HDD spinning at full speed -- ideas?

Hello all, thanks for reading this far it is very much appreciated.

I am a tech , but this has me a bit stumped. The issue occurrs on my uncle's (Dave) machine , it is a older dell dimension (3000 or 2400 , he has one of each and i have them confused atm) where the HDD spins at full speed for long periods of time.

He had some other issues going on so i paid a doctor visit , and noticed alot of disk errors , reading and writing. So this along with decreased performance made my recommendation be purchasing a new drive. Errors were so frequent I did not want to work on the machine until it was fixed. He also had outlook crash on occasion.

Long story short, we have a new drive in there now, no disk errors in event viewer (Xp home btw) and I see that googleupdater fails a few times in a row and then outlook crashes (again, according to event viewer). I have not personally been able to witness this , so i disabled the google updater.

His crashing has ceased , the new HDD is working without error, yet only on HIS profile (with admin rights) the HDD will go to full speed and stay there for extended periods of time. In other profiles, this issue does NOT occur.

It is a bit of a drive for me , so my question to everyone would be... Is there anything, aside from malware , that anyone can think of that might be worthwhile to check or look into ? Due to time constraints ( ie: the rest of my life, lol) I am considering just rebuilding windows to save the potential waste of time that hunting this down might become.

Also, he is somewhat tech savvy, just doesnt fix pc's for a living, and I can remotely connect in the evenings as needed. So I should be able to provide any further details that might be needed.

Any ideas???

Thanks again to all !
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  1. erm... I just re-read his last email to me... I need to clarify, I ASSUMED his outlook crashing issue has stopped, but actually he did not specifically confirm that. He did mention that his CPU usage max's out when the drive spins fast---For what its worth.... Which... has me again suspecting outlook crashing and tying up things...

    ....anyway, that clarification aside, any suggestions are very much welcome!!
  2. When you say that the drive spins at full speed, are you implying that the drive spins slower at other times? Or do you mean that the drive doesn't spin down into power saving mode?
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