hard drive clicks

By bradthegreat
Oct 9, 2006
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  1. okay - I have an 80GB Seagate SATA drive, which I believe is one of these two here it is the second drive in my computer (other is WD 40GB w/ C:/ drive)

    I got it last March, so about 8 months ago. It has always been kinda loud when it is being accessed, but recently a new thing is happening. When I have a program open, such as Word, Excel or Photoshop, and I click file>open>browse, the drive begins to click about 1x per second. the program freezes up, but Winamp still plays, I can access the drive and file through Windows Explorer, and I can do every other normal thing. The program eventually dies, but it still clicks. the only way to get rid of it is to reboot.

    I have a dark feeling that it is nearing the end of its life, but it is only 8 mos old!! Is there something I can try before reformatting it? I have a lot of settings and programs set up on it that I would really rather not erase. any help would be appreciated.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Buy another HD, copy everything over, then send in that clicking HD to Seagate with an RMA, it has 5 years warranty!
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    You'll have to test the Seagate drive first using Segates Discwizard for Windows utility, before you RMA it. Download it from Seagates website...

    I would expect the Western Digital drive to do this clicking and not the Segate SATA
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    You don't have to. They like to have error codes, but as long as you describe the problem they'll take it back with no questions asked.
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    They do like to have error codes and if they don't find any problem with the drive, they will return it to you. I sent a Seagate 100GB Momentus notebook drive back under warranty with out error codes, but marked as a "field failure". I knew it was displaying write errors though. I tested in 2 laptops. I just like to be safe
  6. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 141

    i wouldn't have to have the original receipt, would I? I bought if from Newegg and I think I deleted the transaction. if I copied or ghosted the drive, do you think it would have the same problem? is there any cheap or free programs like that?
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    You should be able to retrieve a copy of the Newegg receipt from their website. Just log into your account and follow the appropriate links. I don't think you need a physical receipt. Just supply the model and serial number when you crerate an RMA request. You will be notified quickly if the drive is under warranty before you are allowed to complete the RMA/Exchange request.

    Is this SATA Seagate your boot drive?
  8. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 141

    no, thankfully it's my D:/ partition. I am still trying to decide if it is a software issue or a hardware issue. I'll run the Seagate test on it to see...

    if I get another one, is Seagate still the way to go?
  9. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 141

    friggin piece of crap! it freaking froze up when I was running the Seagate diagnostic utility!!
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    I have 4 Seagate drives in my tower. I install Seagate drives in everything I replace drives in. Any manufacturers drives can fail. I have a box full of 50 bad Quantums, Western Digital, Samsung, Fugitsu, and IBM Deathstars. I have only 3 bad Seagates. One of these is a notebook drive...

    I like Seagate!
  11. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 141

    I ran the Seagate utility and it told me I had bad sectors and needed to fix them but didn't tell me how. I rebooted and ran the XP checkdisk, but that didn't work. It tells me I need to run chkdsk /f. how do I do that?
  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    I like Seagate too. Incidentally, my once 5 week old 500GB started clicking intermittently so I sent it back for a replacement. As always, Seagate has a pretty good replacement policy. All drive manufacturers seem to be very customer oriented though and won't give you much hassle about returns. Seagate's drives are pretty top-notch and well, the 5-year warranty is just a great reason to get one.

    I've had multiple failures from about every brand I can think of. Oddly enough, I've never had a problem with Samsung and I continue to buy their drives. No failures yet (For my personal use, at least). ;) But I think all in all, its just luck of the draw.

    The bottom line is you need two drives. One for use and one for backup. :)
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    The drive is junk. Send it back if you can and get a replacement because I wouldn't trust it to hold my data and you shouldn't either.

    You can flag and even repair bad sectors sometimes, but that thing is a time bomb. It starts with one bad sector, then ends up being 3, then 10, then 390, then 5388 etc... Your problems will only get worse over time, so you should start fresh with a new drive while you can. :)
     
  14. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 141

    thanks guys - I got the RMA filled out and all I need is to get my lazy **** over to the post office and mail it.

    question - if I make a copy of the drive (like a ghost image or something) does it rewrite it with bad sectors?
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    Copying the drive might work, the bad sectors would interfere with the copying, so I would attempt to "fix" or mark the bad sectors first. Run chkdsk in STARTon taskbar, RUN type in box without the quotation marks "chkdsk (drive letter) /f"

    Drive letter like this... E: no ()
  16. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    There are programs like HDD Regen also which can repair bad sectors (and actually does a pretty good job) without destroying your data. http://www.dposoft.net/

    The idea behind it is it remagnetizes the disks surface where weak or unresponsive sectors are found. I always thought it sounded a bit fictional, but I've used it dozens and dozens of times over a few years and it works... even manufacturer drive diagnostics are fooled afterwards. :)

    Just don't use it as an excuse not to RMA!
  17. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    You'd probably have figured it out already but as an FYI seagate doesn't need proof of purchase. It works all that dates etc from the serial no. on your HDD. Been there done that. So damn fast.. even for an international post...

    Don't forget to send it before the RMA time period is over, or else you have to re-register it or something... and pack it properly..
  18. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 141

    kind of related - will a simple reformat through the XP manage screen be enough to destroy the data I had on there? It is not like top secret stuff or anything, but it would be nice to keep wandering eyes off of it. What is the best way to totally wipe the drive clean?
  19. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    It makes it appear deleted, but if anyone cared to retrieve your data, they could do so very easily. Even after a full format, data recovery isn't all that difficult.

    If you're worried about your privacy, you can get a zero-fill utility. The manufacturer's usually have one with their diagnostics. It may also be referred to as a "low level format" or "zero write" etc...
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