new harddrive

The disk in the desktop box was getting full (too many photographs, too many TV shows :), so I ordered a Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3250824AS 250GB. I finally installed it today, and copied a bunch of files over to it.

I noticed a lot of seek noise and clicks from the drive, which made me a little nervous; old drives used to make this noise when they stepped the heads all the way back to the track 0 physical head stop to resync. I don’t think modern drives do this, and the interweb says that many people find these drives slightly noisy. S.M.A.R.T. is reporting perfect health, so I guess I’ll make sure I have good backups and keep an eye on the drive…

posted at 9:06 pm on Sunday, February 18, 2007 in Personal | Comments (3)


  1. Helge Koch says:

    The noisiness of your drive is because it is a Seagate. They are known to be noisy, even in smaller versions. I tend to go for Western Digital because they are much quieter. They are also twice as reliable. Western Digital also has two very useful utilities on their website, one to analyze and fix a drive and one to format a drive to its original factory state. These are a lot more than Seatools offers. Helge

  2. chk says:

    The intarwebs agree that Seagates are noisy, especially when seeking. The last time I heard a drive making this particular set of sounds was in the days before hard drives were measured in gigabytes, but the drive was failing quite spectacularly, hence my … nervousness.

    My current large drives are all seagates:

    • PVR – two ST3160023A in RAID-1 array
    • fileserver – two ST3320620A in RAID-1 array

    The PVR is in the family room, and is much quieter than the ST3250824AS, even with two drives clicking away at the same time.

    On the other hand, I can hear the drive humming, too. I suspect part of the problem is mechanical coupling between the drive and the computer case amplifying the drive noises. I’m going to try taking the drive out and placing it on a flat surface to see if the acoustics change, and if so, I’ll see if I can figure out a way to isolate the drive from the case.

    I’ve run several stress tests on the drive (including defragmenting some exceptionally badly fragmented files) and while it was loud, there were no significant errors reported in SMART. And as I said, everything on that drive is backed up elsewhere…

  3. Irving Reid says:

    I remember back in the old days (when there was still a Digital Equipment Corporation), calling up Digital service to tell them that I was getting a lot of hard drive errors in the system log on an Alpha I was managing. While I was reading the error messages to the technician, the hard drive let out a whine so loud the tech heard it from the other end of the phone line. I was pleased with how quickly he shipped me the replacement :-)

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