When in doubt, look closer to home

I saw a string of peculiar messages in the Windows Event Log on my laptop which at first sight looked quite alarming:
Windows (1608) Windows: A request to read from the file "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb" at offset 56401920 (0x00000000035ca000) for 16384 (0x00004000) bytes succeeded, but took an abnormally long time (13930 seconds) to be serviced by the OS. In addition, 0 other I/O requests to this file have also taken an abnormally long time to be serviced since the last message regarding this problem was posted 30928 seconds ago. This problem is likely due to faulty hardware. Please contact your hardware vendor for further assistance diagnosing the problem.
I was sceptical that my hard drive had issues. But (slightly alarmed) I thought I'd give the message the benefit of the doubt and investigate further.

First thing to check was, are there any other signs of hard drive issues? S.M.A.R.T.? No problems. Chkdsk? A-OK. Any different class of messages about hard drive/storage related problems in the Event Log? Nope.

So, as sure as one could be that my hardware was OK I took a closer look at the messages themselves. The first thing that stuck out was the times quoted: 13930 and 30928 seconds. Hmm, that's a long time - in fact respectively 4 and 8.5 hours!

The plot thickened: the messages seemed to be following a pattern - they were all straight after resuming from standby. Yes, it was painfully obvious by now but those 4 / 8.5 hours were how long the laptop was in standby. I didn't need to contact my hardware vendor to work that out, either.

Conclusion? I don't know: probably that if you are going to blame hardware, make damn sure you're right in the first place. (I can only begin to imagine what the conversation with my hardware vendor might have actually gone like...)