Repetitive Maxtor 120GB Hard Disk Drive Clicking Sound

June 23, 2014 at 21:29:26
Specs: Windows XP, Intel Quad/4096
Hard Disk Drive: Maxtor 6Y120P0
So this is the Local Hard Disk Drive (where the operating system runs from)

[Please read all of this before replying]

• From time to time, the hard disk drive starts clicking repetitively (using a pattern). The 'loading LED light' on the computer stays on. When it does this for about a minute, whatever is open starts to freeze, then the whole monitor freezes. When it continues this, for about over a minute, the system resets. It goes to load the motherboard screen, then states that NTLDR is missing. The LED light stays on and never turns off. I have to turn off the computer and back on to start working.

• There are times when this happens, it happens for a short time, then everything goes back to normal.

• I don't believe that the hard disk is failing, because it's been doing this for over about 4 years. And it happens in bunches every now and then: so within the few past weeks, it's done this about 6 times. But before this for the last 9 months, it hasn't done it. Before that, it did it for a few weeks... and so on.

• Doing all types of tests on it states that the hard disk is perfect and there is no damage or any warning signs.

• I have Never experienced any damaged files from any of this; everything stays in tact, except for the very rare instances that when the hard disk is 'writing' on a file and this happens, then this file gets damaged. (The same thing as if you are saving a file on a USB stick, then physically pulling it out before it finishes 'writing')

• If you believe that the hard disk is failing, can you refer me to an exactly same situation with the above conditions occurring?


Any help would be appreciated

message edited by pepanee


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#1
June 23, 2014 at 22:22:12
I wouldn't take any chances despite test results. The clicking would annoy me to distraction anyway so I would simply replace the drive.

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#2
June 24, 2014 at 00:03:32
For a transient problem such as that, a drive diagnostic test probably won't show a problem unless it happens while the test is being run so I wouldn't go by those results.

Have you done a CHKDSK or any other test designed to check for bad spots?

Possibly it might be a bad or loose data or power cable.

The NTLDR missing means it's momentarily not reading the drive. Replace it and consider yourself lucky it's lasted this long.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS


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#3
June 24, 2014 at 01:32:08
I would copy to external storage media all my personal files "immediately". And if possible (the software is cheap enuff these days) clone/image the drive. Then replace it asap.

Likely the new drive willl come with cloning software too so as to enable you to transfer the old drive contents to new drive. So perhaps my second comment above is not essential... But definitely replace this current drive.

Hard drives are not too many pennies nowadays - at least for many people; so not worth risking a total and sudden crash of the current one.

edited by trvlr to correct a couple or three ipad typos...

message edited by trvlr


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Related Solutions

#4
June 24, 2014 at 07:40:14
pepanee: I don't believe that the hard disk is failing
Yeah, for a while I tried to not believe in gravity. I figured it'd be faster to float to work than to fight traffic.

pepanee: If you believe that the hard disk is failing, can you refer me to an exactly same situation with the above conditions occurring?
Three possibilities. The heads could be getting stuck on their docks. The heads could be drifting too much and putting the drive into a panic calibration mode. The control board could be bad, and it occasionally resets itself.

One and two cannot be fixed for a reasonable price. For three, you could swap the control board if you had a second known good drive of the same make/model. Yes, the second drive does become a sacrifice for the first one.

Do not trust the drive; do not assume any data on the drive is safe. Expect the drive to eventually fail in a catastrophic, data-destroying way.

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#5
June 24, 2014 at 14:45:21
Replace the drive...get anything you want to save off it right now! It's going to die on you.

