hard drive clicking sound
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Thread: hard drive clicking sound

  1. #1
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    hard drive clicking sound

    i've got a 6 month old laptop and recently i've noticed this behavior: whenever the disk is accessed(read or write), 5 seconds later there is a single, fairly loud, clicking sound. It sounds like it might be the drive retracting the arm or something after it finishes it's task. Is this normal? I'm not sure if it's always made this noise and i just never noticed it before, if the noise was just quieter before, or if it's really a new development. In my past experience, this type of clicking noise usually meant a drive was dying, but it was usually more sporadic. This drive is also giving me good stats from it's S.M.A.R.T stuff, which makes me think it might be ok. None of the hard drives on my other computers(desktops) do this, but it makes sense that a laptop drive would retract the arm after it's finished to minimize damage to the disk or something, do they generally do that? Basically, is this normal behavior or should i be shopping for a new drive?

  2. #2
    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    I need some more info, give me the specs of ur laptop... OS,Ram etc....
    Git R Dun - Ty
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  3. #3
    AntiOnline n00b
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    Hi,

    Mine has been doing it for more than 1 year without any Problem .............. Click Sound and Computer freezes for a Moment and everythig back to normal ..........

    I have been treating it like it's Gonna Die on me any day but it hasen't till now......... Guess i am the Lucky One

    My advice Treat the disk as if it may fail at any time and that means Back Up Everything you would regret you would looseing a ........... Keep a careful eye on the drive.............

    Some said defragmenting the drive helps some said turning off power management But Nothing i have tried has solved this problem...

    You said it's Six months old so it should be in the Warrenty period .......... Contact the manufacturer and see if they give a replacement or a solution.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Basically SMART and other HDD diagnostics are about the discs and the data, not about the electro-mechanical parts of the drive, so they are not much of a help here.

    It sounds as if the r/w arm is retracting too far..............I would say it was potentially pretty bad news and send the box back if it is still under warranty.
    That said, I cannot be certain without actually hearing it. Some HDDs are noisy for whatever reason. I remember when we changed over to Dell Dimension PIIIs.............the HDDs sounded like they were having a fit, but this was apparently normal as they all did it and there was a very low failure rate.

    You might check Google to see if other people are reporting the phenomenon, and talk to the manufacturer and TELL them that your HDD sounds like it is about to die. If they suggest you run diagnostics, ask them how that would detect an electro-mechanical problem

    Good luck

  5. #5
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    hmmm, so you think its dying. now i just wanna figure out what may have caused it so i dont kill the next drive so fast. i think there are 3 things that may have done it, which sounds most likely?

    1. taking the drive out a few times:
    i was pretty careful, but maybe i damaged it somehow? i may have pressed on the part that said "do not press" by accident.

    2. using linux:
    i've been using a PIIIX ide driver that says it supports ich4 chips, but my ide controller is an ich4-m. could any incompatibility here have damaged it?

    3. movement while using the laptop:
    i've been told all my life not to move a computer while its on because it will damage the hard drive and i really don't understand how a laptop can be used the way most people use them without the drive dying. could it have been damaged from me moving it while it was on? i guess the arm retracts after a read/write, so that the drive is less likely to get damaged if you move it around(do all drives do that or just those in laptops?), but what if it was in the middle of a read/write while i moved it? i often had to carry it around(very carefully) while it was on because my s3 wouldnt work in linux. i didnt disable the loggers and stuff so there's a good chance something was accessing the disk when it was being moved those times.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi, slinky2004

    1. A very slight possibility, but you would have to be exceptionally clumsy. These things are pretty robust.

    2. NO WAY! Operating systems don't damage hard drives, only (sometimes) the mental stability of the user

    3. Not very likely unless you dropped it. As you imply laptops are meant to be used that way.

    My favourite candidate is manufacturing defect. Remember that PC component cost have fallen so much that the manufacturers can only afford pretty cursory QA/QC. Rigorous testing only takes place on a sample basis.

    Just my opinions

  7. #7
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    in that case, i guess i'll ask santa for a new hd, i got the laptop off ebay and theres no warranty. im thinking a seagate maybe, this one is a hitachi. i've bought a few seagates and i'm satisfied with them, only one has died so far and that was likely due to some very rough handling during shipping.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    That is the way I would go, if only for the peace of mind it will give you

  9. #9
    Just Another Geek
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    Clicking sounds coming from the harddrive usually mean bad news.... I would replace the drive.. Just keep to the physical dimensions. Some 2.5 inch drives are thicker then others and it might not fit.
    Oliver's Law:
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  10. #10
    IT Specialist Ghost_25inf's Avatar
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    I would see how fragmented your drive is. If your hard drive has a lot of fragmented parts it may be accessing information from different parts of the drive in which would make the arm swing all the way out and then back in. I would recommend a product called Diskeeper, because I notice that the defragmenter that comes with windows doesnít seem to do as good of a job. Hard Drives can fail even if they are brand new. I donít know what products are out there for Linux users but I would guess they would be free. Diskeeper might even have a Linux edition.
    S25vd2xlZGdlIGlzIHBvd2VyIQ

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