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Crunchy Hard Disk.. this can't be right???

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January 17, 2008 11:34:22 PM

I recently bought a brand-new Maxtor 500gB SATA HDD (model no:7H500F0) as I was running out of space on my old Maxtor 250 gB PATA HDD. The 250 gB drive is almost 2 years old and works just fine and wasn't particularly noisy in spite of being in daily use for an average of 12 hours per day every day for its' entire life. However I was running out of space on it so it was time to get a larger HDD.

So I went and bought a larger HD. The first I tried was a Seagate 500gB that was horribly noisy. Although sold as 'brand new' it turned out to be a factory refurb with only 6 months warranty left. The vendor replaced it with a brand-new OEM Maxtor 500 gB drive and this isn't much better. It is definitely alot noiser than my 2-year old 250gB drive or the 4-year old 160gB drive in my server.

It goes crunch-crunch-crunch all the time and sounds as if there's an imp inside the HDD forever chiselling away at it.. I've defragged it like crazy using both Speed Disk and Diskeeper to no avail. Even opening something as simple as notepad sounds as if it's being scratched to death. Never mind when I do actual work recording music with Cubase or running Second Life (a real computer punisher if ever there was one!).

Is this amount of continuous crunching noise normal for SATA drives? Should I take this disk back to the vendor? If so it will be the second drive I've returned and I'm getting fed up with continuously having to ghost and restore my system and work. For all I know the vendor might be scamming me and stealing my work. I looked at the Maxtor (ok, Seagate) website to check the warranty status and it seems to be unsupported.

I feel as if something's not quite right about this HDD even though it passes all the diagnostic tests I've thrown at it. Any suggestions?

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January 18, 2008 12:08:37 AM

If it's light noise then it might be ok, unfortunately the sound level you're hearing might be normal for me. So if you think the noise is loud and you're having second thought then take it back.
January 18, 2008 1:28:14 AM

try to check your HDD manual
some harddisks come with "sound" mechanisms
Western Digital has these
usually by default, the hdds are set in "PERFORMANCE MODE"
there should be a program to set your HDD into "acoustic mode" wich reduces performance a bit, but decreases noise..

also you should have reviewed hdds first
its well know that seagate = good performance, but noisy
western digital = ok performance, and kinda silent.
Maxtor = BLEH!!!
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January 18, 2008 2:12:28 AM

Erm Rexter is correct. Whats loud for you may just be normal, over the internets its impossible to tell. So what I recommend to you is, backup your data and get some harddrive mounts.
January 18, 2008 2:40:18 AM

Mounts might not help here, the noise is internal, not vibration from the case.
January 18, 2008 3:18:20 AM

I'm not sure what you mean by crunch. I Never heard any HDD SATA or IDE crunch. If however its more like a ticking noise or like when you put a scratch CD or DVD in the and the drive and it tries like crazy to read it you hear a sound to me it sounds like ticking then your HDD is damaged or had bad sectors and was repaired. I don't want to say anything bad about Maxtor but I think you better of With Seagate or Western Digital.
January 18, 2008 3:48:12 AM

ive never had any problems wih any of my cheap as chips samsung drives, ive never heard one either....
January 18, 2008 7:54:40 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies. tamalero, I appreciate your comment about the different brands of HDD's although surprisingly I've never had any problems with the Maxtor drives I've bought in the past. Even their tech support was good although that sems to have gone out the window now that they're owned by Seagate. This disk didn't come with a manual and there's nothing on the website to indicate that it has different operating modes vis-a-vis performance and noise. But I shall look again.

Rexter, I've been around computers long enough and the level of noise off this drive is way beyond the typical disk access noise for a new HDD. It definitely sounds bad.

FWIW, the crunching noise is definitely disk access.
January 18, 2008 8:34:21 AM

I think I know what he means by crunching noise. It's when the hard drive head reads the data (that is written too close together) really fast makes crunching sound. But the level of noise will makes it more pronounce when the mechanism is getting bad. Think of it as the old floppy drives.

