Question about Western Digital Caviar (wd800lb) 80 GB Hard Drive

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Western Digital unusual click

I purchased a Western Digital 120 GB HD about three months ago and since I got it the drive it has been making a clicking sound.  The drive clicks randomly and the system sometimes pauses for a brief second (very annoying during games).  The drive has been running fine with the clicking noise for practically three months straight and I've tried the Western Digital diagnostic tool countless number of times and it has always come back clean. I've tried several suggestions by WD's tech support without success.  Anyone know what could be the cause of such a problem and how or if it can be fixed?  I was also told by someone that WD will not replace the drive unless I have data errors (true?).  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks. Below are my system specs (incompatibilities?): WD1200BB Hard Drive Abit KX7-333 MB AMD Athlon 2000 512 MB Samsung RAM Sony DVD+RW NVidia Geforce 4 Ti4200 Soundblaster Audigy Standard NIC Card My drive is WD800 EIDE 7200 rpm. After 3 month of "average" use one day after being on about 8 h the drive began suddenly making the annoying clicking sound. The machine did not react any keyboard actions. Shortly after that the display went the famous WinBlue with mystic error codes and "began to copy RAM". But no more happened. I was shocked! Has my invaluable pictures and documents went in the bit black hole!?? I put the power "hard" off. Then I put the power on.... and the drive began to make clicking sound immediately. But it stopped and the machine began to load but stopped to the point of "boot from CD/DVD". ARRRGGHHHH!! So I put straight the "System Recovery Disk" into CD-drive. I loaded the whole Win XP and the SP2 and the supportive security programs (AVG, ZoneAlarm, Spy...). After that I run CHKDSK, Smart Disk Defragment (deep scan) by IObit. When running the later one I noticed that my drive file fragmentation was incredible! I have not run the disk defragmentation program regularly enough. I run it through for four times. After that I started the machine 10 times (cold from the button in front and warm from the back switch). I run continuously cocktail of disk active programs continuously in 12 h periods. In that "trial" the drive caused three times the clicking sound ending to the WinBlue screen to WD (tm) Click And Down- action. In that case the machine required warm boot. The click began irregularly times but fewer times after every startup. I put the machine in 24 h duty. The drive click vanished after 2 days! Analysis: Perhaps the fine Liquid Bearings of the drive need to be "run in" to began to work properly - AT LAST!! Echo007 P.S. I have had WD-drives for 20 years! I have never had any problems with them until this case.

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  • Echo007 Apr 23, 2008

    Thank you!

    I am most pleased to get such a comprehensive and elegant answer to my irritating problem. I am "happy" now. I have lowered my WD800 drive to slave disk rank - heh. Little bit regrettable because WD800 is otherwise fast and quiet(!) drive. I have began to defrag and backup my drives and data periodically as You told. It may be so that trough disasters and other thumbligs man learns!




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Western Digital hard drives ****!! Ive been through two so far and at over 150.00 a pop, they are ripping people off with thier cheap *** design and slow performance of a hard drive!! I would recommend going with a different brand of hard drive, but not a WESTERN DIGITIAL piece of ****.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008

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Hello Echo007

I read through all your accounts and following is my conclusion.

I think you have a flakey drive and that eventually the "clicking", or worse, will return. A clicking sound eminating from a hard disk drive bodes ill wind - it is not normal. Even if it does turn out that the bearings needed a break in period, that is, at the very least, bad design as it puts your valuable data at risk during this period.

It's true, WD will require a hard failure of the drive b4 you can get them to replace it. Unfortunately, failures often begin w/ intermittent problems. And intermittent problems w/ computer-related equipment (any electronic equipment, in fact) are the hardest to pin down.

It could be a heat related problem where, once the drive reaches a certain temperature the problem goes away. That's still indicative of some component inside the hard drive that is borderline functioning or a circuit, device or component that is fractured in some way and closed when there is sufficient heat for the metal parts involved to expand enough to complete the circuit or make the contact.

Here's what I recommend:

1st and *MOST* importantly: Set up a redundant backup system for all of your valuable data. Never ever put all your apples in one basket when it comes to hard drives or any dynamic media like a hard drive. Hard drives are made up of both electronic and moving parts - both of which are subseptible to inevitable failure. Unless you're burning your data on a regular basis to DVDs or backing up to tape or some other permanent storage type, then you must employ redundancy in order to protect your valuable data. (Backup to two or more locations.)

2nd: Backup all of your data off of the hard disk drive you're having trouble w/ (and onto one on which you've never experienced problems). Then, run hard disk drive "burn in" diagnostics on it - intensely exercising it over a long period of time (at *least* 24 hours - more if possible - or until a hard failure of the hard disk drive is induced). This will require exclusive access to the computer the burn in is being run on. (You won't be able to use the computer for anything else during this period.)

Include in the hard disk drive "burn in" write and read and seek excercises. The idea is to make the drive break. It will eventually. We just want to make it happen now while it's in warranty. You won't be violating any warranty, etc. by doing this. The drive *should* be able to w/stand any intense burn in routines you can throw at it.

If it still won't fail, I still wouldn't trust it. I'd use it for temporary storage but not for any critical or permanent storage.

You can download Bart's Disktool 1.2 HERE. You can also download Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD4Win) for Windows from HERE, and Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) from HERE. Each include hard disk drive diagnostics.

If you'd like assistance w/ any of these processes, tests, creating the boot discs, etc. just us know. We'll be happy to help.

Thank you
BJ @:)

Posted on Apr 18, 2008

  • B Joan Rapier
    B Joan Rapier Apr 22, 2008

    Hello Echo007

    I'm hoping you've been able to resolve the issue w/ the hard disk drive in question. I know how difficult these intermittent problems are to pin down.

    I want to thank you for using FixYa and invite you to come back anytime you have questions or need assistance w/ any of your technology gadgets or appliances. We're here to help.

    Thank you, too, very much for the FIXYA rating! :)

    Have a beautiful day

    BJ @:)



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