Hard disk red light always on - WIN 98SE

  SOFTWARE SID 14:01 05 Nov 03

Over the past few weeks, I've noticed the red activity light on my HDD is permanently on.

In addition, it often takes repeated mouse clicks to perform an action which used to take a simple double-click.

As I type this, for instance, the red light's permanently on,and yet according to Norton System Doctor, my CPU usage is around 5-10 percent.

I've disabled most of the start-up stuff, but this doesn't seem to have improved things. As I write this, my background tasks in the Close Program dialogue are: System Doctor, AVG, Explorer, IE, Zone Alarm, VSMon, and RNAAP.

My processor is an AMD Duron with 256 MB Ram, and my System Profile says 62 percent of my resources are free.

Hard disk size is 30 GB, and 15 GB remain free.

Any thoughts very welcome. Many thanks!

  woodchip 14:15 05 Nov 03

Run Disc Doctor and Speed Disc

  woodchip 14:20 05 Nov 03

PS stop all Norton Running Program in MSCONFIG you do not need them to load just use them as and when you need them from the Programs Menu. Also stop any MSOffice running at startup like fast find that will seriously slow your computer down

  SOFTWARE SID 19:07 05 Nov 03

Thanks Woochip - ran Speed Disk one or two nights ago, and sadly no impact.

Tried to run Disc Doctor from Safe Mode after your suggestion - after 3 or 4 hours I had got to 70 percent, went off to do some reading , and when I came back, I was back at 2 percent!

Am I being naive in thinking that nothing should be writing to the disk in Safe Mode? In which case, why did it apparently restart? Feel free to correct me if I've gone wrong somewhere...

BTW, all my Norton stuff is now disabled at startup, so I am running a very barebones startup regime - but that blasted red light keeps burning away merrily!

I am increasingly concerned that there's a deep seated problem with the HD itself... does this sound plausible from the symptoms I've described?

  woodchip 19:16 05 Nov 03

You should not have any running programs like screen savers etc as these will interfere with any disc scanning software. Did you find any more in MSCONFIG.
If you had a Problem with the Drive I think you would have had a message to that effect by now. How many Megs have you got of Software Programs not docs photos etc

  woodchip 19:18 05 Nov 03

PS other than windows have you loaded any new programs of late. as there is something writing to disc, which does happen but not all the time and I would be inclined to want to know what it was, if that's some comfort to you.

  SOFTWARE SID 20:01 05 Nov 03

Thanks for those thoughts ...

No screensaver - disabled that a couple of days ago.

Found about 2.5 GB worth of stuff in Program Files - bulked up by a couple of games which I've ditched for the moment. Can reinstall off the CD later.

Sorting the Programs Files by date there's nothing that's obviously intrusive.

Also checked with Adaware and Spybot to see that there are no nasties in the system - all clear (I also get a daily scan for viruses from AVG.

But one thing that does come to mind - I have Go Back installed. Is it worth removing that and seeing if my problems are alleviated?

  flecc 20:03 05 Nov 03

I know you haven't mentioned it, but are you running GoBack?

  SOFTWARE SID 20:21 05 Nov 03

Deleted Go Back ... no apparent improvement so far... I'll wait though and see if HD activity calms down!

  SOFTWARE SID 21:16 05 Nov 03

Scooting around the web, I read a claim that auto insert notification might be a problem. Disabled it, and my red light seems a lot calmer now. Mouse operation better, but not perfect, may need new driver, or perhaps Santa will bring me a new mouse. But things seem to be on the mend!

I'll leave it a day or so, see if the problems recur, and if they don't, will declare things solved... so fingers crossed...

Thanks for help received!

  flecc 16:11 06 Nov 03

Our postings overlapped and I went offline afterwards. I mentioned GoBack since it's the most common cause of this problem. To prevent this you'll need to uninstall it, and if you've done that, the problem should disappear soon.

GoBack has to track every operation in your computer and post every tiny change so in effect a GoBack computer is doing everything twice. Of course it's impossible for youir computer to work at double speed all the time, so GoBack stores what it needs to do and carries on with it whenever possible.

When you start the computer, any stored actions that GoBack needs to do will immediately be resumed, hence that light on continuously.

The most common cause of a really persistent "light on" situation is if you've deleted or moved a large number of files. In fact, it's possible to delete so many files at once that GoBack is forced to give up and shut itself down for up to 24 hours. When it does this it posts a notice telling you that it's shut down due to unexpected heavy file activity.

GoBack is a very good program, but nothing comes without a cost and in this case it's a hard drive made to sweat in return for the real benefits of the program.

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