Drive clicking regularly - perhaps head parking issue - Help requested from a WD technician

Dear Folks,

A new WD5000BPVT was installed in a laptop three days ago. The drive uses advanced format technology. It is loaded with the Windows Vista SP1 OS. No separate formatting was done by me. OS was installed using the Vista DVD in the default way (which perhaps formatted the drive during installation).

The drive clicks regularly at 5 to 10 seconds interval whenever the computer is not accessing the data on the drive in a burst mode. By burst mode, I mean large data transers, for e.g. file copy, or WD Data Life Guard Diagnostic Tools extended test etc.

Sometimes it clicks more frequently at about 2-3 second interval and sometimes slowly at 1 min interval.

The S.M.A.R.T values reported by WD Data Life Guard Diagnostics Tool v 1.24 on third day of use are shown below. It can be seen that within three days of use the Load / Unload count value has dropped from 200 to 199.

Smart8Mar2013WD5000BPVT.jpg

I spoke to the WD Warranty and General information department about this. They say if the drive is faulty they will replace it. But since my drive is servicing the data correctly (without any flaws), I did not say that it is faulty. On being asked about specifics of S.M.A.R.T values they are not aware of the “internal details” and say that they would try to find it (but it does not look to me that they would be able to, since apparantly they do not have a direct contact with the engineering team).

The clicking looks like the head parking issue to me. See WD Green head parking issues. Though that post is about the Green drives, some other places suggest that the drives series ending with  “PVT” are power concious drives and use intellipark head parking.

I request to provide me a tool to modify the behaviour to reduce the aggressive parking as soon as possible.

I purchased the drive after being happy with the performance of WD2500BEVT, which do not have these clicking noises - it ran for more than 5 years and its Load/Unload count value is still between 150-180. I would be happy if this drive also can also give that kind of life. At the current rate the Load/Unload Count will drop to zero in less than 2 years!

Now I noticed that the ‘G-Sense Error Rate’ is also reducing. Any idea what it is - is it the sensing capability of the heads to read the data.

Any guess of the probobability of drive failure in the next thirty days?

Hi the g-sense error is recorded each time the drive takes a drop. For example if you dropped the laptop 2 inches onto a desk it would record that drop. The g-sense can be measured to tell if it was dropped to far and if so would void any warranty.

Hi Hammey,

Thanks for answering.

The G-Sense error is further reduced by 1 today (See figure below).

 

Can you please tell me if the drive is dying.

The laptop has never been dropped. Yesterday, I replaced this drive with the older drive to read the SMART parameters for the older drive and I installed this drive back. I did not drop the drive anywhere during this activity, but I did take it out of the laptop and placed it in an anti static bag for sometime and then installed it back. I do not think I was careless with dealing and as far as I think I was as careful as anyone I have seen handling a hard drive. (If this kind of activity becomes a drop for a WD drive, then I guess I must avoid them in the future.)

This drive was purchased two weeks back and installed last week. It does not seem logical to infer that the value of 89 that I originally saw means that it had taken 11 drops before I bought it. Needless to say that the drop by two that I witnessed during the use of the drive implies that the drive was dropped twice is incorrect since there was no drop according to me.

Hi well I have never seen a g-sense error count go down very strange. Ok for a example I will use a Toshiba laptop they have the hard drive auto protect when it feels a slight jar it parks the heads and I mean like a little table shake will park the head’s on the drive. The last one I put a blue drive in by the time it was finished installing windows and all there programs the g-sense error rate was at 18, now just sitting down and having the table move a bit caused the auto protect to activate and no where near enough to cause a g-sense error. The only thing I could come up with it that the auto protect every time it activated it caused the g-sense count to go up. If I bought a hard drive that clicked constantly it sounds like a head problem and I would return it. Also in the future when you get a new drive check the smart data anything that’s not right return the drive for a new one. You see some places like staples allow people to buy a drive, take it out of the package do what ever to it they can’t get it to work so they return the drive staples a+ techs hehe recertify the drive and it is put back out for sale again.

Hi Hammey,

  Thanks again for the response, advice and information. It does help to an extent.

  Though I still do not know what to understand about my situation.

  1. My laptop does not seem to have any sensor as far as I know. These are smart values from the previous drive, which ran in the same laptop for 5 years plus (I confess, they impressed me into buying the new drive!).

I do not think the shop from where I buy should allow me an exchange for the new drive after I have cut open the original packing.

  1. The drive does not clicks predictably. It seems to run normal sometimes for quite some time (perhaps when it is under more active use). Then after some time it suddenly starts the clicking business - but even while clicking, if I stress it up again (for example, start a long test or start a long file transfer) it becomes normal again for some time. And clicking when started is also random not continuos - (from 1 click per 10 seconds to 1 click per min).

Update, the G-Sense error rate dropped down by 1 more today.

11Mar13.jpg

The load/unload count that had dropped by 1 has not yet dropped again, but the G-Sense error rate is getting on my nerves now.

The load/unload count has further dropped by 1. Please suggest a rectification. See the figure:

13Mar13.jpg

The drive has not been used for even 10 days!

Does anyone else is using advanced format laptop internal drives and experiencing clicking and dropping of load / unload count SMART values? (The max value of this SMART attribute name is 200 only).