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ide light constant blinking

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  • Light
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
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July 26, 2003 6:10:49 PM

If I had a d/l going, I can see why my light is always blinking (sometimes brighter than other times)

But if I have every single program shut off, and nothing in the task bar, what keeps causing my ide light to blink about every 2-3 seconds. I had the same problem with an older computer and it turned out to be a bad scsi card

my specs:
a7n8x deluxe rev2
Athlon 1700+ @ 2600+ speed
512 pc2700 ddr
radeon 9500


It's all good ^_^

More about : ide light constant blinking

July 27, 2003 1:08:28 AM

maybe some spyware. maybe something downloading updates, antivirus updates, whatever.

wpdclan.com cs game server - 69.12.5.119:27015
July 27, 2003 2:04:53 AM

I didn't think about spyware before, so I installed ad-aware and found a bunch of gator crap somehow hidden away.

I took off all of it, but the blinking is still there.

It's no biggie, it just kinda bugs me. It's not even a normal bright ide blink, it's just a really laid back blink, lol, about once a second. I could keep time by it

It's all good ^_^<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by namek0 on 07/26/03 09:11 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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July 27, 2003 4:07:05 AM

Mine does the same thing. A dull blink about every second.
I never gave it much thought.
I think it has something to do with RAM and the Page File.
I have about 40 processes running in the background. All the basic WindowsXP services, antivirus, temp and voltage monitor, UPS power monitor, LAN card monitor, etc.
It could be anything causing the hard drive/IDE LED to blink. I wouldn't worry about.
I would worry if your hard drive/IDE LED was on all the time and your cpu was under continuous load and you are not doing anything with your computer.

<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.page3.com/" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>
July 27, 2003 5:14:32 AM

40?

!!!

Holy Moly, zpyrd. What's up with that? You're killing me! :lol: 

I have <i>14</i> processes running (21 Services), with another 4 processes devoted to third-party apps just for convenience, including Intellipoint software for the keyboard. And I had to talk myself into that, because the less that loads up with Windows, the better I like it.

I can't think of a single justifiable reason to have that much useless junk running in the background, not if you want decent performance.

Toey

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July 27, 2003 5:34:20 AM

I don't understand what you mean? It seems you have 39 processes running. (14+21+4)
I know I don't need all the apps I have load at start up. But they are not taxing my system by running idle in the background. They're just taking up memory addresses. And I have more than enough memory installed to cope with the load.
Now on my Notebook I have to be more conservative with my physical memory because it only has 256MB of SDRAM.

<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.page3.com/" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>
July 27, 2003 6:19:13 AM

Quote:
If I had a d/l going, I can see why my light is always blinking (sometimes brighter than other times)

But if I have every single program shut off, and nothing in the task bar, what keeps causing my ide light to blink about every 2-3 seconds. I had the same problem with an older computer and it turned out to be a bad scsi card

This is probably disk cache activity, set your disk to spin down after few minitues, do a check to see if it does spin up when you look at disk from explorer. The disk can spin down but leave its cache active.

Try defrag, reformat with slow format (avoid quick), shut down unused tasks, switch off swap file if over 768MB ram, all sorts of things help. Maybe leaving the computer switched on and idle several nights will help.

Good luck.
July 27, 2003 7:17:07 AM

By set to spin down are you talking about the power-save option type thing?

And it's all freshly formatted and defragged, and my computer is on pretty much 24/7 anyway. For the record, when I have every non-essential program shut off, I've got 19 processes

It's all good ^_^
July 27, 2003 8:01:28 AM

On the desktop properties with screen saver tab is a setting called power in the monitor power box. Yes, this is the setting and spin down timeout value I meant.
July 27, 2003 8:02:19 AM

Not exactly. There's a correlation between Services and Processes, but there are also some distinctions. I have 21 Services running, but each Service is not running as an individual process.

Services are generally considered important components of operating system code that provide functionality for various hardware, applications, and tasks; such as the core operating system kernel and related services that manage process scheduling, interrupt handing, file management, virtual memory management, etc.

