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Windows 7: Hard Drive Noises - exploration and advice


12 Mar 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 
Hard Drive Noises - exploration and advice

Hello,
WD 500GB Caviar Black began occasionally making what sounded like high speed spinning noises for a limited time. I have been exploring noises, clicks and beepings on the internet, but have not gotten anything that explains my circumstances. IIRC it occurs only on start up. You hear a noticeable high speed spinning like noise from the drive. This occurs once in a while, not like once a month or even two, but has been going on for over a year. WD quick scans passed, and chkdsk was run a multitude of times. indicating no problems.
I finally decided to replace it and used Paragon recovery to load the new WD Blue. I then ran a full WD extended scan on the old 500GB and it passed. Again ran a chkdsk and it did not note any reallocation or any issues.
Is there any occasional operation of that type of hard drive that would NORMALLY cause this noise? Does anyone have an opinion on what the noise is or what it indicates.
Thanks for any assistance!
glennc

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Mar 2014   #2

Windows 7 ultimate x64
 
 

Hi,

I know you are using WD. Read this article. Might be of some help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 and x64
 
 

Please don't take this wrong, no reflection on you. Are you POSITIVE the noise is coming from the HD? I've been called out for exactly this sort of thing, the owner is sure the HD is going out. When I get there and fire it up, I hear that high speed whine, open the CD/DVD drive and remove the disk. Noise stops, problem solved.
Another possiblity is the processor fan, which can wind up to full speed on startup before the speed control kicks in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Mar 2014   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by archer View Post
Hi,

I know you are using WD. Read this article. Might be of some help.
Howdy Archer,
Thanks for the article and it's various noise descriptions! I can not say that they characterize the noise I am hearing, though...
glennc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrWhoopee View Post
Please don't take this wrong, no reflection on you. Are you POSITIVE the noise is coming from the HD? I've been called out for exactly this sort of thing, the owner is sure the HD is going out. When I get there and fire it up, I hear that high speed whine, open the CD/DVD drive and remove the disk. Noise stops, problem solved.
Another possiblity is the processor fan, which can wind up to full speed on startup before the speed control kicks in.
Hello MrWhoopee,
I can answer this way, there is no CD/DVD in the machine most of the times I've checked, I don't know if I would call the noise a whining, more of a whirring, sorry and I am personally convinced it is the drive. It sounds like the normal noise on steroids. But of course I am possibly wrong. As to the processor fan, well it would have to happen just as the drive comes on and it only happens fairly intermittently, at start up.
So thanks for your time and the information, but I am uncertain.
Is there any way to force the cpu fan to run high speed?
glennc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2
 
 

my backup hard drive always spools up and down and makes a weird squeal sound (sounds like some one stepping on a pig thats swallowed helium!!)

My way of looking at it.. if it works great! if it soon dies.. well its gone.. As long as everything is backed up a failed hard drive should only be the inconvenience of loading a disc mirror/fresh copy of windows, and the expense of the new drive.

A hard drive on its last legs can pass every test you throw at it and still be a dud, get an SSD! not only is it about the only component you can upgrade to that will give you a significant speed boost, but also they dont make any noise!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 and x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by glennc View Post
Hello MrWhoopee,
I can answer this way, there is no CD/DVD in the machine most of the times I've checked, I don't know if I would call the noise a whining, more of a whirring, sorry and I am personally convinced it is the drive. It sounds like the normal noise on steroids. But of course I am possibly wrong. As to the processor fan, well it would have to happen just as the drive comes on and it only happens fairly intermittently, at start up.
So thanks for your time and the information, but I am uncertain.
Is there any way to force the cpu fan to run high speed?
glennc
Since the condition happens so infrequently, it will be hard to pin down. I would open the case and lay it on its side. When you turn on the computer, the processor fan should wind up, but that may vary depending on the MB. An old mechanics trick to track down a noise is to put the metal tip of a screw driver agains the suspected part and place your ear against the end of the handle. Works a bit like a stethoscope. But, again, you have to do it when the noise is being produced. You can stop the fan (carefully) with your fingers. They don't have much power and won't be damaged by being stopped momentarily. If the noise stops, you've found your culprit. There may also be a cooling fan on your video card. They are very prone to failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #8

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

One way to determine if it's the HDD you are hearing is to open up the machine, stick a wooden dowel to your ear (it should be large enough to not go in your ear and long enough to easily reach) and place the other end against the suspected HDD. If it is the HDD, the noise you hear will get dramatically louder. A similar length of plastic tubing will do the same, only hold the end not in your ear close to the HDD but don't actually touch it to avoid a possible static discharge.

Oopsie! Cross posted with MrWhoopie.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #9

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
my backup hard drive always spools up and down and makes a weird squeal sound (sounds like some one stepping on a pig thats swallowed helium!!)

My way of looking at it.. if it works great! if it soon dies.. well its gone.. As long as everything is backed up a failed hard drive should only be the inconvenience of loading a disc mirror/fresh copy of windows, and the expense of the new drive.

A hard drive on its last legs can pass every test you throw at it and still be a dud, get an SSD! not only is it about the only component you can upgrade to that will give you a significant speed boost, but also they dont make any noise!!
At 500GB, they still cost and arm and a few toes (better than the arm and the leg they used to cost). SSDs are great for use as a boot drive with just the OS and programs on them but they are still not cost effective as storage drives; spinners still rule for that. And as good as SSDs are, they still aren't much, if any, more reliable than a good spinner.

Your advice about backups is dead on!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
my backup hard drive always spools up and down and makes a weird squeal sound (sounds like some one stepping on a pig thats swallowed helium!!)

My way of looking at it.. if it works great! if it soon dies.. well its gone.. As long as everything is backed up a failed hard drive should only be the inconvenience of loading a disc mirror/fresh copy of windows, and the expense of the new drive.

A hard drive on its last legs can pass every test you throw at it and still be a dud, get an SSD! not only is it about the only component you can upgrade to that will give you a significant speed boost, but also they dont make any noise!!
Howdy badger906,
My drive sounds more like a deep, jet turbine sound. To make matters worse, my external 1 TB WD Green backup decided to die right in the middle of this. Checked afterwards and it plain failed the WD test, big time.
So using an extra drive I copied a system image to an old drive I had and then Paragoned it to the new 500GB. What a pain.
Due to cost I replaced my ???? WD Black with the Blue for the main drive. Now I don't know if I can trust the occasionally noisy WD Black Drive..........................
glennc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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