View Full Version : Problem came, problem went, but I'm curious..............

Billy T
22-04-2014, 02:58 PM
I was doing a bit of catch-up work last night after being tied up for a couple of days by two funerals (one at Palmerston North 1050km return same day, :horrified the other closer to home) and I had a quick look to see what MSE was doing (it is back to virus and spyware definitions but no OS support of course) but when I minimised the MSE display it left a trail down the screen and everything ground to a halt. I rebooted and it got up to the desktop then stopped there with the drive light on solid. I tried a few reboots without success, the last one ending up with a blank desktop, then I tried a 'last known good configuration' (which threw an error message and refused to work) and the drive light stayed solid.

I was already suffering somewhat from stress over two funerals in quick succession, so I decided to just walk away for the evening. I checked a few times and there was no change, but this morning it was sitting there showing the desktop and acting like nothing had happened.

My question is this: What type of fault or process could/might lead to a solid red drive light, not a flicker not a blink and have it sit like that for hours?


Billy 8-{)

(MSE is working ok, haven't got the new AV yet, that's next)

22-04-2014, 03:11 PM
Funny you mention that.... I had a similiar experience a few days ago with an XP notebook. MSE threw a hissy and computer appeared locked up. I forced a power off / on and it appeared to stop partway through bootup, before the desktop loaded - zero disk activity. Looked like a corrupt user profile, I thought; but I left it and went to work on another machine. About 10 mins later, I noticed the desktop was up and all was well. MSE got replaced rather promptly!

Speedy Gonzales
22-04-2014, 03:18 PM
Dont know how old the definitions are , or were on your system, but there was a bad / buggy definition around the 16th or 17th, which caused XP not to boot. It looks like it also caused an application error, everytime XP loaded.

I came across this online and on a PC I fixed over the weekend. I removed MSE altogether

22-04-2014, 03:26 PM
What type of fault or process could/might lead to a solid red drive light, not a flicker not a blink and have it sit like that for hours?
Usually means one of two things. ( ok 3 things)

1. Some software is stuck and cant go forward or backward so the OS is working as hard as it can peddle to sort it but getting nowhere fast.
2. Theres a contact problem between the motherboard and HDD or a HDD problem and try as it might it cant go anywhere.
3. A combination of the above two.

Have a look in the eventvwr logs and see if theres any warnings -- If you get a bunch that say "Disk" -- then the HDD can be failing with bad sectors, relating to #2 above, would pay to check the HDD.

Billy T
22-04-2014, 10:49 PM
Okay, the prominent features flagged red in Event Viewer are "service control manager" and "MS Antimalware" but they appear a number of times before, during, and after the 'lockout'.

"Disk" does not appear, so I think I should be grateful for small mercies and get on with installing the recommended AV asap. I'm dealing with overseas clients at present and can't risk going off line, so I'll have to tread carefully until those communications are finished.

I just remembered that the only other thing I've added in recent times was Hitman Pro a few days beforehand and that gave me some issues before it settled down.

All definitions were fully up to date.


Billy 8-{)

Robin S_
27-04-2014, 12:58 AM
My question is this: What type of fault or process could/might lead to a solid red drive light, not a flicker not a blink and have it sit like that for hours?

Presumably this is happening with XP +SP3. About August last year one of the MS monthly updates caused the "solid red light" problem for prolonged periods on many computers. During the solid red light period the CPU usage would be up around 100% but would eventually come back to normal levels (after maybe hours). It was apparently caused by a process involving wuauclt.exe going into a prolonged bout of endless looping while trying to check for updates. The workaround was to turn off Microsoft updates and do them manually. Then a couple of months later a similar problem arose involving scvhost.exe - the workaround this time was to turn off automatic updates completely (and do manual updates.) Dumping MSSE (as mentioned by Wuppo) may also be a workaround. If you do a search on something like 'xp AND slowdown AND (either of the above files)' you should find a fair bit of info on the topic.


Speedy Gonzales
27-04-2014, 07:44 AM
The windowsupdate prob was fixed a few weeks ago now. That wasnt caused by a windows file, it was caused by too much crap in WU itself (with all the different updates for IE). . It caused 100% CPU usage in XP. In the end MS had to remove what wasn't needed in WU to fix it. At the time people tried all sorts of things to fix it by doing the above, killing the WU services, doing batch files etc

27-04-2014, 08:53 AM
A similar problem happened to me to an old (throw away from a client/friend) Acer Aspire running XP. Recently, after a few months of non use it, wouldn't boot normally but mostly the red HD activity light would be solid for a few minutes then shut down completely. Did a visual for dodgy capacitors - all ok. Reseated and cleaned with alcohol all removable components except one -still no boot up. Removed the last remaining unchecked component - the processor heat sink. The thermal paste was a bit dried and grotty so I cleaned it up and applied new paste. Problem solved - been perfect since.

Billy T
27-04-2014, 10:04 PM
Performance remains normal, to my great relief. I will get a new computer built for W7 and transfer to that once I have all my programs etc setup. The XP box will remain as a standby option, as my previous W2K box has been. MS still provides updates for it but it will now be retired.


Billy 8-{)