Re: Continuous hard disk activity - Please help...getting crazy!

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Erick, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Hi Jay,

    Thanks for your quick reply. I have tried to disable MacAfee but the burts
    were still going on...:>((
    I have actually 68 processes running but my knowledge doesn't allow me to
    close much of them....
    Defrag.exe is not running.
    Do you think Messenger could be responsible for that? I've never signed in!
    I will try disabbling Windows Update but I don't think this will fix the

    Could you explain the procedure for a hijack log?


    Erick, Sep 15, 2006
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  2. Erick

    Pat Conover Guest

    I'm with Jay on this one. I had McAfee Security Center come preinstalled on
    a new Dim 9150 and it crashed on the initial bootup and installation. It
    also slowed my machine to a crawl. It's also tough to get rid of and took
    about a week to completely rid my machine's registry. AoHell is next on my
    registry cleanup list when I get the time. The preinstalled Google desktop
    search also ate up system resources and I ditched that too along with some
    other worthless starter Freebies.

    FWIW, I now use Free AVG and ZoneAlarm for AV and firewall. Are you still
    using XP's built-in firewall? If so, I would download and install Free
    ZoneAlarm and disable XP's firewall. ZoneAlarm will nag you when something
    wants to phone home to the net, but that's a good thing!

    HTH, Pat
    Pat Conover, Sep 15, 2006
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  3. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Excellent! My first boot wasn't really a success and has terminated by a
    crash. My new PC is also a Dim 9150.
    I have also a 3 years old other Dim (8100) with which I have had no prob. so
    far. I use AVG and ZoneAlarm too..;>))

    I will follow your advice: remove MacAfee, disable XP's firewall.
    On the other hand, I don't think I have Google desktop pre-installed. How
    can I be sure?

    Do I have to clean the registry after that?

    But here is another important info related to my problem: I still get noisy
    drive accesses when booting in Safe Mode......much lesser but still
    abnormal! Any thoughts?


    Erick, Sep 15, 2006
  4. Erick

    Pat Conover Guest

    Try looking in Control Panel Add/Remove Programs for Google Desktop. I went
    through the list of all the Free/Light Programs in Add/Remove and
    uninstalled all the ones I don't use. You can clean the registry if you
    want, depending on how semi-clean you want your system to be. Of course,
    back it up first!

    You can also disable many Win XP services to improve performance. I
    followed's SAFE recommendations, but that site is down
    now. A copy of his recommendations are found hear.

    I don't know why it still happens in Safe Mode. Have you scanned for
    viruses or spyware? I use Free Spybot S&D and Adaware. ZoneAlarm will also
    tell you what's trying to phone home and running in the background.

    I just did a clean install of XP for my niece and nephews on an older Dim
    4600. They got a new HP AIO Printer, Scanner, Kitchen Sink and reported it
    running too slow again!! So I stopped by and found 879 HP processes running
    trying to connect to the internet and update the HP Bloatware. Clicking
    cancel 879 times improved things immensely. Turning off HP updates works
    even better. Do you have an HP Printer/Scanner?

    HTH, Pat
    Pat Conover, Sep 15, 2006
  5. Erick

    Colin Wilson Guest

    Thanks for your quick reply. I have tried to disable MacAfee but the burts
    This might be a worthwhile place to start...

    Download Dell Decrapifier and use it :-}
    I've got a bit of info on general security on my site at

    Every file I link to is free, with the exception of PestPatrol, and
    that`s not an affiliate link.

    Under the second link on my homepage is a reference to

    You can download HijackThis from there, and it has a text form where you
    can submit the results for some assistance in parsing the results (run
    the executable, it doesn't need installing, choose the "save logfile"
    option in, and copy and paste the results to the webpage)

    The webpage is only a guide, so take the results with a pinch of salt -
    but it can make the report a lot more readable by highlighting what it
    isn't sure about.
    Colin Wilson, Sep 15, 2006
  6. Erick

    PeterD Guest

    List those 68 processes... That is *WAY* too many, something is wrong,
    I'd suspect virus, zombie or adware infections.
    PeterD, Sep 16, 2006
  7. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Do you know how I can log the processes into a txt file? I can't select the
    names or import the list?
    Sorry if you find this a stupid question but I am not an expert in OS and I
    have to gain time because I have so much to tune on this PC...

