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AlexG2490

Another Clicking Harddrive

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Hello, all! I found this forum after a google search for "clicking hard drive", so I am hoping you all can help me.

 

I recently purchased an Alienware laptop running Vista Ultimate. It came with 2 Samsung drives in a RAID configuration, giving me about 500GB storage. Well, one morning I couldn't boot it up. A little time with tech support determined one of the drives had failed. The agent walked me through disabling RAID so that I could get up and running with one drive while they replaced the old one. One of the things he asked me in diagnoasing the problem was whether I heard a 'click' from the drive. I said that yes, I did, occasionally. Anyway, I sent back the faulty drive. We're sure of which drive failed because checkdisk worked on this drive, but could never proceed on the other one.

 

Anyway, I thought I was good, but later in the day I heard the click again. Now I am wondering; is my other drive on the way out too? I've had the computer a little over 2 months, and it's always made the noise.

 

Now, I have heard the sound linked to on the Hitachi page that indicate drive failure, and this is definitely not one of them. First off, there is no grinding sound, and secondly, it's not persistent. It's one click, just one, and it usually only happens once every couple hours. Sometimes one click is proceeded by another after a few minutes, and then there are hours of silence. I spoke to a different Alienware support agent, and he felt that the sound was normal behavior.

 

Also, since moving to this one drive, I have noticed that the computer runs much better. iTunes never functioned well before, likely because I was having read errors on the failing drive. I do not notice any such trouble now. I also have not had a single Bluescreen since moving to this drive, something I had almost daily before.

 

I decided nobody could diagnoase this unless they could hear it, so I put my mic next to my hard drive and recorded for over 2 hours before I finally got a click on file. I've uploaded it below. The click is almost 9 seconds into the file.

 

Some explanations I have heard:

- Some drives produce an audible click when a process takes place to keep them from changing shape due to heat buildup

- Some Samsung drives "unload heads" if the drive is idle for a time, producing a sound

 

Well, if someone could let me know what they think, that would be great. What are the odds of BOTH my drives failing so soon after one another? Looking forward to hearing your opinions... let me know if there is any more information you need. Thanks!

driveclick.mp3

driveclick.mp3

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That Hitachi page with those failing hdd sounds doesn't and can't possibly have all the possible noises, I've personally heard others. That recording of yours sort of sounds like the Windows sound for "start navigation" in Internet Explorer believe it or not.

 

With the hard drive making that noise I'd want a more definitive answer about it being normal or alright from tech support myself. Tech support doesn't know everything and someone stating it's "normal" wouldn't really fly with me unless they could link to a support page either on their website or the hdd manufacturer website with documentation stating it's "normal."

 

I'd personally want it replaced just to be safe. In order to get what you want you may have to talk to several different people at tech support and run a horde of tests, etc., or at the least keep being vigilant and they may eventually give in.

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Alright, thanks. I'm still searching for other opinions, of course, just in case someone else with more knowledge (or a Samsung drive) comes along. Does it make any difference to your diagnoasis that it's been doing this ever since I got it 2 months ago? I feel like if it were going to die, it would have within days, not months.

 

I'm certainly not trying to discount your opinion, but I want to hear from some others before I do something. If I ask for a replacement and there turns out to be nothing wrong with the drive, then I'm in deep trouble financially. Like you said, replacing it "just to be safe" is a good idea, but unfortunately I can really only replace it if it's necessary. I have my 500GB external drive, so I guess I could just keep on backing up data there so that if the drive does fail I don't lose anything (except programs, but those just have to be reinstalled). If I keep that up for say, another month, would it then be safe to say that yes, my drive is probably okay?

 

You're right, too, about it sounding like the IE sound. In fact a couple times I freaked myself out thinking it was happening more frequently until I realized it was just my headphones right next to the computer making a click sound from that direction.

 

Anyway, is there anyone out there with a drive with head loading/unloading who can speak to this?

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Sorry for the Bump, here.

 

Spoke to Samsung, and they said that yes, it's a bad drive and needs to be replaced *grumble*. I just restored all my files and settings when I put the good drive up a week ago and damnit, I really don't want to do it again. Is there any way to image my entire drive to the external USB drive and then put that image back onto the C drive after I restore the computer to factory settings on a new drive? In other words, I am asking if there is any way that, for little to no money, I can clone my data (windows, programs, settings, files and all) so that it's exactly the same on the new drive tomorrow as it is today?

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So, I made an image using Vista's hard drive imaging utility. I called Samsung and the guy said the drive should be replaced. So I go to an authorized repair place and the guy swaps the drive for me.

 

The new drive makes exactly the same sounds as the old drive. There comes a point where I have to say, maybe it's something else with the computer, not the drive.

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The new drive makes exactly the same sounds as the old drive. There comes a point where I have to say, maybe it's something else with the computer, not the drive.

It "may" just be something loose inside the PC. Making sure everything is securely attached inside the PC "may" remove that noise.

 

Note that some PC chassis also make some annoying and weird noises, especially when the power supply fan kicks into a higher speed.

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I'm having the same problem with two brand new (about a month old) hard drives. The clicking is intermittant but seems to occur more frequently when I am ripping CDs to the HD. I see you are also using Vista. I found several people on the MS TechNet forums having this same problem and they are also using Vista. Someone had a suggestion: You'll need to go into 'power options', 'change plan setting' for your currently selected plan, 'change advanced power settings', and find the seting for 'Hard Disk'. set it to your desired time. If this setting is currently turning off your hard drives try changing it to "Never". I am going to try this tonight, hope it works.

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Sorry to say, but to me that "clicking sound" sounds very bad. But not sure, if it's anything serious...

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Yes, sounds that it can be the fan too. Stop the fan and see if the sound disappers.

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Clicking sounds indicate to me danger. Some type of clicking sound is heard before the hard drive dies. So to be at the safer side back up all your important data otherwise you would also face the same situation which I was in some time back. I heard the clicking sound of the hard drive but doesn't given importance to it and I ended up loosing up the valuable data. I tired data recovery software but with no use as they doesn't recover from physically damaged hard drive.

 

So its better to take precaution and back up your important data to avoid any data loss.

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