few seconds (Normal).

Then the HD light comes on and is PINNED SOLID ON for anywhere from 7 to 14 minutes while the logon screen is displayed (Bad).

After waiting like 10 minutes for the HD light to go out, I log in.

The desktop appears in about 20 seconds and within a minute all of the startup items are done and the HD light goes to an occasional Flicker (Good).

Then the HD light comes on again and is PINNED SOLID ON for anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes while the idle desktop is displayed.


That described the first reboot after being up for a week or two.

After the desktop has completely idled down, reboot for the second time.

It repeats the same 4 to logo - 10 to 20 to logon.

Now the HD light comes on and is PINNED SOLID ON for anywhere from 2 to 6 minutes while the logon screen is displayed (Bad).

Again desktop in 20, done loading within the minute.

Now the HD light comes on again and is PINNED SOLID ON for anywhere from just seconds to a minute or so while the idle desktop is displayed.


Again after the desktop has completely idled down, reboot for the third time.

The third reboot there no pinning of the HD light at all.

I'm able to log in immediately and hit the desktop running in short order.


I have 5 win 7 boxes and they all respond as described.

Also, if you don't wait the 7 to 14 minutes at the logon screen for the HD light to stop and log in as soon as the screen appears after a first reboot.

It will take many minutes to get to an idle desktop.

Whatever is consuming 100% of the hard drive makes win7 take forever to complete a boot.

So, it's either wait forever at the logon screen or wait forever to get a desktop on first reboot after being up for a week or two.


I have used win 7 on a dozen machines for a decade now and this behavior is not new.
I do not know of a win 7 machine that does not respond this way.
I hope someone knows what windows is doing behind the logon screen and if it can be stopped.
Please help if you can.

Edited by hamluis, 03 July 2018 - 03:39 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.

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#2 ranchhand_


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Posted 03 July 2018 - 07:56 AM

Just a couple of general suggestions; through the years I have found that in circumstances like this I have finally discovered something that is loading and causing this type of action. I would think it is not a mechanical problem since the same thing is happening on several machines.

Example: just yesterday, suddenly Windows 7 was taking an unusually  l o n g  time to shut down, approximately 90 seconds. I started Task Manager and discovered a process that I had not seen before:  NVDisplay.Container.exe

On doing an online search, I learned that it is an update file for my Nvidia card and was not critical, so I disabled it in Services and my computer instantly went back to normal.


You can try running a FRST scan on your computer, and look for anything that seems to be loading that is common to all your machines. I would think that Microsoft Windows system files would not be suspect, but some program that you have running on all your units. Then go from there.

Other utilities that you can check are Hijack This and Autoruns. Just be super careful before disabling anything, do a web search for that item to learn about it before disabling.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.

#3 eewiz

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 06:12 AM



Thank you for the Autoruns suggestion.

This led me to Process Monitor.
Using process monitor I could clearly see the boot up load hog.
Attached is screen shot of a boot up trace after 5 days of up-time. (Up_5_Days.jpg)
Please note that Avast antivirus tops the list.
Also note at the bottom of this screen shot that almost 10 million events were taken to get booted up.
I took the next screen shot (Up_5_Days_1st_Boot.jpg) after I removed Avast, and WOW, what a difference.
After removing Avast, a first boot up after 5 days of up-time, took only 1.5 million events to get booted up. Quite an improvement over the previous 10 million.
Now, all the right-click jerks, pauses and hangs are gone.
All the double left-click..., I think I double-clicked that thing, I'm sure I double-clicked that thing..., Oh, there it is, I really did double-click that thing, stuff is gone.
Now, all that right-click and left-click stuff is blazing fast.
It's like I installed a fresh copy of windows just days ago.
I've been running without an antivirus ever since and I love it.
Windows boots acceptably fast and snaps when it is running.
Removing the antivirus, with all its improvements, still has not changed the 3-boot issue originally posted.
I have more on the 3-boot issue but will save that for another post.
Thank You

Attached Files

#4 mjd420nova


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Posted 26 September 2018 - 09:38 AM

I like to start the task maager right after booting, so I can see the activity that may be causing a delayed start of hang.  Most often I've found it to be an update of some program or anti-virus doing a check.

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