Question My HDD is very active (can hear it), but nothing shows in task manager

Feb 22, 2021
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My HDD (drive D) will be normal for a while but then for some unknown reason it becomes very active (can hear it), but nothing shows in task manager or the performance under the disk section. When this happens I noticed that when I reboot the busy drive noise seems to start even before the OS loads (windows 10 with all the latest updates). I then did an experiment and left it at the bios prompt. The hard drive noise continued.
I got a utility to scan the SMART info thinking maybe there was something wrong with the drive, and all was good, except that it showed the drive to be a little over 5 years old. I've been wanting a larger drive anyways, so I bought a new one. Now the same issue though. The computer runs fine, but after a few days of being on (I rarely turn it off) the disk starts making noise like it is super busy. If I turn off the computer for an hour or so, there is no drive activity when I boot back up. If I just do a restart though, the drive activity picks right back up.
 

Math Geek

Polypheme
Ambassador
the few times i have seen such odd usage like that, is has been the sata cable or even the port being bad.

if the cable/port is messing up, it will keep trying to connect to the drive causing it to go into such a state. not always this but worth trying a new cable or port on the mobo just to check it out.
 
Reactions: jackl99
Feb 22, 2021
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the few times i have seen such odd usage like that, is has been the sata cable or even the port being bad.

if the cable/port is messing up, it will keep trying to connect to the drive causing it to go into such a state. not always this but worth trying a new cable or port on the mobo just to check it out.
Thanks, I'll give that a try.
 

TheJoker2020

Proper
Oct 13, 2020
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Several years ago HDD's started to have a mind of their own, essentially a self check feature, they only needed to be powered on. This however would only last a few seconds and only happen every few hours (I have USB drives that do this).

But TBH if it goes on for more than a few seconds I would be concerned.

Back up everything, and also do as Math Geek suggests, it could be a SATA Port or cable issue, I have seen faulty SATA cables do weird things.

Try using the SATA cable to an optical drive and see what happens.

Good luck.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
You can also look in Reliability History and Event Viewer.

Either one or both may be capturing some event(s) that correspond with the drive activities.

Check Task Manager (Startup tab) and Task Scheduler. Look for some unknown or unrecognized application, process, or service being launched.

Then google accordingly to learn more about what it may be.
 
Feb 22, 2021
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Several years ago HDD's started to have a mind of their own, essentially a self check feature, they only needed to be powered on. This however would only last a few seconds and only happen every few hours (I have USB drives that do this).

But TBH if it goes on for more than a few seconds I would be concerned.

Back up everything, and also do as Math Geek suggests, it could be a SATA Port or cable issue, I have seen faulty SATA cables do weird things.

Try using the SATA cable to an optical drive and see what happens.

Good luck.
Once it starts, the activity seems to last until I power off the computer. I let it go all weekend one time. I was thinking, maybe a faulty drive, that's one reason I changed it. but the exact same type of activity continues with the new drive installed.
The new drive is a TOSHIBA MG06ACA10TE. I changed the SATA cable and put it in a different port as suggested. I know making one change at a time would be better, but it's a pain to get to.
 

TheJoker2020

Proper
Oct 13, 2020
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Once it starts, the activity seems to last until I power off the computer. I let it go all weekend one time. I was thinking, maybe a faulty drive, that's one reason I changed it. but the exact same type of activity continues with the new drive installed.
The new drive is a TOSHIBA MG06ACA10TE. I changed the SATA cable and put it in a different port as suggested. I know making one change at a time would be better, but it's a pain to get to.
As you have already done this, I suggest that you try the drive in another PC, if it still does it, it is the drive, whether it is faulty or not is the next question, if this is drive No.2 unlikely, if it does the same in another PC, even more unlikely.

SkyNetRising suggests that this may be an SMR thing (shingled magnetic recording), I have almost zero experience with SMR, so I shall not comment further on SMR.
 
Feb 22, 2021
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You can also look in Reliability History and Event Viewer.

Either one or both may be capturing some event(s) that correspond with the drive activities.

Check Task Manager (Startup tab) and Task Scheduler. Look for some unknown or unrecognized application, process, or service being launched.

Then google accordingly to learn more about what it may be.
When the drive is sounding super busy, and I've purposely closed all applications that I can, there is no activity shown for that disk in the performance monitor. No process that could explain it. Also, the drive activity continues after the os is shut down but the computer is still powered on and sitting at the bios prompt.
 

TheJoker2020

Proper
Oct 13, 2020
198
45
120
11
When the drive is sounding super busy, and I've purposely closed all applications that I can, there is no activity shown for that disk in the performance monitor. No process that could explain it. Also, the drive activity continues after the os is shut down but the computer is still powered on and sitting at the bios prompt.
That it does this in the BIOS says that this is not a software / virus issue.
 
Feb 22, 2021
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As you have already done this, I suggest that you try the drive in another PC, if it still does it, it is the drive, whether it is faulty or not is the next question, if this is drive No.2 unlikely, if it does the same in another PC, even more unlikely.

SkyNetRising suggests that this may be an SMR thing (shingled magnetic recording), I have almost zero experience with SMR, so I shall not comment further on SMR.
I do not have another PC to try the drive in, but this is the second drive to have this problem in this PC. This drive is brand new and as far as I can tell, it is not an SMR drive.
 
Feb 22, 2021
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My HDD (drive D) will be normal for a while but then for some unknown reason it becomes very active (can hear it), but nothing shows in task manager or the performance under the disk section. When this happens I noticed that when I reboot the busy drive noise seems to start even before the OS loads (windows 10 with all the latest updates). I then did an experiment and left it at the bios prompt. The hard drive noise continued.
I got a utility to scan the SMART info thinking maybe there was something wrong with the drive, and all was good, except that it showed the drive to be a little over 5 years old. I've been wanting a larger drive anyways, so I bought a new one. Now the same issue though. The computer runs fine, but after a few days of being on (I rarely turn it off) the disk starts making noise like it is super busy. If I turn off the computer for an hour or so, there is no drive activity when I boot back up. If I just do a restart though, the drive activity picks right back up.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions and for taking the time to help me out. No explanation seems to be forthcoming. I am leaning towards blaming the motherboard. I have been thinking about changing it to get more ram slots, this one only has two. This might be the thing that pushes me to do it.
 

TheJoker2020

Proper
Oct 13, 2020
198
45
120
11
Thank you everyone for your suggestions and for taking the time to help me out. No explanation seems to be forthcoming. I am leaning towards blaming the motherboard. I have been thinking about changing it to get more ram slots, this one only has two. This might be the thing that pushes me to do it.
What is your current motherboard.?
 

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