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HDD constantly being accessed... by nothing?

post #1 of 13
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So I bought a new backup drive. To make a long story short, I try to leave it plugged in because my backups run automatically on a schedule, and I'd hate to mess it up because I forgot to plug it back in (I use it via hot swap bay). It irritates the heck out of me though because it's always making clicking sounds (normal clicking sounds) like it's reading/writing or being accessed by something. However, I opened up the Resource monitor and nothing at all was using it... I don't know what else to do other than safely remove it and disconnect it all together.
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post #2 of 13
Do you happen to know what model of hard drive it contains? Perhaps HDTune or some other tool could tell you?

I've heard some drives make clickity clak noises, but most of them don't. Actually, Momentus XT drives always seem to be busy in the background... but your backup drive wouldn't contain one of those.

I think WD Greens and lots of the new Seagate 2.5" drives have head parking enabled, so they can make very audible clicks. Possibly that's what you're hearing? Roughly 8 seconds of inactivity and it kicks in - but that leaves the question of what's accessing it.

I used to have a Raptor that sounded like it was rewriting tracks when idle. Read a track, write a track, read a track, write a track... it was a very busy sounding drive, but it did it when in the BIOS too, so I knew it was something internal to the drive. It lived another ~6 years after I first noticed the sound.
     
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post #3 of 13
There's a lot of stuff running in the background.

I once checked out every single service that Windows runs, a few of those handle idle - I/O optimization or data linking related to HDDs.

Unfortunately I don't know about a fix for this. A more silent HDD or even an SSD as backup (overkill I know, but silent tongue.gif ) would aid the situation.
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yeah I don't know, I installed HDTune Pro and it too says that literally there is no HDD activity going on for my WD Caviar Black. The SMART data all looks fine too, no errors. But here I am typing this and it clicks away like nobody's business.

**Edit**
I just tried your simple 'test', and my drive too also continues making these sounds even in the BIOS. I just bought this thing, what do you think I should do? Logically there is nothing wrong with it, no reallocated sectors, no spin-retry counts, etc.
Edited by EliteGamer83 - 11/17/12 at 6:39am
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by EliteGamer83 View Post

Yeah I don't know, I installed HDTune Pro and it too says that literally there is no HDD activity going on for my WD Caviar Black. The SMART data all looks fine too, no errors. But here I am typing this and it clicks away like nobody's business.
**Edit**
I just tried your simple 'test', and my drive too also continues making these sounds even in the BIOS. I just bought this thing, what do you think I should do? Logically there is nothing wrong with it, no reallocated sectors, no spin-retry counts, etc.

Can you adjust the AAM setting ? If so, try lowering it, it might help with any annoying read/write-head search noise.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoGTy View Post

Can you adjust the AAM setting ? If so, try lowering it, it might help with any annoying read/write-head search noise.

I'm just wondering though, why would the head be moving at all if the drive was doing nothing more than being plugged in, open in the BIOS? Nothing at all should be trying to access it at that point, right? eh-smiley.gif
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by EliteGamer83 View Post

I'm just wondering though, why would the head be moving at all if the drive was doing nothing more than being plugged in, open in the BIOS? Nothing at all should be trying to access it at that point, right? eh-smiley.gif

Well, I tried to resemble your setup and it turns out. My HDD does the exact same thing. I don't know what is accessing it.
I think it might be the anti virus' real time protection doing small checks in the MBR for changed data, but I don't know for sure.
I lowered the AAM with HD tune and the noise is now shrouded by my fans' noise.
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I don't know how I can change the AAM settings, when I open up HD Tune Pro (I am using trail version) and try to set the AAM it says "ERROR SETTING AAM"

*EDIT*
Oh hold on a second, is AAM only supported if you're using IDE? I only use AHCI.
Edited by EliteGamer83 - 11/17/12 at 1:38pm
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post #9 of 13
It's supported for all ATA interfaces, so IDE and AHCI should be ok.

However, if it failed. The manufacturer locked it down to a specific value.
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoGTy View Post

It's supported for all ATA interfaces, so IDE and AHCI should be ok.
However, if it failed. The manufacturer locked it down to a specific value.

Okay, so in other words I'm screwed. laughingsmiley.gif


But seriously. hmmsmiley02.gif

I emailed WD customer support earlier this morning, we'll see what they say. I'll post back their response when it arrives. I doubt there will be anything they can do. I'm sure they will either tell me that this normal behavior and it's unavoidable, or they will ask me to RMA it 'for further inspection.'
Edited by EliteGamer83 - 11/17/12 at 8:18pm
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