Blinking lights…

I almost cannot believe I’m going to post this, but so many of my machines don’t have LED’s to blink for hard disk activity it is driving me nuts.

Well thankfully, for windows there is a solution:


So what it does, is it’ll poll  \PhysicalDisk(_Total)\% Disk Time every 30ms, and if it’s doing something it’ll blink the icon colour.

Why is this cool?

It’ll even work with RDP.  So your server can be on the other side of the world, and you’ll know what’s going on.

It's cooler than it looks
It’s cooler than it looks


Author: neozeed

I live in SE Asia, doing generic work, enjoying my life & family

13 thoughts on “Blinking lights…”

  1. funny, those lights used to drive me crazy.. especially on older machines that had those really bright ones right in my face. if i want to see what’s going on i am suspicious of something i just open up system monitor/profiler/etc.

    1. If the machine goes too slow, or something in the system gets hang up, you will not be able to open any program to see what’s happening. Before we could at least chech if was something related to an abnormal disk io activity by checking led blinks (and the hard drive sounds when the device tried to read defective sectors).

      1. It’s hard to check for disk sounds when your computer is 14 timezones away, and some 14+ hours by plane…

        But yeah there is always SMART status, and checking dmesg.. and hoping all is well.

      1. yeah, can’t stand those cases that look like the bastard child of a ferrari and an aquarium. : ) anyway, i see how this taskbar disk led can be useful, especially with an ssd.

    1. Oh sweet, I was almost tempted to write something to blink red for write, and green for read… Now what I really want is a good HQ sound sample of an old hard disk to complete the image……

        1. looks like a PS/2 …. I was hoping for a 5 1/4″ FH monster…!

          But yeah… this has some good possibilities… I did something like this with SIMH ages ago although I can’t find my mods but it was kind of trivial to do…

  2. This is really cool! However personally I really do hate mechanical media. I have moved all my floppy drives to HxC and HDDs to various forms of flash memory. Having 1000 mbps transfers and zero latency to disk I have a luxury of not caring whether the disk is active or not 😉

    1. I think I’ve become so accustomed to watching blinking lights that it feels reassuring to know it’s doing “something”.. Although its amazing with 16gb of ram the disk is still going like crazy. I recently moved my windows 7 to a SSD and it is much faster that is for sure!

      1. SSDs are rather slow for sequential operations compared to a fast HDD. Spend few more dollars and move the system to a PCIe flash card. I have OCZ RevoDrive. Yes they are notoriously unreliable, but I use it for the boot only and don’t mind reinstalling the OS if the card fails. On the other hand it does 900 MB/s for write and 1100 MB/s for read. Zero latency. It’s unbeatable for a boot drive.

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