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HDD Pulsing all the time every 2 seconds RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,
         I just installed Ulitmate. It is a brand new install on a MoBo Biostar MCP6P M2+.
         All the drivers are from W7 (i.e. no drivers from the MoBo vendor).
         With or without applications W7 access the HDD (I can see the HDD Led access pulsing) every 2 or so seconds
         Everything that I can think of has been disabled, including Indexing, Degfragging, Autorun, etc. Everything I could find out about this problem by Googling has been disabled and more to no avail. It keeps pulsing away.
         At this rate I am afraid W7 will kill the HDD. Any ideas?
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:30 AM

Answers

All replies

  • Now do not get all bent here, but is your copy legal or did you download it off the web??

    You may be infected if got via the net.

    That HDD pulsing can be an infection
    a Rootkit can do this and you will never see what is doing it via windows.

    Sometimes it just means the drive is failing.

    grab Process Explorer
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
    watch and see if you can spot anything
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:56 AM
  • Hi Bubbapcguy

    No bending, fair question. Retail, strictly retail.

    Ergo no infection.

    HDD is brand new, SATA 70 Gb. Freshly re-formatted (just in case - call me paranoid).

    Ergo no drive failing either.

    I have seen other similar postings all over the net with almost no resolution.

    BTW, the MoBo is also brand new and there are no other hardware attachments of any sort to it.

    Re: Process Explorer, nothing, but will keep watching.

    I also tried Resource Monitor / Disk Activity but can't see a culprit.

    Latest theory is that W7 is polling RAM. One person said that switching Swap File to "none" and going 100% RAM solved the problem since it is not polling "real" RAM only and not the swap file.

    It *has* to be W7.

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 11:25 PM
  • Hi,

     

    I would like to suggest you check the hard disk for errors first.

     

    If the hard disk is good, I would like to suggest you update the BIOS and the Chipset drivers.

     

    If it does not work, you may try to rebuild the index and check the issue after finishing rebuilding the index.

     

    What’s the result?

     

    Regards,


    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 6:35 AM
  • Are you talking about the HDD light flashing breifly every second, or the drive actually "working" (heads moving audibly) in this interval?

    If its just the LED then ignore it, every single install I've seen post XP SP1 does this.  I don't know what it's doing exactly, but various folks point to the fact that the HDD access light is also tied to CDROM and removable drives, and this is a Auto-run poll taking place.  Other folks claim it could be SMART HDD monitor checking HDD status, others try option after option to get it to stop, installing monitoring software to check it, and on and on. 

    I know for a FACT this started after XP-SP1 and has been a fixture in subsequent MS OSs since.

    Put another way, every single one of my machines does this, a once a second blip of the HDD led.  3 XP, 1 Vista and 3Win7 all do it.  And they all start doing it near the end of the OS install, and never ever stop for the rest of the machine's life, ever.  In fact if they stopped I'd be more worried than I am currently. 

    Unless the head is thrashing, I'd ignore it.

    DAS

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 3:11 PM
  • No this is not normal, I have seenthis with infections and failing drives.
     and this statement is just wrong.

    " but various folks point to the fact that the HDD access light is also tied to CDROM and removable drives, and this is a Auto-run poll taking place"

    HDD's led's are not tied to crom or removeable drives ...it is HDD LED at leas ton every box I built or purchased in the last 25 plus years and that is a bunch of PC's.

    If it was the Smart Monitor then you could disable in BIOS, but as by default smart monitor is turned off by default someoen would have to enable it.

    I am sitting at a desk with two XP boxes on it NO LED flashing.

    And yes if the LED is flashing I am sure if the OP listened to the drive he would hear it reading.

    The way to test is to take a second HD install it in the PC and load up windows on it.
    Or boot to a live CD and test the drive that way.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 5:28 PM
  • Bubba,

    I think if you look closer you'll see a brief blink on the HDD light on your box.  People really didn't start noticing it until the blue and other hyper-bright LEDs came into vogue.

    Seriously, EVERY SINGLE machine post XP-SP1 has done it.

    And similarly, the HDD LED driven by the motherboard is really any IDE LED from legacy days, and is bridged to SATA channels as well.  Now in the really old days there were LED pins on the drive you could hook to the front panel LED, but that's way back, virtually all are now driven by motherboard logic, logic that doesn't really care if its CDROM, HDD, IDE, or SATA.

    And no, while my machine are blinking (as thay all do, every one of them) there is NO head movement at all, no sound from the drives.

    This is a normal artifact of post SP1 XP and subsequent MS OSs.  Unless the drive is clicking in sync with the LED, ignore it.

    DAS

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 5:50 PM
  • DAS
    No sir you are just wrong here, trust me I do this for a living, there is no LED blinking for CD / DVD or removable drive access on ANY of the 100's of PC's on my networks.

    You are confused and are giving bad advice based on your confusion.

    Once more IT IS NOT NORMAL, and the root cause needs to be addressed.



    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 7:01 PM
  • Maybe you need a few SATA machines out of those 100s to check it?

