Hard Drive always running

Disk Drives

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Disk Drives (Floppy, USB, HDD, CD/DVD/BD) discussion

Hard Drive always running

  • My problem is that the Hardrive sounds like it is always accessing files. Non-stop. It continues until the power scheme I have set, turns it off.
    The light on the front of the computer never lights up unless I am actually running a program that has the hard drive accessing files.
    I have turned off my virus scanning software (as far as I know).
    The hardrive running doesn't seem to cause my system resources to go down. It just makes that noise all the time.

    Is this a hardware problem or a software thing?

    Thanks for you help.

    Jim
  • Jim,
    I have seen HDs that were going bad do this. Run scandisk and defrag and see if any errors are reported.
    This is just my opinion and possible solution.
    Dave
  • Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your response.
    I have run both Scan Disk and Defrag on my hardrive and it has found no errors.
    Everything seems to work just fine, other than the constant noise a harddrive makes when it is accessing file. Not loud, but noticeable.

    Thanks for you help.

    Jim
  • Jim,
    I wasn't much help and maybe a Dell representative will respond. A HD shouldn't struggle like that and constanly spin. How much memory do you have?
    Good luck,
    Dave
  • Dave,

    I have 256 MB RAM. Usually after startup I have around 94-97% of system resources free.
    It doesn't mess up any of the programs I run, so I am not sure if its really a problem or not. I hope its something simple.
    A person I work with told me that it may be some kind of windows swap file constantly working or something like that. I didn't know what that was or how to mess with it or check it.
    I've done all the scans and defrags with no problem.

    Thanks again.

    Jim
  • Jim,
    what OS are you running? I doubt it has anything to do with the swap file, especially if you are running win95 or 98. What all is running in the systray. (the box with the time in it to the right bottom). Do you have a task scheduler running there? I had a problem that was similar that was being caused by Microsoft find fast. I removed it and it solved my problem. You have plenty of memory, in fact probably over-kill. I don't have any idea if this is true or not, but I heard once that too much ram can actually slow the system down.
    Dave
  • I'm running Windows 98.
    I have tried turning everything off at startup except the required files. I thought it might be my virus software (MacAfee) causing the problem. But it doesn't seem to be so.
    I turned off task scheduler. Where would I find and turnoff find fast?
    I have heard of this before, but have no idea where its at.
    I first noticed the hard drive doing this a month or so ago. It didn't do it before, unless I just wasn;t paying attention, but it got to where it bugged me.
    My system is running good, just that darn noise.

    I plan on adding my virus software back into the startup (using MSCONFIG and then going to the startup tag.)

    Thanks,

    Jim

  • Jim,
    I wish I could be of more help, but it is hard without actually seeing it. The task scheduler if running will show up in the systray. The icon for it appears to be text type box with a blue area at the top. If it isn't in systray it is running. I build and repair systems and just had a guy bring over a system that was doing the exact same thing. His HD was going bad and I didn't know this for sure until I decided to re-format the drive. Do you by any chance leave a cd in the cd-rom drive all the time? There is some reason the hd is struggling. You did say it took a longer than usual amount of time to load any program, correct? Could you pull the cover on the system and have no problem doing this? If so, try pulling the data ribbon cable from the hd and re-seating it. I don't want to suggest anything you don't feel comfortable doing or anything that would void your warranty if you still have one. When you get to the desktop after bootup hit ctrl+alt+del
    You will see the programs running. See if there are any you have not tried shutting down. Maybe someone else will jump in and offer some advice also.
    Dave
  • Jim,
    I told you about task scheduler. You asked about find fast. It would also be in the systray if it is running and all I remember about the icon is it has a lightning bolt through it. Go to start, programs, windows explorer. Select windows, start menu, programs, startup. There you will see what is loading at startup. I always remove anything if I don't use it. If find fast is listed remove it. It will go to the recycle bin and you can restore it if you chose to later.
    Dave
  • Hi,
    Sorry I can't offer any help, just wanted to say that I received my replacement tower (Dimension XPS B733r) yesterday, and I'm having the same problem. Mine sounds like the one I just replaced sounded when it was running the virus scan program. The fan and hard drive went bad on the first one thats why I had them send me a replacement now this one sounds like its about shot right out of the box. Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks, Barbara.
  • Dave,

    Findfast is not running. I have removed everything but the required files. and Rebooted.
    Still I get the noise.

