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Hard drive runs continuously

by boyscout357 / November 19, 2007 1:11 AM PST

I have a problem that has haunted my computer for a couple of years now. If/when I suffer a power loss at home and my computer goes down unexpectedly, this problem is most likely to occur. When I power the thing back up, it seems to be fine but if I let it sit idle for an hour or so, the hard drive starts running full blast and it won't stop. It brings everything to a halt and even if I try to open a program or a webpage, it takes several minutes. I have had task manager open when this lockup occurs and the CPU shows to be doing little or nothing. The hard drive light doesn't flicker like during startup, it's on solid. The only thing I can do to stop it is a hard reboot. This problem eventually works itself out after a few days or a couple of weeks...until the power goes out again. I have ran two different anti-virus', spyware, and come up with nothing. None of the processes in the task manager seem to be out of the ordinary. I have tried to defrag but Windows says it is not needed at this time. If I try to defrag anyway, it locks up after a while, hard drive spinning way. I'm not too techie so the fix needs to be simple, or give me a way to stop the HD without rebooting.

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Note: If you're asking for technical help
by caktus / November 19, 2007 8:36 AM PST

As mentioned in red just above the Subject title line where you typed your post. Providing this info is very halpful.

Note: If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

Charlie

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Haunting for a couple years is a good long time
by Steven Haninger / November 19, 2007 9:05 AM PST

Is this a desktop type PC or laptop? If a desktop, do you have the HD set to turn off if idle for a certain period of time? If so, change the setting to "never". These are found in the screen saver tab of display properties and under the power settings. As well, make sure the system standby setting is also set to "never". Make sure the power connection to the HD is solid. It might also be useful to run the HD manufacturer's non-destructive disk diagnostics routine. Also download MemTest and check your RAM. If it has bad memory locations, your system may lock up or give errors.

BTW, your HD should run continuously and should not stop unless set to do so when idle. I prefer to not set it to spin down. It should run at a constant speed. The LED is an activity indicator and not an one that tells whether the drive is spinning or not. It signals when the disk platters are being accessed by the heads for read/write purposes. Hope this helps.

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Re: More of a performance problem
by AM-ITgeek / November 20, 2007 12:42 PM PST

Well I suspect, that The problem is more of a performance problem, that the hard drive problem, although do try to run the disk diagonistics of your HDD manufacturer.

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Get a cheap Uninterruptable Power Supply.
by Me, Myself and You / November 20, 2007 3:04 PM PST

This will or should stop fluctuations in the electricity from damaging your PC. Also run some tests on that HD as others suggested.

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Don't make it so hard...
by ConnerVT / November 22, 2007 8:15 PM PST

The answers so far have been overthinking the issue.

My system does the same exact thing as the OP wrote. On bootup (especially if it wasn't shutdown properly -- power fail, lock up, etc) the HD runs (as in being read, of course it is spinning - doh!) for about 2+ minutes. One can not do much of anything at this time but wait for it to complete.

Like the OP, I have noticed in the Window task Manager that very little processor time and no large usage by any one process.

System here is fully updated WinXP Pro (SP2 and all updates), Shuttle XPC system with Athlon64.

So don't make it so hard, and suggest things that may be scanning or indexing the HD for so long...

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For whom is your reply meant?
by Steven Haninger / November 22, 2007 9:32 PM PST

This line

"The answers so far have been overthinking the issue."

seems to be for the original poster and this one

"So don't make it so hard, and suggest things that may be scanning or indexing the HD for so long..."

for the respondents.


Are you trying to offer anything in the way of help or just being critical of those who have tried to so far? Unless an expert can sit down in front of someone's PC, have direct dialog with the user, duplicate the issue, and have access to the necessary diagnostic tools, a quick and easy fix is unlikely. What's offered here is a range of experiences that can assist a person to find and fix their own problems. Real learning depends more on discovering solutions rather than having them handed to you. Even suggestions that seem to be "off the mark" for this issue could be helpful at a later time.

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For all of the above.
by ConnerVT / November 23, 2007 12:36 AM PST

The suggestions so far:

<b>do you have the HD set to turn off if idle for a certain period of time? If so, change the setting to "never". These are found in the screen saver tab of display properties and under the power settings. As well, make sure the system standby setting is also set to "never". Make sure the power connection to the HD is solid. It might also be useful to run the HD manufacturer's non-destructive disk diagnostics routine. Also download MemTest and check your RAM. If it has bad memory locations, your system may lock up or give errors. </b>

It's not a power saving issue. It happens at startup. Why would WinXP be going to a power saving mode and spinning down the HD at startup. Besides, the OP stated that the drive was accessing.

<b>Well I suspect, that The problem is more of a performance problem, that the hard drive problem, although do try to run the disk diagnostics of your HDD manufacturer</b>

probably closer to the truth. Older systems, loaded with a lot of startup items take longer to boot, but several minutes? Disk diags won't solve this, now will it?

<b>This will or should stop fluctuations in the electricity from damaging your PC. Also run some tests on that HD as others suggested.</b>

Power fluctuations? Now where did that come from?

So what do we have? Likely a system underpowered (CPU, not electrically) and with too many startup processes. I would look into things that do an index of the drive: Acronis DiskImage, the new NERO suite, MS Office, and some AV/Anti-trojan stuff (BOClean, Windows defender, etc). that may do indexing of the HD after a non-standard shutdown.

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Well then, you've confirmed my thinking
by Steven Haninger / November 23, 2007 1:21 AM PST
In reply to: For all of the above.

Perhaps you might consider just giving helpful advice to the one asking for it rather than spend your time looking for faults in other's suggestions. This isn't a contest to see who's the smartest and can provide the best answers. It's an opportunity to share knowledge and grow in it as well. My response is off topic because I notice your name is new here and want to be helpful....honestly.

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And I've been the only one to give a reasonable cause...
by ConnerVT / November 23, 2007 5:22 AM PST

No, I found the thread because my system behaves very similar at startup. Fortunately, I have some skills as to resolving my problem. The advice that was offered the OP would just take him further from where he should go to resolve his issue.

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Sony Laptop Hard drive Runs Continuously
by sapacif / November 24, 2007 7:08 AM PST

I believe I have a similar problem. I have a Sony PCG-K15, Win XP, SP2, 80 gig HD, Pentium 4 processor and 670 RAM. I use AVG Free and Zone Alarm.

This problem began when my keyboard froze because of a soft drink spill 3 years ago. (I acquired this laptop 4-5 months ago and I am trying to rehabilitate it.) I cleaned the original keyboard and installed it with no success; some of the keys would still not work. The continuous running began at the time I reinstalled the old, cleaned keyboard.

I have just replaced the old keyboard with a new one and the continuous running is occurring again although the keyboard seems to work now.

When I originally booted I was able to enter setup and make changes, but I only set the clock. The computer is up with all my old settings now, but the CPU/HD light is on continuously and apparently trying to process something.

My wireless internet connection works with no problem.

I did get an error message with a wallpaper that runs and displays pictures. Perhaps delete that wallpaper program? I am presently changing power options to "never." That may take some time to accomplish.

Thanks for your help.

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HD No Longer Runs Continuously
by sapacif / November 25, 2007 6:48 AM PST

After about 12 hours of running continuously, the HD now runs normally. It is as if there was a cycle to complete or some of the RAM was not functioning. I don't know the reason; I was astonished. I thought my laptop was a goner. But after this continuous start cycle was completed, the laptop operated normally, updated the programs through the internet, and now functions as it should. I would certainly like to understand what happened. As it stands now, it is a mystery to me.

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