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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 22nd May, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Exclamation Click, Click, Click....

Hey guys,
long time no see (I'll try and stick around here this time)

I did pop back a few months ago, but a few things happened, so i've not had much chance to visit again until now.

Basically, my 1TB Samsung T1 drive has been making some VERY funky clicking noises for the past few days. As you can imagine, i'm worried the drive is on the way out.

The drive itself was purchased in October '08, and hasn't had any issues, until recently. A month or 2 ago, i was subjected to the horror of a missing NTFS.sys error at boot. The traditional methods of fixing it failed me. So i was forced into a reinstall. Now, the 1TB Samsung also contains a lot of content. I do a lot of FRAPSing in Warcraft ("Full-time gamer, part-time producer"). As it stands, there's almost 600Gb of footage and project data that i can't really afford/don't want to lose.

About an hour or so ago, i performed a quick chkdsk in Tuneup Utilities 2009. The application requested a restart to finish it, yet it was only requested because of that drive. I allowed it, and during booting, SMART reported a "Bad: Backup and Replace" error. F1 to continue, and let it finish the chkdsk. After it'd finished and restarted again, SMART reported nothing unusual.

I went back into TU2009 and checked a defrag. It's at 30% fragmentation! Could this be causing the clicking noises? I've had drives at 60% fragmentation before, and they've never clicked. I've started the defrag anyway, and i can hear it clicking away at quite an alarming rate. I knew they made some sound when doing something as stressing as a defrag, but never to the point i'd be able to hear it without having my ear up to the drive itself.

On top of this, Samsung drives are usually very quiet and good performers. So this clicking has me a little bit worried.

A few days ago, i upgraded from an 8800GT 512Mb G92 with a Thermalright custom cooler on it, to a Gainward 260 892Mb, the 216SP version. The cooler itself almost blocks the SATA ports, so i had to swap the cables around so the angled end was plugged into the motherboard. This also meant i swapped cables between drives. Perhaps it's a faulty cable causing the issue (although that does seem unlikely in my mind)?

Obviously, since it's less than 12 Months old, it can still be RMA'd. But the process of going through that if it can be fixed easily is more than inconvenient. I'm also not sure if they (Ebuyer) would send out a replacement drive before i send them the failing one. Not having a drive to backup to, and then losing the one with all the data on (they've gotta be formatted before sending them back) isn't much of a option. I'll be putting a ticket in to them to see what they say, but yeah, anyone got any suggestions on what to do?

Since i bought the GTX260 a few days ago, i'm rather short on money and don't have access to any other drive of that capacity which i can backup to.

Cheers,
Scott.
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Old 22nd May, 2009, 04:18 PM
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click, click, click could mean the drive's servo loop is resetting the head position when trying to read sectors, because it's having a hard time finding the right track it's trying to read/write.

The "SMART Status Bad, backup and replace" message means that the hard disk has noticed that some aspect of it's operation is outside normal (or safe) specification, and it's a prediction of imminent drive failure. This is unlikely to be a cable issue.

Try and backup what's really important to you - the drive may not have very long left on it!
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Old 22nd May, 2009, 05:41 PM
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Old 22nd May, 2009, 07:13 PM
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I'd transfer the data to a new HDD, ASAP. Years ago, Samsung HDD's had a bad reputation. AFAIK, they're up to snuff nowadays. One TB, hooyah, that's a LOT of 0's and 1's!
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Old 25th May, 2009, 07:57 PM
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I contacted Ebuyer about the issue, and asked if they'd be willing to send a replacement so i could backup before sending them the failing drive. The reply i got was the basic pre-written "How to return an item to us" reply, so i'm a little disappointed. Perhaps it's just that it's a national holiday, but none the less, it's quite frustrating.

I actually asked (several times) in the ticket if they'd be prepared to send a new one out so i could backup. I explained the situation, but looks like no cigar this time.

I've also started getting errors in applications and games, such as WoW, and Mirror's Edge. In-game loading in WoW is causing a lot of stuttering now as well.

Looks like i'm gonna have to delete loads of stuff, copy as much as i can onto the ~140Gb i have available on the 750Gb drive. It does still mean i'm gonna be without a computer for a few days if i take that route, and then have to go through the whole reinstall and optimise process.