    Many thanks

    Erick, Sep 16, 2006
  8. Erick

    Colin Wilson Guest

    Do you know how I can log the processes into a txt file? I can't select the
    Try this...

    Download it, unpack it, and run it (click to agree the T&Cs), then
    select File/Save and choose where you want to save the list.

    The list is saved as plain text, and may also give other useful
    information about who the "owner" of the process is.

    You can then copy and paste the results into your news reader.
    We all start somewhere, and they're not stupid questions if you haven't
    had to do it before - at least you're making an effort to learn :)
    Colin Wilson, Sep 16, 2006
  9. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Thank you for your valuable advices. Yes I have a HP PSC3510 printer,
    connected on my family network and I can already tell you that according
    Filemon, this device, even closed, contribute to a lot of unwanted IO...
    Also McAfee will be uninstalled as soon as I have time for this.

    Erick, Sep 16, 2006
  10. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Here they are....Which one may I delete and is thit risky? Can I find them
    back if needed?
    Thks for your help.

    Process PID CPU Description Company Name
    System Idle Process 0 96.92
    Interrupts n/a Hardware Interrupts
    DPCs n/a Deferred Procedure Calls
    System 4
    smss.exe 720 Windows NT Session Manager
    Microsoft Corporation
    csrss.exe 768 Client Server Runtime
    Process Microsoft Corporation
    winlogon.exe 792 Windows NT Logon Application
    Microsoft Corporation
    services.exe 836 Services and Controller app
    Microsoft Corporation
    svchost.exe 1108 Generic Host Process for
    Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
    hptskmgr.exe 2152 HP Task Management Component
    Hewlett-Packard Company
    MpfAgent.exe 1420 McAfee Personal Firewall Agent
    Interface McAfee Security
    wmiprvse.exe 2924 WMI Microsoft Corporation
    ehmsas.exe 960 Media Center Media Status
    Aggregator Service Microsoft Corporation
    svchost.exe 1176 Generic Host Process for
    Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
    svchost.exe 1284 Generic Host Process for
    Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
    wuauclt.exe 2724 Automatic Updates Microsoft
    svchost.exe 1376 Generic Host Process for
    Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
    svchost.exe 1536 Generic Host Process for
    Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
    ccSetMgr.exe 1620 Symantec Settings Manager
    Service Symantec Corporation
    ccEvtMgr.exe 1676 Symantec Event Manager Service
    Symantec Corporation
    spoolsv.exe 1824 Spooler SubSystem App
    Microsoft Corporation
    CTSVCCDA.EXE 304 Creative Service for CDROM Access
    Creative Technology Ltd
    ehrecvr.exe 312 Media Center Receiver Service
    Microsoft Corporation
    ehSched.exe 328 Media Center Scheduler Service
