I've noticed for the past couple of weeks that my tower seems to be constantly cycling the hard drive even when I'm doing nothing at all. I can actually hear the drive and what I hear is a very rhythmic sound which seems to cycle at a rate of about once a second. (If I were looking at an oscilloscope I'd expect to see a perfect sine wave.) Yesterday I was working in Firefox and had Windows Explorer open on the second monitor and I noticed that my second drive had disappeared. After a reboot, it came back up and I haven't seen anything since.
The box is one I built with a CoreIIQuad processor, 4GB of RAM, two internal drives and one external. I run XP Pro and am pretty much up to date on the MS updates. I run ZoneAlarm and I've read everything I can find about vsmon.exe. Tried yesterday to modify the DependOnService registry key according to the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - 321434. Change could not be saved.
The two screen shots show the Performance and Process tabs of my Task Manager. These were taken after several minutes of letting the computer sit idle. Note how the first processor is working relatively harder than the others. Normal??
I suspect ZoneAlarm is at least partly responsible...
1. Is there a "clear and present danger", (apologies to Tom Clancy ;-) ), that I'm about to lose the drive that disappeared yesterday?
2. If this is ZA, can it be fixed somehow?
3. Is there a better tool than ZA? (I went to ZA from Norton several years ago because Norton was just too intrusive on my system.)
4. If I'm wrong about ZA, any other ideas?