Laptop HDD


I'm not sure if anyone has asked this before, if so could you point me to the forum.

I have noticed my laptop hdd is constantly in use ( by this i mean the hdd light) even when the laptop is not running no programs just on desktop.
Also it makes the odd clicking sound (hdd) every now and then, I've read that its a early sign of hdd failure, is this true?
Is there a possible virus or spyware?
I have tried SeaTools and the tests come back clean.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Its a HP Dv6920ea laptop.
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  1. It could be an early warning of a drive issue -- so back up important data now.

    I would run an antivirus (MS Security Essentials) and malwarebytes free version if you don't do that routinely. Also you may need to defragment the disk if you haven't. Often there is a lot of background junk running that accesses the HDD -- take a look at the list of processes running.
  2. Hello,

    Thanks for replying, I do routine scans using MS and MBAM, and as for defrag i use system mechanic when required which is usually monthly.
    Only thing I am unclear is on processes, looking at them i can't see any malicious processes, is there any software which can pick up any processes that shouldn't run?
    Sys Mech has a tool to search running processes but doesn't identify any bad ones?
  3. No, a look at the processes running occasionally will help you find things that you don't really want to run -- not malicious, just junk installed with many programs, like updaters and the like.

    With those routine scans it is unlikely to be a virus or malware. When you see that the disk activity is high when you aren't doing much take a look at CPU and memory usage and processes running and you might be able to identify something specific, otherwise I would not worry about it and just maintain good back ups in the event of a problem.
  4. Hey

    Looking at the processes its normally on system idle and some other process that appears and disappears quite quickly so unsure what process it is and it consumes about 5-10% of CPU.
  5. Which process shows CPU usage during the "quiet periods?" Usually there are many processes loaded into RAM but they will not be using much or any CPU time (other than stuff like folding).
  6. Hello,

    Had a look at various times, and only 3 main ones to mention, which are dwm.exe, system, and svchost.exe, although there are many of these and not always the same one using cpu. Cpu usage is around 2-4% per process. Thanks
  7. dwm.exe = Windows desktop manager, which will be larger if you have more windows open.

    svchost.exe= the Windows program that basically runs dlls

    And system is obvious.

    Nothing wrong there.
  8. Hello,

    That's what I thought, as a precaution I did a clean format and reinstall of VIsta, after all the updates, the speed of start up is terrible esp a newly formatted drive?
    If anything its slowed down massively and sometimes will not load windows,
    Is it safe to assume like you said the HDD is the culprit?

    Thanks in advance
  9. Seems like the most likely problem. Are all of the laptop motherboard options turned off for devices that you don't use? If you can afford one, an SSD will speed things up a lot.
  10. Hello,

    How would you go about changing the motherboard options? I have considered a SSD, but for the cost I may just scrap this laptop. Although last couple of boots have been very quick, too quick, 25 secs is windows up and logged in.
  11. You have to enter the bios, usually holding down the F2 key during startup -- see your manual for your specific model. If the boots are faster now, I would leave it as is.
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