natrap

Sata Hdds And Automatic Acoustic Management

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I recently inquired about any SATA HDDs that support Automatic Acoustic Management (AAM). I was told that Seagate have disabled AAM support in all their 7200.7 drives. I have since emailed tech support at Maxtor, Western Digital and Hitachi and all have told me that they do not support AAM in SATA drives.

Hitachi said their Feature Tool does not support AAM but it is likely that the next version will - but could not put a time frame on it. Maxtor similarly told me that their tool - called AMSET - also does not work with their SATA drives. Western Digital told me that they do not recommend changing the acoustic mode on their drives. However, I have succesfully used the Hitachi Feature Tool on my WD PATA drive.

In spite of all this is there anyone out there who actually knows for certain - due to either their own personal use or otherwise - of a SATA drive that can be set to the quiet acoustic mode? Also please state what utility you know can be used.

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I recently setup a Dell Dimension 4600 for a client, with a Seagate 7200.7 SATA drive. The Dell bios has a setting to enable AAM on that drive. It made a BIG difference in the noise so it was clearly working.

I used the Hitachi feature tool to enable AAM on a Samsung SP1614C SATA drive.

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I recently setup a Dell Dimension 4600 for a client, with a Seagate 7200.7 SATA drive. The Dell bios has a setting to enable AAM on that drive. It made a BIG difference in the noise so it was clearly working.

I used the Hitachi feature tool to enable AAM on a Samsung SP1614C SATA drive.

I was told that all Seagate 7200.7 do not support AAM. I also have never heard of AAM setting in the BIOS. I've never had a brand name computer though. According to the Samsung website their utility also does not support their SATA drives. Hitachi also said their Feature Tool does not support SATA drive. I suppose its possible they meant only their drives. It is indeed very confusing that a Samsung utility won't work on a Samsung drive and that a Hitachi utility won't work on a Hitachi drive but it will work on a Samsung drive. God gamn manufacturers.

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Early last year WD drives (PATA) had problems with this (AAM) that made the drives go completly offline. There is a fix for this that I believe disables the feature... Maybe other people are also having problems with this feature...

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IBM/Hitachi has supported AAM on their drives and in their feature tool for atleast 3 years with the release of the 75GXP.

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Samsung's HUTIL utility did not detect my SATA drive. I also thought maybe they hadn't updated the list of drives so I tried it. Hitachi's tool did work.

From Samsung:

"We do not provide this AAM utility because SP1614C has already employed FDB (Fluid Dynamic Bearing)system together with Samsung "NoiseGuard" technology."

Your Samsung drive has this FDB and NoiseGuard. How noisy is it without AAM on quiet mode? How does it compare to older 7200RPM drives that used ball bearing.

Has anyone been able to use the Hitachi tool on a Maxtor SATA drive also?

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Samsung's HUTIL utility did not detect my SATA drive. I also thought maybe they hadn't updated the list of drives so I tried it. Hitachi's tool did work.

Maybe Samsung has decided not to pay for AAM royalties, like Seagate, but the drives still have the functionality, although not supported anymore by the drive's own utility. Just like those hacked firmwares for DVD drives, that make them region-free even if this is not officially supported.

------

I have just tested HUTIL's AAM on my V80 disk.

I have found little difference between DISABLED/ FAST/ QUIET

I think DISABLED=QUIET

And FAST perhaps a little bit louder than QUIET. But I am not sure.

Maybe there is no difference at all.

In both cases, seeks are quite soft. In fact, I have made the test for curiosity, not because I am bothered by the seeks. I like to hear the seeks a bit, to become aware of the disk's operation and possible problems.

The Barracuda 7200.7 seeks are very silent too. Comparable to the V80s.

In contrast, surprisingly, I have "tested" one of my Barracuda ATA IV and seeks are very loud.

Not only that, but also, according to DTEMP, the seeks are in "Silent Mode".

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From Samsung:

"We do not provide this AAM utility because SP1614C has already employed FDB (Fluid Dynamic Bearing)system together with Samsung "NoiseGuard" technology."

the typical useless e-mail reply from the typical useless support guy :lol:

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The V80 is only 5400RPM so that could be why there's little difference in noise.

I still don't understand why the Hitachi utility would work on a Samsung SATA but not a Hitachi SATA.

Would you recommend the Samsung drive? According to the review at this site it is louder than Hitachi and Seagate drives though. I won't go WD because they are said to be the loudest. Seagate drives definitely don't support AAM. Hitachi said they might in the future. Maxtor said their tool doesn't work so perhaps the Hitachi tool would there too.

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The V80 is only 5400RPM so that could be why there's little difference in noise.

seek noise is not RPM dependant.

I still don't understand why the Hitachi utility would work on a Samsung SATA but not a Hitachi SATA.

me neither.

Would you recommend the Samsung drive? According to the review at this site it is louder than Hitachi and Seagate drives though. I won't go WD because they are said to be the loudest. Seagate drives definitely don't support AAM. Hitachi said they might in the future. Maxtor said their tool doesn't work so perhaps the Hitachi tool would there too.

You seem too worried about seek noises. Idle noise is more important.

I only have experience on Seagates and Samsungs.