    OK, here's the list of boxes I currently have running at home:

    (2) Asus P6t-Deluxe V2, core I7, Win7x64
    (1) Asus P5b-Deluxe, Core2-Duo, WinXPx86 SP3
    (1) Gigabyte 8KNXP,3GHz P4, WinXPx86 SP3
    (1) Intel DP35DP, Core2 Duo, Win7x64
    (1) Levovo A55, Core2 Duo, WinXPx86 SP3

    Each and every one of them has a very brief flash of the HDD front panel LED at 1 second intervals.

    The common thread is all of them are native SATA.

    So go find a solution for the OP.  You solution will be to remove the CD/DVD from the device manager, power off, remove the interface cable, then power back up.  No flash.  But is it a fix to remove the drive?  Of course it's not, but you know more than anyone here, maybe you could have him try 20 different drives and finally tell him that you've never seen it before so he needs to try a motherboard.  How about the RAM.  Maybe your CPU has a bit stuck.  Are you running the latest video drivers?  And on and on to solve a problem that isn't there, because it's not a problem.

    So spend some time on it, work your magic.  But try and do it without turning off features or removing drives from the OPs system.  Good luck with that.

    DAS

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 7:14 PM
  • 90 % of all these PC's are Sata, it would hard to get a New Dell without a Sata drive, or build a current system without using SATA.

    I do not know where you get your info from, but lets do a poll.

    All those with flashing HDD LED's when the box is idle raise your hand.
    Umm... I do not see a flood of hands popping up.


    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 7:50 PM
  • Win7Tester, I'm with you and have seen every machine within recent years have a blinking HDD LED. It's the CD polling/auto-insert notification within Windows that polls all the media to see if 'something's new'. Control Panel -> AutoPlay -> Uncheck the Use AutoPlay option.
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 8:00 PM
  • Ah, that's alright, it should be obvious I wouldn't state something I know nothing about.

    Our largest client has 48,000+ machines and not a one of them flashes, that's because the most recent image has auto-insert-notification and auto-run disabled to close that virus/malware vector.  In fact we use it as a quick walk-by, if we see the light flashing we know that machine isn't running the latest image.

    In Bubba's defense (though he really wants me to look/feel like the idiot he thinks I am) Dell could have addressed this in their motherboard logic, or, heck, maybe their corporate image has the autos disabled (or whichever one turns it off). 

    Wait, I'll do a test on the Gigabyte based machine, be right back...

    OK, it looks like insert notification took care of it, it took a few seconds to stop totally, but this was probably writing the change to the registry or whatever.

    Now my Gigabyte based XP system is sitting there with only it's power light on, and if there is any flashing it's too brief to detect from across the room.  Meanwhile, the P5B and P6T systems are busily flashing once a second, but to be fair they only were booted in the last 20 minutes or so, so they could both be doing some post-boot housekeeping.

    So, I hereby resign from this thread.  I can contribute no more than to say beyond any shadow of doubt that the Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, and (presumably manufactured by) Lenovo motherboards all exhibit the same thing, what appears to be a once a second or so brief strobe of the HDD LED.  Again, it's been this way since sometime after SP1 on XP, but being so long ago I can't remember if it was a regular update or something specific to SP2, all I know for certain is that Gigabyte machine is the first place I noticed it, and that's after I transfered the guts to a much nicer case with LEDs that were way brighter than they really need to be. 

    These machines are in Thermaltake Xaser cases (the ones with the air-inlet fan filters!) so the LEDS are made to be extra bright so they pump enough light to be visible through the light pipes when the heavy duty front door is in the closed position. 


    Take care folks,

    DAS
    • Proposed as answer by k1n3t1k Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:14 PM
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 9:25 PM
  • Hi Globus999,

     

    I would like to confirm what is the current situation?

     

    Regards,


    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Monday, March 1, 2010 2:00 AM
  •  have never seen this before until win7, it is the autorun, I can make it stop, but then the DVD won't read atall.

    This is not normal, the only other thing is I have Sata drives now, but this is a problem IMO, I say it should run ONLY  when the HD runs, the DVD has it's own light built in.

    Soooo, how can this be cured and still keep functioanlty of the DVD,

    Saturday, March 27, 2010 11:01 PM
  • Haven't seen this until win 7 either... got three xp sp3 machines and two win7 machines here and I can confirm win7tester is right.

    the win 7 machines have a ssd for the os and mechanical hdd's for storage, so stating that an ssd solves the issue is also false.

    all of the cdrom drives, hdds and ssds are sata connected and configured in ahci mode, os is configured with prefething off, defraging off, indexingen on drive off, search index uninstalled, ..., and so on (basically everything is turned off that possibly "could" cause this behaviour)

    Now when all machines are in idle, the XP machines do not do this (or like win7tester stated or not noticable due to the led's not being that bright as the leds for the win7 machines are infact bright blue ones), while on the win 7 machines it's clearly noticable that the hdd led has a pulse every second or so. Once I disable the CDROM drives in device manager the problem is gone!! (so Bubba if you actually earn your living with fixing computers and state that cdrom drives have nothing to do with the hdd led, then think again..)