Then I guess you're going to for RMA.
January 18, 2008 12:16:06 PM

rexter said:
I think I know what he means by crunching noise. It's when the hard drive head reads the data (that is written too close together) really fast makes crunching sound. But the level of noise will makes it more pronounce when the mechanism is getting bad. Think of it as the old floppy drives.

That seems to be be the case, rexter. It really is bad.... about what I'd expect for a second-hand drive that had been used in a busy fileserver for several years. But totally unacceptable for a new one. If it's this noisy now, what's it gonna be like in 2 or 3 years' time... if it even lasts that long.

rexter said:
Then I guess you're going to for RMA.

I may have to but I'm gonna try to get a refund from the vendor first. I don't see why Seagate should bail out traders selling dud gear as new.

January 18, 2008 12:20:39 PM

yay said:
ive never had any problems wih any of my cheap as chips samsung drives, ive never heard one either....

You're the lucky one, Yay. I've had a string of problems with Samsung HD's. Their returns department are very promt and courteous... it's just that the disks they send me keep failing. :heink:  As for noise, most drives start out nice'n'quiet with a very faint ticking / clicking / churring sound as they access your data which tends to become more pronounced as they age. I presume this is normal mechanical wear and tear.
January 18, 2008 5:37:38 PM

Alazarin he said the drives were new i think you should stop buying them from that vendor get them from the actual manufacturer or a trusted store/website
January 18, 2008 7:03:01 PM

@ hjjfffaa: this is the first time I bought a HD from this particular vendor. It will also be the least time. I hope I can get my money back

@ rexter: I checked on the Seagate site and this disk I was sold as new is already out of waranty :\

This disk in question also gets extremely hot. I was working on a composition today when my computer screen went black and it eventually rebooted. When I checked the HD it was so hot I nearly burnt myself.
January 18, 2008 7:26:36 PM

well, seagate should still support the warranty, provided you have a proof of purchase of THAT drive (with s/n) that indicates when it was purchased.

The vendor you got it from obviously has had it around for a while if the seagate warranty (based on manuf date) is up.
January 18, 2008 7:35:21 PM

@ alazarin: this is a seagate?!?!?! well so much for my view of them as impeccable i have two 500gb Barracudas at 7200rpm and they work perfectly i got them from newegg.com you should probably try there
January 19, 2008 11:03:21 AM

@ hjjfffaa: Seagate now own Maxtor so whenever you attempt to look up the Maxtor site for tech support you get redirected to the Seagate site.

FWIW, I just checked the details on the 500gB Maxtor.... turns out that it's 18 months old and out-of-warranty! And yet it was sold to me as brand new???? Damn thing is that it was packaged properly yet it is noisier *and* slower than my 2-year old PATA250gB Maxtor HDD. I'm ghosting my data back onto my old drives as I type this and should be able to make it to the computer fair where I bought the 500gB drive.... Here in London we have several regular computer fairs with regular traders. The trader I bought the drive from has been there for quite some time. I bought my 19" LCD monitor off him and it's fine. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the HD's he sells.
January 20, 2008 8:34:21 PM

Alazarin said:

FWIW, I just checked the details on the 500gB Maxtor.... turns out that it's 18 months old and out-of-warranty! And yet it was sold to me as brand new????


Unfortunately it's a refurbish product.
I don't know when you bought the drive and how long is returns and exchange policy from the vendor. Read the Receipt carefully. unless it's indicated otherwise, the warranty is valid from the time of purchase to whatever the receipts indicated to expire, no but or if .

So if you're not satisfied take it back to the vendor and ask for a replacement. Most small vendor are pretty good about exchange policy, It's because more likely you are talking to the owner it self. Large vendor on the hand you will have mix customer service satisfaction because depending on who's working that day. they're only employee and can not change the rules. And the only way you can get a replacement is to complain and make some noise, inform that the only way you bought the unit is because of the warranty and insist that they have to honor the warranty. Then make more noise. but not the other noise, :D 
!