Hard Dive light stays on

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moonbounce

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I have an old Toshiba Tecra 8100 laptop running Windows xp Pro sp3. I know this is a lot to ask of the computer but it seems to be handling the job quite well, with one exception.

When I first boot up, my hard drive light comes on and stays on for about an hour. What ever is running uses up 100% of my CPU and I can't do anything until it stops. I did a search on the internet, it was suggested to start the task manager to see what was running and stop that program, I did and I found a program that was running and I stopped it, it was the MicroSoft update program. Everything worked good after that until today, I am back at the same problem. I did run task manager again and it didn't show anything running excessively, mostly running was taskmanager and IE Explorer and Microsoft Security Essentials, but the hard drive light was on (continuously) and the harddrive was clicking away.
The only other thing I can think of is the computer is dumping info from the virtual windows that the computer has chosen to adjust all buy itself. Any ideas or help would be appreciated and thanks in advance. Just to note, I have also disabled add-on's.



Moonbounce
 
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mibzzer15

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Check any antivirus programs, anti-malware, defragmenting programs that may have been set to start on a schedule. Check in Microsoft Security Essentials if it is doing an auto run. Run Microsoft Update to make sure that everything is updated already, after that it should not run again until there is a new update. Like you did before, run Task manager again to see what it taking up the most resources.
 

n5ims

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There are known issues with XP and MS Security Essentials that exhibit those symptoms. What apparently is going on is that when the machine boots up MS-SE does its start-up scan which consumes nearly 100% of the CPU, which slows down the boot process severely. To make thing worse, the MS Windows Update process also starts up and starts checking to see if any updates are available for your current environment and this scan also triggers MS-SE to scan the files opened by MS-WU, causing things to slow down even more. There are a few Knowledge Base articles on this, but none have resolved the issue in my case either.

MS-SE really wasn't designed for older machines and assumes a multi-core processor so it can have one core and leave the rest for the boot process. With older single-core systems, this causes rather noticable issues at boot times and as you can tell, makes the machine nearly useless for about an hour or so until things finally sort themselves out.

Some folks have had success forcing a complete system scan to correct this. Others have had success uninstalling MS-SE and then reinstalling it. Still others have excluded specific files/folders from the scan. There also was a patch available on a knowledge base article that was supposed to correct the issue, but this didn't work for me due it being for an earlier version than I was running. On one of my systems, none have worked for me so I simply boot the system an hour or so prior to me needing to use it (it's for the kids to play on so this isn't too hard to schedule).
 

hamstang

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FWIW, I read awhile back not to use MS Security Essentials on Windows XP. It works great on Vista and 7 apparently, as is the case on my 2 PC's
 

slicerwizard

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A stock Tecra 8100 has only 128 MB of RAM, which is not enough to efficiently run most modern antivirus products. You need to lose MSE and disable any automatic functions (like Windows Update). Check Task Manager for any memory hogs.

There is nothing wrong with running XP SP3 on that lappy, but you need to run lean and mean. To maintain some level of protection, I'd go with PeerBlock, Firefox and AdBlock Plus, along with the occasional online virus scan (Trend Micro, ESET, etc.) when you don't plan to use the machine for a few hours.

If You hit the Windows Update site every Patch Tuesday and stay off the seedier parts of the 'net, you'll be fine.
 

KD8PVX

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The only other thing I can think of is the computer is dumping info from the virtual windows that the computer has chosen to adjust all buy itself.
All the advice and information from the posts above are great. My question is with the quote I have selected is when you stated virtual windows are you talking about virtual memory? If so I would not turn this feature off, because the computer would more than likely run extremely slow.

I recently received an old HP Pavilion laptop to reset the admin password & clean it up while I had it. It originally had XP sp2 and was using all of the 256MB of RAM. I purchased a couple 512MB sticks online for $17.99 and upgraded it. After running all the updates to sp3 it would slowly creep up to using close to 400MB of that memory. Going back to the virtual memory if your OS is already using up your entire RAM then if you cut the VM the computer will come to a crawl. Virtual memory uses part of your hard drive in place of RAM when that is full.

Also a program that has worked great for me when dealing with computers that have had a bunch of programs installed & uninstalled over time is CCleaner. CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download It is free and does a pretty good job. I use other tools too, but for simplicity this program is awesome.

First analyze, then run cleaner. Then click on the registry section, scan for issues, then fix.

Before running this program I always recommend uninstalling everything you do not use. Especially toolbars! Even if you do use them get rid of them. I hate them with a passion.

I hope this helps you out a little.
 

moonbounce

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First off, thanks for all the advice, I can see that dual processors certainly wouldn't hurt running Windows XP Pro. i did use CCleaner and got rid of a lot of files, and I don't have any toolbars, and yes my error, I was referring to virtual memory, the computer set the virtual memory as I was getting a message that I was low on VM and that the computer would set VM.

I thought I would add that I am using the Windows Firewall. I now thinking that MS-SE is the culprit in that it is running a scan for malware, I think it does this everytime it starts up, does this on my desktop also, but it can handle that with ease.I think what I am going to try next is uninstalling WE-SE and see if that solves the problem. I will keep you all posted after I do an unistall. I will look at PeerBlock, Firefox and AdBlock and give them a try if they are not too big.

Moonbounce
 

moonbounce

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Well I took MS-SE off the computer and problem solved. Now I need a virus scanner and a real firewall that doesn't seize my computer up or no more internet for lappy. I do have 256 mb of ram and I don't think that is upgradable right, i don't think anything on the tecra 8100 is upgradable.
 

CapStar362

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XP's firewall is sufficient enough. im assuming your behind a modern router? if so then the Router's SPI Firewall is MORE than enough when tied together with XP's firewall
 
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