IBM hard drive strange sound

By a2ps · 14 replies
Dec 28, 2003
  1. hi there,

    i have an IBM 80gb hard drive and it is driving me crazy. im used to leave the pc on all the time, but ive went on vacations for 4 days and when i returned and turned on the pc, the hard drive just keeps on making a very strange, very sharp sound, i really dont know how to explain it. ive downloaded the drive fitness tool from ibm web site, and both queick and advanced tests returned with everything ok. anyone knows what might be wrong? ive checked all cables to see if there was anything wrong, but it is all ok. please help me.

    thanks in advance.
  2. tkteo

    tkteo TS Rookie Posts: 52

    I heard such sounds from my IBM Deskstar before it died. On occasions I would turn on my computer and the HD would make such noises, and not be able to read data, causing a failed boot up. After a few weeks it permanently stopped working.

    I suggest you backup all important data and be prepared to buy a new HD if the noise persists. I doubt it can be anything good.
  3. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Just to be on the safe side, update the firmware HERE. Which version of the DeathStar is it BTW ? 75GXP, 60GXP, 120, 180 ?
  4. a2ps

    a2ps TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the replies.

    it is the Deskstar 120GXP hard drive. ive downloaded the firmware update but it says that im neither using an IBM DTLA nor an IBM IC35AVER hard disk drive and no futher action is needed. but it keeps making that constant sharping sound. anyone can help please?

  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    That disk is already dead. It just has not happened yet.

    Get your data off of it, and return it.

    No firmware will sort your problem - forget about that!

    That disk is dead and its only a matter of time now. Sorry. But it IS true.
  6. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Trust me P66 is right, hes had a little chat with your DeathStar on the Darkside and he knows how it goes. Try to return it ;)
  7. a2ps

    a2ps TS Rookie Topic Starter

    damn piece of hardware.. personal note: never buy IBM hdd ever again.

    so your all saying that theres nothing i can do except to just take it out and place it on the garbage bin? or maybe return it? damn.. it has only a year. but ok, i trust you :p

    BTW, if i do have to buy a new one what do you think about 80GB Seagate UDMA100 7200RPM? is it good and quiet? will it last more than a year?

    thanks for the replies.
  8. tkteo

    tkteo TS Rookie Posts: 52

    Yup, no more IBM-Toshiba Deathstars.

    I like my Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 80GB with 8MB of cache; I won't claim it's totally silent, but it certainly does not disturb me when reading data.

    Western Digital also offers hard disks with 8MB of cache. I believe the latest IDE performance drives are all ATA133 now.
  9. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Check your warranty status with IBM. You may be lucky and have a full 3 year warranty (they track all the serial numbers and purchase dates).

    I own 11 (eleven) IBM/Hitachi drives and won't normally buy other brands due to bad experiences with them. IBM/Hitachi drives have proved very reliable for me, but you need to remember that ALL hard drives are mechanical/electrical devices, and so their reliability cannot match that of other computer parts.

    If you search the forums you'll find some interesting reliability data that Didou posted previously, and it pretty much shows that there isn't much to choose between brands. All of the new (8MB Cache only) IBM/Hitachi models come with a full 3 years warranty, unlike their competitors. That makes them the best choice available today. They are also performance leaders (except for WD Raptor 10K rpm drives) so I wouldn't consider anything else.

    Back up your data now, as your drive is on its way out. You can run IBM's Drive Fitness Test to check your drive, and you'll need the error codes to make a warranty claim. You can find it on the website.
  10. st_eff

    st_eff TS Rookie

    I have a DESKSTAR 80GB, and my drive is making a "clicking" noice once or twice a day since about two weeks. I have written another post where I ask for recommendations of alternative harddrive brands. I just pray that the IBM will last until I replace it.

    Personally, I will not buy another IBM 3.5" HDD after having read about their "Deathstars". I don't believe that they managed to correct the problem as my newer deskstar apparently is going "deathstar". Also, I would never buy a Fujitsu harddrive again. I had one 3.5" crashing after 13 months, and two 2.5" Fujitsus crashing after 5 months.

    The good thing is, that the IBM travelstar that I replaced the faulty 2.5" HDDs with, runs exceptionally well!!
  11. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Are you sure that what you are hearing isn't just drive recalibration, or head parking?

    Download this sample to compare ...

    Click-Of-Death (mp3 - 200kb)

    Impossible! There was an issue with the older 60GXP/75GXP series drives ONLY (also maybe a few of the earliest 120GXP drives that came of the production line before the cause of the problem was identified), and that was later fixed by designing out the flaw. If you have a problem, then its caused by something else entirely.
  12. BVG-Man

    BVG-Man TS Rookie


    I have a question about that problem. After a while (when I haven't done anything on the machine) there's a short beep from the PC speaker, followed by a short click from the HD and followed by another short beep from the PC speaker. Until now I thought it might have to do with the sleep mode.

    I have an 80GB AVVA disk (I read on a website that these drives have the "click of death" problem too) that is connected to a PCI RAID controller card (that's why I can't run the IBM firmware detection tool). The IBM/Hitachi detection program reports error "0x71 - Defective Device. Device is not ready."

    What could be the problem? Should I already order a new drive? If it's not the mentioned "click of death", how high is the danger that the problem might occur in the future?

    Many thanks in advance for your help. (And please excuse my bad English - I'm German.)
  13. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Why don't you connect your drive to the standard mainboard ATA connector to run your firmware test and the DFT diagnostics? Once you are happy, you can move your drive back to the RAID connector.
  14. BVG-Man

    BVG-Man TS Rookie

    My mainboard only supports HDs of 20GB (it's old).
  15. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It is related to the power saving. In BIOS and in Windows power management disable the turning off HDs feature.
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