    Microsoft Corporation
    gearsec.exe 356 gearsec GEAR Software
    IAANTMon.exe 532 RAID Monitor Intel Corporation
    Mcdetect.exe 572 McAfee WSC Integration Service
    McAfee, Inc
    McShield.exe 608 On-Access Scanner service McAfee
    McTskshd.exe 652 McAfee Task Scheduler McAfee, Inc
    MpfService.exe 1136 McAfee Personal Firewall
    Service McAfee Corporation
    MSKSrvr.exe 1248 McAfee SpamKiller Server McAfee Inc.
    nvsvc32.exe 2036 NVIDIA Driver Helper Service,
    Version 84.40 NVIDIA Corporation
    svchost.exe 2180 Generic Host Process for Win32
    Services Microsoft Corporation
    svchost.exe 2220 Generic Host Process for Win32
    Services Microsoft Corporation
    ELService.exe 2432 Intel Corporation
    mcrdsvc.exe 2552 MCRD Device Service Microsoft
    dllhost.exe 3432 COM Surrogate Microsoft
    CreativeLicensing.exe 3808 System Level Service Utility
    Creative Labs
    alg.exe 4072 Application Layer Gateway
    Service Microsoft Corporation
    lsass.exe 848 LSA Shell (Export Version)
    Microsoft Corporation
    explorer.exe 1996 Windows Explorer Microsoft
    ehtray.exe 2912 Media Center Tray Applet
    Microsoft Corporation
    jusched.exe 2932 Java(TM) 2 Platform Standard
    Edition binary Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    stsystra.exe 2964 Sigmatel Audio system tray
    application SigmaTel, Inc.
    IAAnotif.exe 2980 Event Monitor User
    Notification Tool Intel Corporation
    DMXLauncher.exe 3028
    CTSysVol.exe 3040 CTSysVol.exe Creative Technology
    rundll32.exe 3048 Run a DLL as an App
    Microsoft Corporation
    clclean.0001 3096 Cleanup Macrovision Europe Ltd.
    ccApp.exe 3064 Symantec User Session Symantec
    issch.exe 3080 InstallShield Update
    Service Scheduler InstallShield Software Corporation
    oasclnt.exe 3108 McAfee VirusScan OAS
    Client McAfee, Inc.
    mcagent.exe 3140 McAfee SecurityCenter Agent
    McAfee, Inc
    DLACTRLW.EXE 3308 Drive Letter Access Component Sonic
    MSKAgent.exe 3320 McAfee SpamKiller Agent
    Interface module McAfee Inc.
    mcvsshld.exe 3336 McAfee VirusScan
    ActiveShield Resource McAfee, Inc.
    McVSEscn.exe 3396 McAfee VirusScan E-mail
    Scan Module McAfee, Inc.
    MpfTray.exe 3368 McAfee Personal Firewall
    Tray Monitor McAfee Security
    hpwuSchd.exe 3408 hpwuSchd Hewlett-Packard
    hpcmpmgr.exe 3452 HP Framework Component
    Manager Service Hewlett-Packard Company
    mscifapp.exe 3496 McAfee Privacy
    Service McAfee, Inc.
    CTDetect.exe 3572 Creative MediaSource
    Detector Creative Technology Ltd
    LogitechDesktopMessenger.exe 3612 Logitech Desktop Messenger Logitech
    ctfmon.exe 3644 CTF Loader Microsoft
    GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe 3712 GoogleToolbarNotifier Google
    hpqtra08.exe 3792 HP Digital Imaging
    Monitor (CUE) Hewlett-Packard Co.
    procexp.exe 4088 3.08 Sysinternals Process
    Explorer Sysinternals
    Erick, Sep 16, 2006
  11. Erick

