Windows – How to disable auto insert notification in Windows 7

compact-discwindows 7

Alright, here's the problem. My hard drive activity light on my custom built PC is blinking exactly once every second.

Microsoft has this to say on the issue:

There has been discussion on this issue several months ago: Why does my hard drive LED light blink every second?

The problem seems to stem from primarily Windows 7 polling the CD-ROM/DVD drive every second to see if something is inserted.

The Windows 7 users in the thread that was linked in the superuser question,, have confirmed that this IS a known issue with Windows 7. Some people point at the motherboard circuitry causing the CD-ROM and SATA activity to both be linked to that hard drive activity, but whatever the case, the temporary solution seems to be to disable the CD/DVD-ROM drive in Device Manager.

In fact, disabling the CD/DVD-ROM does stop the blinking, but of course this solution is counterproductive, because I shouldn't have to entirely disable a device to fix this problem.

I've done the following suggestions in that thread:

  • Change the autorun registry entry to 0
  • Completely disable autoplay in the autoplay control panel
  • Disable autoplay in the Local Group Policy Editor.

None of these stop the blinking from happening – apparently these solutions work for both XP and Vista, but it seems to be different in Windows 7.

So I'm wondering if anyone has found out how to completely disable the polling in Windows 7, or if this will just have to be an issue we will have to deal with. There's no option to disable the auto insert notification when you go to the device within device manager (there was in XP), so I got no idea where this option is hidden, or if there's a registry key entry I could change to stop the polling.

Anyone have any idea?

Best Answer

  • This is much easier to do in Windows 7 than XP, no need to mess with the registry or group policy: Control Panel -> AutoPlay.

    In Windows 7, it's just called AutoPlay instead of 'Auto Insert Notification'.

    This lets you either globally disable autorun or choose default actions for different media.