Solved Drive spinning up every few minutes for no aparrent reason

okrobie

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
57
Location
Jacksonville Florida
Hi, thanks for having this forum. I can hear a drive spinning up to full speed every few minutes. I have 3 hard drives. One for Windows 8, one for Windows 7 and one for data. I can't tell which one is spinning up. It happens about every 3 minutes or so, all day and night. I don't have any applications running just a browser. Has anyone got a clue what it might be? It's not causing any malfunctions, just annoying. Thanks, Jim
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Name
    Jim
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP m8120n
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5BW-LA Basswood 3G
    Memory
    8 Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 9400
    Occupation
    Retired
    Browser
    FoxFire
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium
    Country Flag
    USA
    State/Region Flag
    us florida

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,130
Welcome to the Forums.

If you have your network set for WMP to share media files it could be scanning the drives every so often looking for files to add to the library. I remember on my first Vista machine it pretty much hogged the drive to do it. I had to turn that off as well as disabling Windows Search Indexing Service to use the machine normally.

Usually it's either WMP or indexing running the drives on all the time.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad
    Country Flag
    USA

okrobie

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
57
Location
Jacksonville Florida
Thanks Miles Ahead, I'm not sure what I did but I messed with the Indexing settings and it quit. Something else I need to learn about. Regards, Jim
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Name
    Jim
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP m8120n
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5BW-LA Basswood 3G
    Memory
    8 Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 9400
    Occupation
    Retired
    Browser
    FoxFire
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium
    Country Flag
    USA
    State/Region Flag
    us florida

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,130
You are welcome. With XP you could kind of just run out of the box afa Services. But since Vista doing so can be a performance killer. Stuff like running Touch Screen service if you don't have a touch screen etc.. :)

There are sites on the web with detailed descriptions of all the services. In fact searching out how to adjust my first Vista machine got me to this site in 2008: Vista Support Forums

I've been on the related sites ever since. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad
    Country Flag
    USA

okrobie

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
57
Location
Jacksonville Florida
Hi MilesAhead, I'm back. This problem never really went away, but I didn't have time to mess with it. Now if you have the time, I would like to investigate further. First of all, I can't find WMP. What does it mean and where will I find it. Thanks, Jim
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Name
    Jim
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP m8120n
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5BW-LA Basswood 3G
    Memory
    8 Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 9400
    Occupation
    Retired
    Browser
    FoxFire
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium
    Country Flag
    USA
    State/Region Flag
    us florida

crawfish

Member
Power User
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
454
Hi, thanks for having this forum. I can hear a drive spinning up to full speed every few minutes. I have 3 hard drives. One for Windows 8, one for Windows 7 and one for data. I can't tell which one is spinning up. It happens about every 3 minutes or so, all day and night. I don't have any applications running just a browser. Has anyone got a clue what it might be? It's not causing any malfunctions, just annoying. Thanks, Jim

FWIW, ordinary hard drives only operate at one speed, i.e. there is only one speed below "Full Speed", and that is, "Off", and this includes the WD Green Drives, despite the confusing "IntelliPower" terminology they use. There are many things that cause drives to spin up for no apparent reason, but if it's happening "every three minutes", your spin down time must be too short. Try lengthening it, and consider replacing your boot drive with an SSD. That will remove one HD from the equation, and it may be the most significant speed upgrade you'll ever make. If ultimate quietness is the goal, I'd replace the other two drives with a single larger drive, which will eliminate any resonance multiple drives may exhibit, and I'd disable sleep for the single remaining HD. Then I'd use a second PC or NAS if I needed more storage. That's actually what I did.

This reminds me, I wrote the following back in 2012, which was a recounting of a long experiment I did regarding HD sleep.

View topic - Turn Off Hard Disk - Good or Bad Idea?

