Hard Drive Grinding Noise - For 4 Years!

July 9, 2011 at 06:42:14
Specs: Windows XP
The desktop computer than I personally built about 4 years ago has had, since it's start, a consistent grinding noise originating from the master hard drive whenever a process is begun and/or is running.

Now; I know what you may be thinking,... but the hard drive is NOT dying. It's simply been a constant occurrence throughout the years, with no negative repercussions other than annoyance, and it has even transferred to a separate hard drive.

I originally had installed a 320Gb HD, and this is where the the noise originated, but two years ago I upgraded to a 500Gb; I transferred everything including the OS to this new hard drive, and set aside (unplugged) the now empty 320Gb HD.

The noise continued! and continues to the very moment of writing this! It's loud.

I'm certain it is the hard drive producing this noise, 4 years of annoyance and a stethoscope have removed all doubt. So here I am asking why, and more importantly how to fix this?

Thank you.

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July 9, 2011 at 07:13:06
When you hear this "grinding noise", is the HDD activity light flashing? Could be the drive is "thrashing" due to lack of RAM.


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July 9, 2011 at 07:26:36
There is no hard drive activity light on this machine, so I can't say.

Now, what I forgot to mention is that I have 4 GB of RAM installed, though I'm still running Windows XP 32Bit so only 3.5 are officially registered.

Because the occurrence transferred over from the old disk to the new, (and because neither disk ever died) I always though it to be a writing/information error.

I'm open to any suggestions though.


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July 9, 2011 at 09:45:10
Been bad for 4 years so why play with it?

You diag hard drive's by using s.m.a.r.t tools or other OEM diags for hard drives.

You could buy a new drive.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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Related Solutions

July 9, 2011 at 10:35:49
Brand and model have a lot to do with 'features' or lack of them.
What brand and model drive are you using?

I am curious if you have unplugged the drives, and started the unit.
Bad fans are very annoying.

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July 9, 2011 at 19:38:25
Got to use the correct verb. Clicking and grinding noises coming from a hard drive are bad. Chatter or clatter--which I think is what you're experiencing--are just the hard drive doing its business. Some drives are noisier than others or maybe the PC's fans are quite or you have the TV low.

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July 10, 2011 at 01:09:12
Could just be a poorly designed case that amplifies the normal noise that a hard drive makes. If I understand you correctly you say that you have tried another hard disk and get the same results.

A decent hard disk mounting will have rubber grommets to isolate the drive and screws from the chassis.

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July 10, 2011 at 01:34:55
Is your disk Hitachi/IBM branded? If so, they always doing like that - change brand :)

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July 10, 2011 at 01:49:32
Response 6 seems the most likely. the vibration is being amplified by mounting bracket or other chassis construction defect.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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August 3, 2011 at 03:52:49
I have exactly the same problem, an old machine that has made a grinding cracking noise when the hard drive labours (most of the time) from start up to shut down with occasional idle breathers.
I have opened the case and looked at the fans, size of fan housing etc...but it is definitely the hard drive.......here's the issue.
I have an XPC Shuttle.....when searching the net I have this is very common with them.
Some say the fan, some say processors, others hard drive...but I can not find a solution.
it drives me crazy and I will NEVER buy one again.

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