HDD whirring noise & system slowdown

By vanderluzt
Mar 14, 2013
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  1. Hi,

    I am a novice here, so do excuse any technical inaccuracies in reporting this problem. First, let me specify my system configuration and then the problem.

    My system configuration is as below:

    AMD Athlon II X3 440 Processor 3.00 GHz on MSI 880GMA-E45 motherboard with 4 GB (2X2 GB) Kingston DDR3 RAM. My OS is Windows 7 Ultimate Ed. 32bit.

    Now, I have three HDDs installed inside the CPU, the CMOS setup details of which are as below:

    IDE Primary Master: Seagate (ST 380011A) 80 GB capacity
    IDE Primary Slave: Samsung (SV 2042H) 20.4 GB capacity
    SATA 1: Hewlett Packard DVD Writer 1260d ATAPI
    SATA 2: Western Digital WDC (WDS000AADS - 00S9B0) 500 GB capacity

    The WDC (Western Digital SATA 2) drive is my main HDD, the most recent one bought and installed on September 2010. The OS Windows 7 is installed on the C: partition of this drive and my system boots from this drive. I've created three partitions on this drive as follows:
    C - 50 GB (approx)
    D - 225 GB (approx)
    E - 225 GB (approx)

    The IDE drives are old HDDs that I was using around 2003 in an old system and are filled with important data [movies,mp3s, ebooks, official docs,etc]. They contain no OS/system files. The Samsung IDE drive has 3 partitions while the Seagate IDE drive has no partitions.

    So effectively, my HDD structure on Windows Explorer in my computer looks as below:

    C: [WDC SATA partition 1]
    D: [WDC SATA partition 2]
    E: [WDC SATA partition 3]
    F: [DVD Writer]
    G: [Seagate IDE partition 1]
    H: [Seagate IDE partition 2]
    I: [Seagate IDE partition 3]
    J: [Samsung IDE]


    Now here's the problem:

    As long as I keep working on the data [whether it is watching movies, listening to music or accessing anything] stored on the new WDC SATA drive [C,D, and E partitions], the system works great. But the moment I try to access any data from the older IDE drives, the system slows down drastically followed by a whirring noise [obviously from the old drives]. After about 5-10 minutes, the system is back to normal so long as I am working on the C,D, or E partitions of the SATA WDC drive.

    Is there any way I can prevent this slowdown without having to remove the older IDE drives from inside the CPU. I cannot afford to delete any of the data from the older IDE drives. And if removing them is the only option, is it possible to access the data in the older IDE drives externally by simply connecting them through the USB port. How can I go about doing that? Thanks in advance for any advice in this regard.
  2. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,428   +618

    I don't really have good suggestions for you, but:
    - The HDDs are probably old and dying. IDE ribbon cables are obsolete technology.
    - If you get rid of them, you can use 'Roadkils unstoppable copier' or similar, and copy them to your WDC. 100GB total, you might have this space.
    Zoltan Head likes this.
  3. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,797   +882

    +1, Also Seagates I have had in the past have failed often. I get a whirring noise on my PC but that is only once and a while, people say it is a sign of the drive failing, yes and no. The HDD could either be accessing large amounts of data or could be failing.
  4. Zoltan Head

    Zoltan Head TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 268   +27

    I agree, and suggest you do it ASAP, as the data could disappear forever if the old drives pack up completely! :)
  5. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,550   +18

    To avoid loss of data, action is required ASAP.

    What I would do is buy a new SATA drive, maybe a 2 TB ... the larger the better,
    then, use Apricorn's Drivewire to quickly copy all your data to the new one.
    I would get the USB3 version as the copying will go much faster.
    I have both this version and the version noted below. So, no added investment here for my purposes.
    For you, less than $50, plus the drive.

    Start with the boot drive...
    The Apricorn software will make your new drive a "clone" of the old,
    so you should be able to just drop it in as a replacement, even if it were your boot drive that was failing.
    Then... before swapping out, use the same tool to copy all your other data from the old ide drives.
    Then... swap out your drive.
    You will have your current 500 gig drive as a backup in case your new drive fails.
    Put in it the anti-static bag and padding from your new drive and save in a safe place.
    I leave it to you to figure out what to do about the ide equipment.

    I have MUCH success using Apicorn, and highly commend it for your consideration.
    There is also a version that will work with ide drives,
    but I would assume that you do not want to buy a refurbished IDE drive (even if you can find one) at this time.

    The ide interface is slower, so you will notice that lag you were mentioning.


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