I never slept the hard drives until about a year ago when I got an SSD and put the majority of my working files on it in addition to the OS. I kept two 2 TB green drives for Recorded TV, music, large downloads, etc, and I decided to try enabling sleep on them to reduce noise even further for my quiet PC, which is my main PC as well as my HTPC. I was curious enough to track the start/stop cycles in a spreadsheet by using the SMART parameters, and I was able to distinguish start/stop due to system sleep (call it "Type 1") from just the HDs sleeping (Type 2). I found that Windows loves to spin up hard drives, even my two purely data drives. After about 8 months, I concluded I don't believe in sleeping hard drives on a primary PC at least. There are too many random spin-up delays, not enough quietness benefit, and there's the nagging concern about wear and tear.

I started with many Microsoft processes that grovel hard drives turned off, including having nothing in the Music library, Distributed Link Tracking Client turned off, etc, things I routinely do when I install Windows. With the HDs set to the default 20 minutes, I was getting 2 Type 1 and 7 Type 2 hard drive power cycles per day. The Type 1's, which represent System Sleep, remained pretty much constant throughout the experiment, so the rest of this will be about the Type 2's, the HDs sleeping due to power saving. Going to 30 minutes decreased the Type 2's to about 5, which was still too much, as I was wanting them to stay off most of the time for noise reasons, not to mention I was concerned about wear and tear. I used Process Monitor to determine the activities that were causing the spin-ups, and I next turned off Jump List "Recent Files", Explorer Disk Space Checks, removed one of the drives from Indexing, and turned off recent file tracking in programs like Adobe Reader, Notepad++, etc. This got it down to about 4 Type 2's. I got an additional fractional improvement by removing all references to my data drives from the Explorer navigation tree Favorites pane. By this time, I had sacrificed some functionality I consider important, I had not eliminated all unnecessary spin-ups, and I was getting more and more frustrated with the seemingly random 10 sec delays I was experiencing. My breaking point came with the iTunes 10.4 upgrade. Despite having all the info about my music library stored on the SSD and not performing any library updates automatically, iTunes had always spun up the music drive when I merely clicked on a song, say, just to review its metadata, but I could still browse the library without spinning up the drives. With 10.4, iTunes began to spin up the hard drive even when clicking on an album to review the list of songs that are on it, so just browsing the library in iTunes implied spinning up the hard drive. It was just hopeless.

So, at the end of this experiment, I was back to more than 4 Type 2 power cycles per day and gave up in frustration at all the 10 second delays it caused me for about 8 months. I've since restored the good features I disabled and keep the HDs powered on at all times, as I've done for 20+ years.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,130
Hi MilesAhead, I'm back. This problem never really went away, but I didn't have time to mess with it. Now if you have the time, I would like to investigate further. First of all, I can't find WMP. What does it mean and where will I find it. Thanks, Jim

The quick thing to look for is open Task Manager and see if mobsync.exe is running. That used to hog my drive indexing media files for Windows Media Player. If not that then you might look into the info posted by crawfish if you have any powersaver drives. I always used WD Black and kept them spun up all the time just to avoid the side-effects of waiting for drives to spin up.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad
    Country Flag
    USA

okrobie

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
57
Location
Jacksonville Florida
Hi crawfish and milesahead, crawfish, you gave me my strongest clue. That hard drives only have one operating speed. That made me think... maybe it's the dvd or cdrom drives. I went to the control panel device manager and deactivated the dvd and cdrom drives and have not had an incident since. I'll let you know if that works and then we can look at what is making them spin up.
Milesahead, no mobsync.exe is not running, but this desktop is a HP Media Center PC so maybe we are all on the right track.
Thanks guys, Jim
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Name
    Jim
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP m8120n
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5BW-LA Basswood 3G
    Memory
    8 Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 9400
    Occupation
    Retired
    Browser
    FoxFire
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium
    Country Flag
    USA
    State/Region Flag
    us florida

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,130
Now that you mention Optical Drive.. I had a string of HP desktop PCs. All Media Center. On one the HD LED indicator would tick every second. On another it kept flicking on the red LED inside where the memory card ports were. If I disabled the Optical Drive in Device Manager, all that went away. Turns out one disk controller did everything. I got the hint from another board. A guy with an HP desktop said deactivate the DVD drive. If the HD access light stops flickering then it was caused by the system checking for media in the drive.

