Windows 10: HDD spinning down/clicking every 30 seconds Solved

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  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
       10 Aug 2015 #1

    HDD spinning down/clicking every 30 seconds


    Hi there, first-time poster here. Usually I'm one to exhaust every single possibility before asking for help, but as of right now I am rather desperate to find an answer because this issue is driving me MAD.

    As stated in the title, my second HDD (Samsung HD155UI, 1,5 TB) is, as of today, clicking every 30 seconds, as in briefly parking the head or something. I've been using that drive for over 3 years without one single problem, and only recently (i.e. less than a week ago) did I upgrade to Windows 10 - while at the same time swapping out some parts for good measure - CPU, Motherboard, GPU and RAM. Of course I did the whole clean install shebang, and in the beginning everything ran absolutely smoothly. Installed all of my apps and drivers, moved all of my data back, and no problems whatsoever. Yes, Windows is activated.

    Now today I'm playing - ironically - Clicker Heroes on Steam. I usually leave it idling in the background while I'm doing other stuff on the PC, however I've started to notice this regular clicking sound. At first I thought it was my external hard drive - turned that off, no dice. Eavesdropped into my PC and quickly found out it was the secondary HDD, as my main SSD couldn't possibly be the source of the noise. Panic ensued, immediately ran a backup in case the drive went south. During the backup, no clicking whatsoever. After it was done, the clicking resumed.
    Chkdsk'd the quick way, and once with /r - during the checks, the drive's quiet as a ninja, but once those completed without errors, click. Click. Click.

    CrystalDiskInfo also shows my Drive in good health, and I have the latest firmware for it too. Event viewer showed no irregularities (apart from one single "ID 157 - Disk 2 has been surprise removed"), so I thought it must be some idle setting or power management thing. Checked power options a thousand times, "turn off hard disk after" setting was initially at 20, I set it to 0, then 60, then 120. Nothing changed whatsoever.
    BIOS power management settings are all turned off as far as I am concerned. Pretty sure I combed everything through, unless there's some hidden setting.

    Now, cue the Resource monitor. It clearly shows some activity spikes (blue curve) every time the drive clicks, which happens exactly every 30 seconds. However, I cannot for the life of me identify what it is that is causing these spikes.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    At some point I suspected something with the Chipset or something, maybe RST was messing with my HDD. But uninstalling it (as well as disabling RST in BIOS) yielded no substantial improvement.

    So now what's left for me to do is:

    - Boot into Safe mode, see if issue prevails there
    - Plug the SATA cable of the HDD into a different port, see if that changes anything
    - Try a different hard drive (that I don't have right now so meh)
    - reinstall Windows 10 (last resort, I'd rather avoid this)

    I will update this post as I go, but I already wanted to take in some feedback in case someone already knows what's up, and maybe save me some time. Beyond the fact that the clicking is super annoying, I don't think the drive doing that this often does it any good...

    I googled this issue extensively but couldn't really find any report that closely matched my current issue. I did find a similar thread on these forums though (Win10 pausing every 30 seconds on ASUS Laptop. Sleep mode issue too. - Windows 10 Forums), but unlike the OP I have no issues with sleep mode nor does my OS "pause" per se. I do notice some slight hiccups in Clicker Heroes when the spikes occur, but other stuff like Youtube videos seem unaffected.

    So yeah. Long post, but I hope some good soul can help. That would be very much appreciated... I'd be glad to provide any info and logs if required.

    --
    Before posting I already have an update: Reviewing the Event Viewer now shows me a very large number of Event 225 warnings right before some of the many restarts of mine in the past few hours, e.g.
    "The application \Device\HarddiskVolume5\Windows\System32\VSSVC.exe with process id 1528 stopped the removal or ejection for the device PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C82&SUBSYS_79221462&REV_00\3&11583659&0&FA"
    Hmm??