Skip
Audares Juvo


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#6
June 24, 2014 at 16:20:36
Agreed. Copy anything important immediately. Then purchase a new drive ASAP and clone the drive to the new one, swap them out and use the new one. The old drive can fail at any time. As stated the clicking is the reading arm swinging back to the extreme 'parking' position, repeated swings is the drive trying to fix or calibrate itself. After copying everything important, you can try CHKDSK and Seatools on the drive, BUT it needs to be replaced anyway so why fight it when a quality 500GB hard drive would cost you $40. to $60. (probably a lot less for some smaller drives) and a 120GB SSD between $75 to $130 (240-256GB SSD $110 to $180). New.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
June 24, 2014 at 19:18:18
phil22: Yes, it's pretty annoying, but when it stops doing this, everything is good.

DAVEINCAPS: I've done the CHKDSK many times, even the intense ones. My best guess is that it 'could' be some cable. I wiggle it around every now and then. I even unplug the cables and re-plug them. I like this drive since it's been lasting a long time.

trvlr: I save all the important computer data on a different drive; I don't care if this drive completely fails. One reason I prefer to fix this and not upgrade because of how cheap technology is made these days. I've got an external disk years after this one and that one failed about 5 years ago. I'm surprised since it was a Western Digital. This Maxtor's been lasting a VERY long time and I trust older technology only, because of how reliable it is compared to today's cheaply made technology.

Razor2.3: If the disk is failing, it should've failed already and shouldn't be lagging on that process for 4 years. You're right though, those possibilities make sense. After reading your post though, I'm thinking of unplugging that drive and physically cooling it for a reasonable amount of time. Having it consistently hot might be a possible reason why it's doing this.

SkipCox: ok thanks...

Fingers & Razor: Is there some (hacked?) firmware update to force the drive not to swing the arm like that? An SSD does sound pretty cool, because that never fails... it's like a big USB stick right?


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#8
June 24, 2014 at 19:31:52
"An SSD does sound pretty cool, because that never fails..."

Uh....don't think so...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

While they may be more reliable than "conventional" drives, they still do fail.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#9
June 24, 2014 at 20:23:42
The drive is probably failing but even if it's not, it's a good idea to get a new one and clone the noisy drive to the new one.

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#10
June 25, 2014 at 02:33:35
Western (and likely others too) make various grades of hard drive. There are three at least grades at Western. The basic as used in most laptops/desktops etc. intended to run for a few hours and the powered down. The second with/for longer continuous running times (as might be in "some situations"). And the third is "heavier" duty and usually installed in main servers various (including domestic/soho environments too).

I think the the third style is their green badged one - and it costs not much more than the other two. I have them in my QNAPS - replaced a failed basic WD drive there a year ago; which is how I discovered the various "grades" of drives...

I have found Seagate/Maxtor reliable ("basic styes as far as I know), and generally WD too, although I have seen adverse comments re' WD drives in recent times...

Unless you really want/need an ssd (access speed/performance issues) I'd stick with conventional, and again change the suspect drive "now"

message edited by trvlr


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#11
June 25, 2014 at 14:14:19
pepanee Razor2.3: If the disk is failing, it should've failed already and shouldn't be lagging on that process for 4 years.
Depends on your definition of failed. For me a HDD has failed if it cannot reliably read/write your data. According to your observations it loses data, so it failed 4 years ago.

pepanee Fingers & Razor: Is there some (hacked?) firmware update to force the drive not to swing the arm like that?
The firmware probably isn't upgradeable. Even if it were, you would need someone to have written it to be compatible with the exact HDD you have. Ignoring all that, the clicking sound is the sound of the control board either (possible failure #1) trying to get the heads to move, or (possible failure #2 and #3) trying to figure out where the heads actually are.

pepanee An SSD does sound pretty cool, because that never fails... it's like a big USB stick right?
Kinda, sorta. There's more tech in there to improve reliability, and special OS concerns. If you have Win7+, the OS concerns are handled. If not, you'll need to partition and format the drive in a specific way. You'll also need third party software, probably provided by the SSD manufacturer.

I/O performance does shoot through the roof on an SSD, as does the price tag. If this were a laptop and you were using a modern OS, I'd recommend one. As this is WinXP on a desktop, it's a really tough sell.

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