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Windows 7: Hard Drive Clicks on Shutdown

28 Jan 2011   #1

64-bit Professinoal
Hard Drive Clicks on Shutdown

I understand normal Hard drive noises. Indeed, I am an engineer retired from the hard drive business.

I heard abnormal clicks coming from my 1.0TB Hitachi drive during shutdown / restart. It started recently. Multiple click-click click-click about 5 repetitions before the CPU resets / power goes off. Fingers crossed I waited until after Christmas because of lack of space to open up my computer.

Copied entire old drive to new Seagate 1.5TB 7200 RPM drive. SAME PROBLEM! I setup the older drive for handy storage of grandkids pictures. Problem still around.

Now restarts show S.M.A.R.T. errors on both drives. Ctrl-Alt-Del or hard reset button restarts BIOS and Windows comes up normally.

The click-click might be parking. Does something in Windows tell hard drives to park? And tell them to park multiple times? I would suspect that drive controlled (as opposed to power fail) head parking would not click

Does Windows use the BIOS for shutting down hard drives?

I can guarantee the noise is not from my sound card. Speakers are not plugged in. It’s not fan related. Fans continue to run for restart. They stop on shutdown when power goes off. Noise does not come from CD drives.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2011   #2

windows xp 32 bit

same thing happens to me sometimes except it is cd rom clicks at startup but nothing bad happens.

usually hard drives have auto park so i dont think its a windows error or anything like that.
maybe you can check your controllers?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional X64 Build 7600.16385 (win7_rtm.090713-1255)

It is possible that you may have a virus. There are some out there that will cause the HD to act up and make noise.

Have you scanned both drives with an AV program yet?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Jan 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

My Hitachi does the same. Lots of racket and clicking. But it never failed - knock on wood.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3

Welcome to Seven Forums.
If your really concerned you can run sea tools diagnostic on your drive.
Here's the link | Seagate
Good luck Fabe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2011   #6

64-bit Professinoal

I’m using Kaspersky AV + Windows Defender. (Why does it update 5-6 times a week?) I.e. it’s unlikely a virus.

Modern drives had better have auto-park. I actually wrote microcontroller code that captured spindown profiles after drive power failure. This tested the tiny corner of the PCB that parked the heads up after power failure. The processor on the PCB could not do this because it stops running after the power fails.

Is there something in the ATA command set about head parking? FYI my drives are SATA.

I know that buffer flushing (both in the OS and on the drive PCB) needs doing before reset / power down. Does Win7 involve the BIOS in drive buffer flushing? Does Win7 use the BIOS for head locking? Does anybody know?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

I can't say I know, but I have done some Frankenstein experiments with old hard drives and it *looks* like the parking is purely mechanical utilizing the magnet. The power cuts off and then the actuator arm swings back to the park location. If you push the arm across the disk with the power disconnected the magnet just pops it back to the park location.

The buffer in a hard drive is just internal RAM, so I suspect the buffer flushing is purely electronic and not mechanical at all.

And a hard disk will start up, shut down and park, and function as expected before you get around to putting an OS on it. So I doubt the OS has anything to do with parking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2011   #8

windows xp 32 bit

i may be wrong but i read this post: NCIX FORUMS - How to use WDidle3.exe to change autopa... - Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2T...

they use a utility to manipulate how the drive parks the head.
they boot from the utility program provided, into dos mode which then they can give commands to the utility. since it is just the utility that is able to manipulate the hard drive, i dont think that the os has anything to do with it (have you seen anything like that from the control panel? or any cmd command to park the hard drive?)

you can also try this: HDDGURU: Laptop and Desktop Hard Disk Drives, Tests, Software, Firmware, Tools, Data Recovery, HDD Repair
it is a low level diagnostic program for hard drives.

but i dont know if it applies to your hard drive, maybe your hard drive manufacturer has a similar utility to manipulate your hard drive's [firmware?]

it seems that alot of this auto parking has to do with power management and data loss.

Attached Thumbnails
Hard Drive Clicks on Shutdown-untitled.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2011   #9

32 bit Windows 7

It is possible the Voltage/Current to be defective from the Power box and the HDD not shutting down correctly. I suggest changing it and if the HDD are in guarantee return them. SMART is enough prove they've got problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2011   #10

64-bit Professinoal

Responding to TVeblen

>…old hard drives… push the arm across the disk with the power disconnected the magnet just pops it back to the park location.

The key here is OLD hard drives. My engineering experience is with Quantum drives several years ago. The head park involved a mechanical latch that was released on spinup by windage. Even back then heads MUST NOT land on data surfaces. Auto-park was accomplished by the actuator and motor power chip a corner of which was kept alive by a small cap.

About the drive internal buffer: you are right, its flushing is the responsibility of drive firmware. But remember, modern drives lie. They lie when they say “write complete” after write data is in drive RAM -- well before your data gets written to the disk media. And…when the OS drops power on a drive it’s essential that all deferred writes are actually performed. OS responsibility: issue a command that forces writing all unwritten data -- then drop power.

>And a hard disk will start up, shut down and park, and function as expected before you get around to putting an OS on it. So I doubt the OS has anything to do with parking.

Conclusion does not follow. Better to say “an OS does not need to do anything special for head parking.” Park commands were needed for ancient hard drives using stepper motors as they had no way to auto-park. Those days are long gone.

Again, how or does Win7 park heads? BIOS involvement? Does anyone know?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard Drive Clicks on Shutdown

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