Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

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Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby Andy Mack on Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:42 am

Hiya this has been happening for a while and is getting on my nerves now.

Every few seconds or so I get a beep from the hard drive and I can hear it what I'm assuming is parking.

Having read a fair few posts from various places the parking is either fatal or maybe not, some say it is, some say the disk was designed that way.

Has anyone here had a similar problem with their laptop?

Thanks
Andy
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby Husse on Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:29 pm

The first thing to do - and immediately - is to back up your data! Back up!
If it is the hard drive that makes the noice it's failing - or the disk controller
See if you can borrow another disk (with any Linux or a Windows for that model) and put it in there shortly to check if the behavior is disk or computer specific
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby MagnusB on Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:33 pm

If you have a laptop use:
Code: Select all
sudo hdparm -B254 /dev/sda

Change the /dev/sda with what your harddrive is called. This will hopefully reduce the load on the hard drive, but your battery life might suffer from it..
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby Husse on Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:06 am

I agree to that hdparm but if the behavior has "just started" I still feel it's a failing disk
Once you've backed up, you could try the hdparm solution.
Be warned hdparm can destroy your disk used the wrong way - very powerful command
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby MagnusB on Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:24 am

I just know that due to some ACPI stuff Linux on laptops often causes quite "aggressive" cycles to the harddrive, and it is quite audible. You can also look at this to see if the disk is about to fail. You need smartmontools installed though:
Code: Select all
sudo aptitude install smartmontools
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby Husse on Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:27 pm

Yes there's a thread somewhere in the forum with the title Ubuntu destroys laptop hard drives or something like it.
But he/she writes
Every few seconds or so

I don't have a lappy with Mint (well - one that's really crappy ) so ...
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby Andy Mack on Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:17 am

i used the hdparm and it's stopped beeping but when booting up and loading apps the drive makes a different noise, more like a hd noise now.

When you say parm can destroy you drive if used incorrectly, how should i use it?

After reading what seems to be a million topics on this on dell forums it is the same (problem?) with xp too, and a program can be used to change that thing to 254 to stop the beeping and other thing.

I dont think it is a failing drive as i only got this lappy in january and many other people who mentioned this bought there's recently too.
It seems from what they are saying that the drive is meant to do this beeping crap but that is just hearsay.

Thanks anyways though, if the drive does fail i'll get dell to replace it, no probs with losing data, save to dvd's most weeks.

Much appreciated.
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby Husse on Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:17 am

the advice on hdparm you got from MagnusB is ok, but you can actually destroy your disk with wrong parameters.
Adjust and live with it...
It's just that I got a bit worried when it happened so often...
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby MagnusB on Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:54 pm

Andy Mack wrote:i used the hdparm and it's stopped beeping but when booting up and loading apps the drive makes a different noise, more like a hd noise now.

When you say parm can destroy you drive if used incorrectly, how should i use it?

After reading what seems to be a million topics on this on dell forums it is the same (problem?) with xp too, and a program can be used to change that thing to 254 to stop the beeping and other thing.

I dont think it is a failing drive as i only got this lappy in january and many other people who mentioned this bought there's recently too.
It seems from what they are saying that the drive is meant to do this beeping crap but that is just hearsay.

Thanks anyways though, if the drive does fail i'll get dell to replace it, no probs with losing data, save to dvd's most weeks.

Much appreciated.

I get an aggressive cycle when I shut down, other than that it works pretty ok. I also run -B254 each time I boot up, but that might just be me being paranoid. And hdparm is quite a powerful tool, so careless use could be harmful, especially if you don't know what you are doing. But changing the APM settings should be safe, and if you are not using HP, and actually have a BIOS you can do something with, you can change it in BIOS as well (not all though).
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby Andy Mack on Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:20 pm

Can I run sudo hdparm -B254 /dev/sda2 automatically on boot or not? If so, how?
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby MagnusB on Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:48 pm

I guess so, I have never really tried to figure that out...
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby ed@Mint on Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:36 pm

Hi,

I got the same problem with a Dell Vostro 1500...
This problem is even worse under windows vista, constant "clicking noise" like every second...

With vista, i use a small utility called "notebook hadware control" which boots with the OS and acts quite like hdparm since you set up an option to 254.
With linux i launch the "sudo hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda" command after each boot.
Before installing Mint, i had a Kubuntu 7.10, and after extensive search, i found a topic somewhere to make the procedure automatic at system boot (+ some stuff to change in some configuration files), but i didn't bookmark the page & i can't remember the thing :( (hit me for this)

This is kinda useless post but i just wanted to let you know that there is a solution somewhere :)

While searching for info about this, i kinda understood that this ain't no critical problem, but HDDs have a limited "head parking" cycle number (like 600,000 or so), so this might shorten the HDD's lifetime...
Next, week, i'm in holidays for two weeks, so i'm considering calling dell for them to come fix this (since i have a j+1 1-year long guarantee, laptop bought in january)...
I just hope the dell guy will be able to ghost my disk or something since i just formatted the whole thing less than a month ago and reinstalled everything (and, believe me, installing vista, drivers, and apps takes almost forever...) :|
The "good" thing is that i now keep track of every "hack" i make on linux in text files so that i can find them back if ever i had to reinstall it completely... :lol:

Let the first who finds back the post i'm talking about post it here... thanx for that :)

good luck
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Re: Vostro Beep and HD Parking?

Postby ed@Mint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:32 pm

Hi folks,

I still haven't found that link back :(
However, i wanted to tell you what i just discovered in order to get better comprehension of the problem.
I have just installed the new service pack 1 for windows vista and it seems that the "clicking noise" is gone without using the utility i was talking about anymore.
Looks like the problems with this hard disk are rather software than hardware... (for info, the exact model is : ST9160821AS i think it is Hitachi)

I know we're talking about linux here, but i think it is interresting to see how different OSes handle the same hardware...
So, to this point, i see no other solution to using the hdparm command for linux :|

cya
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