Disk Drive or CD-ROM Access Light Blinks Every Few Seconds

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Article ID: 138598 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q138598
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While your computer is idle, the CD-ROM access light may blink every few seconds.


This behavior can occur if the Auto Insert Notification option is enabled in Device Manager. If this option is enabled, Windows checks for the presence of a CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive every few seconds. Most CD-ROM drives return an answer directly, but some drives blink the drive light before returning an answer. This behavior can occur with IDE, SCSI, and proprietary CD-ROM drives.

If your computer contains a SCSI controller, Windows polls the SCSI bus periodically to determine the status of the bus and the devices that are installed on the bus. On some computers, the disk drive access light on the front panel turns on when any SCSI device, or the SCSI bus itself, is accessed. On these computers, the disk drive access light turns on each time Windows polls the SCSI bus. In addition, if the computer contains a SCSI CD-ROM drive, the CD-ROM access light may blink in conjunction with the disk drive access light. This blinking of the CD-ROM access light is independent of the Auto Insert Notification that was previously described.


This behavior is by design.


If you do not want the CD-ROM access light to blink, you may be able to prevent this behavior by disabling the Auto Insert Notification option in Device Manager:
  1. In Control Panel, double-click System.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab, double-click CD-ROM, and then double- click your CD-ROM drive.
  3. Click the Settings tab, and then click to clear the Auto Insert Notification check box.
  4. Click the Close button. When you are prompted to restart your computer, do so.
NOTE: If the CD-ROM drive is connected to a SCSI hard disk controller, these steps may not prevent the CD-ROM access light from blinking. When this occurs, the CD-ROM access light is blinking because Windows is polling the SCSI bus, not because the Auto Insert Notification option is enabled.


Article ID: 138598 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
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