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 Post subject: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
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Location: Schmocation
All of a sudden, there's this vibration noise coming from my laptop. The fan has always made a bit of noise when the computer's working hard, but this one is new, and I'm a little concerned it might be coming from the hard drive. The computer has been standing firmly on my desk for several weeks, and the noise just came out of nowhere.

Should I worry and start preparing for a hard drive change?

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:51 am
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Location: portland oregon
im not sure if it is the hard drive or not....but having gone through a hard drive crash a few years back, be prepared, back it up.
when my hd crashed it was like you described it, it started making weird noises out of no where, then the screen froze up....then just went blank.
i had a back up, but it was a few months old. i lost a ton of music, and some video and logic projects. it's a nightmare if you aren't prepared for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
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Location: Schmocation
Thanks for chiming in!

I've been making backups every night since the noise started, and I've been contemplating reinstalling Windows anyway, so I've been gathering all essential installation files, etc. on an external drive, but if it weren't for this noise, I'd rather not, as reinstalling all my applications and sound libraries and setting everything up again is such a drag. This could be the incentive I needed to try an SSD drive, though.

One thing's for sure: I can't really work over so much noise. The holy grail for me is getting an already very quiet desktop computer, and hide it behind a wall of sorts, so that the noise is kept at an absolute minimum. Having a laptop in front of you isn't really the best solution.

But I digress... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2002 2:18 am
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Location: Auckland New Zealand
sporkles wrote:
I've been gathering all essential installation files, etc. on an external drive, but if it weren't for this noise, I'd rather not, as reinstalling all my applications and sound libraries and setting everything up again is such a drag.


Pardon my Windows ignorance, is there an equivalent of Mac CarbonCopyCloner, which makes an exact duplicate of your HD? When the HD on my MBP started making strange noises I immediately cloned it and swapped it out. Is it possible to do the same thing under Windows and avoid lots of re-installation/re-authorizing?

Edit: googling "Windows Carbon Copy Cloner" turned up this: http://www.goldentroutsoftware.com/scc.html
Looks like it might do the job, and there's a 30 day free trial. HTH

Edit edit: another - http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/pr ... grateeasy/

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Last edited by Pitch Black on Sat May 11, 2013 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 1708
Location: portland oregon
it could be just your fan though. when my hard drive went, it was pretty immediate. it started making weird noises (like as if it was struggling to read the disk) within 3 or 4 minutes, it was cooked. if you aren't having performance issues...maybe you'll be lucky and just have to replace the fan. of course a new SSD is nice. good luck with all of that.

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2002 2:18 am
Posts: 5897
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Clone first, and ask questions later, I say... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 12:33 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:51 am
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Location: portland oregon
Pitch Black wrote:
Clone first, and ask questions later, I say... :D

i AGREE!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:25 pm
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Location: New Jersey, USA
If you're using Windows, get your hands on an external drive and ask Windows to create a drive image. That way, if the drive does die, you'll be able to restore the image to a new drive and not lose anything beyond whatever you might have done after you created the image.

If you have a system repair disk (Windows will ask you about creating one at the same time you create the image), you should be able to use that to restore your entire system onto a new disk even if you don't have a working system to start with.


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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 6:17 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:47 pm
Posts: 867
Before you buy a disk cloning utility, try a bootable Linux CD with dd (free!) or ddrescue if the hard drive is already dying. Any Ubuntu disk will do, also there are several data rescue CDs already equipped with many many tools.

Could be a fan as well, but I wouldn't want to guess if I were you...


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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:39 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
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Location: Schmocation
Thanks for all the replies, guys! :D

I'm actually pretty convinced it's the fan now, though, as I did some quick tests, taking note of when the noise kicks in. I unplugged my external monitor and all my controllers, which apparently delayed the sound a little on boot, so I had time to open up Explorer and start playing back an HD video file, which would surely have gotten the drive disk spinning. But the noise didn't start until a bit later, so I can only conclude that it must be the fan.

I made a recording of the noise - maybe you can help me decide? It starts at about 8 seconds. (I normalised a bit - it's not quite that bad, and, come to think of it, the initial noise there is probably the hard drive doing its usual business...)

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:51 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:19 pm
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eddiex wrote:
it could be just your fan though. when my hard drive went, it was pretty immediate. it started making weird noises (like as if it was struggling to read the disk) within 3 or 4 minutes, it was cooked.


I think that varies. I had the exact same thing, but for me it took over a month until the hd finally crashed. That was luckily enough time to make back-ups.

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:56 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
Posts: 1386
Location: Berkshire, UK
I listened to your recording. That sounds like the fan to me. You can hear it rev up when it starts.

Sometimes a drop of oil is all it needs - but probably best for long term reliability to swap it for a new one.

Make sure the replacement is not only the same size, but has the same air flow rating.


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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:55 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
Posts: 2678
Location: Schmocation
Yeah, I'm quite convinced it's the fan now. There was a bit of dust in there, which I managed to remove with a hoover, but the noise didn't go away.

Either way: lots of helpful tips in here; I have been thinking about cloning my drive for some time now, but haven't gotten around to it yet, as I don't have enough space on my external drive.

Different topic, but: is anyone successfully running all their sound libraries and samples from an external drive, having only applications on the internal HD? If so; what type of external drive are you using? USB 3.0 or 2.0? 5400 RPM or 7200? (If I were to switch to an SSD drive eventually, I'd need to move my sound libraries off the internal HD.)

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
Posts: 2678
Location: Schmocation
Huh... I actually think I managed to fix something! I popped the lid, undid the screws to expose the fan and went over it with a paintbrush. I put it back together, and - knock on wood - the noise hasn't returned since!

Turns out the cause was ... dust. Ordinary dust!

Image

You fool! This is no ordinary dust!

Ahem, anyway... Thanks for chiming in - I know you were all very concerned on my behalf. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Nasty sound from hard drive?
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
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Location: Berkshire, UK
Famous last words!

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