Intermittent HDD Stall/Noise Which Can Be Fixed By Win10 Reinstall

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  1.    #1

    Intermittent HDD Stall/Noise Which Can Be Fixed By Win10 Reinstall


    I have a Windows 10 Home desktop with a SSD containing my Win10 installation and an internal HDD which I use for applications/storage.

    About a year ago, my HDD (Toshiba) started making noises and stalling. The behavior would make a buzz as if the disk was spinning up, run for a while, and then make a loud pop/click after about 30 seconds or so (the interval was not consistent). Often any active application running on the disk at the time would stall during the initial buzz. At the time, I formatted and restored the data on the HDD, but that did not help. Finally, I just did a complete reinstall of Windows 10 on my SSD (while leaving the HDD untouched), and the HDD behaved properly for about a year after that. However, within the past few weeks this problem popped up again. Thinking it may just be a problem with the HDD, I went out and bought a new HDD (Seagate) to replace the existing one, and after cloning the old disk to the new one I found that the new HDD is behaving similarly. (The new drive isn't as noisy as the other one, but it still makes some buzzing noises which are accompanied by stalling.)

    I have tried to the following in order to resolve this issue:

    1. Set the power profile to High Performance and change "Turn Hard Disk Off After" from 20 minutes to 0 minutes. (Which I understand should disable this feature entirely.) Didn't help.

    2. Run chkdsk to look for errors. There weren't any.

    3. Check for HDD driver updates. Didn't find any for either the old or the new HDD.

    4. Try to disable Advanced Power Management for the HDD. It was off (unsupported?) on the first drive. I disabled it on the second one, but it seemed to re-enable itself (?!?!) after I turned it off using CrystalDiskInfo. Regardless, disabling APM didn't seem to help.

    5. Look at the SMART stats for the drive to see if there is anything that grabs my attention. Didn't see anything notable (to me at least).

    6. As mentioned above, reinstalling Windows 10 on my SSD resolved the issue last time. I would like to avoid having to do that again.

    Given that a Windows reinstall fixed the issue, I think that this is a Windows problem of some sort. It sort of seems like it may be related to power management or driver settings. Another thing to note is that this is a Dell prebuilt computer, and I would not rule out the possibility that the pre-installed Dell SupportAssist application could have "optimized" some Windows settings for me. (I have uninstalled SupportAssist at this point.) However, I do not know what other HDD settings are available to tweak. Anyone have any suggestions on other things to try?

    Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    Hi, suggest doing an independent test by booting your PC from a live boot disk.

    E.g.
    Toolkit Item: Kyhi’s Rescue Disk – Win10.Guru

    Also try booting to Safe Mode to eliminate effects of other things installed.

    If that makes a difference, try a clean boot.

    I've not heard of anything like this before. It would seem it's not the disk itself, but rather your configuration or even a hardware problem. The checks I've suggested should demonstrate or eliminate the last.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 26,422
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #3

    Update the specs in the "My Computer" section:

    System Specs - Fill in at Ten Forums
    In the left corner below in your post you find 'My System Specs'.
    After clicking it you can find a link a little below that says 'Update your System Spec', click on this link to get to the page where you can fill in your system specs.
    System Info - See Your System Specs - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Include PSU. cooler, case, peripherals and anything attached to the computer by wired or wireless (mouse, keyboard, headset, printer, xbox, USB wireless network card, etc.)


    When the noise was made and there was stalling were the event viewer events checked?
    Had temperatures been checked?
    Were there any unexpected shutdowns or restarts?

    Open the computer or motherboard manufacturer's website > enter the product or serial number or model > select the operating system > view drivers > post a URL or hyperlink into the thread

    If it's a Dell computer > run Dell diagnostics full test > post images of the results into the thread
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    dalchina said: View Post
    Also try booting to Safe Mode to eliminate effects of other things installed.
    The noise is far less frequent in Safe Mode. (Like once every 10 minutes instead of 2-4 times a minute.)

    In light of this, I did a normal boot and took inventory of all of the services which are running. There were a few stray Dell bloatware and driver-related services that were running, and I either stopped them or uninstalled the corresponding Dell application. So all that was left were Windows services. I also tried to reduce the running applications to just Windows and driver processes. This seemed to reduce the frequency of the noise, but it did not reach the same levels as when I was in Safe Mode. Any ideas on what the difference could be between the Safe Mode configuration and normal one?

    One thing that I should have mentioned before is that the second louder HDD noise is the same noise that I hear the HDD make when the computer powers off. I think that this is maybe the noise of the HDD head parking. Are there any Windows settings/services that modify the frequency at which the head is parked? (Like an energy efficiency service or something?)

    dalchina said: View Post
    suggest doing an independent test by booting your PC from a live boot disk.
    This is a good suggestion. I will look into the boot disk that you linked to. I was also thinking about trying a Linux live CD just to see what happens.

    zbook said: View Post
    Update the specs in the "My Computer" section:
    Updated.

    zbook said: View Post
    When the noise was made and there was stalling were the event viewer events checked?
    Yes. And I also ran the full resource monitor. I didn't see anything too attention-grabbing. (Particularly for the HDD.)

    zbook said: View Post
    Had temperatures been checked?
    Yes, and the temps were good.

