Why does my PC try to access my floppy disk drive when there is no diskette in it?

A CD ROM in the CD drive of a laptop.
Sometimes your laptop may try to access your floppy disk drive even when there's no disk. EThamPhoto / Getty Images

If you have a Windows PC, you will sometimes get into a situation where the computer randomly access the floppy disk drive every few minutes -- for no apparent reason! Typically, the harmless annoyance occurs because some program "thinks" it needs to read or write some data to a diskette.

In most cases, there may be a document in your recent history folder (Start >> Documents) that was once on a diskette. Here are the steps to clear the document history file Windows uses:


  1. Click Start
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click Taskbar
  4. In the Documents area, click Clear
  5. Click OK

Other causes of the problem:

  • Microsoft Office's Find Fast utility may be running and trying to index your FDD. Remove it from the Startup group, or in Control Panel, look for Find Fast and disable it from starting. Find Fast installs automatically with Office and can be a resource hog as well!
  • The System Agent may be running a task; if present, click the System Agent icon in your System Tray for further information.
  • A virus scanner program may be trying to check the drive. Check the setup of your virus scanning software for further information. A diskette scan at startup or shut down may be normal, but a scan between these times is typically a user-controlled option.

Note: If it is the CD-ROM drive that is being accessed for no reason:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click System
  4. Click Device Manager
  5. Click CD-ROM drive
  6. Click Properties
  7. Uncheck Auto Insert Notification

Here are some useful links: