Re: Hard drive light flickers continuously.

I broke open the case, totally disconnected both CD devices (power AND data cable) but it didn't make a bit of difference. The flickering HD light still keeps happening.

I checked to make sure the light is connected to the board correctly, it absolutely, positively is. Besides, whenever there's legitimate hard drive activity, the light works as it's supposed to.

Any other ideas?


John Corliss wrote:
That program looks like a subset of Process Explorer, but I gave it a try anyway. It showed no activity and nothing appeared that was timed with the light's blinking. When I minimized it to the tray, it showed no activity in fact.

One thing I've found on the internet about this kind of problem is the following:

"The usual reason for this blinking is that Windows thinks there's an IDE device (such as some CD-ROM drives) that doesn't support the media change signal, so it checks the IDE devices every few seconds to see if it needs to report that the disk has been changed."

AFAIK, there are no proprietary drivers available for CD-ROM or CD Burner devices; you have to use what comes with XP. This means that it might be a hardware configuration problem, but I doubt it. I will break open the case and look though.

R. McCarty wrote:

John Corliss wrote:

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