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Noisy external hard drive....... is there a free diagnostic I can run?

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October 28, 2010 1:30:35 AM

I have a 2 Terabyte external hard drive. It is a SimpleTech/Hitatchi/Fabrik product.

Here is the link to the manufacturer page:

http://www.simpletech.com/products/storage/duo-pro-driv...

It has been running noisy lately. It sounds kind of like the fan is grinding, but I am really not sure what it is.

Also, when I first turn this drive on, the light flashes red for a while.

I have another drive from this same manufacturer -- the 1TB version. It runs quietly and I do not have any of these problems.

Is there a diagnostic that I can run to figure out what is wrong with my 2TB drive? Something free would be nice.

Thanks,

TC
a c 98 G Storage
October 28, 2010 2:41:45 AM

Sounds like it has an Hitachi HDD inside it. Determine the actual model number (should be able to in Device Manager) and go to Hitachi to download there HDD utilities for your model of HDD.

If you are unable to find the model number, try downloading speccy (www.piriform.com/speccy). It will identify the HDD as well.

You could also enable SMART in your BIOS to see the status your mobo reports. Good luck!
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November 1, 2010 11:52:53 PM

Okay. On this 2 TB drive I mentioned I have used approximately 1/2 of the storage space.

Since I am afraid that this drive might be failing I will transfer that content onto a different 2 TB drive.

The only way that I can transfer this is by using a USB cable. That will take a long time because the volume of data is so high. I estimate it will be 12 hours of transfer time if I do one constant transfer without stopping.

So my question is....... should I do this all at one time? I can run this overnight. Would that be a bad idea? What that harm the destination drive if it writes for 12 straight hours?

Would it be better for me to transfer this over in smaller portions at a time? What would be the best quantity for me to transfer at a time?

Thanks,

TC
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a b G Storage
November 2, 2010 7:19:53 AM

Never think about diagnostics, first move BACK UP.

Even if it is slow copy the data in small quantities (folder to folder) to another 2Tb this is the best way you can do to save everything. If the hard disk heats up turn it off and after a little while turn it on again and continue the transfer.
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November 7, 2010 1:18:26 PM

I successfully identified my problem. I will post the information here in case anyone else has this same issue and runs across this thread.

The company I work for has a PC technician who comes by our office to work on our computers. I told him about my situation with this noisy external drive. He told me that it was probably not the hard drive itself. He said that noise usually comes from the fan.

I called the manufacturer tech support line. I did not tell them about my conversation with my PC technician. I asked the manufacturer rep what he thought about the noise coming from my drive. He said that the majority of time when they encounter this problem it is the fan......NOT the drive itself.

They both said that there is a fast, easy way to test this. So here it is.

1 - turn off the drive
2 - use something to block the fan from turning(pencil, toothpick, etc.)
3 - turn on the drive. The fan will not spin because you are blocking it
4 - if the noisy sound is gone, then you know the problem has to be the fan and not anything else

When I blocked the fan then the noise stopped completely.

Now that I have pinpointed the problem, I have to decide my next course of action. I have two choices.

OPTION 1 - send the drive back to the manufacturer and file a warranty claim. Let them replace the fan. This would require me to copy the content off of the drive onto some other storage device. After they receive that faulty drive they will send me a replacement.... notice that I said "a replacement" drive -- not necessarily a brand new drive. They will probably me one of their demo units or refurb units. Honestly, that is fine with me. Whatever they send me will still be covered under the original warranty that was left over from the first thing that I bought.

OPTION 2 - I could open the bad hard drive and try to replace the fan myself. There are some pros and cons with that. Pros--I would not have to worry about offloading the content from my drive onto some other device, and I would not have to hassle with a return to the manufacturer, and I would not have to wait, etc. The main "con" is that opening the drive would void the manufacturers warranty. The other con is that I would have to find a replacement fan that would work and I would have to pay for it out of my own pocket.

Not sure what I should do here, but to make a long story short...... when your hard drive is making noise then check the fan first.

TC
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a c 98 G Storage
November 7, 2010 10:16:36 PM

If under warranty, do the exchange. If you break anything trying to do yourself, you will be out of luck.
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