After my desktop died I bought a used PC for temporary use. It says Intel(R) Pentium(D) 3.00GHz with 150G. I also added my desktop's HDD of 500G.

Whenever I open a program there is about 5 seconds delay then I hear a clicking sound and then the program opens. It could be a small or huge program regardless of the size.

Also once you open one program then when opening other programs there is no delay, no clicking sounds. It only happens when I don't start any programs for maybe 30min or more.

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    Yes; A clicking sound isn't good in this context. It means the drive is about to fail mechanically. – Ramhound Sep 9 '15 at 17:07
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    you should try to record the noise and share with us, because we cant guess if the mechanical sound is normal or what. – Francisco Tapia Sep 9 '15 at 17:08
  • Clicking is generally bad, and Ramhound is correct that this usually means a HD failure is eminent. That being said, your power save settings could be spinning down the hard drive after a set amount of time to save power, and the delay and clicking could just be the normal spin-up to operating speed. – acejavelin Sep 9 '15 at 17:11
  • First, BACK UP YOUR DATA. Second, run some diagnostics on the drive to check its health state. – CharlieRB Sep 9 '15 at 17:23
  • I suggest you look for the HDD manufacturer diagnostics tool and run the tests it offers. In some cases it might be normal to hear a light click when the drive is calibrating the head over the platters. This happens after a long period of inactivity when the drive is spinning up. – Techpumpkin_WD Sep 10 '15 at 14:26

Some drives, such as the WD Green, have firmware that spins down the drive after a preset period of time. This reduces the energy consumption of the drive and is generally intended for drives used as archives/file storage, rather than the main OS or a high demand situation. When a request is sent to the drive, it "wakes up" and takes a few seconds to spin up. I had a delay issue using an external green drive that would be in a constant spin-down/spin-up cycle.

Platter drives or any type of drive with moving parts make noise when the disk is spinning. However, if the noise is louder than the typical hard drive activity sound, it may indicate a bad disk controller. This may not be something that chkdsk/scandisk can pick up. Using the S.M.A.R.T. technology built into your hard drive, you can check for physical issues on the drive. According to a tutorial here, you can check the status of the drive by issuing the following commands in command prompt:


    diskdrive get status

Any errors will be reported in command prompt and will help confirm if the disk is going bad.

You may also want to isolate the source of this problem by disabling hard drive spin-down in Control Panel > Power Options > Change Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power Settings > Hard Disk > Turn Off Hard Disk After: and set the value to 0. This will make it so Windows will never turn off the disk, though drives with energy saving firmware will likely still go into the energy saving mode.

If you can open up the computer case, you may also be able to determine which drive is clicking by listening closely when loading programs. This will tell you whether or not it's your OS drive or the 500GB HDD you installed.

IMPORTANT: Whenever you suspect a hard drive error, whether it's a physical problem or a file system problem, ensure that you have at least one backup of your data. Recovering data from a corrupted filesystem is a headache, and a hard drive with physical failure could be a nightmare.

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    Thanks. My HDD setting was set to 20 min, so I disabled it. WMIC returned OK for all drives. Maybe it was the power saving settings. More updates to come. – Marina Dunst Sep 9 '15 at 17:44
  • @MarinaDunst, if it solve your problem you shoud mark it as an accepted answer. – Francisco Tapia Sep 17 '15 at 12:53
  • Of course, I was just making sure the problem doesn't come back. – Marina Dunst Sep 22 '15 at 19:16

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