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Hard Drive clicking noise

Posted on 2005-03-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I bought a Maxtor hard drive about 2 years ago. Every once and a while, I hear a loud clicking noise. It never messes up my computer and it doesn't happen often, but I checked Maxtor's website just to make sure. They said that a loud clicking noise is normal because of the drive heads being parked. I have been making regular backups just in case, but I'm wondering if I should really hear any clicking noises at all and what that's really an indication of. I've had other Maxtor hard drives and I've never heard this clicking noise, so it has me concerned.
Thanks
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Question by:Nhl2k
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8 Comments
 
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

by:
nedvis earned 400 total points
ID: 13452881
Clicking noice coming from hard-disk might be the sign of imminet disk failure.
Dou you have  S.M.A.R.T.   ( Self Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology ) capable BIOS/PC. If so I would enable S.M.A.R.T. monitoring proccess for awhile and monitor hard-disk for issues.
Your 2 years Maxtor disk is certanly  SMART enabled  device.
Anyway you might want to download  PassMark DiskCheckup - Drive monitoring tool :
http://www.passmark.com/products/diskcheckup.htm
just to make sure  your hard-disk is in good shape and condition.

good luck
nedvis

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LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:rid
rid earned 200 total points
ID: 13453034
"heads being parked"...

That only happens at shut-down, when the actuator arm is swung out into end position and locked. It doesn't happen during use. Test the drive as suggested. Make frequent backups.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:Nhl2k
ID: 13453187
Thanks guys. When I get home I'll make sure I have SMART turned on (I can't remember if I have it enabled because my bootup screen goes by so fast) and I'll use the utility to test the drive. And RID, I didn't think the heads would park during normal use either and that's when I hear the clicking. A few days ago I defragged and I heard the clicking and the next time I booted I heard about 3 loud clicks. After that, I've hardly ever heard it.
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Expert Comment

by:J-A-L
ID: 13455218
I agree on the disk failure comment... I had a rash of maxtors die on me a few years back... and they all clicked a number of times.  Parking the heads shouldn't happen that often...

Jeff
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Dawaffleman
ID: 13455667
the heads parking genreally doesnt make a loud clicking noise and it is usually hardly noticable, especially if it is in a  desktop tower, cause you have a lot of other noises coming from in there like the fan and stuff. i would say if you can clearly hear this clicking noise from several feet away from the computer, then the head is probably hitting something or is stuck perhaps.
usually the first sign of failure on a hard disk indicates that you need to buy a new disk soon because that one probably wont last you long. you can see if there is any damage to the drive by running the good old fashioned scan disk (or any newer products that may be avalable)
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Author Comment

by:Nhl2k
ID: 13458556
I have a question about S.M.A.R.T.
Does it lose all the information it's gathered when you reboot or is it permanently saved? I originally had SMART turned off so I turned it on yesterday and I used DiskCheckup this morning. So far the only strange things I see are 23 Off Track Errors and 1 Error Code Correction Error, although the status for everything says OK. I haven't heard the loud click in a while, but I'll run a thorough scan on my drive to see if it finds anything.
Thanks again for all the help!
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:nedvis
ID: 13461767
SMART should create a log file and store it permanently for reviewing it at later time.

You can also try these tools : test-disk  -> http://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk-5.5.dos.zip 
just in case the hard-disk developed bad sectors because read/write heads are bouncing of the platters surface.
nedvis
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Author Comment

by:Nhl2k
ID: 13463893
I think I'm going to use the drive until I encounter a problem. I've been ghosting my hard drive to a spare hard drive I have, so if it goes out, I can restore my system with no problems. Thanks for all the help.
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