Just a simple HD question really

By sadbluescreener ยท 14 replies
Mar 7, 2009
  1. My HD light is constantly on and when I open certain programs it take a very long time to actually start up. The HD light is practically on from start up of the computer and the startup time is very long. Is there any1 that could shed some light on what's happening with my HD?

    I have a MSI-GX630 a 250GB Western Digital HD. If u need any additional info let me know.
  2. neill1973

    neill1973 TS Rookie Posts: 17

    I would first try defragmenting your computer. It sounds like your hard drive is doing a lot of thrashing.
  3. sadbluescreener

    sadbluescreener TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 136

    i had done that some time ago, like 2 weeks ago. The HD came partitioned into two.
    C Drive 43.9GB
    D Drive 181GB
    so instead of saving my files such as program files and pics and music etc on the C, i saved everything on D so im nt sure if maybe that has something to do with it working so hard to to open programs and files etc.
  4. swwelsh

    swwelsh TS Rookie Posts: 34

  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,187   +470

    See if you can identify the process or processes that are using your CPU in the Task Manager. Ctlr + Alt + Delete.
  6. sadbluescreener

    sadbluescreener TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 136

    swwelsh i had gone to that exact page b4 to check about drivers but i have no idea of how to find what product my HD is, i tried using the model number search option but it didn't work =S. And what is DMA mode?

    mailpup the HD light is not running constant now, but usualli it's just firefox and messenger. I'll check task manager next time it's doing so.

    thanks for the replies.
  7. sadbluescreener

    sadbluescreener TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 136

    hello again. i've just had the problem that i had stated at the top. the HD light is contasntly on. and when i checked the task manager the desktop window manager had a commit charge of 59,820K. i did some reading up and found that the dwm allows aero and vista's "prettiness" so i disabled it and selected the windows classic theme. the constant HD light is flickering a bit now. so im guessing that was the problem. however, i'd actually like to have the vista interface. this windows classic is worse than XP. and im used to XP. is there anywayi can have the vista interface w/o the dwm having such a high commit charge or is that normal for the dwm?
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,534

    You need to check how many processes are running via task manager Cntl-Alt-Del , find out which and how many processes are running, the "commit charge" is not the meaningful stat in this issue. It's about available RAM. when a computer runs low on RAM it starts swapping info with the HDD. why don't you check out how many processes are running and what's is running at start up. I don't know the run command to do this in Vista, so if anybody wants to pitch in, now would be a good time. There are a lot of memory usage issues in Vista that don't exist in XP. But, we really don't want to get into that for the moment.

    In XP, you type msconfig into the run box and it will show you what is running at start up. Again dunno with Vista. I do know Vista uses a lot more memory than XP, so enter the "swap file".
  9. sadbluescreener

    sadbluescreener TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 136

    On average there're 56 to 59 processes running. its 55 now. how do i check the amount of RAM?
    and its the same msconfig for vista but i've alredi cut down the startup programs to the bare minimum.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,534

    In Task manager, just click on the performance tab. Just so you know, excessive CPU / memory usage can be the result of a malware infection also.

    55 processes is a bunch, but sort of typical for a store bought machine.

    Incidentally, that is the smart way to store your files, away from the system drive. In fact I don't even use a partition. I move all file content from the primary to a second discreet HDD, which has no active content on it ever.
  11. sadbluescreener

    sadbluescreener TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 136

    I have been running ZoneAlarm and it hasn't reported anything.. hmm.

    That many processes don't seem strange when compared with other machine i've seen. i have 4GB of RAM and an AMD Athlon QL-62 X2 processor @ 2.0 GHz wit a 250GB HD. it shouldn't be a problem to run Vista in all its "glory". so confused.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,534

    First, I can get my PC to exhibit this type of behavior, but, it does take "planning and perseverance". Like this; Photoshop Elements running, a couple a 10 GB folders open, Firefox running, with about 70 (yes seventy) tabs open, as soon as I try to load about a dozen more tabs with 1MB or larger Jpeg photos on them while serially downloading other 1+MB photos, Mi "durn" compooter's HDD starts running and it doesn't seem like it's gonna stop, ever. XP with 1.5 GB of DDR RAM. Well, I know this is my own fault, so the reboot process doesn't hurt my feelings the way it used to.

    So, statistically your machine should be less likely to act like this.

    I have heard that video driver problems can provoke this behavior.

    Have you gone through the process of using task manager to kill processes one at a time to try to determine if a specific culprit might be to blame?

    So, video driver, program looping, program conflict, or pilot error, at least some things to consider.

    When you say "Zone Alarm" do you refer to the firewall only or the security suite? BTW, it has been noted, (although I don't know if it's still the case) that the free Zone Alarm firewall, didn't play as nicely with Vista as one might hope.
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    make sure your BIOS is set for DMA and not PIO.
  14. sadbluescreener

    sadbluescreener TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 136

    I have the full ZoneAlarm Security Suite. I'm going to try to uninstall and reinstall Vista to see if that will solve any problems.

    How would I do that DMA thing?
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    when booting the system, the b/w VGA screen will have a comment suggesting
    Hit <key> for Setup

    A Dell system uses <esc>

    see this for some alternatives
    (scroll to #3)
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