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Old 05-17-2010, 11:07 PM   #1
taro4cycle
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Noisy hard drive


OS: Ubuntu 10.0.4
CPU: i7 930
Memory: 6GB
Hard Disk: 1TB WD Caviar Green
Output:
$ uname -a
Linux XXXXXX 2.6.32-22-generic #33-Ubuntu SMP Wed Apr 28 13:28:05 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux
$ sudo hdparm -tT /dev/sda1
[sudo] password for XXXX:

/dev/sda1:
Timing cached reads: 17804 MB in 2.00 seconds = 8910.79 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 256 MB in 3.00 seconds = 85.21 MB/sec

Top output:
top - 21:07:26 up 1:26, 3 users, load average: 0.52, 0.48, 0.42
Tasks: 252 total, 1 running, 251 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 1.2%us, 0.4%sy, 0.0%ni, 98.4%id, 0.1%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.0%si, 0.0%st
Mem: 6117528k total, 2155212k used, 3962316k free, 82652k buffers
Swap: 23999480k total, 0k used, 23999480k free, 441980k cached

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
2667 root 20 0 134m 42m 18m S 6 0.7 1:01.87 Xorg
2906 taro 20 0 612m 126m 30m S 3 2.1 1:09.45 firefox-bin
2814 taro 20 0 287m 55m 22m S 1 0.9 0:20.24 compiz
2973 taro 20 0 215m 21m 11m S 1 0.4 0:01.26 gnome-terminal
106 root 20 0 0 0 0 S 0 0.0 0:01.41 scsi_eh_1

Problem: My hard drive is noisy. It sounds like it's constantly seeking something. I can't tell from ps -ef what process is making the noise. I've read posts about performance issues with this hard drive. But still I don't know if the noise is a symptom of performance. I don't have much running except firefox. The noise just does not stop! Can someone please clarify?
 
Old 05-18-2010, 03:30 AM   #2
H_TeXMeX_H
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Run 'smartctl -A /dev/sda' or whatever the drive name is and post the output. You will need to use sudo.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 10:56 AM   #3
taro4cycle
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Output of smartctl

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Run 'smartctl -A /dev/sda' or whatever the drive name is and post the output. You will need to use sudo.
Texmex: here's the output

root@reflection:~# smartctl -A /dev/sda
smartctl version 5.38 [x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

root@reflection:~# smartctl -a /dev/sda
smartctl version 5.38 [x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Device Model: WDC WD10EACS-00D6B1
Serial Number: WD-WCAU46198497
Firmware Version: 0956
User Capacity: 1,000,204,886,016 bytes
Device is: Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
ATA Version is: 7
ATA Standard is: Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is: Tue May 18 08:52:22 2010 PDT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status: (0x00) Offline data collection activity
was never started.
Auto Offline Data Collection: Disabled.
Total time to complete Offline
data collection: ( 0) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities: (0x00) Offline data collection not supported.
SMART capabilities: (0x0000) Automatic saving of SMART data is not implemented.
Error logging capability: (0x00) Error logging NOT supported.
No General Purpose Logging support.

Warning: device does not support Error Logging
Error SMART Error Log Read failed
Smartctl: SMART Error Log Read Failed
Warning: device does not support Self Test Logging
Error SMART Error Self-Test Log Read failed
Smartctl: SMART Self Test Log Read Failed
Device does not support Selective Self Tests/Logging
 
Old 05-18-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
amani
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post output of

#sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda

(or sdparm)

check drive with the standalone diagnostic utility too
 
Old 05-18-2010, 09:37 PM   #5
taro4cycle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amani View Post
post output of

#sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda

(or sdparm)

check drive with the standalone diagnostic utility too
Here's the output. I think the sector size is supposed to be 4K.


taro@reflection:~$ sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda1

/dev/sda1:

ATA device, with non-removable media
Model Number: WDC WD10EACS-00D6B1
Serial Number: WD-WCAU46198497
Firmware Revision: 0956
Standards:
Supported: 7 6 5 4
Likely used: 7
Configuration:
Logical max current
cylinders 16383 16383
heads 16 16
sectors/track 63 63
--
CHS current addressable sectors: 16514064
LBA user addressable sectors: 268435455
LBA48 user addressable sectors: 1953525168
Logical Sector size: 512 bytes
Physical Sector size: 512 bytes
device size with M = 1024*1024: 953869 MBytes
device size with M = 1000*1000: 1000204 MBytes (1000 GB)
cache/buffer size = unknown
Capabilities:
LBA, IORDY(can be disabled)
Standby timer values: spec'd by Vendor, no device specific minimum
R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 1 Current = 1
Advanced power management level: 254
DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6
Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
Cycle time: no flow control=240ns IORDY flow control=120ns
Commands/features:
Enabled Supported:
* SMART feature set
Security Mode feature set
* Power Management feature set
Write cache
Look-ahead
* Host Protected Area feature set
* WRITE_BUFFER command
* READ_BUFFER command
* NOP cmd
* Advanced Power Management feature set
SET_MAX security extension
* 48-bit Address feature set
* Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE
* FLUSH_CACHE_EXT
* WRITE_{DMA|MULTIPLE}_FUA_EXT
* Gen1 signaling speed (1.5Gb/s)
* Gen2 signaling speed (3.0Gb/s)
* Software settings preservation
Security:
supported
not enabled
not locked
frozen
not expired: security count
not supported: enhanced erase
508min for SECURITY ERASE UNIT.
Checksum: correct
 
