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Ever since I installed Ubuntu, I've noticed the hard drive making a few new sounds. Most of them are soft scratching noises, but I'm not sure if it has to do with a failing drive. I just got this computer last year.

I ran the commands from Fix for Constant Hard Drive Clicking Noise in Ubuntu and Problem with hard drive clicking, even though my computer's hard drive is not clicking, just scratching. It helped some, but I can still hear the sounds. I don't really recall hearing them when I had Windows installed prior to Ubuntu 14.04.

I also ran the tests on this blog and got a number of 193 for the Load_Cycle_Count and 9 for Power_On_Hours. The blog said that if you divide the Load_Cycle_Count by the Power_On_Hours, you should get a number less than 15, though I got 21.4.

So far, I haven't had any issues or warnings relating to the hard drive, and speed is as good as on Windows!

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closed as off-topic by Thomas Ward, guntbert, Radu Rădeanu, souravc, Eric Carvalho May 2 '14 at 13:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This describes a problem that can't be reproduced that seemingly went away on its own or was only relevant to a very specific period of time. It's off-topic as it's unlikely to help future readers." – souravc, Eric Carvalho
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Backup a lot. I cannot say these are normal sounds on ubuntu. No sounds previously or with windows (if dual boot)? New drives aren't terribly the comp still under warranty? I just bought a system and I think all the parts were covered for 2 years at least, standard. On the other hand it could run fine for years... – RhZ May 1 '14 at 4:46
Okay. I didn't know if installing Ubuntu nulled the warranty or not. So far it's been running great, but I have backed all my files and Ubuntu up to two separate USB drives just to be safe. – Noah Buscher May 1 '14 at 12:05
I should probably also mention that this scratching noise only occurs when the hard drive is reading / writing (when the light for the HDD turns on). – Noah Buscher May 1 '14 at 12:08
Yeah just plan to back up regularly, it could run for years like this. Years ago I had a dell and the brand new disc scratched a bit, but I freaked out and made them replace it. So dunno if it would have been ok. – RhZ May 1 '14 at 18:35
Is this a western digital green drive? Most of the sound in your recording sounds like perfectly normal IO to me, but then there are two light "bump" sounds that could be the head parking. Combined with the high load cycle count, my guess is that you have a WD green drive that uses aggressive head parking. – psusi May 2 '14 at 0:46
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If your hard drive makes new sounds that it hasn't made before, it could be an early sign of damage to the drive.

The other possibility is that it's simply normal sounds that the drive makes, but you haven't heard before, perhaps because of different usage patterns. Drives can make clicking noises when seeking in particular patterns or when parking their heads, and these can happen at different times depending on the software being used.

Either way you should always have regular, recent backups should the drive fail. This is true of all hard drives, not just ones that you are noticing unusual sounds from.

Should any other hard drive diagnostics - either filesystem checks or SMART monitoring tools - pick up any errors this would be further evidence the drive may be failing.

Whether you should replace the drive immediately depends on whether you can easily afford it, weighing up the cost of the new drive versus the slight risk your drive may fail earlier than it otherwise would have. But there is no such thing as a hard drive that won't fail. It's just a matter of time.

I didn't know if installing Ubuntu nulled the warranty or not.

No, it shouldn't affect any warranties against hardware faults, at least.

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Thanks! I've been using the hard drive for a few days now without any issues, and all the SMART tests (short and extended) came up with no fails and no bad sectors. Just to be safe, I also booted the BIOS is diagnostic mode to try and see if that caught anything, but it passed, as did all my other hardware. I've made backups of all my files. – Noah Buscher May 2 '14 at 12:06

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