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Author Topic: An over active hard disc drive  (Read 1243 times)
G0GQK
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Posts: 634




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« on: June 07, 2008, 10:54:18 AM »

There must be an answer ! When I switch on my new dual system PC with Vista and XP the HDD is very noisy and in my opinion, over active. Just as its about to connect to the ISP I close it down. When I switch it back on again the hard disc only acts when required, its not noisy, and connects without any difficulty. What do I need to do to stop it working overtime when first switched on ?

Kind regards,  Mel G0GQK
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 07:59:36 PM »

hi mel,

take a look at the properties for c: drive,
not sure about vista (don't have it) but
the indexing function is turned on in xp and earlier.

here is a nice utility (microsoft purchased the company)
from sysinternals, autoruns
it shows you all the stuff that takes off on autopilot
when you startup windows.  you can turn them off
with a mouse click (no need to edit the registry yourself)
 lot of software is setup to 'call its mother' and check for updates, this can be a reason for your disc activity.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/systeminformation/autoruns.mspx

73 james
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G0GQK
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 12:02:19 PM »

Hello James,

Thankyou for the information I'll check it out, I've made notes on what you've suggested and see if it cures the problem.

Kind regards,  Mel G0GQK
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KB3LSR
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Posts: 297




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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2008, 04:39:27 AM »

I'd say it may be low on RAM.  When a computer doesn't have enough physical memory, it uses virtual memory which is located on the hard drive.  This will cause the hard drive to act as if it is more RAM so the system will run smoothly.  I have 2GB of RAM in this computer and it runs Vista smoothly.  I have another Vista machine with 512MB of RAM and it chugs along very slowly.
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KB1LKR
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Posts: 1898




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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2008, 02:34:03 PM »

Do look at file indexing too -- this would make it quite active for a while and always busy to a degree (though it'll stop indexing if somthing else is going in as indexing is given low priority. It is supposed to decrease file search times however, so it's not necessicarily a bad thing.

Antivirus programs will do this too, I have this trouble at work when the AV kicks in for its proigrammed scan.

If you're low on RAM the machine will be S L O W as death as well as vigerously reading/writing the HD. VIsta's supposed to be more a RAM pig than XP, but RAM's relatively cheap in the global scheme of things.

If the HD noise bothers you, some HD's can be config'd in the BIOS to run quieter (though slightly slower - I suspect they limit the head slew rates, w/ increased random seek times), but first you'll want to find out what's making it busy.
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G0GQK
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2008, 02:38:50 PM »

Interesting responses from everyone. I did uncheck indexing but it still continues to be busy but I believe the response about the anti- virus checking is a good suggestion. What I can't understand is why when I turn off the PC before it makes the dial up connection, and then re-start it, the HD on the second startup isn't busy. A mystery because the anti-virus checks have not been permitted to operate, but the churning stops.

Kind regards,  Mel
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2008, 04:50:41 PM »

Hi Mel,

I bet it is the antivirus software,
most of the time it will scan on startup
the memory and sectors on the HD.

most of the software keeps track of what is
scans and how often so that can explain why
your hd activity is less after a reboot.

try the autoruns utility from sysinternals (microsoft)
you can get a detailed report on what is starting up
and can stop it if necessary.

73 james
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