Hard drive sounds and what they mean..

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hi, so my 60G hard drive on a G4 dual 867 running OS10.3.9 starts making noises sometimes. Kind of like static or a "tchhhhhhttchhhhhhtchhhhh" sorta sound, like it's straining to do something. This goes on for a few minutes and happens when I am working. Kind of like the old days when you had a massive file and saved it, except that the files I'm working with now aren't that huge and the systems are much better now. Does anyone have any ideas? I've backed up everything in the case it's the HD about to die, and can still work on things without any other real probs. Any advice would be great. Thanks..

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    Uh oooh, that sounds like your drive is soon going to die, I guess. Does this also happen during startup (unusual long boot up times)? Does it only happen every now and then or constantly?



    Anyway, I would probably go out and buy a new drive (they're dirt cheap nowadays) and use CarbonCopyCloner to copy your entire disk over to the new drive.



    The other explanation could be when you have not enough RAM in your machine and you run a lot of applications at the same time, then it would swap memory to the drive, which takes some time. In this case, the sound would NOT occur when the machine is freshly booted.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    I've heard this noise before and I think it's one of a number of things. Not enough Ram leading to use of the VM cache as mentioned, Spotlight indexing or on-the-fly defragmentation.



    Since I hear that noise on an external drive where there is no VM cache and Spotlight is off, I personally suspect it's defragmentation. Suffice to say it doesn't generally signify a failing drive.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    I've heard this noise before and I think it's one of a number of things. Not enough Ram leading to use of the VM cache as mentioned, Spotlight indexing or on-the-fly defragmentation.



    Since I hear that noise on an external drive where there is no VM cache and Spotlight is off, I personally suspect it's defragmentation. Suffice to say it doesn't generally signify a failing drive.



    Thanks very much for all the info and I've purchased a new HD which is waiting to be installed this weekend. It's more than twice the size of the last one, so I'm pretty stoked. And it was only $60. Can't beat that. Thanks again!
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