HP laptop hard drive clicking (Western Digital HDD)

So I bought an HP Laptop that comes with a 160G Western Digital hard drive. It makes a clicking noise every 1 - 3 minute that resembles the sound of the head parking when you turn off the computer. I ran all the tests and the drive appears to be healthy, but was still kind of worried so I exchange the computer with another one that has a 250G Western Digital hard drive. Guess what? Same noise, except this time it comes more often - there are more heads in the 250G HDD maybe??

I'm NOT a newbie, but frankly have never used a WD hard drive before. I've used Samsung, Toshiba, and Hitachi 2.5'' drives in the past and they don't make this kind of noise.

So I've 2 questions:
1. Is this normal for a WD notebook hard drive? Some new power management feature perhaps?

2. The laptop has a NVidia motherboard and none of the utilities is able to access the drive's SMART record from Vista, not even WD's own WD Diagnostics. Maybe it's  'cause of Vista, or 'cause of NVidia, or just because the drive is a SATA drive. But anyways any suggestion on how to access the SMART?

Comments from fellow HP and WD Hard Drive users would be especially helpful. Thank!!!!

The description of my current HDD is here: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=314
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HDtune should work in any case

Pétur Ingi EgilssonSoftware Engineer -- ConsultantCommented:
Download KNOPPIX linux live cd ISO and burn the iso to a CD, next boot from the CD
go into the gnome-console
`fdisk -l` to see a list of all your devices ( in linux /dev/sda or /dev/hda is usually the first harddrive to be found )
next execute the command `smartctl -a /dev/sda` to access all info regarding smart from your drive
`man smartctl` will give detailed information about the smartctl command.

This could also be a problem with ACPI or your drive might be loosing power ( thus the drive parks it's head .. only a wild guess tho... )
uxlinAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your fast replies. HDTune can NOT get the Hard Drive Temperature, Serial Number, Smart Status, and other info. I read on the net and found it may have to do with NVidia not providing adequate driver for Vista. And HDTune doesn't eliminate the parking head sound.

Knoppix and Ubuntu have a hard time working proper due to compatibility issues with the mobo and graphic card.
i would return the laptop; it should NOT make such noise !
One thing i want to say is that the clicking sound is normal. You see hard drives have a motor inside that drives the hard disc as you know. Some hard disc motor makes lot of noice when they accessed for read or write jobs. Had it been the hardware problem then it can't be on the new laptop. what you do i ask your notebook dealer to replace the hard drive instaed and go for another brand say Samsung, IBM or any other. But, on thing continuious clicking noise is normal but if it annoying you then go for hard drive change rather than laptop change.

If the noise is not bothersome to you, I would not worry too much about it - if it's annoying then exchange it again.  Some drives off the shelf will make an audible click or whir when the heads are parking, but as long as it's not a new noise on an old drive, I wouldn't be to concerned.  Be sure to back your data up regularly just in case, and it won't matter if it goes anyway.  I'm a WD fan when it comes to they're 3.5" drives, but more of a Hitachi or  Toshiba fan for laptops...

Don't be too worried.

uxlinAuthor Commented:
I went to store, and listened closely at an HP laptop, and heard the same sound!  This somehow seems to be a standard noise in HP laptops or WD 2.5" drives...  Anyone has an HP laptop or a WD hard drive and haven't experienced this noise?
uxlinAuthor Commented:
Well I did some research, found some ppl complained about how their HDD broke after a few months, but also found this:
A lot of ppl say this is normal.

Anyways I'm not planning to waste my effort and return my laptop once again, hope it's just one of those normal cases. If the HDD really gave up after some time, I'll post news & developments here.

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