Constant Hard Drive Activity

September 2, 2010 at 20:48:22
Specs: Windows XP
The hard drive indicator is constantly showing activity. Not a steady run, but flashing constantly. Ohhh maybe a second or less apart. No pattern to the flashes. sort of a .... flash....flash.....flash flash....flash, Nothing showing on the Task Manager. No noise from HD. just the constant flashing of the HD indicator.


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September 3, 2010 at 09:05:12
Is it interfering with performance?

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September 3, 2010 at 10:37:00
When you pop up Task Manager and look at the Processes list, double click on CPU to dynamically show what is using the CPU time. The Task Manager display of that is updated about twice a second.
Ignore the one for System Idle Process - that's the available CPU time.

What's using the CPU time ?

The HD activity led will blink even when something is using the CPU time minimally. That's usually not a problem unless the total CPU use is not excessive, and if you can do things in Windows fairly normally when the led is blinking when you do do something.

Exceptions - things that interfere more with Windows than the amount of CPU time they're using would seem to imply.


Anything you have running that can access your whole C partition, or all your hard drive partitions if you have more than one -

- anti-malware programs are often set (scheduled) to do a full scan of your computer in the background once a day at a certain time when they have been installed, unless you chose a custom installation and disable that, or unless you disabled that after it was installed. If the computer was not running when the time came up, the full scan is done in the background the next time the computer is started up.

- if you're using the Telus Security Suite, it has a process that runs every time you start the computer, that slows down everything in Windows for about 5 minutes after the desktop screen first loads, even if you have disabled everything in the suite from loading in it's configuration, despite the fact it doesn't use much cpu time.

- if you have installed the Windows Search (Windows Desktop Search) add-on in XP , it is supposed to make indexes of the files on your computer in the background when it detects you aren't actively doing anything, but the problem with that is once it starts doing that, it DOES NOT stop doing that after you have resumed doing something active, for the entire time the Windows session is running.
I recommend stopping it from running in your Services list, or un-install it in Add/Remove Programs.

Buggy Programs.

See the Windows Search info above.

Windows Media Player 10 and 11 have a feature where you can enable "Share my media" or similar. There's something wrong with it. It interferes with everything in Windows such that the cursor is an hourglass much of the time, despite the fact it doesn't use much cpu time.
Disable that if it's enabled.

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