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Hard drive clunking


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#1
thermos

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Hi there,
I bought a Sony Vaio SZ laptop a couple of weeks back and had a problem with the hard drive making a strange clunking noise when idling. Sometimes it's just occasional, but sometimes it happens every few seconds. Sony replaced the laptop (there were also some other problems), but I've just received the new one, and it's doing the same.

The noise sounds almost exactly like this:


From reading around on a few forums, I'm pretty sure that the noise is coming from the hard drive heads parking. Seems to be something to do with the agressive power management, but I've tried tweaking my settings and it doesn't make any difference.

There's some software called hdapm which sometimes fixes the problem on macs, but I haven't found anything similar for Windows.

I guess I need some way of stopping the heads from parking, or stopping the hard drive from being accessed so frequently when idling.

Can you help?

Thanks.
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#2
Tyger

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I've heard of this problem. It's the hard drive's own software and only happens with certain brands and models of drives. It can cause the drive to die prematurely. You may be able to find a software update at the Sony site, or the Windows site which will override this feature and solve the problem.
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#3
thermos

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Thanks for that Tyger. Not having any luck finding software fixes at the moment, but will keep looking...
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#4
The Admiral

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There's a fix in Ubuntu.... But that probably wouldn't be much help, would it? :)

Edited by The Admiral, 05 April 2008 - 12:57 PM.

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#5
The Skeptic

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If the hard disk installed in your laptop is made by Fujitsu have a look at this link. Fujitsu created a feature in the BIOS that enable the hard disk to work in silent mode. This change the way the read/write heads move, sacrificing some speed but silencing the noise. The option has to be activated in the BIOS.
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#6
thermos

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Thanks for that. Unfortunately my machine doesn't have a fujitsu hard drive. In fact, I'm not sure what make it is - the manufacturer just shows up as 'Hybrid Hard Drive'. But anyway, I had a look in BIOS and couldn't find any 'Hard Drive Silent Mode' option...

Sony don't seem to have any software fix for this either.

I gather some mac users managed to fix the same problem by running a programme which keeps the hard drive busy enough to stop the heads from parking (http://kiza.kcore.de/software/declunk/), but I haven't been able to find anything similar for windows.

Does anyone have any other ideas?
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