It's either that, or hope it survives long enough for me to afford a new drive, and then send this one back for a refund, provided they'll do a refund as opposed to a replacement.
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Old 25th May, 2009, 09:34 PM
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Old 26th May, 2009, 06:21 PM
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Have you tried to contact Samsung directly and explaining you problem...in my experience it is not unusual for a Hard Drive makeer to go a bit out of there way to help save data... just a thought... best of luck and it's great to see you posting again. ":O}
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Old 26th May, 2009, 08:20 PM
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I wouldn't think a retail or manufacturer would send out a drive before testing the faulty one. I'm sure they have been burned in the past.
This scenario is a good reason to have 2 - 250Gb drives instead of 1 - Terabyte.
My server has 2 - 150 Gb drives and the extra backs up all the important data.
Hope you get it figured out
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Old 26th May, 2009, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~ View Post
Have you tried to contact Samsung directly and explaining you problem...in my experience it is not unusual for a Hard Drive makeer to go a bit out of there way to help save data... just a thought... best of luck and it's great to see you posting again. ":O}
That's a good point. I've never had to deal with manufacturer's directly, so i hadn't thought of contacting them. I've put in the support ticket now. I had to resort to MSIE because it appears the forms on their site aren't firefox compatible (submit button doesn't work, etc).

I'll see what they say, and report back.

Saying that, i'd love to set up a RAID 0+1 combo, so i get the speed + data protection, but i've never had the cash to spare for it.
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Old 26th May, 2009, 09:39 PM
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Cash can definitely be a problem. Hope your drive holds out long enough!
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Old 27th May, 2009, 01:20 AM
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Just a small update on this. Earlier, i went about checking the temperatures, and i felt that it might be a possibility that it was causing the issue (the clicking sound has died down a lot too). I cleaned out my PSU which was pretty thick with dust. Since i'm using an Antec P180, i have the central-bottom fan as opposed to a frontal-bottom chamber fan. I rerouted the PSU cables so they weren't blocking the fan (i.e. it was still able to spin, but i'm not sure much air was getting through).

When i felt the HDD's a few days ago, they were all quite hot to the touch.

I've just now downloaded the trial version of "HDD Temperature". Currently, it's reporting the temperature of that drive as 26 celsius, which is "Lower than normal", and a health status of "OK".

Is it possible it's heat that's been causing the issues? I do realise that the temperature might have killed it to the point of slowly failing, but would it cause such abrupt behavious as this?
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Old 27th May, 2009, 01:31 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised. A terabyte probably has more platters and requires more power which will result in more heat.
So if you case isn't getting appropriate ventilation, heat can be a problem.
Since the drive is already making sounds, it may be too late. Once the moving parts are out of alignment, its too late to recover. I would still back up your data anyways and then start playing with ventilation. If the drive continues to function without the clicking, then it was probably the temperature. Good call!
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Old 27th May, 2009, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booman View Post
I wouldn't think a retail or manufacturer would send out a drive before testing the faulty one.
Trust me they will! In fact I can't remember not cross shipping when a drive goes bad...Most the time they want your credit card info in case a guy might try to rip them, but I can't remember anyone saying they won't cross ship...might just be the drives I use...but SamSung is one of them! }":O}
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Old 27th May, 2009, 05:37 PM
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Good call Daniel! I bet they would ship a drive as long as they have your Credit Card number
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Old 27th May, 2009, 05:44 PM
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just glad to help! ":O}
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Old 28th May, 2009, 01:45 PM
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That's good to hear. I'm still waiting on a reply from Samsung UK. I've had a strange bug occur recently though. Basically, Windows keeps reporting that my 250Gb Western Digital drive is "Unable to save the file for drive K:\". K:\ is the drive letter of the WD drive. When i go to view the contents of the drive, there's nothing visible in explorer, but yet, evident by the Free and Total space of the disk, there is still content on there.

This doesn't happen all the time, it's rather sporadic. A restart fixes it though.

A few days ago, i also noticed that the fan at the back of the case near the CPU wasn't spinning. It was set to lowest with the controller on the back of the case, but i had to push it with my finger to get it to start spinning. Would that be because the setting is too low, or is it possible that there's simply not enough power to go around? Current system specs (all running at stock):

Intel C2D E8400
2x2Gb Matched OCZ Gold series DDR2-1066Mhz
Gainward Geforce GTX 260 Golden Sample (Factory overclocked)
Asus P5K-E/Wifi-AP Motherboard
Samsung HD103UJ
Samsung HD160JJ
Samsung HD753LJ
WDC WD2500KS-00MJB0
Akasa Powermax 850W PSU (Dual-rail, with 35A on each rail).
4x120MM Fans (All of them came with the P180)

Audio, networking and USB are built in.

As i imagine, 850W with 35A should be more than enough for this quite moderate system. Since it's been over a year since i actually did any of this type of thought, maybe i've overlooked something?
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Old 28th May, 2009, 05:17 PM
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If the fan starts up with a push...my guess would be that you've set it to low and it doesn't get the juice to kick her over. Easy enough to test and see! ":O}
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Old 29th May, 2009, 01:04 AM
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850 watts should be plenty of power, though you have 4 hard-drives running. Check for dust or dirt in the fan. use some compressed air to blow it out. Otherwise it could be dying. Definitely turn it up, sacrefice noise for data protection...
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