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HDs with Loud gring noise when pc starts up cold

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January 7, 2009 8:21:20 AM

Hi all,

I have a 250 gb Samsung HD and recently installed a 500 gb slave.
Lately when I startup the pc they both start making a loud grinding noise, after Vista menu loads I restart the pc and noise goes away.
It only happens on cold startups.. If i turn the pc off and turn it on an hour later, it will start up normally - more than 4/5 hours the noise returns..
My specs are Vista ultimate 32 - Q 6600 - Asus Commando - 3gb Corsair XMS ram.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
January 7, 2009 8:42:54 AM

Loud grinding noise is normally an indication of drive failure. It doesn't make sense that a brand new drive and an old drive would start grinding at the same time and only when cold.

Try one and then the other to see if you get the grinding noise.
January 7, 2009 9:06:02 AM

well the noise starts on the old drive were the OS is installed, but as soon as bios detects the slave, it too starts... could it be a bios configure issue? it was the first time I installed a slave HD... Also could humidity be an issue? the room gets pretty humid at times..
Thx for the reply :) 
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January 7, 2009 9:27:19 AM

Well usually if the drives aren't strapped right they will not be detected at all or will be screwy, but I don't know about grinding, unless the "grinding" is the actuator going stop to stop super fast, although I have never seen bad strapping cause that either. Humidity shouldn't be causing your problems.

That's why I said unplug one and then the other to see if it was a strapping/jumper conflict problem. It could even be a bad cable, swap it if you have a spare.

Check on the HD manufacturers site for the proper strapping if it's not on the drive sticker. Also you could change from master/slave strapping to cable select (CS) or vice versa. Believe it or not that sometimes fixes conflicts even though they are strapped right.
January 7, 2009 9:32:26 AM

After rereading your post, I'm thinking more that it is a strapping or cable issue. Did you strap/jumper the drives?

There should be no settings in the BIOS required, just set the drives for auto detect.

The confusion is that if it was a strap issue the noise shouldn't go away and come back, and the drives wouldn't work properly.

Faulty cable?

This is a really wacky problem.

Try changing the jumpers to or from cable select.

Also one bad drive could cause the other to freak out. Again try each drive alone.
January 7, 2009 11:36:31 AM

Ill will do so Zorg, Ill switch cables for new ones, because I need some time for the pc to cool down I will post my results tomorrow. Also I did notice that my main HD is hooked up to slot 1 on the MB, but the slave hd is in slot 4... should I connect the slave HD to slot 2 on the MB? could this be an issue?
All i did was install the slave, connected it to slot 4 (dont remember why I chose slot 4) with the sata cable that came with it, formatted the disc and started using it, works fine, except for the noise.

P.S; Sry but I dont know what strap/jumper the drives means and how can I try both hd separate if one doesnt have the OS installed?

Thx a million! ;) 
a b G Storage
January 7, 2009 12:00:54 PM

Did you put a jumper on the drives?

You can load a Linux LiveCD as operating system with only one drive connected.
January 7, 2009 1:14:40 PM

Im not using jumpers, im using sata interface cables on both HD´s.

Sry for the "Gring", I meant Grinding.. :) 
January 7, 2009 5:00:17 PM

Well there goes the master slave idea.

Did you try the drives one at a time? You said that the drives began grinding on POST not OS install. So you should get a short grind out of them. And as evongugg said you could burn a Linux CD or a HD tools CD from the manufacturer.

I don't think you have 2 bad SATA cables, I thought they were PATA and on the same cable, I guess I should have gotten the full specs. It could even be the mobo although unlikely, I'm grasping at straws here.

Try running the mobo with no drives to heat it up and then plug the drives in and see if it grinds. I could pin it down by the process of elimination if I had the machine.

What is the mobo model?
January 22, 2009 12:09:23 AM


Hi Zorg,

first of all let me apoligise for this huge delay in replying, I was away for some time. Well all in the good tradition of noobism, i found out what the problem was, it wasn´t the drives... I had no clue that my case has a VERY well hidden fan under the drives, needless to say the noise was coming from the fan :p 
The good thing is I went out and bought a Raptor HD, and to my surprise the pc gained a massive performance boost. So i ended up fixing the fan problem while learning a bit more about HD importance and also the noises HDs dont ever make (even when they starting to die out) :p 
Thx, deeply appreciative of your willingness to help.
!