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Seagate internal hard drive clicks when in PC, but not when in external enclosure?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by aylien, Aug 15, 2011.

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  1. aylien

    aylien Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Hi all,

    Basic summary
    - I put together a home theater PC (HTPC) a few months ago, the internal hard drive started out ok, then started clicking with long load times, now the PC will only turn on (no image to monitor) and loud hard drive clicking. However, when I moved hard drive to external enclosure, hard drive clicked for 15 minutes, and is now silent. What's going on?

    Sys Info for Helpful Laptop - (running Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit) (note - this is for the laptop I'm connecting the external hard drive via USB to, NOT the PC that the hard drive was in)
    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.1
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium , Service Pack 1, 32 bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz, x64 Family 6 Model 23 Stepping 10
    Processor Count: 2
    RAM: 3002 Mb
    Graphics Card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400 Series , 256 Mb
    Hard Drives: C: Total - 141124 MB, Free - 22170 MB; F: Total - 715301 MB, Free - 537492 MB; G: Total - 99 MB, Free - 71 MB; Q: Total - 9999 MB, Free - 3228 MB; S: Total - 1499 MB, Free - 616 MB;
    Motherboard: LENOVO, 2764CTO, Not Available, VF29T9693B3
    Antivirus: AntiVir Desktop, Updated and Enabled

    Sys Info for Problematic Desktop
    (running Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit)
    Antec MicroFusion Remote 350 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
    ASUS M4A78L-M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    Athlon II X2 240 AM3 2.8GHZ 2MB 45NM 65W 4000MHZ Pib
    Sapphire Radeon HD 5570 - 1 GB DDR3 HDMI/DVI-I/VGA PCI-Express Graphics Card 100293L
    ADATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model AD2U800B1G5-DRH
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3750528AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - (this is the hard drive in question)
    LG Electronics 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Internal Drive GH24NS50 (Black)

    Long-ish Story/Question
    As I mentioned in the basic summary, a few months ago I had placed a Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 750gb 3.5" internal hard drive in an Antec case in order to build a HTPC. Full disclosure, I don't have a very strong background in hardware, and it took me a few weeks to learn (what I thought was) enough to build an HTPC.

    Not sure if this is relevant, but I connected the hard drive to the ASUS motherboard with a SATA 3 cable, to the SATA connector labelled "SATA3".

    At the time I finished building the HTPC, I thought I had done everything right, because I was able to turn on the PC and run a few games (Starcraft 2, Dragon Age Origins) with no problems. There was no clicking sound from the hard drive, at least not for the first few weeks.

    About 3 or so weeks in, the hard drive started making a few clicks every minute or so. The HTPC could still boot up, but took noticeably longer, and Windows applications took longer to run too.

    After a month or so of progressively longer delays and more frequent clicking, it reached a point where, when I turned on the HTPC, the hard drive would clicking loudly every second or so, and there would be no image on the monitor.

    I wasn't sure if this was a problem with the hard drive or if I had wired something wrong when I built the HTPC, so I took the hard drive out and placed it in an external hard drive enclosure - Vantec NexStar CX NST-300S2-BK 3.5-Inch SATA to USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure

    The hard drive still clicked at a continuous speed while in the enclosure, and I thought the drive was well and truly dead. Then, after 10 minutes or so, my laptop finally recognized it and allowed me to access the folders on the hard drive. The clicking slowed to the point where the hard drive is now running almost silently in its enclosure, and has not clicked for almost an hour. I am still able to read the contents of the hard drive via my laptop.

    I ran some tests on the external hard drive with HDDScan, and here are the results:
    SMART short test - no errors
    SMART extended - no errors
    SMART conveyance - no errors.
    To be honest, I have no idea what I should be looking for in HDDscan, apart from an error.
    Are there other tests I should run?

    BIG QUESTION - What is going on?
    Have I wired something wrong to make the hard drive click in the HTPC, but not in the external enclosure? If so, why did the hard drive work fine for a few weeks before it started to click?
    Are there other tests I should run, and if so, which?

    Thanks in advance to everyone for their comments, I'd appreciate any help I can get!
     
  2. SUEOHIO

    SUEOHIO

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    3,754
    First Name:
    SUE
    ive always thought hard drives are supposed to be silent in a computer so if you can hear clicking thats not good.if you have anything you want to save do it now because the drive might be failing and the clicking is a warning of some kind.
     
  3. Tanis

    Tanis

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,969
    First Name:
    Shane
    As Sue has said, an audible clicking is not a good sign, that tethered with increased load times would lead me to believe that the HDD is kaput, or at least on its last legs.


    Download Seatools for Windows and do a full test on the drive with that, this is Seagates own drive diagnostic tool.
     
  4. aylien

    aylien Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Hi all,

    So with the drive in its enclosure connected via USB to my laptop, I ran the Short Drive Self Test, as well as the Short Generic and Long Generic test on SeaTools, and no problems. And no clicking at all now, since yesterday in fact.

    Still kinda confused as to why it was clicking in the PC.

    If I haven't heard clicking in almost a day, do you think the drive is safe to use?
     
  5. SUEOHIO

    SUEOHIO

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    3,754
    First Name:
    SUE
    With hard drives you just never know. it could of been a one time thing or it might be getting ready to go.just make sure anything important you want to save is on a cd, etc. so its not lost forever.
     
  6. Tanis

    Tanis

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,969
    First Name:
    Shane
    I have found Seatools to be fairly efficient at identifying problematic HDDs, if it reports no errors then the drive is operating correctly (at least at the time of the test).
     
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