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spronkey

Seagate 7200.7 SATA - unusally loud (.wav links)

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Righty guys,

I've just purchased a Seagate 7200.7 200GB SATA - model ST3200822AS, manufactured in Thailand, and it's making very loud seek noises - MUCH louder than my other two drives:

- Seagate 7200.7 200GB PATA - model ST3200822A (China)

- Samsung 120GB PATA SP1203

I've previously taken back a 200GB PATA 3200822A (Thailand), because it COD'd and failed SMART tests within the first 7 days. That was a bit more of a worrying noise than the loud seeking i'm getting with this drive, but given it's the third fairly new Seagate drive i've had that makes strange noises (PATA drive with it's annoying seagate STIR idle ticks), I'm almost ready to say I'll never buy another Seagate (which adds them to my list of drives to never buy: maxtor, hitachi, fujitsu), and stick to Samsung and WD.

WAVE FILE RECORDINGS For comparison:

http://www.spronkey.com/drivenoise/

Note: the pata.wav file has had volume increased 25%, while the sata wav file is at normal recording, from around 3 inches away from the drive. Note, the background noise is a fan (that's how loud it is).

Is this a worrying seek volume, and should I take the drive back and attempt to get a replacement based on the fact that it's loud? Or is it fairly normal? Given that both my other drives can hardly be heard over fan noise, it's rather annoying.

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Why to keep those "I'll never buy drives from manufacturer X, Y and Z" lists? Better add Samsung and WD also to that list as they die as well. They all die. It's just statistics when it does that.

It's typical for SATA Seagates to make louder seek noises than PATA Seagates. It's the acoustic management that makes the difference: either the drive seeks slow and quiet or fast and makes noise. Seagate has decided it's customers are too stupid to make the decision theirselves and decided for them that all PATA will be configured at factory to slot and quiet, while all SATA are configured to work faster.

All other manufacturers support Automatic Acoustic Management (AAM) and the acoustic management setting can be reconfigured by the user to fit particular need, whether it's faster or quieter than the setting it was shipped with.

So, if the SMART is OK and there's no bad sectors or other serious errors reported by OS, don't worry. You just made a bad choice, if quietness is more important than performance - no other recent Seagate SATA drive would perform quietly.

WD3200xx could be a good choice. They seek quite silently even in high-performance mode. Samsungs have exceptionally quiet and smooth idle sound but aren't very quiet nor fast seekers.

If you want to keep your current drive (i.e. you're only worrying about the drive's well-being, and don't otherwise care if the drive is a little bit on the noisy side), you can make the seek noise less audible with some decoupling. Most of the seek noise is generated by the PC case vibrating with the HDD. Suspending the HDD with rubber pieces, rubber bands, foam, or other similar substances, so that it doesn't touch the case, likely reduces the seek noise to a level of PATA equivalents or makes it even quiter.

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