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Hard drive Heartbeat sound

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Muso, 14 Oct 2021.

  1. Muso

    Gangster

    Joined: 15 Mar 2006

    Posts: 172

    Hi,

    I've got a really strange problem. In my Pc I've got 1 SSD and 2 x HDD's. Currently the 2 x HDD's are making a heartbeat pulsing sound, one is louder than the other so I thought it was dying and replaced it but the same problem occurred with the new drive.

    So I've investigated further and it seems the heartbeat pulsing only happens when both HDD's are plugged in. I've tried swapping power cables & SATA cables around but nothing seems to make a difference.

    My only conclusion is that it could possibly be a power issue but I realise HDD's use very low power and
    can't find anything about this online anywhere. Buying a new PSU would be a significant amount of cash if it's something else.

    Any ideas anyone?
     
  2. The_Arbiter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jul 2019

    Posts: 1,513

    Not sure what kind of sound you're talking of. But have you tried mounting them differently? Or not tightening them down too much? Possibly knocking a fan or a cable against the case.

    I don't have any other ideas. But are these read sounds, or constant?
     
  3. EsaT

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2008

    Posts: 10,776

    Location: Finland

    Might be interaction of vibrations from both drives.
    You can confirm or disprove that by detaching cables of one drive at a time.
     
  4. Muso

    Gangster

    Joined: 15 Mar 2006

    Posts: 172

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies, it only happens when both hard drives are plugged in together. The pulsating is coming from both hard drives but only when they are both plugged in. If I put my hand on either drive I feel the heartbeat, it's hard to explain but really annoying. Yes I've tried one drive at a time and there is no heartbeat type pulsing. Not read sounds they are totally idle my main drive is the SSD, the HDD's are for storage.

    I wonder if it could be a software issue as it only happens once Windows in loaded, if I start into BIOS no issues at all.

    Cheers
     
  5. The_Arbiter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jul 2019

    Posts: 1,513

    I wouldn't totally rule out the HDD being read from as my HDD wakes up when my background changes, but the pictures are on an SSD, i'm guessing this is something in the registry as they were once on the HDD IIRC. You could try enabling sleep within a minute within the Windows settings for the HDDs, and see if they wake up, might give some idea to if they're in use by something. I'd consider mounting one in a place of a fan mount or a 5.25" bay if you have no other shelves to use, Fractal do some fan to drive mounts.
     
  6. robfosters

    Caporegime

    Joined: 1 Dec 2010

    Posts: 40,881

    Location: Welling, London

    When my HDD’s start making a noise, I just use the time honoured tradition of giving it a whack and it sorts it out.
     
  7. Muso

    Gangster

    Joined: 15 Mar 2006

    Posts: 172

    Randomly the problem has stopped, you are right it happens on start up. I think it's something to do with the power settings, I will check further. Cheers all!
     
  8. EsaT

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2008

    Posts: 10,776

    Location: Finland

    That's sign of some kind interaction/resonance between rotational vibrations of both drives.
    Similar phenomenon can happen with two fans.

    HDDs lack soft mounting, don't they?
     
  9. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Aug 2003

    Posts: 19,065

    Location: UK

    That heartbeat sound always reminds me of the days of HDDs in aluminium cases on a thick wooden desk.

    Remember the days hard drive bungie mods was quite a big trend here in their CD or Floppy bays? :D
     
  10. Ice Tea

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2004

    Posts: 3,849

    Is the HDD activity led pulsing with the sound?
     
  11. TWiNKLeT0Es

    Gangster

    Joined: 29 Oct 2009

    Posts: 423

    Grab some elastic bands cut them up and pop the bits between the screws on the case and the hard drives.
     
  12. Muso

    Gangster

    Joined: 15 Mar 2006

    Posts: 172

    Hi all,

    Annoyingly the problem has started up again. They are mounted on rubber things but that's not going to say it would stop any vibrations. I even set the hard drives to switch off with no use after 5 minutes, made no difference.

    I'm at the point where I'm thinking to just to replace with SSD's as it's driving me mad!
     
  13. The_Arbiter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jul 2019

    Posts: 1,513

    If the drives aren't reading and they're making noise, it's not the drives, unless they're both equally faulty. Have you tried different positioning? I wonder if your case fans are causing some air to bounce off the positioning of the HDDs? A bit far fetched, but i can't think of anything else if it isn't the cables either.
     
  14. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Aug 2003

    Posts: 19,065

    Location: UK

    Remember that time of the transition going full SSD from HDD, then you were shocked at the complete silence? :D
     
  15. Ice Tea

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2004

    Posts: 3,849

    You never answered so we know if the drive is being accessed by the computer?
     
  16. Muso

    Gangster

    Joined: 15 Mar 2006

    Posts: 172

    Hi,

    Sorry, I'm pretty sure the hard drives arn't reading as they don't make that read sound. Its like they are on but idling, the whirring buzzing heartbeat sound progressively get louder to a point where it's really annoying.

    If I take the drives out of the case then put them back in again it stops for a while.

    Its definitely the drives like I said before it doesn't do it with 1 HDD plugged in.

    These drives are backup drives so I hardly ever access then they shouldn't be accessed unless I go into the drive to get a file.

    If I get a stethoscope and put it in either drive I can really hear the whirring heartbeat noise on both drives.
     
  17. Ice Tea

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2004

    Posts: 3,849

    So you don't have a LED on your computer that shows when hardrives are reading and writing so you can see if it's pulsing at the same time as the noise?
     
  18. darael

    Mobster

    Joined: 10 Jul 2010

    Posts: 4,942

    @Muso
    Out of interest which case do you have? I have a Corsair 650D and the vibrations from my only hard drive is so annoying.

    I'm yet to find a solution, other than buy a suitably sized SSD to replace my 2TB hard drive. Decent 2TB SSDs aren't exactly cheap and I'm not entirely convinced that they are any more reliable than hard drives - just faster and quieter in the majority of cases.

    I am starting to wonder if the bearings on my fans might just be dried out and the noise of dry fan bearings is transmitting through my case. Probably not, but a bit of time to apply a few drops of oil won't hurt.
     
  19. Muso

    Gangster

    Joined: 15 Mar 2006

    Posts: 172

    Hi, no I don't have an LED read light.

    Its a Fractal Design R3.

    I hear what you are saying with getting an SSD, I think they don't last as long as a regular HDD and my drives are purely used for storage/backup.

    The noise in my case is definitely coming from the drives. The weird thing is I set them to turn off but they don't. There must be some kind of activity they are doing making them buzz.
     
  20. GreatAuk

    Mobster

    Joined: 3 Apr 2009

    Posts: 2,642

    Location: Warrington

    Can only see it being some kind of resonance or both drives reinforcing vibration, as otherwise it would still happen with only one drive powered on.

    Have you tried mounting the hdds in different slots? Looks like the R3 has loads of bays, could try putting one drive at the top and one at the bottom?