But programs that run as Services, and/or load as an individual process, can seriously degrade the performance of foreground applications. Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) applications can hog system memory, increase page file swapping, and monopolize the CPU for tasks that aren't particularly necessary. Unlike in Win9x, WinXP differentiates between active end-user applications and system processes.

Streamlining your system's pool of processes can expedite the OS's startup and save some clock cycles for foreground applications. Likewise, common commercial software like Quicken, Microsoft Office, and others load their own background applications that eat up system memory and monopolize the processor.

Services can run in groups, under a svchost.exe process, and run in the background without causing major performance degradation ... and many are necessary for system function. (Mine require around 35MB total.) But apps running as processes can greatly decrease the amount of resources available for the computer, <i>despite</i> the amount of total physical resources.

Are all these processes taxing your system? Whether you know it or not, the answer is yes. Load enough processes on a system, and virtual memory pages may be forced into physical memory, as some programs may require hundreds of megabytes ... far beyond the physical memory installed on the system. And that required memory may well be your paging file.

BTW, my hard drive light doesn't blink unless the device is accessed, and if you are seeing this happen regularly, then your system may not be exactly idle, even if you are not currently running a foreground app. You may be even hitting the paging file after loading a couple of programs, if the background applications are particularly memory-intensive ... which may explain the reason the hard drive light constantly blinks. 40 processes could eat up the physical memory in a hurry. I've seen systems running with half that many processes that needed 150MB just to boot!

By increasing the amount of free RAM, you will also speed up both memory and disk accesses, which is something worth considering.

Right now, I can say with some assurance, my friend, that if you and I were running similar systems, with your current configuration, my system would be far less sluggish, have more resources available to launch and run applications, and boot/shutdown faster.

Toey

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July 27, 2003 7:18:47 PM

Is there any way to tell a program that uses a page file by default to use the actual RAM instead? Because I have 114 of my pf being used while simply surfing and playing an mp3. I've got gobs of ram available that's not being touched

It's all good ^_^
July 27, 2003 8:46:11 PM

Actually, that determination is made by the operating system memory manager, and in WinXP, programs automatically use the physical memory before accessing the paging file in most situations.

If you are looking at your Task Manager Performance Tab to see how much of the paging file is being used when a program is running, this can be somewhat confusing. What must be understood is that unless the system memory requirements exceed the available physical memory, what you are seeing is the potential space needed for virtual memory pages called for by your applications. This is why the PF Usage chart might show a number, but the Page Usage History Chart may be continuously flatlined.

What you have to watch are these areas:

Commit Charge Total: The total amount of physical (RAM) and virtual (Page File) memory currently being used by the operating system and all open applications. This value will increase as applications and files are opened and decrease when they are closed.

Commit Charge Limit: The total amount of physical RAM and virtual memory that is currently available to the operating system and applications. There are two ways to change this value; install additional RAM or increase the size of the page file.

Commit Charge Peak: A combined measure of the physical RAM and virtual memory that has been used during the current windows session. If the Peak value approaches the Limit value it's a good indication the system needs more memory.

A couple of links you might find interesting:

<A HREF="http://www.techspot.com/tweaks/memory-winxp/xpmem-3.sht..." target="_new">Windows XP Memory Tweak guide</A>

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q312628" target="_new">Description of What the Available Bytes in Task Manager Represents</A>

A quote from an article at ExtremeTech:

Quote:
<i><b>Remember Your Memory</b>

<b>Memory Page Pool</b>
No matter how much your PC has, physical memory is always a precious resource and Windows XP has made some improvements to help the situation. In Windows, physical memory has "page pooled" and "non-page pooled" allocations. Non-page pooled memory is for code that is time critical, such as the Virtual Memory Manager (VMM) itself. Page pooled memory is mapped to disk files and allows the OS to swap the memory pages out to disk if additional physical memory is needed elsewhere.

A memory page represents 4K of physical memory. Memory pages can hold system or user data, application or driver code, or Registry data. When an application runs, executable code is loaded through file mapping objects. The pre-fetcher loads these memory pages. Data and settings are similarly mapped. The pages in pooled memory are mapped to the file and are referred to as views into the file.

