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Maxtor drive sounds like typewriter???? normal??

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March 7, 2013 4:48:17 PM

Hi, I have purchased a second hand MAXTOR STM3320820AS SATA 300 8MB buffer...

The thing I am concerned about is the level of noise coming from the drive during reading and writing ops..

The drive sounds more like a typewriter than a HDD.

The drive is clearly audible outside the case over any noise emitted by the 9800 gt gpu fan, cpu fan and cooling fans.

the problem is this system is for sale as an entry level gaming machine and I do not want to sell anything which is sub-standard or not genuinely in good condition.

I have a fair amount of experience across most areas of PC building and repairs but I have never had a potential problem with an actual HDD before that relates to noise, so I need a stronger opinion from some one who has a more solid background in HDD mechanics.

My initial interpretation would be the heads are out of alignment or worn or etc etc etc but really I would only be guessing.

I always end up using Seagate drives, of which none make any significant noise and are pretty silent.

Maybe Maxtor drives are renowned for being exceptionally noisy??

the drive is loud enough to be disturbing and anyone who bought the system would unavoidably notice it immediately and query it with me.

If it's normal for a Maxtor drive, that's fine, I will tell them that is the case.

If it's a sign that the drive is excessively worn and poses any sort of question as to the reliability of the drive in the short/medium term then I will have to ask for a refund and return the drive...

Thanks for your help. :) 
a c 79 G Storage
March 7, 2013 6:15:40 PM

No hard drive should sound "like a typewriter", and the fact that it's second-hand means that you ought to test it to see how healthy it is.

If you can temporarily install the drive as a second drive in another system, you can test it with SeaTools for Windows: http://www.seagate.com/support/external-hard-drives/por...

a b G Storage
March 7, 2013 6:19:17 PM

typical for a maxtor i'd say. that's the worst brand for hdd's. i've seen way more of those die than any other brand. avoid them like the plague.
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a b G Storage
March 7, 2013 7:16:00 PM

My experience with Maxtor HDDs was always good. They lasted a long time and those I used were all quiet... so this typewriter noise is untipical of any hard drive (now that I know more about them)... I have an IDE Western Digital 5400RPM that for many years sounded just like that.. like a tiny typewriter(?) I had heard the sound before from 1-2 WDs so I thought it was normal for the HDD model, but I recently checked the label instructions for jumper configurations, and noticed it has a setting without any jumper attached... I had always used it in MA, SL or CS, but never without a jumper, so I removed the jumper from CS, and the typewritter noise went away and another thing, I had banged it years ago so it clicked loudly 16 times before it booted, and that click also went away, it now makes a single click and spins-up silently. I realise your HDD is SATA and this will not apply but try setting it on a diffente SATA channel/connector, a different BIOS position, some combination or single in the computer if it's not single on the PC... it's probably set wrong so try every possible setting. The noise is not normal and can probably be removed.

EDIT: Some SATA HDDs, I believe SATA (SATA1) have jumpers for data speed transmission so try that setting your SATA 300 HDD probably has them.

Jumper settings for SEagate SATA1 hard drives. Your HDD may be a different setting.
http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/193991e...
March 7, 2013 9:54:49 PM

Thanks for the reponses..

The Maxtor has jumper settings to limit the speed to 1.5gps if you are using it on an older SATA mobo which can't automatically detect what speed it should operate at.

There are no jumpers present on the drive so it is operating at SATA 300 speed and is connected to the SATA 300 port on the H61M-S2PV board.

Should be ok there.

the Maxtor drive passes the SMART test and the quick test via SEAGATE TOOLS.

And crystal disk mark comes in with this...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 55.384 MB/s
Sequential Write : 72.365 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 33.012 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 28.376 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.489 MB/s [ 119.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 0.779 MB/s [ 190.2 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 0.764 MB/s [ 186.6 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 0.815 MB/s [ 199.0 IOPS]

Test : 1000 MB [C: 44.4% (25.8/58.3 GB)] (x5)
Date : 2013/03/07 23:33:20
OS : Windows 8 [6.2 Build 9200] (x64)
maxtor 320g sata 300

this is in comparison to a SATA 300 Seagate 160G drive which comes in with this..


CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 76.718 MB/s
Sequential Write : 75.759 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 36.566 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 41.419 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.556 MB/s [ 135.7 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.032 MB/s [ 252.0 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 1.072 MB/s [ 261.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.041 MB/s [ 254.1 IOPS]

Test : 1000 MB [E: 0.1% (0.1/149.0 GB)] (x5)
Date : 2013/03/07 22:50:29
OS : Windows 8 [6.2 Build 9200] (x64)
seagate 160g sata 300

So the Maxtor is a little slower and a does sound like a tiny typewriter.. :)  :) 

I have been looking around the net also and there are quite a few questions about excessive noise from Maxtor drives and from what I can see it is deemed as normal?