    Colin Wilson Guest

    Here they are....Which one may I delete and is thit risky? Can I find them
    Off the top of my head, I can't see any "risky" apps amongst that lot -
    perhaps the HP software is worse than I thought !

    HP do have something on their site which is supposed to switch off the
    automatic driver updating, but it didn't work for me (!)
    Colin Wilson, Sep 16, 2006
  12. Erick

    RussellS Guest


    One quick question...does the hard drive access noise sound very rhythmic,
    that is, is it an identical sound every second or two? If so, it could just
    be a faulty IDE/SATA data cable that connects the drive to the motherboard
    or controller, or a hard drive that is developing platter problems. Try
    changing out and/or checking the connections of the hard drive data cable
    first (system powered off first, of course.)
    RussellS, Sep 16, 2006
  13. Erick

    noel.wester Guest

    noel.wester, Sep 16, 2006
  14. Erick

    Jay B Guest

    i would kill the following tasks, but more improtantly, remove them from
    the startup using hijackthis.

    also i would remove mcaffee which i did not list below. to properly
    remove it, you must stop most of the background processes, then use
    add/remove programs to remove all the pieces, then even after you
    reboot, you still need to use hijackthis to remove other pieces that
    will wind up being still in the startup.

    alsi i would stop and remove all the windows media center services -- i
    see about 4 running there, they dont need to be running all the time!!
    go to the services control panel and set them from automatic to manual.
    none of the intel processes are needed for proper operation, as well as
    most of the HP processes are not needed for proper operation. the only
    HP process needed in memory is the pml driver. especially remove all
    the updater ones!!
    i also dont like the google toolbar and all those associated processes.

    also other cleaners not needed, not sure what clclean is, but not needed.
    dont need the creative and audio stuff running for all that to work. it
    still will.

    you can stop all these using procexp and see what affect they will have
    on your system, before permanently removing them. in case you dont like
    the change. i use hijackthis to make most changes because it makes a
    nice log file backup in case you need to reverse your changes.
    Jay B, Sep 16, 2006
  15. Erick

    Ben Myers Guest

    All too many self-important software companies arbitrarily add their junk to the
    toolbar, and their programs are launched at startup, sucking up memory and
    offering little except the convenience of clicking an icon to launch an
    infrequently used bit of software.

    The Creative and other audio garbage falls into that category. So do Acrobat
    Reader and Firefox "Quick Launch" icons, icons for various video (ATI, for
    example) and network card (some Intel network chips). Then you have to use
    hijackthis, not the most friendly for the less advanced computer user, to get
    the junk out of there.

    I don't mind a toolbar icon and program launch for programs I use with some

    I'll end this rant by asking what can be done about it? ... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Sep 16, 2006
  16. Erick

    jerry_maple Guest

    Dell has a support forum staffed by knowledgable volunteers that is
    solely devoted to using HijackThis to ferret out adware/spyware. I
    found their help invaluable in cleaning VirtuMonde and WinFixer
    slimeware off my daughters laptop. The FAQs there explain everything.
    The only word of caution is to make sure that anybody that responds to
    your post there is on the list of approved HijackThis experts. I had
    somebody from left field jump into my thread - the moderators are
    pretty good about telling the amateur helpers to butt out.

    Here's the URL to the Dell HJT forum:

    There are other similar non-Dell forums, but the common tool seems to
    be HijackThis.

    jerry_maple, Sep 23, 2006
  17. Erick

    Colin Wilson Guest

    Here's the URL to the Dell HJT forum:
    HijackThis is great at what it does, but it will not pick up desktop
    hijackers such as Smitfraud, as it doesn't start by being "run" in the
    normal way.
    Colin Wilson, Sep 23, 2006
  18. Erick

    Ben Myers Guest

    True. HijackThis is not a panacea, only one of a set of useful tools in the
    anti-spy, anti-virus, anti-trojan, anti-varmint arsenal. HijackThis DOES tell
    lots about what is going on inside a computer, much of which cannot be gleaned
    from other tools.

    There is a one-off removal tool for Smitfraud... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Sep 23, 2006
  19. Erick

    Colin Wilson Guest

    True. HijackThis is not a panacea, only one of a set of useful tools in the
    Yup... found here:

    Word of warning to anyone who uses it - it removes all your existing
    desktop settings, such as background images. Small price to pay to get
    rid of it SmitFraud (and its variants) though !
    Colin Wilson, Sep 23, 2006
  20. Erick

    Ben H.

    Nov 7, 2006
    Likes Received:
    WD Hard Drive clicking

    Hi all, first time poster. I just bought a Dell Precision Workstation 390 and came across this thread.

    I have a similar problem - my hard drive, even when idle, makes (very gentle) writing or accessing clicks at a rate of around 1 per second. The drive in question is a Sata II 320 Gig WD drive that came preinstalled from Dell. When it writes or accesses data, it makes some noise as expected (actually more than I expected), but nothing unhealthy sounding.

    The clicking when idle problem is intermittent; at times the PC is whisper quiet, but at others I can hear those little clicks. There'll be maybe ten in a row, one a second, and then silence again for a few minutes. It's just enough to annoy me and make me hope I can fix it.

    I defragged, to no avail.

    There are 44 processes running. I can attempt to list them if that would help.

    The computer is three days old, and the WD drive has 90% free space. I also installed a Seagate 320 GB drive for data, but it's 97% free and I'm sure it's not the one making noise.
    Ben H., Nov 7, 2006
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