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Windows 7: Solid hdd light, disk 100% highest active time, very slow

07 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64, Home Premium x64
 
 
Solid hdd light, disk 100% highest active time, very slow

This is on an HP HDX16 1370us laptop

About 8 months ago I kept getting BSOD's and several programs indicated that my hard drive had failed. I replaced the hard drive, but was unable to reinstall windows due to this hard drive light issue which I will describe below. I used linux for the past 8 months since it worked fine with no problems, but I am tired of it and want to go back to windows.

Right now I'm trying to get a fresh install working properly. The installation was a normal speed about until it went to load the desktop for the first time, although in the past it has started freezing during the installation process. Basically here are the symptoms:

- On boot, the hdd activity will be normal until it gets to the end of the windows logo with the black background, about then the hdd light comes on solid
-I've only been able to boot into windows normally once, and that was on initial installation.
- In safe mode it was still very slow, like right clicking on the taskbar and opening task manager, then waiting 5-10 minutes for it to load.
- If I boot into the recovery manager and run chkdsk from command prompt, it has no problems accessing the hard drive normally.
- When I turn it on, it takes about half an hour to get to the login screen. So far it's been 50 minutes since boot and I still don't have a desktop. I did have welcome screen for a few minutes, now I have a black screen with the cursor. The cursor is not frozen.

I don't think it's a hardware problem since linux worked perfectly for months, and the hard drive was new. I installed the chipset driver from HP but have not been able to update the bios yet since I'm still waiting for it to reboot. Any help would be appreciated, and I'll try to respond as quickly as possible if you need any additional information.

Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64, Home Premium x64
 
 

So of course I managed to fix the problem shortly after posting this. I had to boot into safe mode with command prompt and manually change the power settings to high performance. As soon as I did this it started working perfectly. Anyone know why?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #3

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Sounds like something which was trying to load on startup was trying to pull an Alphonse and Gaston and wait for the power management stuff to kick in, with power management waiting for the startup item. Back and and and back and forth and...

If I had to guess I would say it might be something with the settings which try and dim the screen to save juice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64, Home Premium x64
 
 

Ok, the laptop works perfectly while plugged in, but if I try to run on battery the hdd light comes on solid and it won't start working properly until I've had it plugged in for about a minute. I've made sure the power settings are the same between the "plugged in" and "on battery" profiles (including the advanced power settings), but it seems like there must be some other group of settings that I'm not seeing. Any suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2012   #5

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

A lot of manufacturers have their own power management program running on startup.

Try running Startup Inspector and then post a screenshot of what you've got loading at boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64, Home Premium x64
 
 

Here you go:

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2012   #7

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Try disabling them all by unchecking them, then see if the problem goes away. If it does, add them back in one at a time with a reboot between each one until the problem reoccurs. If it does, you'll know that the last one you re enabled is the culprit.

If it still has the same problem after disabling the whole works then we'll have to look elsewhere. What power settings (if any) are there in the BIOS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64, Home Premium x64
 
 

I don't think any of the startup items are the problem as the problem has existed before windows even finished installing (it was plugged in, but the "balanced" power plan was causing the issue). The only power options I see in the bios are "fan always on" and "enable processor c6 states" which I tried disabling to no avail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2012   #9

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

If you can get it fully booted, try temporarily disabling both the wireless and wired network connections and anything like bluetooth you may have. Do this in Device Manager. What I'm wondering is if Windows is taking forever and a day searching for available connections or devices of some sort which possibly aren't even there.

Are you going into the Advanced Power Options? There is a ton of stuff in there to adjust. When you switch between "Balanced", etc it just uses a template for all the little things you can adjust manually. It might be something in there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64, Home Premium x64
 
 

Yes after changing the power plan to high performance everything works perfectly fine. Wireless, bluetooth, everything. I did go into the advanced settings and made sure everything matched between "plugged in" and "on battery" (for the high performance plan which it is always on), but there's still something causing it to lock up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Solid hdd light, disk 100% highest active time, very slow





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