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Why are my files being transfered at only around 4 MB/second to my external Seagate Hardrive which is using USB 2.0. Is it also normal for you to hear clicking noises from the external hardrive?

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migrated from serverfault.com Feb 17 '11 at 11:22

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

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If you hear clicking noises from a hard drive make a backup NOW, then go out and buy a new drive. –  John Gardeniers Feb 17 '11 at 11:22

4 Answers 4

What model is your Seagate harddrive? Are you sure it's plugged into a usb2 port (rather than usb1). Clicking isn't usually a good noise to hear from a hard drive. How old is it? Has it been dropped or knocked recently? Has it always made this noise?

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It just came in the mail today so its brand new! This is the hard-drive Seagate Desk ST315005FDA2E1-RK External Hard Drive - 1.5TB, USB 2.0, Silver –  Foshaka Feb 17 '11 at 9:26
    
user71122, you can check here to see if it requries a firmware update:seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/… However I would advise that you return it, I would not expect a brand new drive to make these clickign noises –  AliGibbs Feb 17 '11 at 9:40
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if it's brand new, return it immediately for replacement. It should NOT be clicking –  BBlake Feb 17 '11 at 13:27

You can see a poor transfer rate like this if you're running it through a USB hub or other cheap equipment. Is it plugged into one of the motherboard slots at the back of your computer, and does the motherboard have usb drivers installed?

I would be pretty worried about the clicking noise though, normally I don't hear that outside of a five year old hard drive on its way out.

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This webpage: http://datacent.com/hard_drive_sounds.php will let you diagnose most of disk noises, so you can have an idea of what's going on inside your disk.

Anyway, clicking noises are never good; and you should back up the disk ASAP. It can also have impact on R/W speeds.

Can the noise be related to you trying to read and write different sectors of the disk at the same time? (e.g.: watching a movie while copying another, both on the same disk)

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Wow.. That site is officially AWESOME! Thank you for sharing! –  Brian Feb 17 '11 at 14:41
    
I was reading and writing different sectors of the disk. That is probably why it was making clicking noises. Do you suggest I still return it although I was doing multiple things at once on this one disk? –  Foshaka Feb 17 '11 at 18:27

If you are trying to read and write different sectors of the disk at once then it is absolutely normal to hear click sounds from the heads, as they are swiftly swapping possitions between one sector and another, and that should not be taken as a bad quality disk or anything. It's just something normal.

The only solution for that is to first copy what you want to another disk (i.e., a movie you want to watch) and then transfer whatever you wanted to the Seagate.

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