Pool memory is managed by a system of descriptors called Page Table Entries (PTE) that incorporate memory page frame numbers, which point to physical memory pages. In addition to memory page frame numbers, the PTE contains bits on the usage status of the page--in use, dirty, clean, and unused. The memory manager keeps track of page status with Page Table Lists for fetching and reuse. To cause the least interruption of running apps, the memory manager uses various algorithms to determine least recently used blocks of memory to spool to disk, though in a low memory condition, or when a large memory allocation is requested, it is not always possible to avoid touching actively used memory and swapping portions to disk. While all virtual memory schemes allows programs to use more memory then is physically available, it can be slow and can cause bottlenecks in processing if not handled well. In previous versions of Windows, memory waste was a prime cause of delays through extra paging to disk.

Windows XP increases the maximum memory size that can be mapped by PTEs to approximately 1.3GB, about twice Windows 2000's pool size (your mileage may vary depending on machine or Registry settings). This allows Windows XP to track more memory without reusing PTEs. Windows XP can allocate up to 960MB of contiguous pooled memory if needed on a system with 256MB of RAM. To increase performance, Microsoft has tweaked its algorithms to use less page pool and minimize going to disk.

When an application or driver creates a file object, it must request the full size of the object, whether it needs it then or not. In earlier versions of Windows, when an application created a file mapping object, the kernel allocated, or "charged" 1/1000th of the file size in PTEs, regardless of the final file view used. While this isn't as bad as charging the whole file, it still can waste space. For example, if a driver created a 1GB file mapping object, the kernel would charge 1MB of PTEs or memory pages. But if the driver only ends up committing to a small 64K view to the file, the potential for waste is obvious. Windows XP does not charge or allocate any PTEs before the view is created, so when the PTEs are needed, they are then created dynamically.

Managing PTEs is an ongoing process, as there is no discrete garbage collection phase. By tracking PTE use continuously, the memory manager can be more proactive in reducing the amount of paging required. For example, an application may allocate large blocks of memory during startup, but then not need them anymore. The PTEs can be reclaimed early, rather than wait until the application terminates.

Within the Page Pool, Windows XP now uses the concept of a small and a large pool. When a driver requests PTEs, the memory manager aggressively tries to fulfill the request from the small pool, saving the large pool for large allocations. This allows the large pool to stay less fragmented, giving Windows a better chance of allocating large memory blocks when needed.

<b>Low Memory Condition Improvements</b>
In the fight between drivers or processes for memory under low memory conditions, the user often loses. Often these conditions are temporary, and are relieved when a driver or process frees up their blocks. When a driver or application process needs memory, it asks the system for a memory allocation. The allocation is either provided or denied. In past versions of Windows, allocation routines that must succeed were allowed to force the system to give the driver some memory. Unfortunately, during lean memory times, it could crash the system. To help get past these low times, Windows XP no longer permits drivers to allocate must-succeed requests. If an application or driver uses a must succeed request, it is denied. All internal Windows XP drivers have been rewritten to avoid the use of must succeed requests. Third party drivers will also have to comply to earn "signed driver" (Microsoft-approved) status.

Another step taken by Windows XP for more robust memory handling is I/O Throttling. For performance reasons, Windows tries to do as much processing in parallel as possible. However, if memory usage gets to the point where there's none left to allocate, Windows will "throttle down" it's processing of memory to a page a time, using the resources it can. While this slows the system, it doesn't crash.

While not directly related to Windows XP I/O or memory subsystem internals, it's worth mentioning a PC's physical memory requirement. For a PC manufacturer to obtain the "Built for Windows XP" logo, they must provide 128MB of RAM. Windows XP Pro and Home Editions can run in 64MB of ram, but the new Fast User Switching would be turned off by default. Microsoft does not feel you can get an acceptable user experience with Fast User Switching in a 64MB configuration. You can still run with the feature, but performance may be impaired.</i>



See ya!

Toey

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