I'm having some unusual and sporadic hard disk clicking issues. Here is a cronological description of the facts.
I'm using an ASUS P6T-SE with Intel Core i7, 6Gb RAM 600W Power supply and ATI4670 graphics, running Ubuntu 10.10.
About one month ago my hard disk (SATA II Seagate Barracuda 1Tb 7200 rpm) started making a clicking sound: a sort of loud tic-tac, every second or so, when involved in disk activity. The system was clearly slower than before at disk access, but it was functional and I could not find any signal of trouble on the linux logs. I disconnected the disk and tried an older SATA drive I had around: no problem with it. Then I reconnected the Seagate disk, and the problem was mysteriously gone. Ubuntu booted normally, usual speed, no clicking.
A couple of weeks later, the problem reappeared. I tried disconnecting reconnecting (as it somehow solved the problem before) without luck. So, despite it was a rather new drive, I assumed it was a hardware issue, made backups and bought a new drive.
The new drive is a SATA II Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Tb 7200 rpm. I installed both drives at the same time, with the intention of transferring my files from on to the other. To my surprise, when I booted the computer with both drives, both started making the clicking sound !! Even worse, I removed the old drive, leaving the unformated new drive connected, and booted from a LiveCD. It kept clicking !
Puzzled by this, I tried both drives on my laptop with a SATA to USB cable. At the moment I connected any of them, they made one or two unusual clicks and immediately stopped doing that and worked normally. The old drive I thought almost dead, was working like a charm as if nothing happened.
Then I thought: "ok, it must be the motherboard. Let's try again". So, I reconnected the old drive to the ASUS P6T motherboard (the same cables and SATA port as before), and it worked as if nothing happened ! The problem was gone again. The new 1.5 Tb drive was also working ok: No clicking nor slowdown.
So I left the old 1Tb disk connected and kept using the computer daily during 3 weeks, until today it happened again. Now I don't really know what to do or check. I'm not even sure if it is a hardware issue any more !
This is rather annoying as it seems it happens with a period of 2 or 3 weeks and I have no means of forcing it to happen. Does anyone have a clue of what can causes this behaviour or have any suggestions of things I should check when it happens again ?
What I did today is checking some SMART parameters
- Error log:
smartctl -l error /dev/sda. No errors
- Short selftest:
smartctl -t short /dev/sda. No errors
- Disk Health check:
smartctl -H /dev/sda. passed
And here are the vendor specific parameters (
smartctl -A /dev/sda) Which I'm not quite sure how to interpret.
=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION === SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 10 Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds: ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE 1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate 0x000f 120 099 006 Pre-fail Always - 235962588 3 Spin_Up_Time 0x0003 095 095 000 Pre-fail Always - 0 4 Start_Stop_Count 0x0032 100 100 020 Old_age Always - 187 5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct 0x0033 100 100 036 Pre-fail Always - 0 7 Seek_Error_Rate 0x000f 072 060 030 Pre-fail Always - 16348045 9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 096 096 000 Old_age Always - 3590 10 Spin_Retry_Count 0x0013 100 100 097 Pre-fail Always - 0 12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 020 Old_age Always - 94 183 Runtime_Bad_Block 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always -