Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


External hard drive being constantly accessed

  1. #1


    Posts : 205
    Windows 8.1 64bit

    External hard drive being constantly accessed


    This is puzzling. For 2 days I've noticed that the 'light' on 1 of my external drives is constantly blinking. This is going on 24hrs a day. The drive shows in This PC and is accessible. Scanned the drive for errors and it shows as fine. Drive is a Western Digital 'My Book'. It's not hot, I have a small fan that blows over the drive (without the fan it gets warm to the touch).

    Have scanned both with Kaspersky and Malwarebytes, system is clean. Could it be that the drive is beginning to fail?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    If you installed the WD software, check it to see if it is doing some incremental backup of some sort. I have the same drive and have noticed that too.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Windows could be indexing it - which is a low priority process that typically happens in the background, when you the user are idle. If it is caused by indexing, it will stop when indexing completes.

    When you start using Windows does the flashing continue as before? And to be sure, check your manual to ensure that does not mean the drive is in standby.

    I don't see this being a sign the drive itself if failing, but it could indicate problems with the enclosure. But it would not hurt to run Error Checking on it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 205
    Windows 8.1 64bit


    I didn't install the WD software, so no backups. I also have indexing turned off for the drive. I rebooted and the problem is still there. HWiNFO shows (SMART) all as green (good). The only backup is what I have Windows do (Documents folder). That is saved to a different external drive, not the one I'm wondering about. Here's the report from HWiNFO.

    WDC WD10EAVS-00D7B1 -------------------------------------------------------

    [General Information]
    Drive Controller: Serial ATA 3Gb/s <-> USB
    Drive Model: WDC WD10EAVS-00D7B1
    Drive Revision: 01.01A01
    Drive Serial Number: WD-WCAU4C035108
    World Wide Name: 50014EE22F7AC7A
    Drive Capacity: 953,869 MBytes (1000 GB)
    Drive Capacity [MB]: 953869
    [Drive Geometry]
    Number of Cylinders: 16383
    Number of Heads: 16
    Sectors Per Track: 63
    Number Of ECC Bytes: 50
    Number of Sectors: 16514064
    Total 32-bit LBA Sectors: 268435455
    Total 48-bit LBA Sectors: 1953525168
    Cache Buffer Size: 8192 KBytes
    [Transfer Modes]
    Sectors Per Interrupt: Total: 16, Active: 0
    Max. PIO Transfer Mode: 4
    Multiword DMA Mode: Total: 2, Active: 2
    Singleword DMA Mode: Total: -, Active: -
    Ultra-DMA Mode: Total: 6 (ATA-133), Inactive
    Max. Multiword DMA Transfer Rate: 16.7 MBytes/s
    Max. PIO with IORDY Transfer Rate: 16.7 MBytes/s
    Max. PIO w/o IORDY Transfer Rate: 16.7 MBytes/s
    Transfer Width: 16-bit
    Native Command Queuing: Supported, Max. Depth: 32
    TRIM Command: Not Supported
    [Device flags]
    Fixed Drive: Present
    Removable Drive: Not Present
    Magnetic Storage: Present
    LBA Mode: Supported
    DMA Mode: Supported
    IORDY: Supported
    IORDY Disableable: Supported
    [Features]
    Write Cache: Present, Active
    S.M.A.R.T. Feature: Present, Active
    Security Feature: Present, Inactive
    Removable Media Feature: Not Present, Disabled
    Power Management: Present, Active
    Advanced Power Management: Not Present, Inactive
    Packet Interface: Not Present, Disabled
    Look-Ahead Buffer: Present, Active
    Host Protected Area: Present, Enabled
    Power-Up In Standby: Supported, Inactive
    Automatic Acoustic Management: Supported, Inactive
    48-bit LBA: Supported, Active
    Host-Initiated Link Power Management: Supported
    Device-Initiated Link Power Management: Not Supported
    In-Order Data Delivery: Not Supported
    Hardware Feature Control: Not Supported
    Software Settings Preservation: Supported, Enabled
    NCQ Autosense: Not Supported
    Link Power State Device Sleep: Not Supported
    Hybrid Information Feature: Not Supported
    All Write Cache Non-Volatile: Not Supported
    Extended Number of User Addressable Sectors: Not Supported
    Device Encrypts All User Data: Not Supported
    CFast Specification: Not Supported
    NCQ Priority Information: Not Supported
    Host Automatic Partial to Slumber Transitions: Not Supported
    Device Automatic Partial to Slumber Transitions: Not Supported
    NCQ Streaming: Not Supported
    NCQ Queue Management Command: Not Supported
    DEVSLP to Reduced Power State: Not Supported
    Extended Power Conditions Feature: Not Supported
    Sense Data Reporting Feature: Not Supported
    Free-Fall Control Feature: Not Supported
    [Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.)]
    [01] Raw Read Error Rate: 200/51, Worst: 200
    [03] Spin Up Time: 157/21, Worst: 153 (Data = 7141)
    [04] Start/Stop Count: 97/Always OK, Worst: 97 (Data = 3713)
    [05] Reallocated Sector Count: 200/140, Worst: 200
    [07] Seek Error Rate: 200/Always OK, Worst: 200
    [09] Power-On Hours/Cycle Count: 73/Always OK, Worst: 73 (Data = 20229)
    [0A] Spin Retry Count: 100/Always OK, Worst: 100
    [0B] Calibration Retry Count: 100/Always OK, Worst: 253
    [0C] Power Cycle Count: 100/Always OK, Worst: 100 (Data = 45)
    [C0] Power-Off Retract Count: 200/Always OK, Worst: 200 (Data = 12)
    [C1] Load/Unload Cycle Count: 199/Always OK, Worst: 199 (Data = 3712)
    [C2] Temperature 116/Always OK, Worst: 96 (Data = 34.0 C)
    [C4] Reallocation Event Count: 200/Always OK, Worst: 200
    [C5] Current Pending Sector Count: 200/Always OK, Worst: 200
    [C6] Off-Line Uncorrectable Sector Count: 200/Always OK, Worst: 200
    [C7] UltraDMA/SATA CRC Error Rate: 200/Always OK, Worst: 200
    [C8] Write/Multi-Zone Error Rate: 200/Always OK, Worst: 200
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    N.Y.
    Posts : 2,214
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    odos, i have same External Drive from what i know and this might not be what you see or mean because you say accessing it.
    When mine spins down after 10 minutes or so of no access this is the time i notice the light blinks at a certain pace.
    If it spins back up after awhile light remains solid if no accessing of the drive is happening.
    sleep is built in firmware of drive usually does not require WD utilities.

