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HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
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[hard drive] new Win7 build, constant drive access when idle

So i put together a nice new upgrade for my aging Core 2 Quad system...

Intel 3770K
Corsair H80i water cooler.
Asus Maximus V Formula
32GB Ram
240GB Agility 3 SSD.

I reused the power supply (850W Enermax), Radeon 5870, SB X-Fi, and the rest of my internal drives, and the "Case for Life" coolermaster Stacker (original).

So after all that, I installed Win7, did all the updates, installed all the drivers, yadayada... But I am noticing that there is constant disk access when idle, like every half a second I hear the drives "click" and the HD LED flashes. And they are across two different controllers, one on the Intel controller and the other some ASMedia thing. So it isnt driver related, at least not controller driver related.

I have disabled prefetch, disabled windows search indexing, a bunch of other crap like system restore, etc... It still does it... The system is basically clean nothing else installed...

Any idea what it could be?
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!


Shootist
Premium
join:2003-02-10
Decatur, GA
kudos:3

Why not put all the drive on the Intel SATA controller. Only use the other Off Brand Add-On controller if you run out of Intel SATA ports.

Just looked at my drive activity light, don't notice much as it is on the top of my case and the case site on my desk, and I'm getting flashes every second or less. But then I do have 4 HDDs and one SSD installed.
--
Shooter Ready--Stand By BEEP ********



HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
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Well, I just tested it by disabling the 3rd party controller, and the drives on the intel controller still have this annoying activity.

I updated the drivers for the Intel controller as well as the ASMedia controller, with no improvement.

It doesnt seem to affect the system, but its an annoyance that I'm not used to.

There has to be a reason for it, there are lots of topics about it when I searched the net, some of the solutions didnt really do anything...
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!


garfield

join:2011-03-12
Columbus, GA
reply to HiVolt

Have you tried looking via the Resource Monitor? Open the Task Manager --> Performance tab, click Resource Monitor. Then go to Disk tab and you can see what is doing all the disk accesses.



HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
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Click for full size
after everything quiets down, this is all that is left. and I still hear the drives "tick" every half second or so, with the LED blinking at the same time.
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21

Ok, so I googled that "lastalive0.dat" and found a tidbit on how to get rid of that, but it doesnt help.
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!



Dissembled

join:2008-01-23
Indianapolis, IN
reply to HiVolt

How many old drives did you reuse? Have you ran a utility to check on the health of those drives? Have you tried disconnecting drives one by one to see if you can isolate it to one drive?



HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
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the drives didn't do this in the old setup.

i actualy unplugged them all minus the ssd. obviously there is no noise, but the LED still flashes in the same intervals.

The only drive i can actually "hear it" is on a seagate 1TB 7200rpm. i have two other drives that are 2TB seagate green, which are quiet enough not to hear it. but if i put my finger on it i can just barely feel the action.
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!



koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

Provide all the models of hard disks in your system. I want exact model strings, not something vague like "Seagate 1TB".

I am fairly certain I know what you're hearing, and you're not going to be happy when I tell you what it is (it's not the drive doing a read or write), but it depends on drive model.

Your OS is going to do I/O to disks whenever it chooses to; you're fighting an uphill battle here. Windows does all sorts of nonsense in the background. All it takes is one I/O operation to cause the drive to do this. Just one. And one can occur faster than Resource Monitor can notice, in a lot of cases. You may want to try using DiskMon from SysInternals/Microsoft, though it's not going to give you "user-friendly" output like Resource Monitor (you will need to spend some time reading the .hlp file) but it does "tie in" to the I/O subsystem a different manner than Resource Monitor.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.



HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21

Ok, i'll provide the disk models when i get home.
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!



HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
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Sorry I forgot about this...

There are basically 3 seagates.

ST2000DL003-9VT166 x2 (Seagate LP Green 2TB)
ST3100524AS x 1 (Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB)

I also had an older WD 640GB Blue plugged in while copying files, and it too was making the noises... It's no longer plugged in.
--
F**K THE NHL. Go Blue Jays 2013!!!



koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

1 edit

The noise you're hearing from the ST2000DL003 drives is caused by the drives intentionally parking their heads during idle operation; the idle period is set to something very small (something like 5 seconds). The OS then comes along and issues an I/O request which causes the heads to unpark, rinse lather repeat. The noise is quite loud.

This is described on the Internet as the "LCC issue" (LCC = Load Cycle Count), because on that model of drive the behaviour can be tracked to an incrementing SMART attribute counter (attribute 193 / 0xC1).

This also affects other similar models of that naming scheme (ex. ST3000DM001). Basically the ST1000*, ST2000*, and ST3000* models ("Green Power" or "GP" drives) all do this. However, on some later models, if I remember right, Seagate chose to stop incrementing the SMART attribute -- so you can hear the issue, but no longer do you see indications of it in SMART.

Google "Seagate LCC" or "Seagate Load Cycle Count" and enjoy reading all the reports.

On those models of drive there is no way to inhibit (stop/cease) the behaviour; disabling drive-level APM does not do it. I speak from experience (and the main reason I returned the ST2000DM001 drives I bought some time ago).

Other Seagate models -- and Western Digital "GP" models -- do this as well. With the WDs, however, you can inhibit the behaviour by disabling drive-level APM.

Be aware that this issue/"feature" is separate from the "Turn off hard disks" option in Windows.

You can read about my experience and analysis with present-day WD drives, along with my indications that the WD Red series does not do this.

You'll find at about the 3/4ths mark at the 1st URL I linked a rant from me describing how hard disk vendors need to stop this nonsense. Likewise, I've ranted here on the forums about marketing departments who advertise new/expensive models of drives that "solve this problem" when the vendors themselves are what introduced these issues. It's like they think some of us lack long-term memories or were just born yesterday...

P.S. -- Your "WD 640GB Blue" may have been doing the same thing, as some models of the Blue series were known to do this (they're "desktop" drives, as in "intended for use only some of the time"). Disabling drive-level APM should inhibit that behaviour. Any other clicking/noises you hear from the drive could be signs of unrelated problems, in which case that would warrant a separate thread/discussion for analysis.

My general recommendation is: buy WD Red drives if you want to ensure the drive you've bought will not "click" unexpectedly. Any clicking you hear with such a drive would indicate something the OS is doing (forcing ATA-level standby or ATA-level sleep mode), or a mechanical/physical problem. Some other vendors (Hitachi, Samsung, etc.) might also be a viable option for you, but I don't have much experience with them WRT the head-parking issue.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


tofaeg

join:2013-03-19
Egypt, AR
reply to HiVolt

"""Your OS is going to do I/O to disks whenever it chooses to; you're fighting an uphill battle here. Windows does all sorts of nonsense in the background. All it takes is one I/O operation to cause the drive to do this. Just one. And one can occur faster than Resource Monitor can notice, in a lot of cases. You may want to try using DiskMon from SysInternals/Microsoft, though it's not going to give you "user-friendly" output like Resource Monitor (you will need to spend some time reading the .hlp file) but it does "tie in" to the I/O subsystem a different manner than Resource Monitor.""

i think it is a Logical Vision



Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto
reply to koitsu

Thank you, koitsu See Profile. That explains my WD 640 GB Blue that I have as the "slave" drive. I have an 80 GB WD I use as the boot drive, and I too have dealt with sudden activity of the hard drive when I've done nothing to provoke said activity. I watch the red HDD activity going when it's supposed to be idling.
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Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben