Hard drive light flickers continuously.

First of all, if this is the wrong group, please point me in the right direction.

Now on to the problem:

I just put a new ASRock K7VT4A PRO motherboard in a friend's computer (512 MB, AMD Athlon XP 1600+ CPU, Western Digital WD400BB-00DEA0 model 40 GB HD) and installed XP Home on it. Then I updated the OS to SP2 and installed all critical updates possible.

At some point, I noticed that the hard drive light flickers about every second. Not only that, but the activity happens if I boot to Safe Mode. It doesn't do it while I'm in the BIOS though.


Other than the continual flickering of the light, the computer runs okay, but *MY* computer is running the same OS and the hard drive light doesn't flicker unless it's doing something.

Here's what I've done to try to stop the hard drive light activity in my friend's computer:

I've turned off all tasks and file indexing, made no difference.

I don't have MS Office installed on it.

After configuring the Task Manager's "Processes" tab to show all I/O reads and writes, I looked to see what's causing it but it didn't show anything. Sysinternal's Process Monitor doesn't show anything going on either.

I turned of Auto-Insert Notification, but it didn't stop light from flashing.

I checked for rootkits, but found none (not that the computer should be infected, what with a fresh install and all.)

I've probably done a few other things which I'm forgetting too.

I've killed all unneeded services but it didn't do any good.

Does anybody have any other ideas as to what's causing this? I'm snatching myself bald with this problem!

NOTE: Please don't tell me that it's normal or acceptable, and to put up with it or suggest putting electrical tape over the light. I'm sorry, but I will ignore any such replies because IMO the hard drive light flickering can also be a sign of malware activity (although not in this case). Because of this, it's a good idea to have nothing non-malware related causing it to flicker all the time when the computer is idle.


John Corliss