Fix it: Hard drive light flashing every second
Sunday, April 8, 2012 2:24:20 AM
I recently have a problem where the hard drive light flashes every second. Searching the web came up with a number of possible causes:
- Computer polling the CD Drive connected with SATA to see if there is any disk there
- Normal background activity
- Indexing service
- Running programs
However, the problem was only recent and came about after I updated my AMD chipset drivers from http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/raid_windows.aspx. I updated my graphic drivers (ATI Catalyst) and figured out why not update the chipset as well. Therefore, I downloaded the program from the above link and installed it. The installer updated my SATA drivers and my USB drivers. Upon restarting, I found my hard drive blinking every second with no rest (even if the PC is idling. I ran Process Monitor, but I couldn't interpret the result. Reading around, I found that this glitch is commonly attributed to the PC polling CD drivers connected with SATA. I recently installed a SATA driver update and the problem started. Putting two and two together, I figured to start the diagnostic by uninstalling the AMD drivers through add or remove programs (Program and Features in Windows 7). As shown in the video below (yes, its regarding the old ATI Catalyst software but the uninstallation procedure is the same), I double click on the AMD Catalyst Install Manager and select "Express uninstall." That removed all of the drivers. The uninstallation went smoothly and then prompted me to restart.
Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlsVdGOKezI
Upon restarting I found that my mouse, keyboard, and other USB devices not working. I tried restarting and changing the place but to no avail. I shut down the PC using the power button and then booted into the HP Recovery Manager by tapping "F11" upon boot up. The mouse and keyboard worked then. I once again booted into Windows but the keyboard and mouse refused to work.
I ultimately did a factory restore of the PC back to the factory settings. That installed all the default drivers and programs. Moral of the story? Updating the drivers for the AMD ATI GRAPHIC cards (ATI Catalyst / AMD VISION Engine Control Center) is OK but NOT the chipset drivers. It can cause the hard drive to blink every second.
Keywords: Hard Drive, blinking, blink, every second, intermittently, regularly, light, read light