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HDD Activity LED lit all the time?

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November 28, 2006 11:18:11 PM

New build: e6600 in an Intel 975XBX2.
Running 2 Seagate SATA drives. Lian-li PC-B20 case.

The HDD activity LED is lit all the time. Never goes out. Doesn't show activity, because it's always on.

Anyone ever see this before? It's just an LED plugged into the MB, right?

Appreciate any thoughts, ideas.

The Gunny
November 29, 2006 1:55:49 AM

You have to make sure you wired the HDD light wires correctly to your motherboard.

make sure you don't have the hot wire and ground wire switched.

a picture of the motherboard would be helpful

hope this helps :D 
November 29, 2006 4:41:13 AM

You know, that's what I thought at first.

I just took the skin off the case, and tried it again though. Flipped the connector (It's labeled 'HDD LED', so I know I got the right one.)

Now the HDD Activity LED is off. Perpetually.

Completely booted back up (to reply to you suggestion) and it never came on. Nary a flicker.

Is there a reset (secret code) for this function in the MB? Or could it be a bad LED? Is this how this LED would fail?

Thanks for your thoughts!

The Gunny
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a c 129 V Motherboard
November 29, 2006 5:01:15 AM

Quote:
I agree. You just have the HDD LED connector in backwards.


i have to say this...

LED's are diodes...as such if they are backwards they never light(since they only let power through one way....unless u are talking zener or however it is spelled....but thats another topic all together ).....this ain't a floppy drive :) 

@ topic....think of it as a backup power on light :) 
for real it looks to just be off my one pin and getting power all the time.....
November 29, 2006 5:19:57 AM

Is it that important?

Like, do I really want to break the CPU cooler seal to remove the Zalman so I can remove the CPU, argue with Intel support about returning the board, disconnect everything, unscrew all the standoffs, go to fedex, and then still wait a minimum of a week+ to get a replacement board, so I can reinstall the CPU, cooler, everything else, just for a HDD LED?

Is it really that important? no. :) 

But I would like it to work - seems like a $250 MB should have everything working, right?

OK, plan B: On the VERY remote possibility that the LED failed, where would you go to get a replacement?

The case is a Lian Li, but they've never responded to me for the rattling case fan that came in it, so I don't know how to get their attention to try for an LED replacement. Maybe they're still looking for a translator for my e-mail to their support page about the clattering fan. :) 

Next?

The Gunny
a c 129 V Motherboard
November 29, 2006 3:01:02 PM

in general if an LED lights it is working....

just to be sure...it is from pin 1 to 3 right?

as per Intel

As a last test...plug it in....1-3 even if the led stays on....then with the power off unplug your cd rom(DVD/RW. ect) and if you are not running raid, your hard drives.....boot.... is the light still on solid in the bios with no drives attached? if so maybe you should contact Intel.

If not....power down....put the hard drives then cd/dvd drives back one at a time....until you find the issue....Most CD/DVD drives do not use that LED (its just a wire in the IDE cable), Some do. Samsung does for example.....so maybe its just a defect in you optical drives?

yes that is grabbing at straws but its all that i can think of shy of a bad board...
November 29, 2006 3:14:12 PM

Thanks, Nuke - yep, pins 1 and 3.

It would be very interesting if the CDs are tripping/clamping the LED.

I'll give it a run and let you know - I have both a Pioneer DVDRW and a NEC DVDRW installed...

The Gunny
November 29, 2006 3:36:52 PM

Well, it looks like it's Intel's problem.

With *everything* disconnected (DVDs, all HDs) the light is still on relentlessly from the moment the power is turned on. [sigh]

OK, so a call to Intel is in order.

Is the $25 per incident the only path? Or is there some other, less well documented/published access to their tech support people?

Thanks for all the help thus far. I'll let you know what transpires.......

The Gunny
November 29, 2006 4:07:35 PM

Does the power LED flash with disk activity? You may have them swapped. If the power LED doesn't come on at all, you have the polarity backwards.
November 29, 2006 7:58:02 PM

Nope - power LED is solid. Even if I pull the HDD LED off completely, the power LED is on appropriately.

Thanks.

The Gunny
a c 129 V Motherboard
December 3, 2006 2:22:45 PM

well that sucks.....

do you mean they charge 25$ just to talk to them and have them trouble shoot with you? If so.....damn them to hell

Where did you buy the board? can you RMA to them? can you live with 2 Power lights?

I know the HDD led does not seem like much....but i'd miss it....after all on my K8V-SE the via sata controller was not connected to the led....and that sucked...always looking(to the led) to see if things where loading or whatnot.
December 3, 2006 8:46:39 PM

Well, new news!

First, Intel didn't charge me the $25 - I agree that would have sucked.

But because it was my first call to them, they gave me a freebie!

Of course, they didn't solve the problem..... Instead they kept pushing to "get back to the basics". That meant reloading the bios using the recovery bios file. Learned something: When you use the Express bios update, it just overwrites the previous bios data. when you use the recovery bios upgrade method, it purges prior bios data and flushes the bios area clean before reloading the new version. Of course it requires removing the jumper, but...

Anyway, the recovery bios wouldn't work either. Soooo, in the spirit of "getting back to the basics", they want me to remove the MB from the case, only connect essentials (floppy, monitor, etc.) and try again.

Do I need to tell you I wasn't thrilled about removing the MB?

Anyway, in my continued searching, I came across:

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=12...

In the body of that thread, someone asked, if disabling the secondary Marvel RAID controller was supposed to make the hard drive activity light stay on solid!

Lo and behold, I had disabled the secondary Marvel RAID controller also! So, when I enabled the Marvel controller, the activity light worked correctly!

Problem resolved!

(I haven't tried the recovery bios method again - I just don't feel the need right now.... :)  )

The Gunny
a c 129 V Motherboard
December 5, 2006 3:02:25 AM

Good to hear you got it working....
December 5, 2006 4:30:28 PM

Good thing they didn't charge you the 25 smackers. I promise you they'd have never figured that one out. Well, maybe 10 or 15 calls later.
!