    Offcourse this is no option as I cannot use the cdrom drives. Below are the options I tried so far and none of them have worked:

    - "Control Panel => Autoplay => disable Use AutoPlay for all media devices"

    - "run => gpedit.msc => Computer Configuration => Administrative Templates => Windows Components => AutoPlay Policies => disable Turn off AutoPlay & disable Default Behaviour for Autorun "

    - "run => regedit => HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => SYSTEM => ControlSet002 => services => cdrom => set AutoRun value to 0"

    So sofar there is no solution as to disable the cdrom drives, but clearly something is polling them and my gues is it has something to do with win7 checking whether there is someting inserted or not, but I have no clue on how to turn it off.

    Again like win7tester already stated, this is infact not a real issue, as it does not cause any side affects other then pulsing the hdd led every second.. so either you can ignore it (pull the led out or something :p) or go on an insane quest for a solution as I have been browsing several forums the past few days to address this issue and haven't found anything usefull so far. So good luck!

    Greetz Snixel

    Friday, June 25, 2010 9:27 PM
  • Snixel - thanks for the hint to disable the CD/DVD drive in Device Manager - that turned off the pulsing light on my Toshiba Satellite under Windows 7. Here's another hint: check out SysInternals' Process Monitor.

    Indeed, the HDD light is combined with the CD/DVD drive, at least on my laptop. (It's easy to check - just do some intense reading of a CD without loading HDD.) I should say it's very poor design - both the hardware (should not combine these two onto the same light; should not require polling of the CD for it to work) and software (should let me turn off this insane polling).

    Alas, even with CD/DVD drive off, my light still blinks once in a while. There are still programs that are accessing my HDD (or registry) - and I cannot even tell what they are. For now I am happy enough that this happens less frequently. However, a good system would really be designed to be idle when I want it to. (Microsoft, are you listening?)

    (Side note: I had Toshiba HDD SSD Alert Service blinking my light every other second. Thank you but no, thank you. Since I don't know what it does and hitting my SSD is not a price I am willing to pay for that, I stopped it.)

     

    Sunday, November 28, 2010 7:00 AM
  • Still waiting for a fix

    86400 seconds in a day

    every other second light blinks 86400/2=43200 times a day 24 hours

    almost a year since my last post, my LED flashed unnecessarily

    figure it's on 12 hours a day (and more)

    my LED has flashed a minimum of 7,884,000 times (or more)

    c'mon you people at MS, fix the damn start menu and stop this flashing HDD LED nonsense.

    !!!!!

    Friday, February 18, 2011 4:23 AM
  • Still no solution to the flashing LED. It's not simply flashing. Windows 7 is inquiring something via the SATA bus.

    Just like Snixel said, simply do this will end this annoyance in Windows XP SP3, but not working on Windows 7.

    - "run => regedit => HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => SYSTEM => ControlSet002 => services => cdrom => set AutoRun value to 0

    Every time Windows 7 check out something from my DVD drive, my drive will give out a piece of debug message, but not in Windows XP SP3 with the same machine. So trust me. It's JUST Windows 7 who's annoying you.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 7:24 AM
  • You will have no resolution.  Its not going to happen.

    People need to understand, there is a lot about modern computing that doesn't fit their understanding of the way things work.

    You might assume every read/write on the SATA or IDE bus results in head movement and therefore is a "wear mechanism" on a platter
    (spinning) type drive. You would of course be wrong.  You might assume every read/write on the SATA or IDE bus is a read/write to or from
    the flash memory in your SSD.  You of course, would be wrong. 

    DO a Bing search for S.M.A.R.T.  You'll find information regarding health monitoring for your drives.  Now that you know a little bit more, you
    might even assume any read/write you can't explain and therefore are uncomfortable with represents a S.M.A.R.T. access.  Limited knowledge
    is a dangerous thing, I used that as one example to prove a point, there are dozens of other reasons for "drive access" which have nothing
    whatsoever to do with "accessing your drive" in a way that would create any wear of any kind. There is a LOT of communication
    that occurs within a modern computer that has no bearing you what you are doing, and has no effect on you in the least.  These
    "things" we call computers are not fancy pushbuttons that engage relays to light lamps or turn on fans, they are near infinitely detailed
    systems that work behind the scenes to insure what you want to accomplish gets done.

    While typing a notepad document, tens or hundreds of thousands of things are going on in the background between keypresses, are
    you easily irritated people going to start using bus analyzers to determine what YOU think needs to be going on between keystrokes?

    "Hey Microsoft!, I noticed my machine went out without my permission and checked the time against an internet time server, why do you
    people insist on wasting my processing power, my realtime clock keeps perfect time!"  "Hey Microsoft, what was this read from memory
    at 0x103Fd2310?  Why are you wasting time reading memory when you really only need to be waiting for my keystroke!?"

