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Constant Hard Drive Activity

Posted on 2007-12-04
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Alright, I'm not sure how long this has been going on, but recently, I began to notice a constant blinking of my hard drive activity light and my mouse cursor switching between the normal and "loading" cursor at the same rate, which is about twice a second. I've tried out a few things to find out what it could be, but no luck.

Running:
Dell XPS M1710
2.0GHz Centrino Duo dual-core processor
4GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900GTX
100GB Hitachi HTS721010G9SA00 ATA drive
Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit

The LED/cursor flicker doesn't happen in Safe Mode, but it does occur in a regular boot with all startups and non-Microsoft services turned off. I went through the Process Monitor and didn't find anything malicious running either.

As for any ideas of what may have happened: I didn't notice it until after I had a Dell technician come out and replace my video card (my old one was failing), which may or may not indicate that's when it began happening, but I have no idea.
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Question by:dionecasper
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 20407802
Procmon should be the way to go. Did you count occurances? ->Menu tools The "loading cursor" is indeed weird.
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Expert Comment

by:jax79sg
ID: 20407820
Check your current RAM usage and the amount of RAM left in memory.
In cases where the amount of installed RAM is too low, windows resort to virtual memory paging. This means it will use a portion of your hard disk as working memory. This causes frequent activity on your hard disk, and most times degrade your performance.
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Author Comment

by:dionecasper
ID: 20407958
To jax79sq: I highly doubt it's a RAM issue. My RAM usage averages at about 30%, and with 4GB in a 32-bit OS, I'm maxed out on usable RAM for this system.

To McKnife: I've been having an inkling it's Vista's Tablet PC stuff (TabTip.exe pops up as the #1 count, followed by svchost and TeaTimer (Which is Spybot S&D reg watcher if you didnt know)), but I need to find a way to disable it... without losing my tablet functionality (I use a USB tablet for note-taking and whatnot)
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McKnife earned 500 total points
ID: 20407981
Kill the tea timer process - hdd quiet? ->No - kill tabtip
Just for a test
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Author Comment

by:dionecasper
ID: 20408031
:( It wasn't TeaTimer, but I had to go through and uninstall the TabTip (Windows Components removal) and it's quiet (And no more annoying changing cursor)

But now I dont have my tablet functionality, and that's no good.
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Author Comment

by:dionecasper
ID: 20408039
Well, I lied. My tablet still works, but Im now missing Windows Journal application (Part of the Tablet PC component), which is my prime tool with my tablet, and I've been rather unsuccessful in finding any sort of decent substitute.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 20408045
Well, some things to try
look for a newer version of tabtip
contact dell support
get every update for vista
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Author Comment

by:dionecasper
ID: 20408073
Thanks for the help McKnife.

Dell support was already useless, and I'm fully updated according to Windows Update. I'll look about for a "newer version" but if there was one, I would believe it would have been part of the Windows Updates, since it's all Windows components.
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 20408092
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Author Comment

by:dionecasper
ID: 20408183
I'll be messing around on my own for now, but your suggestion did fix the hard drive issue, so you got the points McKnife. Thanks much
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