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Dell XPS 8940 Still Going Wild
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Jun 7, 2021 09:28:09   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
I mentioned a month or more ago that my son's Dell XPS 8940 has the hard drive going wild whenever he leaves it for a couple of minutes. It's non-stop hard drive activity - very noisy. If I go over and touch the keyboard or mouse, it stops, so Task Manager can't tell me what it's doing. Security programs haven't found anything harmful on the drive. I have an XPS 8930, and that never behaves like that. Obviously, the computer feels a need to do something, but what? And why? This can't be good for the health of the drive.

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Jun 7, 2021 09:34:27   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
Possibly an antivirus program checking the files on the drive while the computer is idle? I know Norton will run stuff when the computer is "idle".
I think maybe they may make the AV process hidden in the task manager so if someone gets into the computer they cannot find it and stop it? Not sure.

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Jun 7, 2021 09:44:28   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
Open task manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and look under the performance tab. It should be immediately apparent what process is using the HD.

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Jun 7, 2021 10:08:44   #
juan_uy Loc: Uruguay
 
Are you sure that the noise is the hard drive and not one of the fans?

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Jun 7, 2021 11:53:38   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
TriX wrote:
Open task manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and look under the performance tab. It should be immediately apparent what process is using the HD.


If only I could. It's like a little kid who's doing something bad, and as soon as you look at him, he stops. As soon as I touch the keyboard or mouse, the HD action stops.

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Jun 7, 2021 11:54:05   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
Longshadow wrote:
Possibly an antivirus program checking the files on the drive while the computer is idle? I know Norton will run stuff when the computer is "idle".
I think maybe they may make the AV process hidden in the task manager so if someone gets into the computer they cannot find it and stop it? Not sure.


He has the same Avira that I have - no action on my HDD.

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Jun 7, 2021 12:01:11   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
jerryc41 wrote:
If only I could. It's like a little kid who's doing something bad, and as soon as you look at him, he stops. As soon as I touch the keyboard or mouse, the HD action stops.

Start the task manager and look the other way?

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Jun 7, 2021 12:28:53   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
Longshadow wrote:
Start the task manager and look the other way?


I tried sneaking up in backwards while talking to my dog. Didn't work. This is one smart computer!

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Jun 7, 2021 12:29:29   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
jerryc41 wrote:
I tried sneaking up in backwards while talking to my dog. Didn't work. This is one smart computer!



(Cover the camera.....)

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Jun 7, 2021 12:31:25   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
Longshadow wrote:


(Cover the camera.....)


It's a free-standing camera, and I made sure it was turned off - and disconnected.

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Jun 7, 2021 14:56:02   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
jerryc41 wrote:
If only I could. It's like a little kid who's doing something bad, and as soon as you look at him, he stops. As soon as I touch the keyboard or mouse, the HD action stops.


What If you disable the screen saver and just leave performance monitor running for awhile without touching anything?

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Jun 7, 2021 19:54:58   #
E12-R1
 
I also have an 8930 which worked fine for a few months and one day I left it for a couple of hours and came back to find the dreaded BSOD!!! I could not get it to do anything and finally killed everything and reinstalled Windows. It would not recognize 2 external drives I have attached.

Since it was still under warranty, I called Dell and was connected to a tech in New Delhi who fiddled around for a couple of hours and was unsuccessful with a repair. He also killed and reinstalled everything to no avail. He was going to contact someone else. I've been getting emails from Dell saying they would like me to "upgrade" my warranty for a few extra bucks and then they would repair it!

The upshot is that it still won't recognize the 2 drives. My PC sometimes acts like your son's with hard drive activity. It still limps along and displays some quirks. No viruses found. I am very disappointed with Dell about their warranty response.

I hope your son has better luck.

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Jun 7, 2021 20:23:20   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
E12-R1 wrote:
I also have an 8930 which worked fine for a few months and one day I left it for a couple of hours and came back to find the dreaded BSOD!!! I could not get it to do anything and finally killed everything and reinstalled Windows. It would not recognize 2 external drives I have attached.

Since it was still under warranty, I called Dell and was connected to a tech in New Delhi who fiddled around for a couple of hours and was unsuccessful with a repair. He also killed and reinstalled everything to no avail. He was going to contact someone else. I've been getting emails from Dell saying they would like me to "upgrade" my warranty for a few extra bucks and then they would repair it!

The upshot is that it still won't recognize the 2 drives. My PC sometimes acts like your son's with hard drive activity. It still limps along and displays some quirks. No viruses found. I am very disappointed with Dell about their warranty response.

I hope your son has better luck.
I also have an 8930 which worked fine for a few mo... (show quote)


Is the machine still under warranty? Did you opt for the on-site support? Is it working OK except for not recognizing the external drives, and if so, are the externals USB connected? If so, maybe we can work through getting them recognized.

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Jun 8, 2021 08:19:31   #
stbg1951 Loc: Poconos, PA
 
Make sure monitor is in no sleep mode, start task manager to the screen you want and since it automatically refreshes when you walk back don’t touch anything and you should see what your trying to find.

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Jun 8, 2021 09:34:13   #
JBRIII
 
juan_uy wrote:
Are you sure that the noise is the hard drive and not one of the fans?


Good idea here. Fans on my laptop started doing this, then they got quiet again, due to dying. Computer still operated if not pushed. Lucky for me no permanent damage. Couple of months from noisy to death.

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