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Massive Hard Drive Churn...


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#1
liron

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Hi all.

My hard drive is constantly churning - very very noisy, like its loading a program or read/writing and it never stops. Its completely constant and the noise is loud, continuous and incredibly annoying. It starts as soon as the PC is turned on - before I even log on, and just doesnt stop. EVER.

I run Windows XP and have turned off Indexing. I have checked the I/O on Task Manager and the top users are CSRSS.EXE and LSASS.EXE (each >20k I/O reads).

I recently added Avast anti virus but this was happening before I installed it, and hasnt changed for worse since the install. I ran Spyware Search & Destroy and found nothing.

I ran Datalifeguard DIagnostics from Western Digital (my HD manufacturer) and found nothing.

Im at a loss for what can be causing this - concerned that the constant noisy activity could cause hard drive failure and, if nothing else, the noise is really driving me nuts!

I can run Hijack This and post results if helpful - Id really appreciate any thoughts people might have.
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#2
123Runner

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Welcome to geeks to go liron.

Sometimes the diagnostics don't show anything. Its odd that they do not based on the noise you are indicating.
Try running Hard disk tune from my signature and see if it picks up anything.

If the disk is as noisy as you say it is, a suspect an imminent failure coming.
If you haven't already done so, back up all the data to have (music, pictures, files, etc).
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#3
liron

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Thanks I have downloaded and will run it. SHould I post certain report results here? Any specific tabs?

Appreciate the quick attention!
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#4
liron

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Initial benchmark results:
HD Tune Pro: WDC WD800JB-00FMA0 Health

ID Current Worst ThresholdData Status
(01) Raw Read Error Rate 200 200 51 0 Ok
(03) Spin Up Time 107 102 21 2000 Ok
(04) Start/Stop Count 100 100 40 70 Ok
(05) Reallocated Sector Count 200 200 140 0 Ok
(07) Seek Error Rate 200 200 51 0 Ok
(09) Power On Hours Count 49 49 0 37254 Ok
(0A) Spin Retry Count 100 253 51 0 Ok
(0B) Calibration Retry Count 100 253 51 0 Ok
(0C) Power Cycle Count 100 100 0 69 Ok
(C2) Temperature 109 16 0 34 Ok
(C4) Reallocated Event Count 200 200 0 0 Ok
(C5) Current Pending Sector 200 200 0 0 Ok
(C6) Offline Uncorrectable 200 200 0 0 Ok
(C7) Ultra DMA CRC Error Count 200 200 0 0 Ok
(C8) Write Error Rate 200 200 51 0 Ok

Power On Time : 37254
Health Status : Ok
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#5
123Runner

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Are you absolutely sure its coming from the hard drive? Noise will travel.

Turn your computer off, unplug from the wall, and open the case.
Take a look inside at the fans. 1 of the fans could be bad.
When was the last time the computer was cleaned of the dust bunnies?

Being very careful, plug it in and turn it on. Look and listen. Do not disturb any cables, etc while it is on.
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#6
Neil Jones

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Hard Drives usually churn because the computer doesn't have enough memory in it. With overheads such as Anti Virus software one can see a never-ending cycle of churning.
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#7
liron

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123Runner - I will check and get back to you.

Neil - How would I check if thats the case here? This started before I had any anti-virus on it, but I guess other things can cause as well. Where would I look to see if this is the problem (and then I can focus on how to solve it)...

Thanks everyone.
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#8
liron

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123Runner-

I did as you suggested and in fact I think youre right - it seems to be the fan causing all that noise (with the cover on it sounds so much like hard driver)...thanks for that.

I cleaned up any obvious dust around the case after removing the plastic shield (I have a Dell Dimension) but to be honest I didnt see much. I didnt go about opening the fan case itself.

How do I go about addressing this? I did some googline and it sounds like first I need to run fan diagnostics or BIOS check or something? Is there a way to see whether the fan is going bad, dirty or just running extra fast for other reasons?

Thanks.
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#9
123Runner

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If the fan is making noise, there is really only 2 possibilities.
1. The fan is off balance due to dust and crud buildup.
2. The bearings in the fan are bad causing the fan to wobble.

You will need to clean the crud off the fans. This is the first step. Best way is a Q tip with alcohol.
If the fan continues to make noise, the fan is most likely gone.

There should be a couple fans. 1 on the CPU and 1 as an exhaust fan. Also a fan on the power supply. There could also be more. All are suspect.
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#10
liron

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How do I find instructions to open up each of these fan cases? Any good sites for those directions?
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#11
123Runner

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You would have to find the manual to the computer.
What is the make and model of the computer?

I see its a Dell Dimension, but what model number?
There should be a service tag on it that you can go right to Dell and get everything you need on line.

Post the model number and I will look.
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#12
liron

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Its a Dimension 4100. I will try to track it down as well, but anything you find would be helpful Im sure. Thanks so much.
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