TechSpot

Hard drive making weird noises.

By moonfruit
Mar 14, 2007
  1. Hi
    Just recently my hard drive has been making a weird noise. It seems to happen when the drive is inactive for a while (e.g. when browsing a single page on Internet Explorer). It will then make a sound like it is accessing the drive but quite quiet and a constant note (if that makes sense?). It stops if you force the computer to access the drive by clicking a menu, closing a window, loading a program ect. Is this a sign that my drive is on the way out or possibly a virus (I have done system scans using Panda, AVG, A-Squared, AVG Anti Spyware and Ad-Aware)?
     
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Well, we can't know what exactly the sound is.. Some hard drives do a self-test or a reset routine occasionally when they are idle and it is perfectly normal. Some people describe this as a "meow" sound. Also, it could just be Windows doing some housekeeping.

    Any hard drive can fail at any moment without warning, so making backups is always a good idea.

    Whether your drive is actually trying to warn you.. Download the diagnostics utility from your HD maker's website and ruyn that just to be sure.
     
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,754   +96

    Sounds that HDD makes

    Three types of sounds:

    1. Sounds like claking/metal tapping (this tens to be noisy and loud)
    2. Sounds like studding access data (normal, but drive should be defrag)
    3. Sounds like metal moving around (HDD has become loose in PC case)

    If you hear number 1 then the drive is going to go on you in other word crash and fail. Backup or clone the drive to a new HDD to save contents.

    If you hear number 2, then defrag the HDD as it has way to may fragmented data. Note this might not clear up the sound you hear.

    There is a 3 sound but that's if the HDD has become loose in your computer case, tighten screws.
     
  4. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 638

    Regardless of whether your drive is in fact failing, you should ALWAYS keep a backup of all your important files that you can't afford to loose and the backup(s) should preferably be on different types of media. The backup options you have are:

    1. Magnetic storage -> Hard Disk Drive
    2. Optical storage -> CD or DVD
    3. Flash memory storage -> USB Flash drives
    4. Online storage (magnetic storage far away)

    Always keep your important data on at least two of the above types of media.
     
  5. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    sometimes adware programs and spyware will make drive constantly active
    you may want to check back ground process's see what is accessing what
    you may have put this on your machine like some (GOOD) virus programs
    it could be running in background as a default instruction
    last time I fixed someones machine ,with those symptoms,it was a browser plugin that was hammering the drive
     
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