    --
    Edit1: in Safe Mode, the drive ran smoothly. Now I'm back on the unsafe side, eh. Doesn't click until I run Clicker Heroes. Don't tell me a Flash game that's on Steam is causing these issues... If it wasn't 2 AM I'd try to troubleshoot and uninstall any apps until I find the culprit... happy days ahead.
    Last edited by Hisui; 10 Aug 2015 at 19:09.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    10 Aug 2015 #2

    You didn't say that you upgraded your PSU as well, is it up to the task?

    I ask this because I've encountered similar hard drive issues with PSUs that had faults or couldn't handle the system load.

    You can check the voltages with this: HWMONITOR | Softwares | CPUID

    And do a more extensive monitoring/logging/analysis with this: HWiNFO, HWiNFO32 HWiNFO64 - Hardware Information, Analysis and Monitoring Tools

    Report back with your findings.

    I have 'fixed' this problem before by hooking the drive up to a different power connector if a rail has gone bad in a multi-rail PSU.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       10 Aug 2015 #3

    Hi Nus, thanks for your quick reply, caught me right before going to bed.
    In case you missed my ninja edit in my OP, the clicking does not occur in Safe Mode.

    Anyhow, about the PSU wattage, it's a 550W Be Quiet E8 something something with 80Plus Silver. Granted there are more efficient boxes out there by now but so far it's done its job exceedingly well and should stem the calculated 367W load with ease (roughly 10W more load than my previous setup).

    I don't know how HWinfo logs are handled around here, so I'll just attach the logfile here REDACTED.LOG, hopefully it works.

    Should you need more info, let me know.

    Edit: Interestingly enough, I haven't gone to sleep yet, but will soon (TM). Even more interesting, the clicking disappears completely when the sensor window is open. As such, sensor logging does show nothing out of the ordinary... Crud.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       11 Aug 2015 #4

    I can't make sense of this issue, though I'm slowly getting nearer to accurately describing it.

    - When completely idle, when being monitored or when working (like during chksdk), there are absolutely no clicks.
    - However, when accessing the drive at random intervals, it clicks once and will click again after a certain idle time. After checking with Sysinternals Process Monitor, I initially thought it had something to do with Clicker Heroes (which apparently saves to file every 30 seconds), because the clicks always coincided with the save processes. But 1, the game saves on C: and not on the clicking D: drive; and 2, the issue also occurs beyond the game, i.e. when something accesses D: after a certain idle time.

    I would love to put it down as the HDD's aggressive APM, as I've read a million times by googling what feels like the entire night. But why now? I simply cannot fathom why, after upgrading to Windows 10 and the hardware changes which seemed to have gone down without any hitches so far, it suddenly starts doing this now. It's not like the drive suddenly remembered it has APM and aggressively started enforcing it - I also can't find any other reports of HD155UIs failing like that. (I could try to upgrade its firmware though I might already have done so in the past, hard to find out if the updated FW bears the same version number...)

    Any-bloody-how, I could narrow it down to:
    - buggy Intel Chipset or drivers
    - some software messing with the drive
    - defectuous SATA cable/port or power cable
    - defectuous power supply
    - impending hard drive failure


    The latter 3 seem unlikely, as the clicking does not occur in Safe Mode at all. So it must be some software issue... right?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    11 Aug 2015 #5

    Your PSU is good quality, and if working properly is comfortably powerful enough to run your system. I would only expect it to cause this behaviour if it had a fault. Still, it wouldn't hurt to connect the drive to a different power rail, and try a different data cable just to eliminate those possibilities, as your symptoms are exactly those that occur when a drive is not getting the right power.

    Annoying that the issue seems to go away when using HWiNFO Sensors! Could really do with running logging on the sensors.

    VSSVC.exe with process id 1528 stopped the removal or ejection for the device
    Again, the ejection of an internal hard drive typically occurs when it's not getting enough power.