    Guess you know if something is accessing it hear that slight grind sound of the drive accessing something.
    I know this is not possibly what you are experiencing, but sounded similar.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    N.Y.
    Posts : 2,214
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    Might want to check for a firmware update through WD site using Model number. Mine took the newer one after i bought it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 205
    Windows 8.1 64bit


    I've had this drive for a few years and never experienced it doing this before.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    I've had this drive for a few years and never experienced it doing this before.
    Electrons have mass which means electrons flowing through circuits and electronic devices creates friction as they bang about. And friction cause wear. So all electronics will "wear out" eventually - if something else does not take it out earlier.

    Drives are electro-mechanical devices - and mechanical devices must deal with much more friction, so they don't last forever either. If you have "years" on this drive, it may just be near its natural end.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    N.Y.
    Posts : 2,214
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Itaregid View Post
    I've had this drive for a few years and never experienced it doing this before.
    Electrons have mass which means electrons flowing through circuits and electronic devices creates friction as they bang about. And friction cause wear. So all electronics will "wear out" eventually - if something else does not take it out earlier.

    Drives are electro-mechanical devices - and mechanical devices must deal with much more friction, so they don't last forever either. If you have "years" on this drive, it may just be near its natural end.
    True. Still not truly understanding this topic. Besides 24 blinking,how is the drive working, you said it's accessible ?
    If it was dying it would be inaccessible at times and errors.

    I said i have the same device, not as long as you. WD My Book has it's own fan and vents to cool it, why the extra fan ? I asked how rapid the light was blinking. Drive does sleep on it's own after 10 min or so of no access and yes this is probably not issue you mean and usually when light blinks at certain pace and you do not hear it's fan running inside the unit. Steady pace is when fan is running and drive is accessible.

    You ran a S.M.A.R.T, chkdsk and both good. Hopefully whatever is on it is backed up if it is going to go. Too old for warranty.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Maryland USA
    Posts : 758
    Windows 8 & Windows 7 Dual Boot


    Theres a program obviously accessing it, try disconnecting your internet for an hour and see if the access stops.
    If it stops then your computer is downloading or uploading files, could be P2P, malware, or online backups, killing the internet temporarily should slim down the possible causes..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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External hard drive being constantly accessed
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