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websuperman
 asked on

Hard Drive clicking and whining randomly but it's not the drive

I've tried what I know to try so I am turning to the experts.  I have a built computer runing with the following components:
GA-P35-DS4 v2
Core 2 Duo
8GB Memory
2 x 750GB SATA
1 x 1 TB SATA
2 x IDE DVD Burners
600 Watt Enermax Power Supply
Windows Vista Ultimate x64

I have been experiencing a random click and whine which sounds like an indication of a failing drive.  So I replaced all the hard drives in the computer.  When the click whine happens the computer freezes for several seconds.  After several seconds the computer comes back and runs normal.  As stated I replaced the hard drives thinking they were failing but the issue continues.  I have also replaced the power supply thinking that maybe it was causing this and the issue continues.

I ran multiple spyware removers and ran full scans with Norton 2009 and the system is clean.  I am trying to find out if there is anything else I can check.  The only other step I know to take would be to wipe the OS and start over to rule out software issues.  My only guess is that this may be caused by AHCI which I enabled in order to use and eSATA external dock.  I am trying to avoid losing this functionality as well as having to reinstall everything so I am turning to you all.

What, if anything, can I do short of disabling AHCI to determine if it is the culprit and/or reinstalling the OS?
Microsoft HardwareWindows VistaStorage Hardware

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websuperman

8/22/2022 - Mon
websuperman

ASKER
I would like to note that the system is not overclocked in any way and that the 2 x 750GB drives are in a mirror (running of the Gigabyte raid) and the click whine appears to come from the main drive regardless of what drive is there.
fuzzymallets1

So you have replaced all the drives and its still making the noise? Have you checked your dvd burners.
Michael_MCDST

Case fan(s) or CPU fan? I mean, what is left? Nothing, there are no other moving parts exept the GFX card fan ?!?!? Might be worth checking the DVD drives. It is best guess without being there with you. You might consider running with the case open to better locate the source of the noise the next time it happens.
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck
websuperman

ASKER
I have replaced the drives and it's still making noise.  I have been running it with the side off for a couple days.  I am 99% sure the noise is coming from the main drive but I will take your recommendations and also remove the dvd drives to see if maybe they're messing up.  Can't hurt.

If nothing else at least now someone else knows my pain.
Jeff Brown

What video card are you running in this computer?
websuperman

ASKER
Video card is Nvidia GeForce 6600 GS.  
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dbrunton

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websuperman

ASKER
Hard drives in the advanced menu were allowed to go to sleep after 20 minutes.  I set this to never to see if it changes anything.  Not sure that it will because it happens while I'm actively using it but worth a shot.
fuzzymallets1

Any luck yet?
websuperman

ASKER
I have had the opportunity now to use my computer for extended periods of time and the issue is gone.  I followed dbruntons suggestion and set the hard drives to standby never in the advanced power settings.  I have no idea why this fixed it as that power setting should only take affect once the set period of inactivity is met and the issue was occuring randomly while using the computer.  

Regardless, it seems to have corrected the issue and thus points will be awarded as such.
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William Peck
websuperman

ASKER
A wild suggestion that paid off, thanks.  This setting is now integrated into the "standard practice" initial setup.