Old 03-02-2006   #1
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Hard Drive LED on continuously

Yesterday, my HDD LED began coming on continuously, anytime the computer is operating. The HD itself seems to be working fine, not running continuously or anything. I e-mailed the mainboard tech support people (ECS) and they say it's "Operating System Related". Well, I don't really believe that. I posted the problem on the VIA forum (VIA VT8237 chipset), but no one there had an answer. So, I posted it on the Windows XP newsgroup, just in case it really is "Win XP Related". No answer from there yet. I can't find a Maxtor Forum to go to, or I would go there as well.
So, I come here to see if anyone has heard of the problem, and knows a fix for it. I've tried reinstalling the IDE channels, and the 4 in 1 drivers to no avail. I did a continuity check on the LED cable to see if it was getting a false ground or something, but it's not. The computer is operating normally but it's irritating to have the HDD light on steady. Funny how we get accustomed to some of these things.
If anyone has any ideas, I would really appreciate hearing from you.
In case the question comes up, I have the Hard Drive on the Sec IDE channel so that I can get my optical drives running in UDMA mode. It's a VIA VT 8237 chipset thing. Opticals won't run in UDMA on the Sec channel, but everything runs along smoothly in UDMA this way. Go figure!!
Thanks.
Bill

My System:

ECS PT800CE-A Mobo BIOS 1.1E (latest)
P4 3.0G CPU 800FSB (hyperthreading active)
Windows XP Pro SP2
RAM 1 Gig (2X512) DDR400
Chipset VIA VT8237 (Southbridge) 4 in 1 driver v 4.1.100.1332
HD Maxtor 6Y120P0 120G 7200 RPM Sec IDE Master
Optical Drives AOpen DUW 1608/ARR Pri IDE Master// Plextor PX-716A Pri IDE Slave
IDE Drivers Microsoft 5.1.2600.2180
VIA Bus Master IDE Controller installed
Video Card NVidia FX5200 53.03 driver (best for Links 2003)
Sound Card Soundblaster Live Value
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Old 04-02-2006   #2
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

My system does that when I have an IDE device attached (slave to the Hard drive) but the power removed from the second device?? Not sure why just know that what happens when I unpulg the second device with the IDE cable still attached.
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Old 04-02-2006   #3
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

"Yesterday, my HDD LED began coming on continuously, anytime the computer is operating. The HD itself seems to be working fine, not running continuously or anything."

Sure it is. That’s what that light is for. You better run a virus / spyware scan and soon. Something is accessing you HDD. No light means not data activity.
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Old 04-02-2006   #4
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

woops double post
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Old 04-02-2006   #5
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

Crossq:
Well, I'm up for anything that might find the problem here. I have a spare HD, so I hooked it up as a slave on the Sec IDE with my main HD. Same thing, constant LED on.
Somewhere, in one of the many threads I've been searching the last few days, I think I saw someone mention a freebee little application that puts an icon on the tray, that indicates HD activity. Maybe I'm just getting bonkers over all this. I don't even know for sure why I'm spending so much time on the problem. The computer works fine. I guess it's just that having something that doesn't work right bugs me.
Anyway, Crossq, thanks for the answer. If you happen to think of anything else, I'm all ears.

BKF:
I've run quite a few Virus and Spyware scans, to make sure that I haven't inherited something from "The Net". However, nothing shows up. I have AVG 7 (Pro), the Microsoft Antispyware (Beta), Spybot and Ad-Aware. They all show negative, except for the odd tracking cookie. I update them all regularily, at least every 2 or 3 days.
The Maxtor HDD that I'm using clicks quietly when it is doing anything. That's why I can say that the LED is on when the drive is not doing anything (not clicking). However, I'm not an expert on any of this. There's no indication of anything unusual running in Task Manager . The computer hasn't slowed down or anything, so I've convinced myself that the HDD isn't working all the time. I don't know of any other way to check that out, other than the clicking sound and Task Manager. Any ideas?
Thanks for the answer.
Bill.
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Old 04-02-2006   #6
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

P.S.
I forgot to mention that I have a back-up hard drive with a clean install of Windows on it. I did that install quite a while before this problem cropped up. I replaced my regular drive with that one, and had the same problem, constant LED. That's another reason I'm pretty sure it's not something residing on the HDD that's causing the problem.
Bill
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Old 04-02-2006   #7
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

Try hitting Crtl/Alt/Delete keys simultainously and that should bring up your task manager, Go to proccess and see if you have any thing using the CPU, if your computer is Idle the should not be any usage. Woops you can also right click on the task bar and click task manager. Old habits die hard!!
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Old 04-02-2006   #8
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

Quote:
Hard Drive LED on continuously
We have read posts like this one from time to time, example, example .
Some say it's a bug in windoze, other members relate this to optical drives and other hardware.
AFAIK noone has been able to pin down whats really going on.

My guess; your VIA chipsed just doesn't like $ntel processors /joke.
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Old 05-02-2006   #9
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

Bill that program might be this one. check it out. A drive light on all the time just aint normal espically if it just decided to start doing it. something changed.
http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Diskmon.html


here is a far reach. a shorted pin on the ide cable
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Old 05-02-2006   #10
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

BFK
I didn't think of changing the IDE cable, so I tried that. No change.
I downloaded Diskmon, and it seems to work fine. It confirmed my suspicions that the hard drive really is operating normally. I minimized Diskmon to my systray, and now have a HD monitor light that works. I'm now really sure that the problem is on the motherboard somewhere. I don't know how that circuit works, but I suspect that it's run through the Southbridge chipset. However, none of that is repairable by me.
Anyway, thanks to you, I now have a HD activity monitor again, and I now know for sure that the HD is not having a problem. That satisfies me.
Thanks a million for your help. I really appreciate it, especially when the manufacturer tech support is so bad in some cases.
Keep up the great work.
Bill.

Well, BFK, you're not going to believe this one. I always make a hard copy of the files I download. So, after downloading Diskmon, I went to burn it to CD in my Plextor drive. As soon as I put my CD into the drive, and closed the tray, the hard drive light started to operate normally. It's now working perfectly. Just when you think you've seen everything. I don't suppose this will ever come up again here (hopefully), but if anyone else ever has a steady HDD LED, and a Plextor PX716-A, get them to check the drive out. You never know.
Thanks again for all the help.
Bill
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Old 05-02-2006   #11
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Re: Hard Drive LED on continuously

Well, no one's perfect, they say. It is my AOpen DUW 1608/ARR drive that's causing the problem. I forgot that I had switched the drives a couple of days ago.
Anyway, the HDD LED comes on steady everytime I power up the computer, but I only have to open the tray on my AOpen DVD burner to set it back in normal operation.
I passed that on to the AOpen Tech Support people (Dr. AOpen), to see if they have ever encountered that before.
I won't bother you again, unless I get a permanent fix from them. I'll post it if it happens.
Bill
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