    I have a heartfelt suggestion for those of you wanting a "fix" for the way the system "bothers" you.  Go to Home Depot, find the electrical
    tools aisle, and buy a roll of black electrical tape.  Cut a square 3/4" by 3/4" section from the roll, and place it over your disk/disc activity
    LED.  Problem solved.

    Does that sound like sarcasm?  Its not.  Apparently people have so little to do that they need to think they understand every little flash
    a LED makes to make sure "those idiots at Microsoft" aren't trying to ruin their systems.  the easy fix is to ignore the LED, get some work
    done, and stop trying to understand concepts and ideas that are clearly beyond your grasp.  Black tape.  Just use it.

    DAS

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:16 PM
  • You will have no resolution.  Its not going to happen.

    People need to understand, there is a lot about modern computing that doesn't fit their understanding of the way things work.

    You might assume every read/write on the SATA or IDE bus results in head movement and therefore is a "wear mechanism" on a platter
    (spinning) type drive. You would of course be wrong.  You might assume every read/write on the SATA or IDE bus is a read/write to or from
    the flash memory in your SSD.  You of course, would be wrong. 

    DO a Bing search for S.M.A.R.T.  You'll find information regarding health monitoring for your drives.  Now that you know a little bit more, you
    might even assume any read/write you can't explain and therefore are uncomfortable with represents a S.M.A.R.T. access.  Limited knowledge
    is a dangerous thing, I used that as one example to prove a point, there are dozens of other reasons for "drive access" which have nothing
    whatsoever to do with "accessing your drive" in a way that would create any wear of any kind. There is a LOT of communication
    that occurs within a modern computer that has no bearing you what you are doing, and has no effect on you in the least.  These
    "things" we call computers are not fancy pushbuttons that engage relays to light lamps or turn on fans, they are near infinitely detailed
    systems that work behind the scenes to insure what you want to accomplish gets done.

    While typing a notepad document, tens or hundreds of thousands of things are going on in the background between keypresses, are
    you easily irritated people going to start using bus analyzers to determine what YOU think needs to be going on between keystrokes?

    "Hey Microsoft!, I noticed my machine went out without my permission and checked the time against an internet time server, why do you
    people insist on wasting my processing power, my realtime clock keeps perfect time!"  "Hey Microsoft, what was this read from memory
    at 0x103Fd2310?  Why are you wasting time reading memory when you really only need to be waiting for my keystroke!?"

    I have a heartfelt suggestion for those of you wanting a "fix" for the way the system "bothers" you.  Go to Home Depot, find the electrical
    tools aisle, and buy a roll of black electrical tape.  Cut a square 3/4" by 3/4" section from the roll, and place it over your disk/disc activity
    LED.  Problem solved.

    Does that sound like sarcasm?  Its not.  Apparently people have so little to do that they need to think they understand every little flash
    a LED makes to make sure "those idiots at Microsoft" aren't trying to ruin their systems.  the easy fix is to ignore the LED, get some work
    done, and stop trying to understand concepts and ideas that are clearly beyond your grasp.  Black tape.  Just use it.

    DAS


    WRONG

     

    An LED is supplied to hard drive activety, my CDROM combo has it's own LED.

     

    The Hard drive light should not flash at a timed interval, unless it's reading or writing to the drive, END OF STATEMENT.


    none1
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 2:14 AM
  • The genuine end of statement is:

    You know very little about the way modern computers work.

    The sooner you come to accept this and start learning, the sooner you can look back on this time of your life and say "God, I was an arrogant, uniformed little prick back then, wasn't I?"

    Have a nice day.

    DAS

     

    • Proposed as answer by Redonetwo Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:44 PM
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:01 PM
  • With your logic, a power LED should reveal I moved my mouse around.

    This should never happen, and it doesn't, if I disable the CDRom combo driver.

     

    So no, there is nothing going on in the background related to any other thing accept the cdrom-dvd driver.

    Meaning it is you who has no clue.


    none1
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:48 PM
  • I'm appalled to see that "hard disk errors" or "indexing" is provided as the official Answer in this official MS site. That's nonsense; Windows is polling the CD/DVD drives and/or USB-based Card Readers that may be installed to a system, whether XP or 7 or what-have-you.

    The "solution", which is of course not a good one at all, is to disable those devices in Device Manager. Now the LED pulsing will accurately reflect HDD access.

    And why do we care about HDD access, vs. unplugging it (or duct-taping it as one blind man suggested)? We care because it is a useful tool to be able to observe when the HDD is busy, e.g. when startup is over, or a virus scan is complete, or what-have-you. It is also helpful, if you are paranoid about your SSD writes, to be alerted to activities which cause significant HDD (now SSD) access.

    Why MS fails to address this is unknown, and will likely remain so. One mystery of many, such as their ridiculously aggressive Power Management features (especially in Windows 7) which have so frustrated users that they simply turn-off all such, and run the heck out of their PCs. Is this what you intended Mr. Gates?

