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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Question Hard drive running longer than before

    Not sure I have enough information to give you to help, but thought I'd air the issue in case it is something obvious.

    For the past 3 nights, my hard drive has started running non-stop for an extended period of time. The first time, I restarted and got it to stop, but it did the same thing the next 2 evenings.

    I tried running What's My Compute Doing, but didn't see anything obvious - at least to me. I'm not doing anything unusual at the time. It does seem to stop on its own after a period of time.

    Is this anything I should worry about? It has not happened before which is why I'm a bit concerned.

    It happens with the following open: Dashlane, Word 97, Windows Live Mail, Firefox 26 and I guess a number of processes in the background.

    Thanks for any suggestions,

    Linda

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    How much memory do you have installed? How many tabs do you have Firefox open with? It could be Page File reads and writes.

    If you run Resource Monitor, (Click on Start Orb and type Resource Monitor) Maximize it and click on the disk tab. The upper box will show you the processes with disk activity.

    The lower box gives you more detail.

    Jerry

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger KritzX's Avatar
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    This could indicate malware. Run a full scan on your system using MalwareBytes.

    It could also mean that the drive is on its last legs. Run chkdsk /r from an elevated command prompt.
    Fact of Life:

    “Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”
    Terry Pratchett

  4. #4
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    First, when your computer is on your hard drive is always running. I assume you mean one of two things: 1. It spun up to full speed so you noticed it whirring away and wondered 'what the heck?!' 2. Or, you noticed the hard drive activity light maxing out?

    The latter is typical housekeeping and should occur anytime the PC is on and you are not really doing anything that is accessing the hard drive. After a few seconds of inactivity the drive will start automatically testing sectors and moving anything it finds unstable (hopefully the latter is an infrequent occurrence) to a stable sector and marking the bad sector off (and activating a reserve sector out).

    The former can be normal activity of a noisy drive or symptomatic of a drive going bad. Could be malware but I doubt it.

    I suppose there is a third possibility but your PC would need to be low on memory with virtual memory swaps furiously kicking in or your hard drive is getting low on space and housekeeping is moving temp files around to the last available fragmented spaces.

    I would probably test the drive first. As well as see how much free space remained (if it was fuller than you expected or the drive is reportedly smaller than expected that could be serious malware).

    Then look at what the hogging activity is.

    If you want to check your hard drive, go to the maker's tech support page, downloads and download their diagnostic testing app and run it. I would not accept any offer to "fix" the drive until you backed it up (that is run it in read only mode). [If you don't know the insides of your PC run Speccy or Belarc Advisor to determine make of your drive.]


    Figure out what app is stealing your drive:
    http://askleo.com/i_have_constant_di...m_is_doing_it/

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896645.aspx - process monitor download (free)


    If you want to check for malware you can run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free):

    http://filehippo.com/download_malwarebytes_anti_malware

    And boot up a Rescue disk. If you are not using AVG I rather like AVGs Rescue disk as you can download all current AV defs into memory before running upon the hard drive. [If you are using AVG as you antiviral app, then I'd try Kaspersky's Rescue Disk.]
    http://www.avg.com/us-en/download.prd-arl
    http://www.avg.com/us-en/226386 - how to guide

    -------------

    I noticed a couple of things, your Firefox is 5 releases out of date...currently ver 31. And you are running Word97. It is your computer but serious security concerns running out of date popular apps on an Internet connected PC. I can understand not embracing the most recent update letting others do the "beta" testing, but beyond a certain point is a vulnerability.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2014-07-26 at 17:16. Reason: out of date apps comment

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your advice and suggestions. It hasn't acted up tonight, but I haven't been on it as much today.

    I'll try checking out the number of open tabs next time it starts running on and run Resource Monitor - I'd forgotten about it.

    Think I'm okay re. malware as I've just run MalwareBytes (great program!). Disk is healthy, as I keep track of its functioning with Hard Disk Sentinel Pro - it's saved a lot of worry.

    Appreciate both of you getting back to me with some ideas! Will post back if I find something.

    MORE: Oops, wrote this before I saw most recent post. I'm pretty sure it was the whirring and the flashing HD light that worried me. You made a number of suggestions and I plan to work through the ones that I haven't done already.

    I do remember that when I replaced the hard drive with this current one (a first attempt but it worked, also thanks to this Lounge!!), the new one was really fast but not as large as the OEM one. Sounds like checking space on it will be a good place to start. Thanks!

    Linda
    Last edited by IreneLinda; 2014-07-26 at 19:31. Reason: Read Fascist Nation's post

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger KritzX's Avatar
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    Is this PC on the network Linda?
    Fact of Life:

    “Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”
    Terry Pratchett

  7. #7
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    It's in our home office and networked only with our laptop. Is that what you mean?

    Linda

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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Linda:

    A really easy thing to do is run Task Manager. Task Manager will show you which processes are running, and how much percent of CPU resources that the processes are using. Click on the Processes tab, and you can see CPU and Memory.

    To run Task Manager, right-click on an empty spot on the bottom bar, and choose Task Manager.

  9. #9
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    KritzX: It's in our home office and networked only with our laptop. Is that what you mean?

    Jim: yes, that is exactly what I'll do when it starts up again.

    Update: checked Belarc Advisor re. disk capacity and think I'm fine there. I attached a screenshot just in case I'm misreading the results.

    Linda
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    5 Star Lounger
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    P.S. Just checked Task Manager (hard drive is not running non-stop at this point but I was curious...).

    I took a screenshot of the Performance tab. Does it look okay? Afraid I'm not too adept at interpreting all this technical data!

    Thanks for your help,

    Linda
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    CPU usage looks very reasonable. When it gets in the range of 80% or higher, then you should be concerned.

    If you'll click on the Processes tab, you will be able to see if there is a specific process or two which are consuming a lot of CPU or memory resources. If so, that may indicate an out-of-control process. Make note of its name, then select it and end it. If the problem goes away, then you know what it was that was causing the problem.

  12. #12
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    Perfect. Thanks, Jim. I'm hoping it doesn't start up again and was just a blip, but feel well prepared with actions to take if it does!

    Linda

  13. #13
    3 Star Lounger KritzX's Avatar
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    Glad the HD is working fine now. I asked about the network because the HD tends to go crazy when many users try to access files on it. Since you only have a laptop connected to it, I guess that rules out network activity. You do have recent backups and/or an image of the HD right?
    Fact of Life:

    “Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”
    Terry Pratchett

  14. #14
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    Thanks, I now understand why you were asking about network.

    Yes, thanks again to this fabulous Lounge, I do have backups and images. You have, however, reminded me that I am 2 weeks behind in doing my latest image and for that, I thank you, too.

    As an added note, I was wrong about my Firefox version: it's 31, up to date. They change so fast, I was remembering the wrong version!

    Appreciate your responses...and really like the quote from Terry Pratchett!

    Linda

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