Dell Dimension 4600 - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

Dell Dimension 4600

Disk Drives

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

Dell Dimension 4600

  • I reformated my Dell Dimension 4600 and reinstalled windows xp pro. Every since I have done that it seems that my hard drive light now not stop blinking. Before I reinstalled windows, after it started up it would blink then stop unless I loaded something. But now it just keeps blinking. It will turn on then turn off for about a second then back. It doesn't blink fast. It doesn't really impede perforamce, but I am just curious of what the problem is. If anyone knows what the problem is, please let me know.

    email address is
  • First run the Dell diagnostics on the drive (boot the CD) to rule out a hardware problem.


    Are you up to date on Windows critical updates, with current, realtime antivirus and firewall software? Have you scanned for spyware?
  • jbish,

    I've encountered a similar problem.  Out of the blue, my hard drive light would just keep on blinking when idle and as soon as I moved the mouse, it would stop.  It appeard as if the computer was loading or running something on its own when left alone.  After some research, I found out that somehow, the "indexing services" on the hard drives were activated.  Indexing supposedly generates a list a computer compiles for faster file access.  However, it really didn't make a difference to me and the continously blinking hard drive light was unnerving.  So I basically turned off the indexing service and that did it.  Hard drive is again silent when idle.

    Here is how to check/deactivate indexing:

    1) Double click my computer, right click on C:, click properties, click the tab "general", uncheck the box for "allow indexing service to index this disk for fast file searching", click apply/OK.

    2) Right click my computer, click on manage, click on "services and applications", double click services, right click on "indexing service", click on properties, make sure that the service is "stopped".

    Thats pretty much it. XP pro probably activates indexing on default so you're getting all this hard drive activity.  I hope this solves your problem.  Let me know how this turns out...


  • Yes I have ran the diagnotics. Everything is ok. I have also kept up on all of my critical updates.
    I check for spyware and there is none, also I am update on my virus scanner. Now I do remember that the hard drive light would stop blinking afte I installed windows and before I installed any of the drivers from the dell cd. Then it seem that after I installed the modem driver it would do it. So I decided not to install and see if would fix the problem, but as soon as I installed another driver it would start again.
  • At first I thought that it was the indexing service. But I disable that and it still did it. Now I am going to try that again, because I don't think that I stop the service. I think that I just disabled it on the hard drive.
  • I disabled the index service on the hard drive and made sure that the service has stopped. It is still blinking. blink-----blink-----blink-----blink so one.
    not a fast blink. Any other ideas?
  • Gday,

    I have the same problem. I have gone though the extensive posts here and I finally found the cause but their is no solution from DELL because they refuse to see it as a problem. Typical of DELL as it reflects their standards or lack thereof.


    Blinking hard disk light


    No matter what DELL tell you, this is not normal behaviour for modern computers. Computer hard drive lights should NOT flash when their is no disk activity. This must be a design fault of the DELL motherboard. 


    Windows-XP polls the DVD-RW or CD-RW drive on a regular basis checking the media type loaded. It appears the DELL motherboard hard disk drive light shows ANY activity on the IDE controller and not just hard disk activity unlike every other computer in the world.

    Systems Affected:

    Many DELL systems with a DVD-RW or CD-RW drive installed.


    Hard Disk Drive light flashes every second when their is no other disk/process activity.


    • All indexing services are disabled. (Windows, Google Desktop, Microsoft Office)
    • CD-RW or DVD-RW drive is installed.

    Diagnosis (instructions for Windows-XP):

    1. Left click the Start button, right click on My Computers then left click Properties.
    2. Left click the hardware tab then left click the device manager.
    3. Left click the plus sign next to DVD/CD-ROM drives to display installed drives.
    4. Locate the drive in this list that is rewritable. -/+RW should appear in the name.
    5. Right click on the drive and left click on disable. 
    6. The blinking should now stop.
    7. Right click on the drive and left click on enable.
    8. The blinking will start again.


    Kevin Davies (...building computer's for 15 years...)

    Message Edited by Kevin Davies on 04-07-2005 04:19 AM

  • Man, For atleast 8 months I have been checking and researching, I couldn't find an striaght answer. Everyone thought that it was the indexing services. But I ruled that out.

    So you found the problem. Do you know how to stop it. Because I do know when I got the computer from dell it did not blink all the time. So maybe They have a specific driver that keeps it from happen.

  • Never mind I figured it out with your help about what was causing. I figured out that it was the firmware that needed updated. So I went to dell downloaded the new firmware and installed it and now when the computer is idle, the light does not blink. So again thanks for the help.