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Hard drive light on even when hard drives unplugged

Posted on 2004-04-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I noticed today my hard drive access light is on steady red, no blinking no blips.  I shut off the machine, checked all the connections, even mouse and keyboard, restarted and got the same thing.  I unplugged each hard drive including floppy and LS-120 one at a time and restarted after each one.  The light stays on all the time even when all hard disks are disconnected.  I checked the MB connectors for HDD LED and it was a solid connection.  I am at a loss.  I assume that the hard drive is not spinning forever being accessed as the light would not be on when there are no hard drives if that were the case.  But i am annoyed.

By the way if someone knows a quick link for directions to change the boot drive (Win 98) in a multiboot system with Win XP on the D: I would appreciate it.  I know there is a way to do it without using a cloning program because I just did it last November but lost the directions.
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Question by:racy1
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6 Comments
 
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Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 10829654
The hard drive LED is on whenever anything on the IDE chain is running, including cdroms.  If you only had hard disks in the system, or the other IDE devices weren't doing anything, I would think the LED connector is connected to the wrong pins.
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by:racy1
ID: 10832976
I built this computer several years ago.  The light has blinked when the drive was being read or written to and is dark the rest of the time until now.  Most computers I have seen are the same way.  This is an access light, not a light to tell you there is a hard drive.  The system has 5 HDD's and two CD drives.  This light only applies to C: and D: which are connected to the Primary and Secondary IDE connectors.  CD's have their own lights, one of the other hard disk drives has its own light and the HDD's connected to the raid ide channels do not show a light outside on the case at all.  There is a green light to indicate power is on.  That's on when the computer is powered and blinks when it is off.  The red light next to it only blinks when the HDD on the main IDE channels is active.  Until now that is.  It annoys me that it is always on.  Usually that means the drive hangs on bootup or there is a bad drive jumper setting.  Neither of those is the case right now.  But thanks for the response.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10833632
Sounds like the motherboard circuit that controls it is faulty, then.
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by:racy1
ID: 10861714
Pulled whole system apart and discovered that somehow HDD LED connector was on backwards.  God knows how that happened as the computer is in my office.  I maybe was doing something inside and disconnected the wire by accident and absentmindedly reattached it the wrong way.  I don't even remember the last time i had the case open before now, but I would have sworn the problem was lot more recent than the last time i opened the case for any reason.  In the meantime i replaced the power supply again (It was too noisy anyway; it needed it.) pulled all the Y connectors out and put in new ones (one of those had a bad connection on the CDRW drive but did not affect this problem, just made the drive disappear on POST even though it was available in windows anyway?).  If I did not know better i would say someone changed that connector just to aggravate me, but no one has been in my office alone for months.  Oh well, one of life's little mysteries.  

Now on to the major problem to be posted later.  I changed my C: Drive with Win98 on it to a larger drive and now the Win XP in a multiboot (on the D:) refuses to recognize the drive 0 as a c: drive but insists it is now E: which it had reserved for temp files.  Most annoying as the C: and E: are now reversed for no good reason and I can't get them to change back.  I am afraid i will need to boot into 98 and run XP setup to get the drives back the way they belong.  Oddly enough win98 is happy to stay as the c: drive when it boots and all the other drives are named as always.  I would run the Recovery Console except it hangs on Please Wait even though i have reinstalled it and copied its files to all three drives 0, 1 and 2.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10861928
Unfortunately, the drive WinXP gets when it is installed is the letter it uses from that point on.  All the system references will be to E, so there is no easy way to fix this, short of reinstalling.  It would be easier to change the Win98 reference to E.
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by:racy1
ID: 10862943
Win XP is drive D: which it has always had, being installed to that drive from C: (as a Win98-run setup originally).  Win98 is on the C: drive and sees that itself.  Only XP calls that drive E: which is new as of a few days ago.  It always saw win98 on the C: drive before.
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