I am not personally that worried for my own sake, if I was keeping the drive for myself it would be no problem, but because the drive will be sold in a system build I need to make sure that it is in good working condition.

the SATA controller is set to AHCI for better performance and the drive is plugged into SATA 300 port 1 on the mobo, which is where it should be really..

Most responses I have seen to complaints of excess noise from Maxtor owners are answered with insulation measures as opposed to "it's a faulty drive" scenario.

@Chicano So you feel the drive should operate quietly??

mmm.. not sure what to do?

I could return the drive to the Ebay seller, but to be honest I don't think it's fair on him to return it just because it's noisier than I expected, as long as it functions properly and is not in danger of failing due to a "louder" read/write action..??

Any other thoughts..

Be nice if some HDD expert mechanic could come on and say.."yeah the noise is fairly normal for this type of drive, as long as it passes XYZ test then it's fine.."

Or "No it's dying.."

lets see if anyone else has anything helpful to add..

thanks again for the help..







a b G Storage
March 8, 2013 3:15:23 AM

ziggatron said:
@Chicano So you feel the drive should operate quietly??

mmm.. not sure what to do?

I could return the drive to the Ebay seller, but to be honest I don't think it's fair on him to return it just because it's noisier than I expected, as long as it functions properly and is not in danger of failing due to a "louder" read/write action..??

Any other thoughts..

Well, I do think it should run quietly and that it's capable of it.. the Crystal Disk Mark results shows both HDDs are similar in specifications but the Maxtor is about 20+% slower. So, it's obviously not running at the speed it's capable of and the typewritter noise is a symptom.

As example; I recall my HDD sometimes slowed down so the noise became slower, and I attributed it to a Pentium III System with 256MB RAM, but now that I know it can run silently, I know the problem was not the system but the HDD itself. It made that noise since 2004 and it's still running even after I banged it in 2006, so the typewriter noise is not indication of imminent failure, but a symptom that it's not running at full potential. You could test it with Hard Disk Sentinel to have a better idea of it's true condition and remaining lifetime. Hard Disk Sentinel gives a graphical result of % in Performance and Health, and also an estimated power on time and remaining lifetime.
May 31, 2013 3:47:59 AM

Hi
It's the sound of the head moving frantically to read your data (which you probably new). Two things that could cause this is a fragmented hard disk or your drive has reallocated bad sectors.

U should know what fragmentation is, but basically it is files that has been saved on sectors scattered about the drive.

When a drive has a number of reallocated sectors and good sectors together the head has to move back and forth to the new location on the drive where the reserved reallcation sectors are stored. This causes the drive to move back and forth to get your data.

I have a Maxtor that was noisy, I located where the bad sectors were, luckly they where near the end of the disk. so I partitioned the drive 10 GB less so it would not use this damaged section. The drive is now running perfect... for now! this drive has power on time of 1364 days and estimated days life left of 10 days! Reallocated sector count of 1021, the drive sounded mad when reacallocating sectors from 970 to 1021. Can't wait to see what happens in 10days!

I also recommend to have a two drive setup, operating system and data. also use HD Sentinal it's great software.
Regards.


a b G Storage
May 31, 2013 5:07:27 PM

MatTHW said:
Hi
It's the sound of the head moving frantically to read your data (which you probably new). Two things that could cause this is a fragmented hard disk or your drive has reallocated bad sectors.

U should know what fragmentation is, but basically it is files that has been saved on sectors scattered about the drive.

When a drive has a number of reallocated sectors and good sectors together the head has to move back and forth to the new location on the drive where the reserved reallcation sectors are stored. This causes the drive to move back and forth to get your data.

I have a Maxtor that was noisy, I located where the bad sectors were, luckly they where near the end of the disk. so I partitioned the drive 10 GB less so it would not use this damaged section. The drive is now running perfect... for now! this drive has power on time of 1364 days and estimated days life left of 10 days! Reallocated sector count of 1021, the drive sounded mad when reacallocating sectors from 970 to 1021. Can't wait to see what happens in 10days!

I also recommend to have a two drive setup, operating system and data. also use HD Sentinal it's great software.
Regards.



I agree it´s the head reading the disc that makes the noise, but what I don't completely understand is why my HD went silent after just removing the jumper(?).. it had always made the typewritter/geiger counter noise besides clicking 16 times before the bios post during some 6 years. I had given up on it at times but it kept on running so I kept using it with unimportant data just in case but a simple configuration ended all the noises... Hard Disc Sentinel still says it's in imminent failure but it doesn't fail and the remaining days stay the same... so your 10 remaining days are likely to stay suspended in time.. who knows for how long. :-)
!