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meerkt
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Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:01 am

I have a rather new Toshiba 2.5" drive (L200 / HDWJ110, 1TB).

It frequently clicks when writing, maybe specifically when it involves random seeks or mixed write/read, though I haven't investigated in depth. During busy writes it might click every second or two. The clicks sound like tapping/flicking a desktop keyboard key without actually pressing it.

I'm conditioned to fear clicks coming out of HDDs, and I find it unpleasant, but it's been like this since day 1 a few weeks ago. The HDD has collected 700 hours by now, SMART doesn't report issues, and it seems to function nominally.

Here's a close proximity recording, though somehow it's not an accurate capture. In reality it doesn't sound quite as bad.
https://instaud.io/1RCI

Anyone encountered similar clicking drives? Could this be considered "normal"?
 
SkyWarrior
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:11 am

No. Not normal.
Rare is common where I work...
 
kvndoom
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:28 am

Back it up, send it back for replacement. A clicking noise in a mechanical hard drive is never, ever, not a bad thing.
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MileageMayVary
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:50 am

A clicky hard drive is it being nice and saying "Get all of your data off of me ASAP" rather than failing without warning.
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Waco
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:56 am

MileageMayVary wrote:
A clicky hard drive is it being nice and saying "Get all of your data off of me ASAP" rather than failing without warning.

Yep. Consider it a nicety that it's done anything other than go to the spinning rust home in the sky.
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TwistedKestrel
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:03 am

+1 abandon ship, at least you got the courtesy of a warning sign
 
SuperSpy
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:12 pm

Yeah usually those noises come from the read arm forgetting its position and having to recalibrate. It does this by just slamming the read arm all the way to one side (hence the click) so establish a zero point then re-attempting the seek.

Backup and RMA.
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meerkt
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:27 am

Waiting to hear from Toshiba...
 
Usacomp2k3
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:02 am

SuperSpy wrote:
Backup and RMA.

You mean verify your backups & RMA. You are already backup up, right?
 
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:04 am

kvndoom wrote:
Back it up, send it back for replacement. A clicking noise in a mechanical hard drive is never, ever, not a bad thing.


Nice use of a double negative there!
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meerkt
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:29 am

I think I've never not seen or seen and haven't remembered it, but not both, a better or equal and not worse use of not double negative.

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
You mean verify your backups & RMA. You are already backup up, right?

Generally, but I have to sync as it changes daily. But anyway it's going to be a pain to replace.
 
HERETIC
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:06 am

meerkt wrote:
But anyway it's going to be a pain to replace.


Maybe it's time to go Solid,or go buy a Hitachi and when the replacement shows up,
use it in a less demanding position............................
 
cphite
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:37 pm

meerkt wrote:
I think I've never not seen or seen and haven't remembered it, but not both, a better or equal and not worse use of not double negative.

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
You mean verify your backups & RMA. You are already backup up, right?

Generally, but I have to sync as it changes daily. But anyway it's going to be a pain to replace.


As much as it may be a pain to replace a drive before it fails... it's even more of a pain to replace one after it fails.
 
meerkt
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:53 am

Yeah, I didn't mean I'm going to stay with this one, just that replacing it will be tedious.

SSD is too expensive. HGST, nah, I wanted a 3 years warranty and to support the smaller player in the market.

Anyway, Toshiba said clicks = bad.
 
meerkt
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:24 am

Well, apparently, it's "normal". It would be interesting to corroborate with more owners of this model.

The replacement HDD clicks the same. Manufacture date is less than a month apart, but I think that's enough to rule out a bad batch. It's also from a different geographic market. Commonalities: Same firmware version (AX1P1A), both were shipped rather than picked up in a store.

I don't know if there could be external factors that elicit this clickiness, but color me unhappy.
 
DancinJack
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:34 am

Hold up.

HDDs during normal operation and normal environmental conditions should not be clicky. Full stop.

I don't know how a sample size of TWO drives, manufactured within 30 days of each other that carry the same firmware are "enough to rule out a bad batch." That's some p weird logic. I'm not trying to be offensive, that just doesn't make sense to me.

I mean, I guess if you're happy with the drive then that is all that matters. Maybe if you need a replacement it's time to look somewhere else though.
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meerkt
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:56 am

What other explanation can there be to two HDDs, a month apart, acting the same?
 
jihadjoe
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:28 pm

You're just really unlucky
It's a crap drive model
The manufacturer has **** RMA practices (I've heard of stuff where when items aren't completely broken, the manufacturer simply sends one guy another guy's RMA unit after doing the bare minimum: like a low level format for HDDs)
 
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:05 pm

Could also be that this model has crap firmware. You'd be amazed (and horrified) at the sort of stuff that routinely makes it into shipping products. (And I'm not talking about just Toshiba, or even just HDDs.)