It might have something to do with it. Maybe not. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad
    Country Flag
    USA

okrobie

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
57
Location
Jacksonville Florida
I'm still having the problem. I have completely uninstalled the dvd and cdr through the controll panel but something is still spinning up. Is it possible that the spinning up that I hear is from a cooling fan or something like that? I'm stumped. Thanks for all the help. Jim
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Name
    Jim
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP m8120n
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5BW-LA Basswood 3G
    Memory
    8 Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 9400
    Occupation
    Retired
    Browser
    FoxFire
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium
    Country Flag
    USA
    State/Region Flag
    us florida

crawfish

Member
Power User
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
454
Uninstalling things in the Control Panel isn't the same as physically disconnecting the power to them.

Yes, fans are a good possibility, especially if the hysteresis is poorly implemented like I remember from the last AMD video card I used in 2009 or so. In fact, I sent it back for this reason. You should be able to find a fan speed monitoring program or open the case and watch them, though opening the case can change the character of noises. If the noise goes away with the case open, then it probably was the fans, and they're not ramping up now due to the computer cooling better.

You have multiple potential sources for the noise. Ultimately, you can remove the power from just about every component to rule it out; exceptions would be things like PSU fans which you can't access.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

okrobie

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
57
Location
Jacksonville Florida
OK now we are getting somewhere. I opened the case and found that all of the fans I can see are continuous. The video board fan the back case fan the power supply fan and the CPU fan are all running all the time. However when I hear the spinning sound the air flow above the CPU increases. Could there be another fan under the CPU fan? As near as I can tell the CPU fan speed stay's the same all the time. I'm planning to remove the CPU fan to see what's under there but I thought I'd get some input from you guys before I do. Thanks from your help. Jim
P.S. it's happening more today than it has for a while, but today we are having warmer weather.
Also, I unplugged the optical drives and it is definitly not them.
I know I will have to remove the CPU fan because with my flashlight I can see lots of dust on the cooling fins. I bought this rig used about 2 months ago and have not yet given it a thurough cleaning.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Name
    Jim
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP m8120n
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5BW-LA Basswood 3G
    Memory
    8 Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 9400
    Occupation
    Retired
    Browser
    FoxFire
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium
    Country Flag
    USA
    State/Region Flag
    us florida

okrobie

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
57
Location
Jacksonville Florida
Well, I pulled out the fan and cleaned the fins and it is as quiet as a kitten so far. I'll let you know how it goes. There is only one CPU fan, No inner fan. The best I can guess is that with all that backpressure from the dust on the fins, it's possible that the CPU fan was actually reversing. I don't know if that's possible, but it's my current theory. Thanks, Jim
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Name
    Jim
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP m8120n
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5BW-LA Basswood 3G
    Memory
    8 Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 9400
    Occupation
    Retired
    Browser
    FoxFire
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium
    Country Flag
    USA
    State/Region Flag
    us florida

okrobie

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
57
Location
Jacksonville Florida
Great news... the cleaning seems to have fixed it. There has been no "spinning" sounds for over 24 hours. In fact it is so quiet that I have to look at it to see if it's running. Crawfish and MilesAhead, thank you for your help, support and encouragement. Regards, Jim Robson

P.S. in the process I found an app called Core Temp which shows the CPU temperatures. I wish I had discovered it before I cleaned it. It would have been interesting to compare before and after.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Name
    Jim
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP m8120n
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5BW-LA Basswood 3G
    Memory
    8 Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 9400
    Occupation
    Retired
    Browser
    FoxFire
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium
    Country Flag
    USA
    State/Region Flag
    us florida

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,130
Great news... the cleaning seems to have fixed it. There has been no "spinning" sounds for over 24 hours. In fact it is so quiet that I have to look at it to see if it's running. Crawfish and MilesAhead, thank you for your help, support and encouragement. Regards, Jim Robson

P.S. in the process I found an app called Core Temp which shows the CPU temperatures. I wish I had discovered it before I cleaned it. It would have been interesting to compare before and after.

There is also SpeedFan that comes in handy. If not supported by SpeedFan your machine may work with HWInfo. A free program that shows temps, fan speeds(although it doesn't try to set the fan speed like SF does) and other system info.


Glad it's working well. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad
    Country Flag
    USA

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top