    Regarding disabling devices, when you realize you don't need your CD/DVD or Card Reader functions all that often anyway, you can set-up some batch files/shortcuts using DevCon commands to disable and re-enable these devices as you need them. I will leave the creation of devcon commands as an exercise for the reader...

    Now, someone please un-mark Mr. Li's unhelpful response!

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:18 PM
  • Maxblack:

    The thing to keep in mind here is the LED drive circuitry is combined at the hardware (motherboard) level.  That is to say, that any access to a drive (Hard Disk or Optical) is going to blip that LED, something which Microsoft has not control over.  Think of it as a "storage activity" indicator LED

    What Microsoft does have control over is the Auto Insert Notification.

    The "problem" you descibe is one that can either be partially solved by turning off AIN, or ignoring it. 

    This isn't 20+ years ago where drives were full-height 5 1/4 " monstrosities where the manufacturers could count on the drive light being visible at the front of a desktop machine, and its not 15-17 years ago when 3 1/2 inch drive makers put HDD led connectors on their drives that were meant to drive the front panel LED directly.  What did the industry do?  They settled on the concept that virtually any access to local storage meant the local storage LED should be blipped. 

    Be thankful in a way, too.  Imagine if programmers had access to individual elements of the storage access LED control logic.  It would be concievable for them to turn off the LED during a flurry of activity, and hope you don't notice.  I'm of course refering to malware and the sort.  One of these sociopaths could turn off your LEDs, scan (or overwrite) your drives, and you might never know it unless you heard the drive head churning.

    Blame it on Microsoft if you must, but keep in mind these two pertinent, inescapable facts:

    1). The LED in question is best thought of as a "storage controller activity indicator".

    2). Microsoft does not provide the hardware, and it is the hardware side of the industry that has defined how the LED logic functions.

    If you were truly upset about knowing what yours drives are doing, why would you be satisfied with only one access LED in a system?  If I relied on the LED as much as many of the posters on this thread do, I'd be more upset that there wasn't an individual LED for each drive so I could tell WHICH drive was being accessed. 

    That would be the ideal solution, but the problem is, you have to get the whole industry to accept the LED as a thing capable of causing sleepless nights, you'd have to be willing to absorb the increased cost, and you'd have to convince Microsoft to provide an LED control panel applet so that you can ignore what some other people want to see, and have that mega important LED blip only when YOU want it to. 

    Of course then people would complain about Microsoft not having made wise choices for the default action, but that really does seem to be the way things go anyway, doesn't it?

    DAS

    Thursday, July 21, 2011 11:26 AM
  • What Microsoft does have control over is the Auto Insert Notification.

    The "problem" you descibe is one that can either be partially solved by turning off AIN, or ignoring it.

    Show me please exactly where I can turn-off AIN such that the polls stop. You can't do it. You can't do it, because there is no way to do it.

    Microsoft gives us no way to stop this polling, other than disabling the drivers, and then when we wonder about why the LED is pulsing, they give us nonsense like "checking for errors" or "rebuilding the index". Just Google this issue and see how many people don't know it's this simple polling issue.

    They should give us a way to control the polling.


    Thursday, July 21, 2011 9:33 PM
  • That guy is nuts, mine is still flashing and is something that should not happen.Hell Microsoft don't seem to care anymore about things that matter.I just disable my CDrom combo, and they should give us a better start menu, and some readout for the hard drive defrag, not just a percent number.

    But this flashing led crap should have been fixed a long time ago.

    and those damn flippy plus sighns and directory view jumping problem, VERY  annoying.

    An option to not let windows automaticaly pick "my pictures" my documents" as defaults.

    other than those things, everything is A ok.


    none1
    Thursday, July 28, 2011 7:03 PM
  • Now do not get all bent here, but is your copy legal or did you download it off the web?? You may be infected if got via the net.
    That’s not much of a diagnostic step. You can easily be infected with a legitimate system and uninfected with a bootleg system.
    That HDD pulsing can be an infection 
    a Rootkit can do this and you will never see what is doing it via windows.
    That’s actually a good rootkit detection trick, assuming that you rule out everything else first.
    grab Process Explorer
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
    watch and see if you can spot anything
    Yup, that’s the best thing. Of course it won’t help much since there will probably be a bunch of accesses from OS doing housekeeping and such, even (especially?) when idle.
    DAS 
    No sir you are just wrong here, trust me I do this for a living, there is no LED blinking for CD / DVD or removable drive access on ANY of the 100's of PC's on my networks.

    You are confused and are giving bad advice based on your confusion. 

    Once more IT IS NOT NORMAL, and the root cause needs to be addressed.



    I’m afraid you are the misinformed one. Most motherboards are designed such that any activity on the IDE and/or SATA controllers causes the HD LED to flicker. Therefore, any optical drives connected to the IDE or SATA controllers will cause the HD LED to flash; only USB drives won’t do that. Further, because Autorun (not to be confused with AutoPlay) is usually enabled by default, some systems will poll the drive every now and then to see if a new disc has been inserted, causing the LED to flash. This however, depends on the drive: most optical drives will send a signal that a new disc has been inserted, and the polling is only necessary for older drives that do not do this, thus requiring the OS has to manually check the disc.
    What Microsoft does have control over is the Auto Insert Notification.

