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Constant Flashing computer hard drive light
Old 08-29-2013, 07:50 AM   #1
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Constant Flashing computer hard drive light

Solved

May help others.

My old Dell Workstation bit the dust, so got a new to me all in one Sony Vaio. Nice big screen, good video speed and rendering. With win7 already installed. After a few hours of cleanups and personalization, noted the hard drive acces indicator flashing about 1 sec intervals. Pain in the a$$ and eyes.

Getting rid of all Microsft phone home and helpful logging crap it still continued. Scouring th interweb was mostly useless. Re-reading the user manual revealed that this acces light will come on for both hard drive AND CD/DVD access.

Short annswer: Had to disable the driver of the DVD. Light stopped flashing. Annoynace is gone.

The down side of this elementary solution is, if I want to use CD or DVD, have to go to control panel and enable the driver. I don't do much cd palying or burning thus a minor inconvenience. The operating system is constantly polling the DVD drive.

If any computer gurus have a better solution, would love to hear it. Some Unix users found the same issue along with other brands of PCs as well.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:11 AM   #2
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Electrical tape.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:22 AM   #3
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Mine did that for a couple of weeks. Been flash free for the last week and don't know why. Didn't do a thing to make it stop. Computer running fine so I'm going to let sleeping dogs lie.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
Electrical tape.
Did you post the tape trick back in 2003... Blinking Disk Activity Light - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

Seems this has been an issue with Dell for a long time. Mine don't do it, but I always reformat/reinstall when I take it out of the box to remove all the at crapware that comes installed so I know I start clean.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post

Did you post the tape trick back in 2003... Blinking Disk Activity Light - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

Seems this has been an issue with Dell for a long time. Mine don't do it, but I always reformat/reinstall when I take it out of the box to remove all the at crapware that comes installed so I know I start clean.
No I would never own a Dell, to much proprietary hardware.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:51 AM   #6
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Interesting that Sony with blinking LED is a Dell problem?

It's the OS interacting with hardware, so disabling device is one way...

SATA, right? Maybe built-in diagnostics or drive health getting polled.

Maybe that blinking LED is an indicator that you want to see?
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
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Nothing really related to dell other than similar questions have been asked. Check the AutoPlay properties in control panel. Autoplay periodically polls the CD bus to detect if anything is inserted. You can turn it off, see how that behaves
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
Nothing really related to dell other than similar questions have been asked. Check the AutoPlay properties in control panel. Autoplay periodically polls the CD bus to detect if anything is inserted. You can turn it off, see how that behaves
Thanks for the suggestion.

Disabled autoplay, enabled CD/DVD driver. Drive access indicator resumed the 1 sec blink rate.

Disabled cd driver, blimking gone.

Yes the HD is SATA.

Edit add. Seems to be win7 feature that works on some machines
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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Disable auto insert notification on that drive?
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:01 PM   #10
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Disable auto insert notification on that drive?
In win7 auto insert notification= auto play. The terms were changed after XP and Vista

Edit add: some in the interweb suggest turning off DVD services, That don't work either.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:43 AM   #11
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IN win 7

Control Panel>Autoplay

Uncheck the box at the top that says "use autoplay for all media and devices"

That turns it of for everything. If that works you can fiddle with settings for each individually. Also click on the "?" in the upper right, it will open the FAQ on autoplay.

Here's some info from a blog I read sometmes, it might be useful.

I had the same problem on my Vaio laptop. Disabling the DVD drive (I rarely use it) fixed the blinking. I had the additional concern of excessive writes though because I recently installed a SSD and I understand their lifetimes are typically limited by the number of write/erase cycles.

At the suggestion of someone on Microsoft Technet I downloaded SysInternals and used Process Explorer (procexp) to monitor disk writes (one of the graph icons on top). I also used diskmon to give a very detailed view of writes. I found a lot writes happening when "idle" so...

I used Windows 7's System Configuration (msconfig) to start up in diagnostic mode (very minimal services and start up items) and lo and behold, ALL writing stopped. Nothing worked :-) but no writes. I then used msconfig to enable just the Microsoft stuff and most funtionality I wanted was there. There were also sporadic writes but much less than normal start up. I got back the rest of the functionality I wanted by enabling a few key services and start up items from Intel and Sony.

Per SSD suggestions I also disabled scheduled defrags, most logging and all fetching and indexing using Windows and SSD Tweaker (downloadable tool).

Now I've got no blinking and a lot less writes to the SSD. Start up and shutdown are also faster though they were already fast due to the SSD. I go from power button to useful desktop in about 15s. IE opens at msn.com instantaneously. Full Security Essentials scans went from 3-4h to 30m. I also do java compiles which I don't have measurements on but I subjectively feel had gains similar to virus scans. I'm a happy camper.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
IN win 7

Control Panel>Autoplay

Uncheck the box at the top that says "use autoplay for all media and devices"

That turns it of for everything. If that works you can fiddle with settings for each individually. Also click on the "?" in the upper right, it will open the FAQ on autoplay.

Here's some info from a blog I read sometmes, it might be useful.

I had the same problem on my Vaio laptop. Disabling the DVD drive (I rarely use it) fixed the blinking. I had the additional concern of excessive writes though because I recently installed a SSD and I understand their lifetimes are typically limited by the number of write/erase cycles.

At the suggestion of someone on Microsoft Technet I downloaded SysInternals and used Process Explorer (procexp) to monitor disk writes (one of the graph icons on top). I also used diskmon to give a very detailed view of writes. I found a lot writes happening when "idle" so...

I used Windows 7's System Configuration (msconfig) to start up in diagnostic mode (very minimal services and start up items) and lo and behold, ALL writing stopped. Nothing worked :-) but no writes. I then used msconfig to enable just the Microsoft stuff and most funtionality I wanted was there. There were also sporadic writes but much less than normal start up. I got back the rest of the functionality I wanted by enabling a few key services and start up items from Intel and Sony.

Per SSD suggestions I also disabled scheduled defrags, most logging and all fetching and indexing using Windows and SSD Tweaker (downloadable tool).

Now I've got no blinking and a lot less writes to the SSD. Start up and shutdown are also faster though they were already fast due to the SSD. I go from power button to useful desktop in about 15s. IE opens at msn.com instantaneously. Full Security Essentials scans went from 3-4h to 30m. I also do java compiles which I don't have measurements on but I subjectively feel had gains similar to virus scans. I'm a happy camper.
I have dona all of the above, except diasable fetching. will try that next when I get back, next week.

Current boot time is far less than 2 min, shutdown is nearly instantenous this is with SATA HDD. I don't use IE, do Firefox and Thunderbird.

Thanks for the hints.
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