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My Windows XP "does" something non stop on my hard drive - about every minute, a short blink (~0.2 sec.) of the disk activity diode, causing the power save options never to work.

This really sucks, I have disabled most of the services (like indexing, logging, page file, system restore stuff, but it still "performs" something very important)

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Did you check your processes with Process Explorer? Maybe it can help you to figure out what's going on inside. technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Oct 30 '09 at 10:18
    
Yes, use Process Explorer to track disk activity. It wouldn't surprise me if this was "normal". – harrymc Oct 30 '09 at 10:57

It could be the search indexer running, that would be my first guess. Here is a lifehacker post on how to disabled the indexer. Searching will still work even with this disabled, it just may take a bit longer.
Disable XP Search Indexer

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