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HDD constantly being accessed... by nothing? - Page 2

post #11 of 13
It's probably some sort of internal diagnostic. My WD drives that developed bad sectors all started reporting them without any action on my part. That shouldn't be possible unless the drives do some sort of periodic check of the drive surface? Since I first heard the noise from a Raptor (usually intended for 24/7 use in servers - no time for an offline SMART test!), I never worried.

I've also noted that older Hitachi drives (which don't exhibit this strange noise) slowed down over time. I've got one in a laptop that was very snappy at running Ubuntu 8.04 about 4 years ago, but now Ubuntu 8.04 (freshly installed to the same drive) plods along. Running Synaptic makes a lot more seek noise than it used to. The drive literally takes four times longer to do stuff. I've never seen that with any WD drives, but older Hitachi drives were bad for it.

After getting a Raptor that did it very audibly, my theory was it was rewriting tracks to prevent degradation of the magnetism - effectively exercising the sectors. I came about with that theory because my Raptor did it just fine for 6 years with almost daily use - but as soon as I gave my Raptor a 1 month break, it was dead the next time I powered it up - thousands of bad sectors. (Note: It was not moved at all.)

I then expanded on that theory to explain the Hitachi phenomenon - the older Hitachi drives must use a different strategy... silently reallocating bad/weak sectors (without updating SMART), leading to the increased seek noise and worsening performance over time. This was supported by observations from a friend of mine with a Hitachi drive in his laptop. His drive did report Reallocated Sector Count... it went from 0 to 50000 over a 6 month period. It maxed out at 65535 around 8 months. The drive then lived a further 8-10 months. If its rate of bad sector reallocation was increasing, it could've potentially had 400,000+ by then.

Any which way, the sound isn't necessarily a bad thing. It might be a good thing.
     
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post #12 of 13
Download the Sysinterals Suite and use Procmon. If the filters aren't set up by default, use "Operation - contains - write - include". (You have to type 'write'. Also 'read' and 'create' if you want.)

It's weird that it's happening on your backup drive.
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So Saxy I Jazzed
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post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

It's probably some sort of internal diagnostic. My WD drives that developed bad sectors all started reporting them without any action on my part. That shouldn't be possible unless the drives do some sort of periodic check of the drive surface? Since I first heard the noise from a Raptor (usually intended for 24/7 use in servers - no time for an offline SMART test!), I never worried.
I've also noted that older Hitachi drives (which don't exhibit this strange noise) slowed down over time. I've got one in a laptop that was very snappy at running Ubuntu 8.04 about 4 years ago, but now Ubuntu 8.04 (freshly installed to the same drive) plods along. Running Synaptic makes a lot more seek noise than it used to. The drive literally takes four times longer to do stuff. I've never seen that with any WD drives, but older Hitachi drives were bad for it.
After getting a Raptor that did it very audibly, my theory was it was rewriting tracks to prevent degradation of the magnetism - effectively exercising the sectors. I came about with that theory because my Raptor did it just fine for 6 years with almost daily use - but as soon as I gave my Raptor a 1 month break, it was dead the next time I powered it up - thousands of bad sectors. (Note: It was not moved at all.)
I then expanded on that theory to explain the Hitachi phenomenon - the older Hitachi drives must use a different strategy... silently reallocating bad/weak sectors (without updating SMART), leading to the increased seek noise and worsening performance over time. This was supported by observations from a friend of mine with a Hitachi drive in his laptop. His drive did report Reallocated Sector Count... it went from 0 to 50000 over a 6 month period. It maxed out at 65535 around 8 months. The drive then lived a further 8-10 months. If its rate of bad sector reallocation was increasing, it could've potentially had 400,000+ by then.
Any which way, the sound isn't necessarily a bad thing. It might be a good thing.

That's very strange, I've never heard of anything like that before.

All I know is, this clicking is driving me nuts sitting here trying to do anything.
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Plastic Shuriken
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