Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 Drive very loud

I purchased a Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB drive for my media center htpc as it was recommended as a quiet drive.  I have installed it and have found it to be no more quiet than my the Western Digital Caviear drive it replaced.  I get the same "grinding" sound when it is presumably writng.  Is there a setting to quiet these down, do I have a duff drive or are quiet drives not really quiet?

If it matters I am running in AHCI mode and it was a brand new but OEM drive purchased via ebuyer.
canuckconsultingAsked:
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canuckconsultingAuthor Commented:
I wrote the above question after a fresh install of Windows 7 on the drive.  It was doing windows updates etc and was, as I said, very loud.  

Now I am copying about 100 GB of media to the drive and it is quiet as a kitten!  I am confused....it is doing a massive write operation but has been virtually silent for 15 minutes.  What is going on?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
The fact that it did make noise during Windows installation could point to the bad drive. I would suggest replacing the drive. If the drive is promoted to be quiet drive then it must do everything in quiet mode from the very beginning of its work.
DavidPresidentCommented:
Consumer disks such as these have two operating modes, acoustic (quiet) and performance (loud).   The feature is called AAM.  You need to turn this on to make it run quietly. The disk has to default to fast & noisy or slower and quiet.  You want slow and quiet.

Lots of freebies out there.  Here is a link for a program that should do it for you

http://www.techpowerup.com/systool/

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CallandorCommented:
I think what was happening was you were hearing the voice coil head positioner as it performed random seeks and writes.  When you copied 100GB of data, it was a sequential operation on a clean drive and the heads did not reposition very much.
canuckconsultingAuthor Commented:
I have yet to test dleth suggestion but will later in the week.  This supposedly quite and relatively expensive drive is by far the noisiest drive we have so I am leaning towards noxcho's suggestion and having it replaced.  

Do you have any thoughts on whether the drive is possibly defective in some way Callandor?
CallandorCommented:
If the drive was defective, you would not be able to use it.  Just being loud is not a sign of trouble - you haven't heard some 15,000 rpm drives clustered together.  A "bad" noise would be a clunking sound, as the servo for the head tries to seek and fails.  This is accompanied by the drive not working at all.
DavidPresidentCommented:
The AAM value is a configurable byte from 0 - 254.  I just looked up your HDD. It supports it.  So do yourself a favor and save time, and just check the setting. It is nuts to take back a HDD, pay for shipping when it is possible that a configurable setting will make the noise go away.


Samsung probably has a utility on their website to do this also
canuckconsultingAuthor Commented:
Thank you dlethe.  I will try this tomorrow and let you know.
canuckconsultingAuthor Commented:
Superb!  Downloaded Samsung's ESTool utility and it allowed me to set the AMA mode to Quiet (it was disabled).  Drive is still louder than I would like but significantly better and certainly livable.
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