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Noisy disk drive

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by Pa, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. What level of noise is indicative of a failing disk drive?

    I recently added a 750GB WD drive to my Dell XPS410, and I'm not sure if the noise is coming from it or from the original 500GB system drive. The noise is not constant - sometimes I don't notice it for a few hours. But then it comes back. It is sort of a periodic or pulsating whirring sound with about a 2-second period, lasting for several minutes.
  2. Hi Jim,

    I had a similar problem with a Dell Dimension 8400, which I traced to periodic high frequency vibrations emanating from the drive enclosure. I applied some high density rubber strips to the offending areas and, poof, problem gone. Might be worth a look.
  3. I'd back it up to be safe.
  4. Well, that's a comforting thought. However, my computer sits on a fairly thick carpet, so rubber mounts probably wouldn't help.

    I don't hear the noise at the moment, but when I hear it next I will put some more weight on the top to see if that helps.

    I do have all my personal files backed up, but not the OS or programs. Is there software that will mirror the system drive on a second disk?
  5. Yes, there are tons. I'm using a Mac, but you can google a search for backup software. I'm certain several folks will respond here and steer you right. If the OS/programs drive crashes you're going to have to re-install and reconfigure everything and possibly encounter hassles with the software vendors for reinstalling. Of course if your data/images go you can never get anything back, but if the OS drive crashes it could take days re-installing.
  6. All of my personal files are backed up by Carbonite, but they don't back up programs or system files. I do have a spare 750 GB drive which I could use for a mirror of the main drive. It is currently used simply as a redundant backup of my personal files.
  7. Takeda


    Jun 9, 2006
    Durham, NC
    I use a program called EZ Gig II, from Apricorn. I used to use a program from Symantec called Ghost, but it couldn't handle multiple partitions very well.
  8. Jim, I don't think carpet would help for the noise problem I found. You would need to pull the case and do some probing with the high-tech device I used (#2 pencil) to locate the source of the vibration/whirring sound. Of course this method will not resolve an imminent drive failure. :tongue: :eek:  :biggrin:
  9. I never like the sound of noticing a harddrive, I have been extremely cautious over the years and never had a crash partly becausue I switch them out as soon as I suspect it.

    Two suggestions for software:

    For complete hardisk mirroring: Acronis makes a super program

    If you dont have any OS on the drive just images I use Microsofts Synctoy, it is so easy to use and just does the files. http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/synctoybeta.aspx

  10. Thanks, Andreas. After reading up on Acronis® True Image 11 Home I'm about sold it on it. Has anyone had a bad experience with it?
  11. Pete


    Jun 10, 2006
    Denver, CO
    My WD Raptor 150g started making the whining noise yesterday.
    I am on my laptop now...
  12. Now that it is mentioned I recall that I also used Acronis when I had PCs.
  13. Acronis is backing up my main drive at the moment.
  14. Good man!

    Another tip: for images I now use Western Digital external drives. They come in large capacities (1-2TB!)and the larger ones have two disks built in, and you can easily configure them to Raid 1 = writes to both disks at the same time.

    So you have automatic backup the moment you write to the drives, they where about $350 at Costco last time I saw them abut two months ago.

    Hard to beat I think.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2008
  15. I think you meant "Good man", but I get the point. Yes, I am using a WD 750GB external (USB) drive.
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