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PC HDD never stops.

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by Messiah, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Messiah

    Messiah
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    My office machine (not my NTPC) HDD is continually working even when I am not doing anything on the PC. It drives me nuts. I have turned off (disabled) the Indexing Service and cannot see that the MS Office Index feature is installed let alone running.

    In looking at the Processes list in Task Manager it is a process called 'System Idle Process' which is eating up about 95% CPU usage all the time.

    No wonder this PC seems so slow now (It's an Intel P4 2.0GHz)

    I have Windows XP and would be most grateful for any suggestions to stop this permanent 'chattering' next to me.

    Thanks.
     
  2. VintageMark

    VintageMark
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    Well I'll start by assuming youre not 'joking' about the system idle process...

    It is exactly what it says... a process Windows runs when it is 'idle' and not doing anything else... so if you are not using the PC I would expect that process to be using 95% or even higher...

    As to the HD chattering... that could be numerous things... (not the system idle process)

    Is your Office PC standalone? Not part of a network? How is it connected to the Internet?

    Do you have a firewall running?

    Are you running AV software? If so is it configured to run background scans?

    There are 100's of possibilities unfortunately... if you can provide a little more info of any kind I'll try and help!

    Mark.
     
  3. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Thanks Mark

    The PC sits on a local network but does this even when no other devices ae active on the network (other than the router and ADSL modem). Have the modem configured with NAT and Kerio firewall running. It's definitely not any outseide activity as the activity light on the modem is not flashing and it does this even if I turn the ADSL modem off.

    No AV software running, this is not my HTPC, but do have a number of active tasks such as MSN Messenger, SPAM Inspector etc but would not expect any of those to be causing 100% HDD activity.

    Actually, as I type now it is quiet (no activity) but drives me nuts when it is constant. Have to say as well that the HDD activity sound sounds like the second HDD not the primary (they have distib=nctly different sounds). I just don't know what else to look for.

    Does Office XP automatically Index as cannot find the option as in the old versions of Office which usualldexing service to the StartUp Group.

    Thanks.
     
  4. HMHB

    HMHB
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    it might be worth running msconfig and disabling startup programs one by one to see if it's one of these that's causing it.
    I've also come across a system where it was continuously scanning to see if a CD had been put in the drive (for autorun). I'm sure this can be disabled in the registry if that is the case.
     
  5. VintageMark

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    Hi...

    No I dont think Office XP does include it's own Indexer... I think it makes use of the built in indexer in Win2k/WinXP....

    I would check for scheduled tasks... or John's idea of checking for programs which have kicked in during startup...

    Another idea might be to open task manager and maximise it... then watch the tasks see what other tasks apaprt from 'idle' are active when the disk is... this is a hit and miss approach but might highlight some unusual process....

    Mark.
     
  6. Muf

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    Once had a problem like this in Office 97. It turned out to be a feature called "Find fast". Put in the installation CD, click "Add remove" and under "Office Tools" un tick Find fast

    Jim
     
  7. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Thanks guys. I don't think Office XP has a Find Fast feature. I'll try the other suggestions and see how I get on. Thanks again.
     
  8. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    How much ram you got?
     
  9. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I used to be bugged by the same thing in my small office room containing a desktop and server.

    I've used three ways to reduce hard disk noise:

    a) PC sound absorbing/deadening kit.
    For about £25 these work surprisingly well. Makes even loud hard disks tolerably quiet, plus some spare to do the HTPC too. It will quieten VGA and CPU fan noise too.

    I've a noisy 200GB Western Digital JB disk (very noisy spindle whine since I dropped from hand height on to the kitchen lino once! Surprisingly it still seems to work, although it's only used for AV captures, no important data!) which is intolerable with the cover off but about fine with the side on.

    b) FDB fluid-dynamic-brearing type replacement hard disk.
    About £65+VAT for a 120GB one from Seagate, Maxtor or even the new Hitachi Deskstar, storagereview.com report them to be quiet. Reports of amazing performance off the new Hitachi Deskstar plus it's very quiet.

    c) SilentDrive drive cover from quietpc.com about £25. Used one of these with a 5400rpm 80GB disk with loud spindle whine in a dev server. Not rated to handle the heat output from fastest 7200rpm drives though.

    None are very practical if you don't own the pc long-term though.
    My solution if on-site and need to concentrate are to ask if I can install WinAmp and use a small pair of headphones!

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  10. Messiah

    Messiah
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    512MB RAM. Think I've sorted it now.

    Despite turning off the indexing feature in the Administration Services area when I checked the HDD properties in My Computer there was still a tick in the 'Use Index Service......' box. Removed this tick and the disk has been silent for the last few days.

    Have also installed a new whisper quiet PSU and it is almost silent altogether :) Very pleased.

    Thanks all.
     

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