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Something Clicking Disk every 10-30 seconds

Discussion in 'Windows & Other Software' started by Frank_Rizzo, 6 Mar 2006.

  1. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    Every 10-30 seconds something is clicking the disk. This is really annoying.

    I've run spyware and virus scans. Nothing found - all upto date.
    XP SP2 is fully udpated
    Latest drivers and bios updated.

    This is on a laptop with an 80Gb Samsung disk.

    It's like something is trying to 'hard write' to the disk, i.e. not caching it - the head is physically moving to where it is being forced to go making a distinct 'Ta-Tick' sound.

    I've used Taskmanager to shutdown everything that it will let me. Disconnected network cables. And yet it still does this random clicking every 10-30 seconds :confused:

    Is this software or is the disk doing some kind of diagnostic? Using Speedfan shows the SMART status to be 100% healthy.

    This only started happening in the last week.

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: 6 Mar 2006
  2. Scythe

    Soldato

    Joined: 23 Jun 2005

    Posts: 5,325

    No software is doing it. Sounds like your hard disk is dying. Run scandisk and if possible get a new one.
     
  3. Inquisitor

    Capodecina

    Joined: 12 Apr 2004

    Posts: 11,788

    Location: Birmingham

    Yup, sounds like the hard disk is on the way out I'm afraid.
     
  4. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    Hmm. Not even a year old.

    Surely if the disk was on the way out the SMART status would be less than 100% and that I would also have noticed slow downs with the laptop in general?
    Windows and database apps all load and run fine.

    I'm running a scandisk now...
     
  5. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    About 30% the way through....

    The first thing I notice is that the clicking stops if the disk is doing something like scandisk. Scandisk just smoothly goes from sector to sector / track to track without any noise.

    Whilst I'm waiting I had a look at the Samsung warranty info on the site. Here's a flow chart showing that Samsung say the disk is OK! But obviously I need the test to finish at 100% first.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 6 Mar 2006
  6. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    Scandisk passed 100% - no errors found.

    I can't see this being a disk fault anyway, as already pointed out: the laptop works fine, no slowdowns due to disk retrying etc.

    I have a spare disk which I can ghost to confirm that. But I just know this is going to be a software problem only fixable by reformatting and reinstalling everything :(

    Anyother ideas as to what this could be?

    As it only started happening last week I'm thinking a recent windows update did something?
     
  7. basmic

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 10 Apr 2004

    Posts: 13,144

    Location: Darlington, County Durham

    Could be the drive thermally recallibrating itself.

    Go here and download some diagnostics software the drive - if it passes the Advanced/Full test, then I'd be happy.
     
  8. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    That is what I was hoping. I'd rather a definite duff drive than dodgy software.

    Anyway. The problem is still there and it just won't go. I tell you this laptop is JINXED! Had no end of problems with it - I'm scrapping it soon.

    After the previous tests this is what I did next:

    Ran Samsung HUTIL test: No fault reported by util
    Boot in Safe Mode: Fault exists
    Boot in DOS with Win98 CD: No Fault
    Ghost disk to spare disk and boot normally: Fault Exists
    Use original drive with an older restored Ghost image: Fault Exists.

    So there you go. The only way to get rid of the fault is to use DOS :)

    The Samsung Drive Test passed all tests so that should 99% rule out H/W fault.

    Restoring old backing image should have determined if recent software update was at fault but the problem remained.

    Using a totally different brand of disk did not get rid of the fault at all - again indicating that the drive is fine.

    All I can think of is that this laptop is jinxed. It has been replaced once, had two new PSU's, burnt out two ram sticks, had a new mobo, then the usb ports failed 1 week after the warranty ran out.

    Now it's causing mischief with the disks.

    Works great when it does - a pile of crap when it doesn't.
     
  9. basmic

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 10 Apr 2004

    Posts: 13,144

    Location: Darlington, County Durham

    Can't help thinking you've got some temperature/SMART monitoring software installed, TBH.
     
  10. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    This is definitely a fault with the Uniwill design and XP.

    Restored the disk to Factory Settings / Restore CD. Problem still exists - it never used to.

    Installed Linux. Works fine!
     
  11. SentineL-X

    Hitman

    Joined: 16 Aug 2005

    Posts: 763

    Location: Cardiff

    power supply?
     
  12. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    Good point. But it would have to be a combination of XP and hardware causing the problem as it doesn't exist in DOS or Linux.
     
  13. Otacon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Jan 2004

    Posts: 21,923

    Location: All over

    Linux is much better when it comes to disk i/o though (in that it doesn't appear to do as much. A Linux MthTV front end with a reasonable amount of memory will barely tough the hard drive at all once its booted. Great for a silent HTPC box.). It's probable something in the background on Windows. Have you tried disabling indexing?
     
  14. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    Yes, everything uninstalled, all tasks that can be shut down in task manager shutdown.

    Remember, this only started happening since last week. Have restored the factory image cd and it still happens.

    Definite combination of hardware + XP fault here.

    re: PSU - does the same on battery!
     
  15. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    (edited)
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2006
  16. nade

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,290

    I've used Filemon to find out what programs are trying to access on server's/pc's at work, i'd suggest you download it and try it out.

    Had a look at at your video, saw the task manager, i assume you've disabled everything? If so, then run filemon and keep an eye on it, if some program is running in the background, it'll show up and show you what it's trying to access.
     
  17. Frank_Rizzo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Mar 2003

    Posts: 1,120

    Filemon looks great! Just what I was looking for. I'll let it run for a few hours and see what's happening.
     
  18. nade

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,290

    I don't know if you'll need to let it run for hours :)

    Even seeing your video, it appears you get the click quite often, so i would expect if it is some application that it appears on the log.

    Anyway, let us know how you get on :)
     
  19. garyh

    Hitman

    Joined: 16 Mar 2005

    Posts: 845

    I'm not 100% sure about Samsung laptop hard drives, but MOST laptop hard drives have a power saving technique where by the head of the disk unparks itself when it's not being used.. causing a 'clicking noise'

    If you google, you'll find this is probably normal behaviour as quoted for example here
     
  20. earthdwarf

    Associate

    Joined: 19 Jan 2004

    Posts: 18

    Location: knype

    Had same problem with a Maxtor h/d couple of weeks ago? clicking then locking up---panic wasnt the word,all my video and photos were on it, after backing them all up etc.went thru a elimination procedure and it turned out that i had two fire walls competing for the pc? hope it helps