    zbook said: View Post
    Were there any unexpected shutdowns or restarts?
    No. I haven't had any unexpected shutdowns/restarts/BSODs/etc.

    zbook said: View Post
    If it's a Dell computer > run Dell diagnostics full test > post images of the results into the thread
    Reinstalled SupportAssist and ran the full test. It said that everything passed. I can post the wall of text that it displayed if really want all of the details, but they weren't that interesting other than "passed", "passed", "passed"...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 26,422
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #5

    Run HD Tune (free version) (all drives)
    HD Tune website
    Post images into the thread for results on these tabs:
    a) Health
    b) Benchmark
    c) Full error scan


    Run Sea Tools for Windows
    long generic test
    Post an image of the test result into the thread
    SeaTools for Windows |
    Seagate

    How to use SeaTools for Windows | Seagate Support US
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    A great short instant text summary of the state of your drive is provided by Hard Disk Sentinel (trial). Best I know by far.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7.    #7

    dalchina said: View Post
    A great short instant text summary of the state of your drive is provided by Hard Disk Sentinel (trial). Best I know by far.
    Attached is a .txt file containing the relevant information from the Hard Disk Sentinel output. I don't see anything too surprising. Anything look problematic to you?

    Here is the Hard Disk Sentinel output:

    Code:
        Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : #################### 100 % (Excellent)
        Performance  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : #################### 100 % (Excellent)
    
        The hard disk status is PERFECT. Problematic or weak sectors were not found and there are no spin up or data transfer errors. 
          No actions needed.

    zbook said: View Post
    Run HD Tune (free version) (all drives)
    HD Tune website
    Post images into the thread for results on these tabs:
    a) Health
    b) Benchmark
    c) Full error scan
    Here are the results of the HD Tune scans:

    Code:
    HD Tune:         ST3000DM008-2DM1 Benchmark
    
    Transfer Rate Minimum : 146.4 MB/sec
    Transfer Rate Maximum : 210.9 MB/sec
    Transfer Rate Average : 181.8 MB/sec
    Access Time           : 11.4 ms
    Burst Rate            : 150.4 MB/sec
    CPU Usage             : 1.9%
    
    HD Tune:         ST3000DM008-2DM1 Error Scan
    
    Scanned data   : -839 MB
    Damaged Blocks : 0.0 %
    Elapsed Time   : 199:42
    
    HD Tune:         ST3000DM008-2DM1 Health
    
    ID                               Current  Worst    ThresholdData        Status   
    (01) Raw Read Error Rate         114      99       6        69078680    Ok       
    (03) Spin Up Time                94       94       0        0           Ok       
    (04) Start/Stop Count            100      100      20       31          Ok       
    (05) Reallocated Sector Count    100      100      10       0           Ok       
    (07) Seek Error Rate             100      253      30       299024      Ok       
    (09) Power On Hours Count        100      100      0        53          Ok       
    (0A) Spin Retry Count            100      100      97       0           Ok       
    (0C) Power Cycle Count           100      100      20       29          Ok       
    (B7) (unknown attribute)         100      100      0        0           Ok       
    (B8) (unknown attribute)         100      100      99       0           Ok       
    (BB) (unknown attribute)         100      100      0        0           Ok       
    (BC) (unknown attribute)         100      99       0        131076      Ok       
    (BD) (unknown attribute)         100      100      0        0           Ok       
    (BE) Airflow Temperature         61       53       45       739573799   Ok       
    (BF) G-sense Error Rate          100      100      0        0           Ok       
    (C0) Power Off Retract Count     100      100      0        0           Ok       
    (C1) Load Cycle Count            100      100      0        854         Ok       
    (C2) Temperature                 39       47       0        39          Ok       
    (C5) Current Pending Sector      100      100      0        0           Ok       
    (C6) Offline Uncorrectable       100      100      0        0           Ok       
    (C7) Ultra DMA CRC Error Count   200      200      0        0           Ok       
    (F0) Head Flying Hours           100      253      0        32          Ok          
    
    Power On Time         : 53
    Health Status         : Ok
    
    Click image for larger version. 
    
    Name:	hdtune_benchmark.PNG 
    Views:	13 
    Size:	25.5 KB 
    ID:	243099

    zbook said: View Post
    Run Sea Tools for Windows
    long generic test
    Post an image of the test result into the thread
    The long generic test said that it passed. No further details were provided.
    Last edited by BuzzClick; 6 Days Ago at 06:43.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    #8

    It's the text summary on the GUI I meant: e.g.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Snap 2019-08-13 at 12.08.32.png 
Views:	12 
Size:	15.2 KB 
ID:	243102
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    dalchina said: View Post
    It's the text summary on the GUI I meant: e.g.
    Sorry, I misunderstood. Here is the text version of that output:

    Code:
        Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : #################### 100 % (Excellent)
        Performance  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : #################### 100 % (Excellent)
    
        The hard disk status is PERFECT. Problematic or weak sectors were not found and there are no spin up or data transfer errors. 
          No actions needed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    #10

    Thanks- all confirms it tests fine.

    You could try the independent check I mentioned using a live boot disk for comparison...

    Tends to suggest an update following your clean install, or something you configure or add after a clean install is causing this.

    Have you tried a clean boot?
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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