Posts belonging to Category Fragmented Hard Drive



Fragmented Hard Drive Clicking

Some hard drives are more prone to make clicking sounds when the drive is highly fragmented.  If you have a hard drive making clicking sounds you could defragment the drive to see if that stops or reduces any clicking noises.  If a disk defrag helps then you should defrag your hard drive more often and may even want to look at getting a better third party disk defragmenter.

Third Party Disk Defragmenters

There are some very good third party disk defragmenters available that do a much better job than the bundled Windows disk defragmenters.

To run Windows Disk Defragmenter in Windows XP

Right click My Computer.

Select Manage.

Select Disk Defragmenter in the left pane.

On the right pane, select the disk to defragment and click the Defragment button.

WinXP Defrag

WinXP Defrag

The disk defragmenter will now run.

A graphical representation shows you what the defragmenter is doing.

To run Windows Disk Defragmenter in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista the Disk Defragmenter is scheduled to run by default at 1AM every Wednesday.  If the computer is off at this time this scheduled defragmentation will not run.

To manually run disk defragmenter:

Click start.

Type “Defrag” in the search box (without the “ “).

Hit enter.

Click the defragment now button.

Win Vista Defrag

Win Vista Defrag

Select the disk(s) to defragment and click ok.

The disk defragmenter will now run.

Vista does not have a graphical representation to show you what the defragmenter is doing like older versions of windows had.

To run Windows Disk Defragmenter in Windows Vista

In Windows 7 the Disk Defragmenter is scheduled to run by default at 1AM every Wednesday.  If the computer is off at this time this scheduled defragmentation will not run.

To manually run disk defragmenter:

Click start.

Type “Defrag” in the search box (without the “ “).

Hit enter.

Select the disk(s) to defragment.

Click the defragment disk button.

Windows 7 Defrag

Windows 7 Defrag

The disk defragmenter will now run.

Windows 7 does not have a graphical representation to show you what the defragmenter is doing like older versions of windows had, but it does show you the progress as a percentage complete.

Normal Hard Drive Clicking Sounds

If the hard drive has been making clicking sounds for some time and still appears to function correctly, then these sounds may be the natural sounds of the hard drive. Clicking sounds are normal for some hard drives. Different makes and models of hard drives make lots of different sounds. Even after working as an IT professional for over a decade I still occasionally hear a different sound coming from a hard drive that I have not heard before. Hitachi and IBM hard drives are well known for making natural clicking sounds (unfortunately Hitachi hard drives were also prone to the click of death). In my gaming rig I have Western Digital Raptor hard drives, which make lots of fast clicking sounds when the hard drive is being worked hard. In this case these sounds are normal sounds for my hard drives.

Gold Hard Drive Clicking

Hard Drive Internals

If possible you may wish to connect the hard drive to another system as a slave to eliminate external factors to the hard drive such as loose cable connections, power supply problems, driver issues etc. If the hard drive makes the same clicking sounds when connected to another system then it is fairly safe to say that it is either normal sounds for the hard drive or a fault with the hard drive.

Often a natural hard drive clicking noise can be reduced by defragmenting the hard drive.

Sometimes the manufacturers will release new hard drive firmware updates to resolve or reduce hard drive clicking noises.

With Windows systems it is always a good idea to run Checkdisk on these hard drives to see if any faults can be found. This may give a good indication if a hard drive is about to fail. Checkdisk can be run from a windows explorer or a command prompt.

Windows Chkdsk

Windows Chkdsk

To run Checkdisk from My Computer or Windows Explorer
1. Double-click My Computer, and then right-click the hard disk that you need to check.
2. Click Properties, and then click Tools.
3. Under Error-checking, click Check Now. A dialog box that shows the Checkdisk options is displayed.
4. Select the Automatically fix file system errors check box and select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box.
5. Click Start.
Note: If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open (which is very likely), you will receive the following message:
The disk check could not be performed because the disk check utility needs exclusive access to some Windows files on the disk. These files can be accessed by restarting Windows. Do you want to schedule the disk check to occur the next time you restart the computer?
6. Click Yes to schedule the disk check.
7. Close all applications and restart your computer.
8. Checkdisk will now run when the system restarts. This may take some time and you should monitor this to see if any errors are found.

To run Checkdisk at the command prompt
1. Click Start
2. Click Run
3. In Open, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
4. Type chkdsk volume:/r where volume is the letter of the hard drive. Normally C), and then press ENTER.
Note: If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open (which is very likely), you will receive the following message:
Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)
5. Type Y, and then press ENTER to schedule the disk check.
6. Close all applications and restart your computer.
7. Checkdisk will now run when the system restarts. This may take some time and you should monitor this to see if any errors are found.