    The "problem" you descibe is one that can either be partially solved by turning off AIN, or ignoring it.

    Show me please exactly where I can turn-off AIN such that the polls stop. You can't do it. You can't do it, because there is no way to do it.

    Microsoft gives us no way to stop this polling, other than disabling the drivers, and then when we wonder about why the LED is pulsing, they give us nonsense like "checking for errors" or "rebuilding the index". Just Google this issue and see how many people don't know it's this simple polling issue.

    They should give us a way to control the polling.


    What on Earth are you talking about? Did you search at all? Google for “disable autorun” and the solution is first search results!
    • Edited by mwalsher Sunday, December 15, 2013 4:03 PM
    Sunday, September 25, 2011 8:33 PM
  • What on Earth are you talking about? Did you search at all? Google for “disable autorun” and the solution is first search results!
    I know what Autorun is. I guess reading comprehension is not your strong suit! :p
    Monday, September 26, 2011 7:25 PM
  • I will recant what others tried, the autorun don't seem to help.

    But now I can say 100% fact, if you just disable the CD/DVD driver in windows device manger, the light stops flashing.

    So what I do is enable it when I need the CD combo drive.

    Why this can't be fixed I don't know, and asking Microsoft is pointless, that includes any question.How the heck do they get opinions like they say they do while making a new OS version, makes no sense.

    We are all alone, no support other than updates.

     

    win7 64 bit pro.


    none1
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:29 AM
  • You will have no resolution.  Its not going to happen.

    People need to understand, there is a lot about modern computing that doesn't fit their understanding of the way things work.

     

    Mr. Tester,

    Unfortunately, I do understand.  Microsoft is the one that is doing the polling.  They chose 2 second intervals. They could have made it .2 seconds, and kept  the blasted light on perminantly.  They could have also made the polling interval 60 seconds, or better yet, let the timing up to us.  We can turn off the light, by disabling the device, but that is the only thing that microsoft has given us here.  Hopefully this will let you understand that there are still things that can be done in this day of modern computing.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011 5:17 PM
  • You might understand, but several people don't.  That's the problem with discourse these days, if someone makes a comment everyone automatically assumes it applies to them and takes it as their duty to be offended.

    Each and every comment I've made about this topic is spot on, and thats because I'm a design engineer and KNOW how this stuff works.  If Microsoft didn't want to poll the drive it would not flash.  Period.

    In the early days of this thread, an IT PRO told me I was categorically wrong, that it was new with windows 7.  Trouble is, it started with XP SP1 or SP2 (don't care which right now). 

    My comment about it not going to have a resolution (be "fixed") is Microsoft saw some value in it and coded expressly for it.  Now you might not WANT it to flash, but until you convince Microsoft they had a stupid idea, I heartilly suggest you accept it as the way it is, and deal with it.

    Do you realize we're discussing an LED flashing?  A post with how many entries discussing an LED flashing, one post worried about the lifetime of the component flashing all the time?  Were it to get any more patently ridiculous, somebody might chime in with the "CO2" generated from "all the excess flashing".

    The system is not malfunctioning, it is operating as designed, so why is this thread so long and passionate about a flashing LED? 

    If you'll recall, the original complaint was about the hard drive being accessed.  That is NOT the case, so misinformed worries about wearing the drive out were unfounded.  Again, why is this thread still alive?

    If you really want this corrected and the meaning of the leds to be categorically correct, you might want to contact Microsoft and several of the leading industry motherboard and case manufacturers and request that cases, motherboard, and OS providers adhere to a standard that assigns (1) LED per drive.  Case manucacturers would provide a ROM that the motherboard would read and pass on to the OS.  The OS would query the devices to determine the drive type, and also provide an opt out table (applet) that users could use to disable or change the operating characteristics of each LED.  You'll be able to know which drive is being accessed, you could concievably turn off polling flashes yet allow actual access indications to tickle the LED, all manner of things could be done...

    IF THE STATE OF AN LED IS OF GENUINE ONGOING CONCERN AND A SOURCE OF CONTINUING FRUSTRATION TO THOSE WITH VERY LITTLE ELSE WITH WHICH TO CONCERN THEMSELVES.

    Sorry for the last part, but it still comes down to this:  The system is not broken, the hard drive is not being punished.  The thread should have been closed several months ago when it was determined the hard drive was uninvolved.

    DAS

     

    Friday, December 16, 2011 3:16 AM
  • Once again you are full of it.

    the CD ROM has it's own light

    USB drive it's own light

    Never seen "erroneous"  "hard drive LED" flashing till win7

    and i am still on this thread alerts waiting for a repair of the problem, yes "REPAIR" of a "PROBLEM".


    none1
    Friday, December 16, 2011 3:41 AM
  • Once again.

    You are worried about an LED flashing.

