Your Advice Please on a Noisy Hard Disk

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by stock_punter, Nov 22, 2001.

  1. Hello,

    Can I please have your advice on the following?

    My notebook has a 2.5" 9.5mm IBM TravelStar 10 GB hard disk.

    It was nearly noiseless when it was installed brand new a few months ago.

    But now it is becoming noisier and noisier with each passing day.

    The noise is constant and is not related to disk access. The noise only goes away then the hard disk spins down (either at power off or in power conservation mode).

    I have had this problem with an earlier 6 GB IBM TravelStar hard disk and had it replaced due to the noise with the 10 GB unit before the 6 GB drive actually failed.

    I am wondering if this noise is a precursor to a hard disk failure.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks.

    -- Punter
     
  2. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    Punter,

    I am wondering if this noise is a precursor to a hard disk failure.

    There's a good chance of that. A hard-drive engineer who's a friend of mine showed me (and explained) why it is always the case of when, not if regarding hard drive failure. By necessity it's built into them that way (due to the inability to use lubricants in that high-speed, over-heated, air-tight compartment), and that's why they are rated with MTBF which stands for Mean Time Before Failure. Anyway, I'd strongly recommend that you immediately back up anything important to floppy, CD-R, or tape. And if you rely on that computer and want to keep it, then seriously consider getting the HD replaced.
     
  3. Thanks Magna. I appreciate the advice and your time.

    Did a little research on MTBF ... seems like 300,000 power-on hours for some of the hits that came up on the web ... that's 34 years!

    I suppose actual MTBF will be lower depending on usage.

    -- Punter
     
  4. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    Punter,

    Did a little research on MTBF ... seems like 300,000 power-on hours for some of the hits that came up on the web ... that's 34 years! I suppose actual MTBF will be lower depending on usage.

    Most hard drives are rated between 100,000 - 300,000 hrs MTBF. But that is an estimation, based on being left on continuously. Most of us turn our computers on and off, and that has a distinct jarring effect on the hard drive (along with all the electrical components). Ever notice how light bulbs rarely burn out while they're running, but almost always die when you turn the light on or off? Same with computer parts.

    Consumer hard drives have an average lifespan of about 3-5 yrs. But that doesn't mean yours will last that long. Or it may last longer. Just remember that every hard drive, every single hard drive in the world, will fail at some point. Not if, just when.
     
  5. vikana

    vikana Moderator

    this is most likely a precursor to a mechanical disk failure. In my experience you probably have about 3 months of disk life left.

    I strongly recommend you get a new HD and simply transfer everything. Drivecopy http://www.powerquest.com/products/desktop.html

    will transfer everything even if the disks have different sizes. I've used it when upgrading to a larger main HD and it works great.
     
  6. Thanks Vikana and Magna for your replies!
     
  7. Turok

    Turok

    >Just remember that every hard drive, every
    >single hard drive in the world, will fail at some
    >point. Not if, just when.

    Actually, I will argue that the overwhelming majority of hard drives will NEVER fail. They will instead be relegated to the scrap heap in perfect working order because they have outlived their usefulness due to direct (or more likely, package) obsolescence.

    JB

    PS: pure technicality as I do get your point.
     
  8. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    Turok,

    I stand corrected, technically (or is that literally) speaking. :)
     
  9. Carboxyl

    Carboxyl

    I am guessing overheat or failure (soon)...it should not be that noisy
     
  10. losing everything on your hard drive is NOT FUN.
     
    #10     Sep 19, 2002