03-15-2009 07:26 AM
I'm the "happy" owner of two Seagate Barracuda ST3640323AS HDDs; they're fairly new(under 8 months), but they keep giving me trouble.
From day one I noticed a strage clicking sound when the system is turned on and the only culprit seems to be one of the HDDs. It only happens when I boot the system, on power-on only, not when restarting and not during normal usage.
I made a recording of the sound by placing a microphone between the two HDDs. You can hear the system being powered on after second 2:00, at second 4:00 there's a noise made by the DVD-RW unit; you can hear the drives spinning up and around second 7.5 there are the clicking noises I mentioned. You can listen to the recording here or here (with player too) ...
So, should I be worried about these noises? Are they normal ?
Thanks for any info!
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03-15-2009 10:14 AM
I think that's just the sound of both drives loading their heads. Unlike older models where the heads parked on the platters in a special landing zone, current models retract their heads off the platters onto a loading ramp.
Here is a Hitachi white paper that illustrates what is happening:
BTW, I take issue with Hitachi's claim that "load/unload technology was discovered in the mid-1990s
as a viable alternative to Contact Start-Stop (CSS)". I worked on Control Data hard drives in the early 1980s that had load/unload ramps.
As for your SMART reports, the only attributes that appear odd are High_Fly_Writes for both drives, and UDMA_CRC_Error_Count for one of them. It looks like both drives will hit the threshold for High_Fly_Writes within a matter of hours, although I suspect the value will remain at 1 and therefore not trigger a SMART failure. I have no idea how this will affect data integrity.
AFAIK the UDMA_CRC_Error_Count reflects a problem with data transfer along the external interface, so I'd be checking the cable. You may want to swap cables between drives, or swap positions on the motherboard.
There also appears to be a hiccup with Spin_Retry_Count on both drives. Maybe that's insignificant, but you may want to check the +12V supply rail from your power supply.
BTW, the high raw numbers for Raw_Read_Error_Rate, Seek_Error_Rate, and Hardware_ECC_Recovered are normal. For example, a seek error rate of 1764826 means that the drive has experienced 0 seek errors in 1,764,826 seeks.
03-16-2009 10:15 AM
Thanks for your input!
I guess there's nothing to do but keep an eye on those SMART values and wait for something to happen. At least I have 5 yrs of warranty for the discs...