    DAS

    Friday, December 16, 2011 4:05 AM
  • Would it help you if I took a video of my XP machine doing the EXACT same thing?

    DAS

    Friday, December 16, 2011 4:06 AM
  • Win7 64 re-enables the optical drive, manually disabled in the device manager, on every boot.  Why?  How do you get it to stop doing that.

    Disabling the cdrom service does the job, but that means the drive can't be re-enabled on demand, and it may have other side effects.

    Monday, December 19, 2011 6:06 AM
  • Win7 64 re-enables the optical drive, manually disabled in the device manager, on every boot.  Why?  How do you get it to stop doing that.

    Disabling the cdrom service does the job, but that means the drive can't be re-enabled on demand, and it may have other side effects.

    Strange, as it's not re-enabling on reboot for me on W7 x64 SP1. Are you sure?

    BTW, what cdrom service (in W7)?

    To a much earlier post which mentioned several "native SATA" systems that display this behavior, I recently moved from a system with a mixture of IDE and SATA (DVD was IDE) to one that is purely SATA, and this problem is brand new to me. Does anyone with an IDE DVD have this problem, or was I just lucky before?

    Friday, December 23, 2011 7:07 AM
  • Trying to think of an easy way to disable/enable the drive without Device Man, I came up with this, but someone can probably do better.

    It uses a MS tool called devcon, available here:

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/devcon-not-working-correctly-in-windows-7/9abcc12c-d7db-4249-aec4-fc4ff0ea6ee8?page=2

    Then you have to use it to find what the hardware ID is for your device (or you could just look on the Details tab (Hardware Ids) in Device Man). Also, take note of its usual drive letter.

    So, in my case (this needs to be run as admin), this batch disables it if it's enabled and vice-versa: 

    @echo off
    for /f "tokens=1,*" %%i in ('fsutil fsinfo drives ^|find "Z:\"') do (
      devcon disable IDE\CDROMTSSTCORP*
      exit /b
    )
    devcon enable IDE\CDROMTSSTCORP*

    • Edited by rseiler Tuesday, December 27, 2011 8:54 PM
    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 8:50 PM
  • Trying to think of an easy way to disable/enable the drive without Device Man, I came up with this, but someone can probably do better.

    It uses a MS tool called devcon, available here:

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/devcon-not-working-correctly-in-windows-7/9abcc12c-d7db-4249-aec4-fc4ff0ea6ee8?page=2

    Then you have to use it to find what the hardware ID is for your device (or you could just look on the Details tab (Hardware Ids) in Device Man). Also, take note of its usual drive letter.

    So, in my case (this needs to be run as admin), this batch disables it if it's enabled and vice-versa: 

    @echo off
    for /f "tokens=1,*" %%i in ('fsutil fsinfo drives ^|find "Z:\"') do (
      devcon disable IDE\CDROMTSSTCORP*
      exit /b
    )
    devcon enable IDE\CDROMTSSTCORP*<br/>
    
    

    Thanks, devcon is useful.  Turned out it wasn't windows but DELL QuickSet applet that was reenabling the device on logon.  A delayed logon devcon scheduled task, takes care of this.
    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 11:32 PM
  • " but various folks point to the fact that the HDD access light is also tied to CDROM and removable drives, and this is a Auto-run poll taking place"

    HDD's led's are not tied to crom or removeable drives ...it is HDD LED at leas ton every box I built or purchased in the last 25 plus years and that is a bunch of PC's.

    Just because someone can change a tire doesn’t mean they actually understand how the engine works.

    The drive-activity LED absolutely does reflect CD/DVD activity. The LED is run by the IDE/SATA drive controller, and flashes whenever any drive attached to it has activity, including optical drives.

    Pop in a CD or DVD and play it and you will see the LED flash. Start burning a disc (even from a RAM drive) and you will see it turn on and stay solid.

    The only time that the drive-activity LED doesn’t reflect drive activity is for removable (e.g., USB) drives, but that applies to all such drives, optical drives, flash drives, memory cards, as well as removable hard-drives. Of course, that is why they usually include their own built-in activity-indicating LED.

    I would hope that you have figured this out in the three years since you posted your erroneous statement, but if you hadn’t already figured it out in your 25 years of experience prior to that, then I highly doubt it.


    • Edited by mwalsher Sunday, December 15, 2013 3:40 PM
    Sunday, December 15, 2013 3:37 PM
  • No sir you are just wrong here, trust me I do this for a living, there is no LED blinking for CD / DVD or removable drive access on ANY of the 100's of PC's on my networks.

    You are confused and are giving bad advice based on your confusion.

    Oh wow! I just posted a response to your incorrect post above, then I saw that you obstinately stood by your incorrect information and actually attacked someone who knew better.

    There really should be an option to down-vote posts so that your horribly wrong posts can be flagged to prevent novice users from being misled.

