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Thread: Hard Drive Making noise

  1. #1
    cottage Guest

    Default Hard Drive Making noise

    I have a strange problem.

    A couple of weeks ago, my hard drive started making a strange noise when some (but not all) programs accessed it. It sounded like there was a ball bearing inside a tube and the tube was being shaken about 20 times. (actually it sounded like the HD head was being forcefully and quickly being moved back and forth.)

    I selectively removed items that automatically start at boot up until the noise disappeared. Once I disabled Zone Alarm, the noise stopped. When I re-enabled it the noise returned. However, after I returned all other start-up items, the noise disappeared again.

    There were no alerts shown in the Zone Alarm log.

    I've done a full virus scan and spyware scan and the system is clean.

    I'm using ZA version 4.5.594.00.

    Anyone have any idea why this was happening?

    Operating System:Windows 98-SE (Second Edition)
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)
    Software Version:4.x

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    OK, first thing - BACKUP! Sounds like your hard drive is on the way out so backup all the data you have now.
    How old is this drive? I suggest to get a new hard drive as it sounds like it going to die pretty soon.

  3. #3
    gigabyter Guest

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    I agree, when was the last time you had your pc serviced? you should have this done at least once every 6 months for the first 2 years of purchasing your pc,and then once every 12 months there after,as dust builds up through the filters in time,and accumilates on the fan blades,and slows them down, which makes your cpu run hotter than it should causing your hard drive and everything else to burn out

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    Most computers people buy are closed up and usually have one cooling case fan to cool the entire PC (excluding the one on the power supply and video card if don't use the built-in motherboard video). One fan is enough but if it starts to fail then the temperature inside the case rises. The CPU, motherboard and video card are main heat generators.
    If you hard drives are constantly hot, then they will fail much faster. Starting up is really stressful on a hard drive as it has load Windows and then all the startup items as well as all those hidden services. That is probably why you get that noise when the PC starts up and starts Windows.
    I have proper gaming case with FOUR case fans - and one hard drive
    - it operates at 43C, peaking at 50C.

  5. #5
    cottage Guest

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    Thanks guys for the input.

    A failing hard drive was my first thought too. I don't want to bore you with my entire problem solving process but the first thing that I did was back up my data. However, the onset and regularity of the noise made me believe that it was something other than a hard drive problem. That's why I looked further.

    -the computer booted normally with no hard drive noise until ZoneAlarm was loaded.
    -the noise disappeared immediately when I disabled ZA
    -it reappeared immediately after re-enabling ZA
    -given that it did disappear, I suspected that ZA was preventing some HD activity but didn't log it.

    Any other thoughts?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    Hey, are you speakers working? Maybe your sound system is not functiong and producing random sound instead of what it's supposed to product.Check for rattling case fans too.

  7. #7
    cottage Guest

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    I don't mean to sound ungrateful but I do know the difference between fan, speaker and HD noise. It was definitely the HD.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    Does the hard drive make the noise when it's under stress - like when defragging or play a huge game.I know some brands of hard drive as rather noisy compared to others.
    I assume it's the clickety-clunk noise of heads clashing? How old is this drive?It might be dying a slow death at the moment.

    Message Edited by Jeruselem on 12-08-200610:27 PM

  9. #9
    cottage Guest

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    The HD is approximately 6 years old. (I know that it's getting old and may be suspect.) After I backed up, the next thing that I did was to defrag (I suspected that a badly fragmented disk may have caused excessive head seeking and therefore, the noise.) During defrag, the HD only made it's normal read/write noise (which is insignificant.) After the defrag, the sporadic excessive noise still happened at exactly the same predictable times. I can't tell you what it would do with a game. I don't have any of the modern graphic heavy games.

    I believe that the predictable noise happened only when ZA was being asked to block access.
    - when ZA loaded
    - when programs that normally use the internet to "call home" load and I have ZA block that access (eg. MusicMatch Jukebox, other programs that normally look for an automatic update, etc.)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Hard Drive Making noise

    OK, if it's not the hard drive - and is just ZA then it's a weird one.Maybe the noise it the ZA sound alert with comes out weird on your PC.
    The thing is I can't see any sound control in ZA or sound alert options.Puzzling.
    PS - Does a scandisk product sector errors?

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