Old 05-19-2010, 03:11 AM   #6
H_TeXMeX_H
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Hmm, well it looks like SMART is not setup right or smartctl doesn't support this drive, so that won't help diagnose the noise.

What does the noise sound like ? Is it like a regular reading and writing noise ? or is it high pitched ? etc.

In many cases a HDD makes a high pitched noise when it is getting old or will fail soon, so I would also run a standalone diagnostic utility like amani suggests, you can try:
http://ubcd.sourceforge.net/
 
Old 05-19-2010, 07:15 AM   #7
thorkelljarl
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Try the tool...

WD seems to have a HDD utility that you can use to check the disk. Is your HDD one of these?

http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...id=608&lang=en

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 05-20-2010 at 11:27 AM.
 
Old 05-20-2010, 01:17 AM   #8
taro4cycle
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What the hard drive sounds like

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Hmm, well it looks like SMART is not setup right or smartctl doesn't support this drive, so that won't help diagnose the noise.

What does the noise sound like ? Is it like a regular reading and writing noise ? or is it high pitched ? etc.

In many cases a HDD makes a high pitched noise when it is getting old or will fail soon, so I would also run a standalone diagnostic utility like amani suggests, you can try:
http://ubcd.sourceforge.net/
The sound is like lots of reading and writing. And the hard drive is brand new.
 
Old 05-20-2010, 01:21 AM   #9
taro4cycle
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Well a few days of using this drive went by, and I finally got fed up! I bought a WD black 1TB, thinking that the higher RPM (7200 as opposed to 5400) would actually make it noisier. But this drive is so quiet by comparison! I won't go back. There's something really wrong with that drive. Maybe I can use the green drive in a backup enclosure when I get one. I learned a lot from this forum, since I never used hdparm before. Thanks everyone, I think I'll stick with black!
 
Old 05-20-2010, 03:36 AM   #10
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taro4cycle View Post
Here's the output. I think the sector size is supposed to be 4K.
There have been reports of performance problems with 4k sector drives, but I hadn't heard of reports of noise problems. Although, speculating a bit, if the performance problems are the result of multiple seeks for one piece of information, you'd also expect the noise to go up too, so maybe this isn't a pure coincidence.

And, I believe the 'green' drives are 4k sector and the 'black' are not, which does strongly suggest that the 4k aspect is involved somehow.

IIRC, there is a jumper on the 4k drives to use some kind of backward compatibility mode; that might (or might not) help, and you may, or may not, have to re-run the partitioning after changing the jumper state in order for it to work.

See here or here for more technical info on dealing with slowness caused by 4k sectors, which may or may not help with noise (but I'm guessing that it will, and, if you still have the drive, would be interesting to try, but it is a guess).
 
Old 05-20-2010, 04:06 AM   #11
catkin
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As you say, "There's something really wrong with that drive"!

I have a couple of WD Green drives (a 320 and 640 GB). They are almost inaudible and they have a rich S.M.A.R.T. feature set; you may simply be unlucky.

WD have produced differently constructed Green drives under the same model number, even under the same revision number. They only way for an end-user to identify them is by visual inspection. Details in this silentpcreview thread.
 
Old 05-20-2010, 06:54 AM   #12
onebuck
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Hi,

I've not experienced a problem with a 'Green' drive. I've only used them on lower end systems but still not noisy.

@OP: The vbcode tags # or quote would make your long lists & data outputs cleaner to read within your posts. It also makes things easier when we are moving between the posts to aid in diagnosis.

You can use the WD diagnostics to aid in diagnosis. Along with the UBCD you can look at SystemRescueCD that contain diagnostic & recovery tools.


The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 05-21-2010, 02:53 AM   #13
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
I have a couple of WD Green drives (a 320 and 640 GB). They are almost inaudible and they have a rich S.M.A.R.T. feature set; you may simply be unlucky.
The older 'Green' drives do not have the 4k feature; I regard this as another piece of evidence that the 4k sectors are likely to be part of the underlying cause.

...for another thread on dealing with the performance issues on 4k sector drives, see this

Last edited by salasi; 05-21-2010 at 03:21 AM. Reason: ...link added...
 
  


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