    98% System Resources free after a restart with only the required items needed to run Windows 98.

    I sure hope its not a bad Hard Drive.

    Jim
  • Hi Dave

    Sorry I am taking so much of your time, but I do appreciate your help.

    I have turned off task scheduler. Is that bad?
    I have tried starting my computer with only the things needed to run Windows 98.
    I never leave anything in my CD-rom drive.
    Programs I do run, start up and load normally in fact everything would be just perfect if it wasn't for the constant sound of the hard drive accessing files (even though the light in the front of the computer that indicates HD activity never lights up unless I am actually accessing files or running programs)

    I will try to open up my computer and look around, not sure if I will touch anything inside though.
    Someone else at work mentioned to me that it might be a fan making a similar noise. Is that a possibility?

    Thanks again.

    Jim

  • Jim,
    You are not taking up my time. I just retired and I always enjoyed trying to help out. No, it won't hurt anything removing the task scheduler. I must admit at this point I am confused a bit. Let me see if we are on the same track. The computer will boot normally and it boots at a normal speed. You don't notice it taking longer to boot up, correct? You hear the noise that you think is the hd as soon as the computer is turned on, or after it gets to windows? The compuer takes longer than it use to to load a program? The noise you hear is the same noise even if the hd light isn't blinking? Important:
    If you boot your system to windows and do nothing after it has booted, just let it sit there, do you hear the noise?
    If you hear the noise as soon and you apply power and the noise is consistent and it is there even if you do nothing, it could be the cpu fan or the power supply fan. If you remove the cover and boot the system up, you should be able to track down the noise for sure.
    I mentioned that the hd might be going bad only because I thought you said the hd was loading programs very slowly and seems to always spin. If the light indicator goes off after booting the system and stays off until you start a program and you can hear the noise, it just might be coming from somewhere else.
    Dave
  • Hi Dave,

    Responding to the questions you asked.
    "The computer will boot normally and it boots at a normal speed. You don't notice it taking longer to boot up, correct?" Correct. It boots up normally.

    "You hear the noise that you think is the hd as soon as the computer is turned on, or after it gets to windows?" While its booting up I hear it a little, but mostly the HD is making the usual noises and it seems to replace the slower constant noise. Once in Windows I hear the constant Noise. It seems slower if no programs are running.

    "The compuer takes longer than it use to to load a program?" No, Programs load and run as they have always done, before the noise. The system runs good, just makes this noise.

    "The noise you hear is the same noise even if the hd light isn't blinking?" Its slightly different. When I start up a program the noise sounds faster, but when its just sitting there it makes the same noise, just slower. Does that make sense?

    "If you boot your system to windows and do nothing after it has booted, just let it sit there, do you hear the noise?" Yes

    I took the cover off the computer and looked inside. It was very dusty inside. I took a can of Air and blew all the dust out. I then restarted the Computer and listened for the noise. It was still there and I am pretty sure that it is coming from the Hard Drive area. The HD on my computer sits vertically in the front at the bottom of the tower. I did not unplugged and replugin anything., everything looked like it was hooked up good.

    Please let me know if ou need more information about it. By the way it is a 27 Gig HD. (if that makes a difference)

    Thanks

    Jim

  • Jim,
    It sure sounds like the hd. It doesn't matter on the size of hd but different brands make more noise than others. I have seen some WD drives that drove me nuts, but Maxtors are sometimes real noisy. Hds do spin constantly and if you get a noisy one you will notice it. Normally noisy drives are not heard if you are not working them by accessing programs and then the noise is louder and slightly different. Sounds sometimes like a rod knocking in a car engine. How old is this drive? Where did you buy it? Maxtor drives are warrantied for 3 years and a simple call to them will get it replaced. I believe at this point a replacement would be what I would try to do. But, if the noise isn't too bad maybe you can learn to live with it. By you saying that the system runs great and it is only the noise then maybe the drive won't go out at all. Looks like you just have a noisy drive at this point.
    Dave