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Noisy Hitachi Hard Drive...help?

Last response: in Storage
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December 24, 2012 4:56:12 PM

Hi there guys :) 

I was wondering if its normal for my hard drive to sound noisy all the time. I have run Seatools on my hard drive and no failures reported. In addition, Hard drive operates at a cool 23 degrees most of the time.

So here is a printscreen of the statistics of my hard drive with an online analysis with SpeedFan:


I assume this is my hard drive:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I really pulled my hard drive from an HP Computer I have in the closet...it's only a year old.
Let me know if you guys want me to record the noise....

- Happy Holidays :) 
a b G Storage
December 24, 2012 6:41:29 PM

Does it make noise all the time, or just when it is under load?
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December 24, 2012 6:42:13 PM

All the time, its constant. Never changes when gaming or at idle.
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December 24, 2012 7:02:13 PM

It's an Hitachi it's going to be noisy and somewhat failure prone (some drives). My experiences with Hitachi drives have proved them to be a little noisy.
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Best solution

a b G Storage
December 24, 2012 7:05:19 PM

It is then a mechanical problem -- as it isn´t affecting performance.

You can just leave like that, if the noise is not irritating, or open it [at your own risk] and check for dusk [or artifacts] then try to clean it up inside.
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December 24, 2012 7:05:57 PM

Best answer selected by socialfox.
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December 24, 2012 7:07:01 PM

Thanks to both of you guys, will just leave it as is. Might replace it with an SSD, do SSD's make noise like a hard drive?

- Happy Holidays :) 
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a c 316 G Storage
December 24, 2012 8:27:34 PM

SpeedFan's author doesn't appear to know how to interpret Hitachi's SMART attributes. In general, I would ignore the health assessments of SMART software. This is because each HDD manufacturer uses their own proprietary method for reporting SMART data. These methods often vary between models for the same manufacturer, and even between firmware versions for the same model.

For example, the Power Off Retract Count and Load Cycle Count are just wear and tear indicators and are perfectly OK for your drive. In fact the raw numbers are identical to those for Start/Stop Count and Power Cycle Count.

The Spin Up Time is also perfectly OK. The normalised value of 118 is significantly better than the baseline of 100. You would need to ask the author why s/he thinks that this attribute poses a problem.

In fact the raw 48-bit value of 0x000601430140 appears to consist of three 16-bit numbers ...

0x0006 0x0143 0x0140

I suspect that the last two numbers represent the last two spin-up times ...

0x0143 = 323 in decimal
0x0140 = 320

If we assume that these values are in increments of 10 milliseconds, then the spin-up times are 3.23 and 3.20 seconds.

As for how the normalised value of 118 is derived, it could be that a value of 100 represents a spin-up time of 5.0 seconds, say, and that the drive gains 1 point for each 0.1 seconds less than this, and loses 1 point for each 0.1 seconds more than this.

So 5.0 - 3.2 = 1.8, which means that the normalised value would be ...

100 + (1.8 x 10) = 118

The above is only supposition, but it illustrates that raw SMART data cannot always be interpreted in an intuitive way.

In fact I would be a little concerned about the number of Command Timeouts ...

0x1810 = 6160
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December 24, 2012 8:40:46 PM

fzabkar said:
SpeedFan's author doesn't appear to know how to interpret Hitachi's SMART attributes. In general, I would ignore the health assessments of SMART software. This is because each HDD manufacturer uses their own proprietary method for reporting SMART data. These methods often vary between models for the same manufacturer, and even between firmware versions for the same model.

For example, the Power Off Retract Count and Load Cycle Count are just wear and tear indicators and are perfectly OK for your drive. In fact the raw numbers are identical to those for Start/Stop Count and Power Cycle Count.

The Spin Up Time is also perfectly OK. The normalised value of 118 is significantly better than the baseline of 100. You would need to ask the author why s/he thinks that this attribute poses a problem.

In fact the raw 48-bit value of 0x000601430140 appears to consist of three 16-bit numbers ...

0x0006 0x0143 0x0140

I suspect that the last two numbers represent the last two spin-up times ...

0x0143 = 323 in decimal
0x0140 = 320

If we assume that these values are in increments of 10 milliseconds, then the spin-up times are 3.23 and 3.20 seconds.

As for how the normalised value of 118 is derived, it could be that a value of 100 represents a spin-up time of 5.0 seconds, say, and that the drive gains 1 point for each 0.1 seconds less than this, and loses 1 point for each 0.1 seconds more than this.

So 5.0 - 3.2 = 1.8, which means that the normalised value would be ...

100 + (1.8 x 10) = 118

The above is only supposition, but it illustrates that raw SMART data cannot always be interpreted in an intuitive way.

In fact I would be a little concerned about the number of Command Timeouts ...

0x1810 = 6160


Hi there :) 

Thanks for your detailed input, could you explain to me the importance of Command Timeouts? And also, should I start moving my important stuff on to my external hard drive in case of failure?
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a c 316 G Storage
December 25, 2012 1:57:48 AM

The Command Timeout errors concern me because there are a lot of them, and because I don't know why they are occurring.