    Sunday, December 15, 2013 3:39 PM
  • You’ve missed the point. This behavior was not always present, it only manifest later on. Optical drives used to work just fine before that, therefore, it is not necessary for Windows or the optical drive to work; it is some kind of “feature” that they chose to add. That change clearly has an undesirable side-effect, so unless someone can demonstrate some fantastic, wonderful benefit that the change provides, then it is not unreasonable to want to try to turn it off.


    • Edited by mwalsher Sunday, December 15, 2013 3:55 PM
    Sunday, December 15, 2013 3:50 PM
  • People seem to be stuck with the idea that the drive-controller’s activity LED is a “hard-drive” LED, but that is simply not the case.

    The LED on the optical drive shows it’s user-activity (read/write). The drive-activity LED is from the drive-controller which the optical drive is attached to and shows all activity, including status requests.

    Sunday, December 15, 2013 3:52 PM
  • the CD ROM has it's own light

    USB drive it's own light

    Never seen "erroneous"  "hard drive LED" flashing till win7

    Except that it is not a “hard-drive LED”. That LED is the drive-activity LED which is tied to the IDE/SATA controller which can have hard-drives and optical drives attached to it, and shows activity for all of them.

    (For the record, once upon a time, hard-drives did indeed used to include a connector on the PCB which could be connected to a dedicated LED, but they almost never bother anymore.)

    Sunday, December 15, 2013 3:58 PM
  • It does seem like “run chkdsk” and “reinstall Windows” are standard responses to everything, and while that might make sense coming from novices (who arguably have no business providing suggestions if they don’t know any better, I agree that it is absurd coming from a Microsoft rep (then again, that’s probably all they can say, which again if they don’t know about the problem, which again begs the question why they are providing support in the first place).

    Sunday, December 15, 2013 4:01 PM
  • Ok got something, I had to go back to an old machine and got XP on it, I had win2000 pro.

    But anyway I never had this blicking light DEFECT PROBLEM on any machine till I got a new win7 64bit pro machine.

    This old sysem is regular IDE 768 meg , no SATA.

    I hav e to CD's on it and two hard drives, I am pretty sure I set it up that one CD rom is a slave, and then the other CD  is the other slave for the other drive.

    Well one is a burner the other is just a reader.

    Sure enough I got the blinking thing going on, I need to check but, I think it is the reader and disabled it from device manager, blinking stopped. The other one is still enabled.

    So there might be some correlation to the type of drive, and or IDE and or how it's configured.

    On my win7 machine I am using the IDE in BIOS not RAID, not sure how all that works. But I was thinking maybe try different SATA plugs or somehow isolate it away from the main hard drive.

    OR

    the second port can only be used tightly coupled to a second drive.

    OR

    Something to do with "IDE " and more than one drive or type and brand of DVD-CD drives. So when I get my other computer working I am going to fuss around with the drive setup a little bit and see what happens, because that light should not flash.


    none1

    Monday, December 1, 2014 1:49 AM
  • Also your logic is completely whacked, since the CD's come with a light on it.

    The hard drive activety should make the CD rom's light flash ?

    I need to not have it flash, why? because I need it t see hard drive activity, nothing else should make it blink, and now on this old XP machine with one ROM on, the other off, no blinking.

    However the hard drive still show activity as normal.


    none1

    Monday, December 1, 2014 1:58 AM
  • 1. It's not just accessing the hard disk, but I can hear the head move.

    2. There is nothing on the drive , all partitions are deleted,  it isn't even formatted.

    3. There is no dvd/cd player connected to my machine.

    4. SMART gives no errors on the disk

    Conclusion - it's very low level, either driver or hardware.


    Friday, April 14, 2017 10:05 AM
  • 1. It's not just accessing the hard disk, but I can hear the head move.

    2. There is nothing on the drive , all partitions are deleted,  it isn't even formatted.

    3. There is no dvd/cd player connected to my machine.

    4. SMART gives no errors on the disk

    Conclusion - it's very low level, either driver or hardware.


    Owl has been Stretching Time too much, or he has been imbibing when he shouldn't be.  Your conclusion about low level formatting is very outdated!!  Most, if not all, HDDs are now Zone formatted and must be performed at the factory or with special equipment.  You cannot "low level" or "very low level" format HDDs in your computer anymore.  You could before IDE and Zone formatting were introduced!!
    Friday, April 14, 2017 10:32 AM
  • Task Manager > Performance Monitor > Disk

    Those little logs and checks are constantly writing to your SSD/HDD, every second.

    Don't know how to shut them off, integral part of Windows 7 Functions.

    You are not crazy, the problem is the solution - Linux.


    Ratnest: MGE Case, ECS PT800CE-A1.1, Intel Prescott 3.0ghz, 2GB Mushkin DDR400 RAM, HIS ATI Radeon HD 3850 AGP, CLSB Audigy SE, Trendnet RTL8169 GB NIC, D-Link DWA-552 XtremeN Wireless NIC, Seagate 80gb SATA, Seagate 400GB IDE, LG 16x DVD-RW IDE, Antec 650W PSU.

    Saturday, July 21, 2018 10:02 PM