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 Post subject: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:11 am 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:49 am
Posts: 22
Location: Middle Earth
Before the great hard drive price disaster of recent months, I bought a 'quiet' storage drive. The choice was between the Barracuda Green 2tb and the Caviar Green 2tb. I chose the barracuda because it was (according to the reviews) both faster and quieter than my existing 1Tb Barracuda 7200.

The drive runs perfectly performance-wise, except that it makes a loud resonating noise when idle.

I've downloaded a few HD diagnostic tools that all tell me the drive is fine, including seagate's sea-tools thing. This is how I characterize the problem:

The noise comes in bursts very periodically every ~1.5 seconds or so, which is why I describe it as "resonating". The noise is not too loud relatively speaking - it's about 2-3 times as loud as the drive itself, but due to the periodic bursts, it is clearly audible anywhere in the room and is extremely annoying. The busts themselves are a low-frequency hum that is reminiscent of resonance or gentle grinding.

When the drive is idle, the noise starts up at random with no warning and continues without stop for an unknown amount of time (usually several days) then stops without warning only to start up again a few days later.

The noise will only go away if the drive starts doing something: copying files, loading programs or benchmarking, ie; when the drive is active. When the copying, loading or benchmark is over, the drive goes right back to making that noise.

Rebooting does not change this, neither does shutting down completely and starting up again. When the system boots, the drive goes back to making the noise.

Changing from a Sata3 to Sata6 port does not change the situation.
Unplugging the Sata cable entirely does not change the situation. The drive will make the noise simply by being powered. (I did not unplug the Sata while the drive was in use of course, this was a test)

The drive is new, it is only used for storage, it is not an OS drive.

The drive is about 20% full at the moment, but it makes the same noise when empty.

This is my hardware: P6X58D-E, 6gb Gskill 1600, i7-930, HD6870, Seasonic X750, 2xVertex2-OS.
I don't think the rest of my system is to blame here, since as I mentioned, the noise will come on even if the drive is just powered, and the power supply is still great, despite being a year old.

And here is the strange thing:
I returned the drive, thinking there was something wrong with it, and got another one of exactly the same type. The same problem is occurring with the new drive.

I am at a loss here. The rest of my computer is not to blame, and the drive itself was not "defective". All I can think of is that the noise is due to some internal operation that the drive decides to do on its own. But if this is the case, then shouldn't seagate design it's drives so that they don't make all this noise at random?

I can't switch to another drive by returning this one, as that would cost me an extra $100 due to the price hikes, yet I need the storage, so I need to solve this problem.

So what should I do? Is there a tool that will let me change the internal settings on the drive? (reduce error checking or auto-defrag or whatever is causing the noise)


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
Can you record the noise?
Are SMART tests successful?
Have you tried the options like acoustic management assuming the drive has any (I don't know)?

It's not likely but I guess you could try the drive with another power supply if you wanted to be absolutely sure your PSU is not the cause.

The closest drive I had is probably a ST3500312CS. I do not recall anything like that. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention.
If you'd post your model number, maybe someone with the same drive could opine.

If you got your replacement drive from the same batch, I guess it's possible the whole batch was bad. You could perhaps try to exchange your drive with someone else's (not everyone cares that much about noise) but I wouldn't trust a drive which makes odd noises so I don't think your odds of success are good.


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:57 am
Posts: 165
Location: Riga
Have you tried to unplug power to your other HDD?
But I agree, Seagate makes strange disks.


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:49 am
Posts: 22
Location: Middle Earth
The noise went away for the past 2 days so I didn't reply, but it's back.

The model# is: ST2000DL003

I got a trial of HD sentinel, and the SMART test seems to run just fine.

When I loaded the software and ran the test, the drive was quiet:

Image

A few hours ago, the noise started up again, and HD sentinel reported this:

Image

So if anyone out there is knowledgeable enough to interpret that, please do!


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
You haven't described your chassis make and model or drive mounting system. Usually drives that vibrate as much as the Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB must be mounted with an isolating system to prevent annoying resonating noises.


