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Old 03-29-2015, 04:18 PM   #1
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Need Laptop Help!!

I have a Dell Inspiron laptop that is about 8 months old that is running windows 8.1. It has an I-5 processor with 6 gb of memory. Every so often, the disk active light will go on and not flicker at all and the cursor will freeze. The disk active light will show a solid, steady light. Any ideas as to why this happens and what I can do to correct the issue?
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:02 PM   #2
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Buy an Apple use the PC for a wheel chock. ;-)
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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The light just means the CPU is accessing the hard drive...so probably a process running. (I don't know if you know this, but Microsoft releases their monthly patches and updates the second Tuesday of the month. For March, these were quite a few.)

Anyway, when it does this, again, hit your Cntrl-Alt-Del keys at the same time, then click on "Start Task Manager" and then look at "processes" to see what is running so much. (If you click on memory, it will show the highest user at the time.) This will give you an idea of what's running so much.

Does the cursor freeze for good or does it come back after a while?
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:23 PM   #4
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I was thinking an update might be pushing down also but you have to be connected to the web at the time for it to happen. Are you running anyone's virus software or MS Essentials?
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:53 PM   #5
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I have McAfee security software and the cursor will free up when the disk active light either goes off almost completely or it starts to flicker. When I do the cntl-alt-del and bring up task manager, I don't see anything that is really hogging memory but the disk utilization screen shows 100%. I'm not really sure if there is a security scan running or if any updates are being installed.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulie Boy View Post
Buy an Apple use the PC for a wheel chock. ;-)
hate to admit it but that thought crossed my mind as well (Sorry Tom!)


To address the question...it could be a update downloading (Are you on a slow WIFI?) or it could be your hard drive indexing. In modern laptops, the hard drive is the weakest link in the chain Given that your Laptop is relatively new, you might want to consider investing $300 or so dollars and "upgrading" to a Solid State Hard Drive.


As far as secure backups go - Amazon just announced a unlimited (YES, unlimited!) Cloud Storage plan for $60/year. Store ANYTHING, movies, videos, music, photos & files.


BTW, if you are a Amazon Prime member, you already have *unlimited* cloud storage for your Photos
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:15 PM   #7
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Windows is famous for pushing updates and they CAN do about as much harm as good.

Example. MY home PC- the one I'm typing this message on runs windows 7 pro.
Last December windows pushed an "update" that had a bug in it. Suddenly windows
started reporting it was "a pirated copy" and not valid. After THREE years of being
valid and just fine - suddenly it's not valid???

Google windows not valid error and you will find many many articles about how this
was bogus and windows fault.

My son is an electrical engineer. He worked at Best Buy all during college at the
repair desk. He got computers all the time where windows had pushed an update
and suddenly the computer ran slow or not at all. After he cleaned them up and
got them running again he always recommended to shut off windows updates.

He still says that. Shut off windows updates!! They can wreck your system and
they are CPU hogs that block you from doing your work.
If you are on the road ABSOLUTELY shut off updates as they are wifi hogs too.

IF you absolutely must update shut them off and once in a great while do a full
system backup and then turn them on and let them update then shut them off
again!

If you have a good anti virus and have your firewall set you will be fine.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:30 PM   #8
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Not sure apple is any better. I have 2 friends with apple computers and both lost their email to some bug. It took one of them a full day on the phone with a tech in India to get the issue resolved.

Also, I have 50/50 mbps for up and down load.
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:06 PM   #9
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As an IT professional, I'd just like to remind everyone that there's somewhere from 40,00 to 80,000 new malware that comes out daily thus the need for constant updates for operation systems, firewalls, and antivirus software to help combat it. (An estimated 60% of computers in the US already have some form of malware already on them.)

But if you do travel a lot, it's a good idea to turn off the auto-download feature in Windows updates but never turn off the antivirus updater.
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:35 PM   #10
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Is you computer overheating? Have you used low compressed air to evacuate dust from inside....just thinking out loud....
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