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HDD scratching noise

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May 15, 2011 1:17:03 PM

After I installed windows 7, I've noticed that every once and a while one of my HDDs would make a quick scratching noise for a split second, it never did this when I was using XP. Anyone know what's wrong? I ran the diagnostic software and both HDDs passed SMART.

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May 15, 2011 2:34:24 PM

TMark80 said:
After I installed windows 7, I've noticed that every once and a while one of my HDDs would make a quick scratching noise for a split second, it never did this when I was using XP. Anyone know what's wrong? I ran the diagnostic software and both HDDs passed SMART.

If I could hear the noise, I could tell you more definately, but could it just be the heads moving back and forth rapidly? While I would not call that a scratching noise, everyone would discribe it differently.

An alternative is the head is hitting the platter. That ususally does not trash the drive immediately, but definately will over time. Perhaps a very short amount of time, but sometimes a while. Until there is damage, any tests would show it as good. I'd ask someone who is very experienced at hard drive problems to listen to it. More than that, I'd make sure I always had a recent backup since it could be a major issue some day.
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May 15, 2011 2:36:00 PM

It sounds like a quick BZZT sound, I've heard it may have been due to windows file indexing so I turned it off and so far it hasn't done it so heres hoping thats what it was.
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May 15, 2011 2:49:02 PM

TMark80 said:
It sounds like a quick BZZT sound, I've heard it may have been due to windows file indexing so I turned it off and so far it hasn't done it so heres hoping thats what it was.

Ahhhhh. A buzzing sound is more like what I would describe with rapid head movement. The fact that it happened with indexing on and stopped when you turned indexing off does suggest it is the head moving. By the way, occational rapid head movement is normal. If it happens too often, one should defragment the drive. Sometimes that helps, but it also depends on what data is on the drive and how the computer accesses that data.

I have some functions that I do regularly that cause the rapid head movement. I solved that by moving some files onto a different drive so the computer can access both folders without the head movement from one area to the other. There are software tools that can help that, but they have drawbacks too.

Lets hope removing indexing is the answer.
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