Wikipedia's explanation points to external causes, but I find it unconvincing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.

To me, these errors are like an unexplained rattle in your car. If you can identify its source, then often you can live with it.

That said, it doesn't appear that there is any threat to your data (the remaining attributes are OK), so I wouldn't panic. You might find that the drive works without error on a different SATA controller, or in a different box.
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December 25, 2012 2:03:56 AM

fzabkar said:
The Command Timeout errors concern me because there are a lot of them, and because I don't know why they are occurring.

Wikipedia's explanation points to external causes, but I find it unconvincing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.

To me, these errors are like an unexplained rattle in your car. If you can identify its source, then often you can live with it.

That said, it doesn't appear that there is any threat to your data (the remaining attributes are OK), so I wouldn't panic. You might find that the drive works without error on a different SATA controller, or in a different box.


Okay, thanks for taking that burden of my back :lol: 
Anyways, what do you think of those hard drive dampening/silencing kits? I plan on doing something about the noise....
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a b G Storage
December 25, 2012 5:14:48 AM

socialfox said:
Anyways, what do you think of those hard drive dampening/silencing kits? I plan on doing something about the noise....

First you need to figure out whether the noise is normal or not. I've had hard drives which had a bearing start to go bad. It starts as a slight whine, and eventually develops into an almost grating sound (I was surprised the drive still spun up). I've also had drives which weren't as well balanced, and the vibration was excessive. Probably within specs, but pronounced enough to be irritating (it was a laptop drive).

If the noise is an indication of a bearing problem, you definitely want to get the drive replaced. If it's just the normal spinning noise, then yes you can go the silencer/dampener. FWIW, I have an array of 2TB Hitachis and haven't noticed any unusual noise from them. Their whine is easily drowned out by the case fan (and that's a low-RPM quiet fluid bearing fan) - the whole system is only audible if the room is silent.

As for silencing/dampening, figure out if the noise is coming directly from the drive, or if it's being amplified by vibrating the case. If the case is amplifying it, you want a dampener. No need to get fancy - much success has been had by simply mounting the drive in bungee cords in a 5.25" drive bay. That almost totally eliminates the vibration. Google bungee cord hard drive for ideas.

OTOH if the noise is coming directly from the drive you want a silencing enclosure. They're basically a case around the drive which confines most of the noise inside (you need big changes in density to block noise, like air to metal). The main thing to watch out for with them is that there's sufficient airflow or heat transfer to keep the drive cool. It doesn't need to be much. I had a drive which was overheating badly (hit 60C according to SMART - hot enough to experience write failures). A 600 RPM fan dropped that to 35C max (28C typical) even though I could barely feel the airflow from the fan.
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December 25, 2012 5:21:36 AM

Solandri said:
First you need to figure out whether the noise is normal or not. I've had hard drives which had a bearing start to go bad. It starts as a slight whine, and eventually develops into an almost grating sound (I was surprised the drive still spun up). I've also had drives which weren't as well balanced, and the vibration was excessive. Probably within specs, but pronounced enough to be irritating (it was a laptop drive).

If the noise is an indication of a bearing problem, you definitely want to get the drive replaced. If it's just the normal spinning noise, then yes you can go the silencer/dampener. FWIW, I have an array of 2TB Hitachis and haven't noticed any unusual noise from them. Their whine is easily drowned out by the case fan (and that's a low-RPM quiet fluid bearing fan) - the whole system is only audible if the room is silent.

As for silencing/dampening, figure out if the noise is coming directly from the drive, or if it's being amplified by vibrating the case. If the case is amplifying it, you want a dampener. No need to get fancy - much success has been had by simply mounting the drive in bungee cords in a 5.25" drive bay. That almost totally eliminates the vibration. Google bungee cord hard drive for ideas.

OTOH if the noise is coming directly from the drive you want a silencing enclosure. They're basically a case around the drive which confines most of the noise inside (you need big changes in density to block noise, like air to metal). The main thing to watch out for with them is that there's sufficient airflow or heat transfer to keep the drive cool. It doesn't need to be much. I had a drive which was overheating badly (hit 60C according to SMART - hot enough to experience write failures). A 600 RPM fan dropped that to 35C max (28C typical) even though I could barely feel the airflow from the fan.


Thanks for your insight, I appreciate it as well. If its not too much for you, could I post a mediafire link here in this thread tomorrow? One file will be how the computer sounds without the power to the hard drive and another file with the hard drive plugged in. I really want to know about this hard drive issue, it caused me to replace the power supply because I though it was coil whine :lol: 

Course when Installed the new power supply, the noise was still present and in a way I wasted my money.... my hard drive is making a static noise or something spinning real fast with a humming noise in the background.

Thanks for taking the time for answering.

- Merry Christmas :) 

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a b G Storage
December 25, 2012 9:00:03 AM

As for if SSDs make noise, the answer is not, as they have not mechanical parts like HDDs.
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