Being a tech enthusiast for 4+ decades and working in the tech industry full-time for 3+ decades has made me extremely cynical about the quality of the hardware/firmware/software that powers our tech-driven lives.
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meerkt
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:27 pm

They must have sold 100,000s of these in the period between these two drives, and maybe millions or more overall (but possibly different firmware).
Surely more people would have noticed?

I don't think it's RMA shenanigans. They may have splurged on shipping both ways more than their drive cost.
 
Waco
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:21 am

Any chance you could take a video of it with decent audio? Perhaps you've just got a really crappy driver/handler at your local shipping depot?

Clicking is *not normal* if you're describing the clicking I think we all think you're describing.
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meerkt
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:57 pm

The recording in the OP is a bit unnatural, and the clicks are perhaps more pronounced than in RL, but I think it's still enough to decisively tell it's not seeking noise?
I could try recording with some other phone, although the one I used should be the best.

I'm not sure it was the same delivery guy both times.

I might try to get more info from Toshiba. Maybe ask them to relay it higher up.
Last edited by meerkt on Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Waco
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:54 pm

It certainly doesn't sound like seeking noise to me. Any drive that sounds remotely like that has always been on its deathbed in my experience.
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:06 am

meerkt wrote:
Well, apparently, it's "normal". It would be interesting to corroborate with more owners of this model.

The replacement HDD clicks the same. Manufacture date is less than a month apart, but I think that's enough to rule out a bad batch. It's also from a different geographic market. Commonalities: Same firmware version (AX1P1A), both were shipped rather than picked up in a store.

I don't know if there could be external factors that elicit this clickiness, but color me unhappy.

Well, clicks are "normal" depends on the manufacturer... Changes in sound will be the most indicative of the problem. Re initiate your drive with different partition table if MBR switch to GPT, and wise versa. Then do few passes with zero overwrite with verification. Then disconnect HDD put it on different machine and run usual routine. Initialize, long format etc.
External factors affecting sound - multitude, from computer box touching desk to over-tighten or loosed mounting screws. Bent on the housing from additional weight. Literally anything, even additional USB devices dropping voltage below acceptable level... humidity which affects plastic - anything and you will never know. Take your pick...
 
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:19 pm

meerkt wrote:
Well, apparently, it's "normal". It would be interesting to corroborate with more owners of this model.

The replacement HDD clicks the same. Manufacture date is less than a month apart, but I think that's enough to rule out a bad batch. It's also from a different geographic market. Commonalities: Same firmware version (AX1P1A), both were shipped rather than picked up in a store.

I don't know if there could be external factors that elicit this clickiness, but color me unhappy.


Having listened to your original sound file... that ain't normal.

Maybe they sent you another bad drive, or maybe the firmware is bad, or whatever - that is not a "normal" sound for a HDD to be making.
 
MOSFET
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:00 pm

I listened to your sound clip. There is little to no way that's normal, to answer the thread title's question, but that leaves a small possibility that it is. I have 10-12 Toshiba HDDs of 2, 3, and 4 TB and not one of them is audible in any way. The only two HDDs I have that are audible in any way - 1TB VelociRaptor with barely audible background noises, and 5TB HGST NAS drives. The 4TB are silent but the 5TB are so loud you'll think they're broken. First time I turned one on mounted in my home PC, I thought a neighbor was doing construction. - seriously. I hold out possibility that your drive isn't damaged because of my 5TB experiences.

Anything piling up in SMART?
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meerkt
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Re: Clicky HDD. Any chance it's normal?

Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:37 pm

Mind you, it's a recording of the HDD inside a laptop, so not much soundproofing. And it's from close proximity. From a normal distance it's quieter, though still easily audible. The multiple successive clicks were during a continuous write, maybe mixed with some random I/O. Normally it's just a click here and there. (The background noise is rotating platters and maybe a little bit of laptop fan. IRL it's more bassy than trebley, and quieter though still audible.)

No SMART issues in the original HDD, for the 1000 hours I had it running. Same in the replacement, after some 200 hours. The only change I noticed is "G-sense Error Rate" (0xBF) going from 0 to 1.

Haven't yet communicated more with Toshiba.

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