    Report back when you can definitely eliminate the possibility that it's something to do with the hardware, then we can try and work out what configuration/software issue is causing the drop in power.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    11 Aug 2015 #6

    Hisui said: View Post
    I would love to put it down as the HDD's aggressive APM, as I've read a million times by googling what feels like the entire night. But why now? I simply cannot fathom why, after upgrading to Windows 10 and the hardware changes which seemed to have gone down without any hitches so far, it suddenly starts doing this now. It's not like the drive suddenly remembered it has APM and aggressively started enforcing it - I also can't find any other reports of HD155UIs failing like that. (I could try to upgrade its firmware though I might already have done so in the past, hard to find out if the updated FW bears the same version number...)
    If there is no problems with the hardware then the built-in APM would be my next thing to look at. It may be that previous drivers overrode the drive's APM and whatever you have installed now doesn't.

    See if you can override it using: HDDScan free HDD test utility with USB flash and RAID support

    It's safe software. Select the HD155UI, New Task->Features->IDE Features
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       11 Aug 2015 #7

    Thanks again Nus, was at work all day long but also stumbled onto that HDDScan software.
    First thing I did was disable APM, interestingly enough it was set to 128 (which apparently should not allow spin-down, according to this source).

    Lo and behold! The clicking has stopped! At least it hasn't occurred in the past 5 minutes so there we have it, it's the hard drive's APM. Sheesh... I can sleep well tonight now.
    As for what disabled/overrode the previous APM setting on the drive, I have absolutely no idea. I would place my money on the chipset driver, or something Intel-esque that I downloaded from the MSI page. Something that doesn't run in barebones safe mode. Don't think I cba to waste more time on it for the time being, already lacking sleep from yesterday...

    For the record, I used to have an Asus P8P67 which also had an Intel chipset, no worries whatsoever there - if anything, my main SSD would sometimes not be recognised during normal usage, requiring a power cycle for BIOS to list it again... but never excessive parking. Though both are equally bad. Oh well.

    I'm not sure the APM setting through HDDScan is permanent though. Will reboot and see what gives...

    Edit: Nope, it's not permanent as I'd feared. Now I either try and find the error with the chipset drivers, or go the easy way and buy me a bigger drive that preferably doesn't click. But first the firmware update.
    Last edited by Hisui; 11 Aug 2015 at 14:56.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    11 Aug 2015 #8

    Hisui said: View Post
    Edit: Nope, it's not permanent as I'd feared. Now I either try and find the error with the chipset drivers, or go the easy way and buy me a bigger drive that preferably doesn't click. But first the firmware update.
    Well, if the setting doesn't stick then what you can do is this:

    • In HDDScan choose Build Command Line
    • Choose the settings you want
    • Save a batch file (.bat)
    • In Task Scheduler create a task to run it at startup


    To create a task that runs invisibly in the background, at startup, set it up like this:

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      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 3
    windows 10 pro 64bit
       12 Aug 2015 #9

    @Hisui, I have this "phenomenon" also, and my D drive is also a Samsung but that may just be a coincidence.

    Night...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       12 Aug 2015 #10

    Woops, forgot to post yesterday, been a long day at work just like today... Thankfully it auto-saves drafts, saves me some time. Anyhow -

    Thank you Nus for the instructions, however I preferred going down the quietHDD route and running it as a service. Either way the pesky clicks are gone, and I couldn't be happier. Well, I could, if the issue had never popped up in the first place... but whatever.

    Someday I shall investigate what caused my drive to be one of just few special snowflakes uncharacteristically imitating WD Green drives, I simply cannot comprehend why such aggressive spindown behaviour would be desirable for any drive. 5 minutes okay, but not 10 seconds... But that's for another time. Until then, issue solved.
    (I'll stick around to answer any questions though, and if someday someone comes up with a permanent solution, be my guest.)

    Thanks again Nus for bearing with me, especially with what seems to be not a Windows 10 issue. Hindsight is a beautiful thing...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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