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Arbutus wrote:
You haven't described your chassis make and model or drive mounting system. Usually drives that vibrate as much as the Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB must be mounted with an isolating system to prevent annoying resonating noises.

did OP find out if its the drive or the case yet? try running drive out of case, on a book or a Styrofoam plate/tray.

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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:49 am
Posts: 22
Location: Middle Earth
Quote:
did OP find out if its the drive or the case yet? try running drive out of case, on a book or a Styrofoam plate/tray.


The drive was making the unusual noise both when suspended and when just placed on a desk. This problem is not related to mounting.

Is it possible to change the hardware settings within a drive? For example, what the drive heads does when idle.


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
tom thumb wrote:
Is it possible to change the hardware settings within a drive? For example, what the drive heads does when idle.

Yes, there's a couple of ways to do change firmware settings but I wouldn't expect every software and setting to work with any drive. Maybe there's no setting that can be changed with your drive. And it's likely that no setting would help with your problem anyway.
I have no idea what exactly works with your drive and I'm not going to reasearch that.

About SMART, from your description I'm not sure you actually ran any tests. Regardless, there may be nothing to it but your airflow temperatures are very high (simply make sure your drive is not running in an excessively hot environnement and check the temperature of the cover with your finger) and your error rate is a higher than my Seagate (completely different model), especially your seek error rate which is extremely high. I want to make it clear you shouln't assume your drive has a problem before comparing it to someone else's (same model, same firmware).


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:01 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Southern France
Perhaps you have a software that's causing all the trouble, a defrag app or a health status app that checks the drive restlessly but if you say the drive is suspended i don't know


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate Barracuda Green Random Noise (Help!)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:21 am
Posts: 1
Hi there,

been lurking on these forums on and off for a couple of years. I've made some purchase decisions going by the reviews here, and appreciate the effort everyone is putting into this. Thank you! Since i just got fed up with my HDD's noise level, i went on to read about HDD silencing here and stumbled upon this thread. Maybe i can contribute something here. My methods may not be applicable to your setups, YMMV, etc. but i hope this might help someone:

I can confirm the OP's issue as i own 7 of the drives (Barracuda Green 2TB) in two different boxes. Bought them when they were relatively new. One of them is in my work/play machine, where it was most noticable. It is a rather quiet air cooled Sandy Bridge setup in a Mini P180. I also have my server in the same room, hidden behind the couch.

In the server there's 6 of the Barracuda Greens (in a Fractal Define R3 case), and the sound they make when reverberating/humming is impossible to completely shut off by any means i've tried. They're mostly from one batch with close serial numbers, except one drive that i had for testing earlier. Reverberation occurs on all 6, although i didn't notice at first on the one i used for testing, when it was mounted in a sturdier case. The sound is actually less pronounced with all 6 running at the same time, although the noise level oscillates (becoming louder, then quieting down again). Can only guess that they cancel each others out. A stack of telephone books on top of the case helps a bit. The couch takes care of the rest, and the (really quiet) fan woosh drowns out the hum.

At least two of the drives in the server have been looking dodgy in smartd logs from the start, albeit not dodgy enough to RMA. I can only hope they fail within warranty.

A single Barracuda Green is in my work/play box next to an SSD, and it used to randomly exhibit the humming, until a couple hours earlier today.

I have now moved the drive to the innermost mounting space on the top Hdd cage and took care to fasten the screws on the silicone grommets only ever so slightly. Then i took an old IDE drive from the shelf (that i haven't trashed yet because i'm too lazy to secure-erase it with a hammer) and mounted it next to the noisy offender. Unpowered, of course. The reverberation is now gone, although i find the platter spinning noise a bit too loud still. Will look into boxing it up completely, or swapping with something quieter.

TL;DR: The reverberation issue is most probably a problem with at least one batch of Barracuda Greens (maybe the whole series). The Green series may not have been one of Seagate's more durable ones, time will tell. As for the humming noise, adding weight helped. I'd recommend only putting the Barracuda Green drives in very sturdy, damped cases.


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