I think the Seagates have a bit less idle noise than the Samsungs.

But seeks seem more silent in the Samsungs.

I like the Samsungs because are cheaper and have 3 year warranty. Also, I am having SMART warnings for the Seagates. Probably not important warnings anyway.

So far, I am satisfied with both Seagate and Samsung.

WD drives are traditionally noisy and hot. I don't know about the latest models.

IBM has too many horror stories.

Maxtor is traditionally hotter than the Samsungs and Seagate.

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I am worried about seek noises because my hard drive seems to be constantly seeking. The HDD LED is sporadically ticking - even when I am not at the computer. I am always downloading so i just presume that that is why its seeking. If like you say however, that the Samsung drive can be set to quiet mode then I have no worries. Even my WD drive is inaudible when seeking on quiet mode - unless with case off I put my ear to the drive. Keep in mind though that I have only 2 fans - CPU and PSU - both of which are extremely quiet - I think around 25dB.

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Hi, I'm using a Maxtor SATA 250g drive in combination with Hitachi's HDD Feature Tool (Ftool_v190.exe) and have successfully adjusted my AAM settings. It makes a WORLD of difference, just 2 points below the default 255 (no aam) to 253 keeps the seeks almost inaudible.

So in answer to your question, the hitachi feature tool can be used on all drives to adjust AAM, for drives that support it. Seagate drives apparently have AAM disabled due to legal reasons...

To find out if your drive supports it i suggest you google a tool called "Dtemp" it officially reports the temperature of your drive, but also comes with a report tool which has detailed information of the specifications (in particular AAM) of your drive.

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Snark the latest Feature Tool is 1.92 btw. Glad to hear that AAM works on Maxtor SATA too - they just don't have a utility. This makes it even more extraordinary that the Feature Tool won't work on Hitachi drives - but that a later version of Feature Tool most likely will.

Just to clarify is your Maxtor drive a DiamondPlus 9 or a Maxline Plus II. In fact now that I look at them what is the difference?

This now makes my choice more difficult. Maxtor or Samsung?

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I am worried about seek noises because my hard drive seems to be constantly seeking. The HDD LED is sporadically ticking - even when I am not at the computer. I am always downloading so i just presume that that is why its seeking.

Nah, that's probably just Windows' Auto Insert Notification.

Cheers,

Jan

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If like you say however, that the Samsung drive can be set to quiet mode then I have no worries.

no, it wasn't me. It was Broadway Data who said that. He used the Hitachi program with the Samsung SATA drive.

I did use HUTIL with the V80 drive, but found little or no difference. The seeks are still audible, but very soft. Maybe I should try the Hitachi tool, but... no, I won't, I don't want to take risks. I am not annoyed by the seeks.

You say that your computer is constanly seeking. Try to de-fragment your drive. Then, there will probably be less seeks.

Note that some seeks are more violent than others. Sometimes, the drive is seeking, but you can't hear anything, but other times, you can hear it clearly.

For example, when you copy a big file from one folder to another in the same disk, there will be strong seeks. But if you are simply playing a movie, and you do seeks inside the movie (jumping) you probably won't hear anything.

I think internet downloads should induce little seek noise.

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I'm using a Maxline Plus II, the code is 7Y250MO for my particular model. The one thing you should note is maxtor drives do run crazy hot, my hdd temperature is 61 celcius with no fans running in my case except cpu/psu. I'm sure it could be brought down to a normal level with some ventilation however it is something you might like to consider.

I wouldnt ever try putting one of these drives in a shuttle/small form factor pc, as quite a few users have killed these drives in exactly this manner and claimed warranty wasting a perfectly good drive.

The difference is apparently the maxline is supposed to be used in servers and are supposed to be able to run for 1 million hours (thats 114 years... not likely) without breaking down. The diamond plus 9 are advertised as desktop drives, although I imagine they are pretty much the same thing.

thanks for the tip on the tool. i'll go download the latest one then :)

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Jan: Windows Auto Insert Notification? As in for CDs? I don't get it - why would windows be seeking constantly for that, there is no cd in the drive.

Arga: I probably should defragment actually - its been months. Yeah I have notices that some seeks are more violent than others - but I can only tell by looking at the HDD LED because with AAM in quite mode on my WD drive I can't hear it at all.

Snark: I thought that 60 degrees is danger level on hard drives. I've got no idea what the temperature is on my hard drive. Is there a way to check?

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I'm using a Maxline Plus II, the code is 7Y250MO for my particular model. The one thing you should note is maxtor drives do run crazy hot, my hdd temperature is 61 celcius with no fans running in my case except cpu/psu. I'm sure it could be brought down to a normal level with some ventilation however it is something you might like to consider.

I have a couple of 7Y250's too.

They're prolly not telling the truth when it comes down

to temperature thru SMART.

Mine can rise to about 65 - no problem - but when

I put a hand on them I would say hot but not above

50.

There's a rumur on this one out here and I believe

it to be so but cannot refer anywhere.

/casa

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@natrap:

In the Dtemp drive info it says:

Physical drive 0: error reading device id information

Any idea why?

don't know.

DTEMP works with my PATAs.

Is your drive SATA? maybe DTEMP is not SATA compatible.

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