Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Dell Inspiron 6400. I changed the memory a couple of years ago with no problems, but recently bought a new HDD and now I get random lockups. Serious lockups. Like, where even the mouse freezes. These last for anywhere from ten to thirty seconds, and I've noticed the HDD light is constantly on the whole time (not flickering, just constantly on). As soon as it all comes back, the HDD light goes back to a more regular HDD-access flickering.

The HDD I bought is a 300GB SATA3 (more accurately a Western Digital WD3200BPVT 320GB 2.5" Hard Drive SATAII 5400rpm 8MB Cache - OEM Scorpio Blue - the old one was 60GB SATA2 I believe), and I'm concerned the laptop simply isn't compatible with it after all.

I'm running Windows XP Home edition. Is there anything I can do to diagnose the issue?

share|improve this question
With addition to hardware problem with the drive it could also be low quality sata cable or hot plug/swap enclosure or some kind of firmware problem between the controller and the drive. – anttir Nov 13 '11 at 17:12

This is most likely a hardware problem with the drive, I'm afraid. Check the SMART status and temperature.

It is almost definitely hardware. See Windows 7 PC freezes frequently with hard disk light constantly on.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.