I built a new PC some days ago, and everything seems perfect, except that the 1 TB HDD I cloned from my old 500 GB HDD is making a deep weird sound. First of all, every time I access the disk, I hear a deep sound, and when the PC is turning on, I hear some clicking (the rapid clicking is my mouse, I'm opening and closing folders to trigger the vibrating deep weird sound I'm describing). I'm using this 1TB disk for data mainly (I use a SSD as the OS).

As background information, the disk is a seagate barracuda 7200 rpm which was RMAd and replaced with a refurbished one. Maybe the refurbished disks make these noises? should I worry about my data? (although the disk is working normal and passed a seagatetools short generic test? Thanks!

PS: I recorded the sounds, just click on the links. Thanks

UPDATE: I finally reduced the possibilities of this humming noise to vibration. Concluded this by taking the HDD out and placing it in a mat as suggested by @Synetech. The vibration can be also because I changed the surface where the computer is. Back then I had it in a carpet, and know I have it in a wooden-surface (aka computer desk).

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    The clicking sound is bad but does the deep noise sound like the disk could be vibrating? I had that happen once and it was because one of the clamp screws was loose - just a couple of screwdriver turns and the problem was fixed. – Thomas Sep 17 '12 at 21:25
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    You should always worry about your data if you do not have it backed up somewhere else. – Moab Sep 17 '12 at 21:28
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    The first recording sounds almost like typical thrashing and/or unusual vibrating. The second recording doesn’t sound unusual; it is normal for the drive to click when powering up and wheeze while spinning up. – Synetech Sep 17 '12 at 21:30
  • Oh I see. I thought the same, about the vibration. I took the drive away a tried to reposition it. My case has some "brackets" to put the harddrive without screws and just slide the drive, but so far that vibration didnt stop. Should I worry about it? Im starting to think I should change the disk. (although it is almost new!) – jjcastil Sep 17 '12 at 21:35
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    @Synetech yes, because all my documents, movies and musics really benefit from the extra read speed and low latency of the SSD... anyway, that's a debate for another day. – Thomas Sep 18 '12 at 0:48

Based on the description and tests, it sounds like that particular model of drive just happens to vibrate more than average (high vibration is normal for a 10,000RPM drive, but even a 7,200 can be kind of noisy).

Try mounting it with some rubber grommets/shims (or something) to absorb the vibration instead of passing it through to the case. Also, if the case has hard-plastic feet, replace them with rubber ones or put the whole thing on a soft surface (keeping airflow in mind). If the sound and vibration are reduced to nominal levels, then it is probably not something to be worried about (only annoyed at).

If you are concerned about the health of the drive, check the SMART data (e.g. with SpeedFan or SeaTools), to see if there are any warnings about its actual health since any delays in spin up and such would be logged there; though it is probably going to check out as okay.

(Based on the following description from someone else with this issue, it may be due to a slight misalignment.)

Oscillating hum. it makes a loud hum that then gets soft, then goes back to loud. this cycle (that is about 3 seconds long)

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  • Yep, I checked the drive with lots of tests (including a SMART report), and the drive is more than fine. I have also concluded that this vibration is multiplied by the surface the computer is laying (wooden surface vs fluffy carpet). I might as well try the "suspending the drive with rubbers" method, although I have to admit it looks insecure hahaha. Thanks for all the input and interest in the issue @Synetech – jjcastil Sep 18 '12 at 3:23
  • No problem. I actually put a piece of rubbery carpet under-padding under my computer to absorb the vibrations of my drives and fans. – Synetech Sep 18 '12 at 3:47

Edit: I guess it was the mouse; if your drive makes that noise though, its about to die and see below :).

That sound is the disk head attempting to find a read location. I've run into this several times. A death is always around the corner for the disk.

"The clicking sound itself arises from the unexpected movement of the disk's read-write actuator. At startup, and during use, the disk head must move correctly and be able to confirm it is correctly tracking data on the disk. If the head fails to move as expected or upon moving cannot track the disk surface correctly, the disk controller may attempt to recover from the error by aborting the operation, at times causing an audible "click". In some devices, the process automatically retries causing a repeated clicking sound.


On a hard disk drive, the click of death refers to a similar phenomenon; the head actuator may click or knock as the drive repetitively tries to recover from one or more errors. These sounds can be the heads repetitively loading or unloading, or they can be the sounds of the actuator striking a stop, or both. The click of death can signal the hard drive has crashed or failed." From Wikipedia.

In either case, I would not use the drive; that or keep a good backup. Of course, you should always have a good backup :)

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  • Did you listen to the recording? The clicking on power-on is normal, and the high-pitched clicking in the second one is just the mouse. – Synetech Sep 17 '12 at 21:28
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    The rapid initial clicking? Yes, that sounded like the click of death. – Jeff F. Sep 17 '12 at 21:30
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    Ohh hahaha what a misunderstanding, in the "deep sound", the rapid clicking is myself opening and closing folders files to "trigger" the deep sound thing. It can be hear in both recordings. – jjcastil Sep 17 '12 at 21:33
  • Oh. Well then I recend my comment :) sounds exactly like the click of death. – Jeff F. Sep 17 '12 at 21:34
  • The click is my mouse! haha – jjcastil Sep 17 '12 at 21:36

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