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Hard Drive Clicking but SMART says OK

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February 18, 2010 9:31:15 PM

So this afternoon I ran crystaldiskmark on my Eee PC 1000HE's internal drive... the stats were nice and good until the 4k test, and which point the drive made a clicking noise and the system BSOD'd. It rebooted fine into windows, and I managed to run ChkDsk without it crashing (although it clicked in one spot...) HD Tune's SMART status reader says that those diagonstics are at least reporting the drive is ok.

Is it possible that the drive benchmarker I ran did something to cause physical damage? Or is it possible it messed with a configuration somewhere thats causing this behavior?

I'm about to run Seatools (Since its a Seagate drive.)

Is my drive dying?

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February 18, 2010 9:53:57 PM

I've had 3 different Seagate drives make clicking sounds and then finally die. They all showed up as being fine in the SMART data. I even had one pass Seatools short drive self test while it was clicking away. However, it failed the long drive self test. Clicking sounds (and especially the bsod) means your hard drive is dieing . Back up your data immediately and RMA the drive.
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February 18, 2010 10:08:00 PM

Still running the long drive selft test, so I'll see what that says. My gut feeling was that it was failing, oh well.

Is the fact that this came up after I can Crystal Disk Mark a coincidence, or is there some sort of cause and effect going on here (Did I cause it or reveal an existing symptom?)
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February 19, 2010 1:16:53 AM

In the past years I had three drives making a clicking sound. In two cases a faulty power supply was causing the problem.
A drive benchmarker (or any other prgram for that matter) cannot kill a hard drive.
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February 19, 2010 1:33:35 AM

Unfortunately SMART does not always work. Actually in my experience your ear is a MUCH better tool to use. If you can hear clicks from the drive then i suggest you backup your data and get ready to replace it...
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February 19, 2010 2:27:55 AM

The Seagate tool's long drive test indicated a failure. Fortunately its only a netbook drive so all my data was already backed up!

Whats confusing me is that I only started hearing the sound after the benchmarker ran. Is it possible that wrote to some sectors I'd never written to otherwise?

Mimoso- Were there any other symptoms of the power supply having problems?

Thanks for the responses!
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Best solution

February 19, 2010 3:04:07 AM

All the benchmarks stress the component under test. That is why you will see in most of them that there is a disclaimer saying that running this utility might break down something in your computer and that they do not have any liabilities if it happens so. On the other hand if you only ran a simple benchmark and it broke down, then i think it is a good thing because now you know that this hard drive is not reliable and you will not use it for anything serious. Running a benchmark a few times to see how your hardware performs is no big deal and it SHOULD return normal results. If something breaks down during a couple of sessions then to me it was not worth having it in the first place in my computer. On the other hand, running benchmarks constantly is like revving your engine all the time=you will probably come across a failure much quicker than normal.
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February 19, 2010 3:08:06 AM

Best answer selected by duckedtapedemon.
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February 19, 2010 3:11:00 AM

Thanks guys, you confirmed by gut feeling as well as my take on this simply revealing an underlying problem...

Dunno if I'll be able to RMA it but I'll at least replace it BEFORE it explodes.
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March 2, 2010 6:46:08 PM

hey! i have a seagate hard drive that doesn't click all the time... only when it's at rest and i try to access a file on it! so basically when i click open a file on the drive when it's at rest, the waiting sign for my pointer comes up and nothing will happen for 2-5 seconds then finally, !CLICK! (overexagerated... not too loud... but you can't miss it =/ ) then after the click the file opens normally... i understand the clicking sound is normal apparently for seagate hard drives... but im worried about the late response! =( please help? Thanks!
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March 2, 2010 9:38:06 PM

guannyeuc said:
hey! i have a seagate hard drive that doesn't click all the time... only when it's at rest and i try to access a file on it! so basically when i click open a file on the drive when it's at rest, the waiting sign for my pointer comes up and nothing will happen for 2-5 seconds then finally, !CLICK! (overexagerated... not too loud... but you can't miss it =/ ) then after the click the file opens normally... i understand the clicking sound is normal apparently for seagate hard drives... but im worried about the late response! =( please help? Thanks!


That is normal. Actually the OS is putting the hard drive to "sleep", so it spins down. That means it conserves more energy and is obviously more quiet because it is not spinning any more. That happens when there is no access to the drive for some time. That is why as soon as you try to access something off that drive the system takes a few seconds to "wake up" the drive. Hence that small pause that you experience and then that "click" (hard drive waking up) and then everything works fine. As long as you access anything off that drive it will not spin down and therefore no more pauses. It is normal and there is nothing to worry about. If you want to get rid of the pauses you will have to access the power saving settings of your OS and set the sleep time for the hard drives to something longer or completely disable it if you get really annoyed. Otherwise nothing to worry about. :) 
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