backup - My hard drive is making bad noises, how bad is it?

  • henrikhodne

    Possible Duplicate:
    Hard drive making a weird noise

    So, my hard drive is making this (<-- sound clip right there) noise right now, occasionally even worse. How bad is this? I'm assuming bad, which is why I just bought a new hard drive and I'm currently backing up.

    My question #2: Is it normal for hard drives to start making this noise after a while? Almost all of my hard drives eventually make this sound, although I haven't had one fail on me yet, I usually switch computers way before that :P

    This time it's an external (iomega) hard drive, but hard drives in both desktop computers and laptop computers have made this sound too.

    UPDATE: This is an external HDD connected with USB 2.0, so I don't get too much diagnostic data.

  • Answers
  • studiohack

    When you start getting a noise from your hard drive like a tick tick or a grinding screech it's a bad sign that it will die soon so if I were you I would get a new drive and back up all your data.

    Hard drive failure is quite common nowadays unfortunately I find them not as good quality like they used to be. You can't really predict when it dies however you can try to prevent it. The most common cause is a surge if you are the type that likes to leave your computer running at all times that's including standby or sleep mode technically it's still running so if there's any type of surge it will damage your computer hardware and your hard drive is the most common to be affected.

    I recommend a surge protector or UPS that way it's protected properly look for one with a higher joules 600 and up which will provide more protection.

  • studiohack

    Unless the sound is very loud and clunking, it may be deceiving. I don't think the recording is definitive enough to say it is bad for sure. If that sound is being recorded right next to the drive or at a distance makes a difference. No hard drive is completely silent. The more data stored on it the more is has to spin to index or search for the data.

    You are smart to backup your data; good thinking. Before you condemn the hard drive, you may want to try some utilities to verify it is bad. Checkdisk (also known as CHKDSK.EXE) is OK, but check the manufacturer's website to download their diagnostic utility for the drive model you have.

  • bryan

    It could be the the click of death.

    Or it could be related to overheating, I have had this happen to me. Ubuntu's Disk Utility can tell you about the operating temperature of the disk, current and historical.

    I backed up all important data, cleaned the fan and air intake and hard drive is still working fine.

  • Related Question

    Hard drive making a weird noise
  • Vivek

    My Samsung hard drive is making some weird noises. Sometimes, the noise stops but then starts again within a few minutes. It's warranty is out of date, so I am worried that the noise may indicate an imminent failure.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • Related Answers
  • MrStatic

    Click of death? Whirring sound? (I feel like a car mechanic ;) ) Most likely the drive is coming to the end of its life. Does it have SMART? See if that's tossing any errors as well as backup all your data. Probably going to have to get a new one soon.

  • Benjamin Schollnick

    First Back it up... Back up your data if you even SUSPECT a hard drive issue...

    Then you can safely diagnose it... But the first poster (MrStatic) is correct, what is the noise? Have you tested it with a smart test..?

    Remember though, SMART is a quickie... If it fails, then your drive is surely toast, but if it passes, keep an eye on it. It just might have not reached that SMART test thresholds...

  • Lee B

    Yes, back up your data immediately. If you don't have somewhere to put backups, go buy a new harddrive and clone everything onto that. You'll need the new drive soon anyway.

    As for the sound... it's most likely the hard drive resetting itself and trying to re-read data as a result of errors. As others have said, these errors should show up in SMART info, but don't even waste time looking at that, as your HD could die at any time.

  • Bronzdragon

    If it's an external drive, it might be the fan that stops periodically spinning. If that's the case, the hard drive itself may be rescued yet.

    I'm not going to suggest you stop the fan by hand (if that even applies) because that's dangerous (for the drive)