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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drives | Physical Problems ]

I hear a loud buzzing sound or rattling sound coming from the drive

Explanation: The hard disk is making a buzzing or rattling noise and/or is vibrating a great deal when in operation.

Diagnosis: The most common cause of this problem is that the bearings in the drive are causing trouble. This is a relatively common problem. Noisy bearings don't affect the performance of the drive (other than aesthetically), but problems of this sort have a tendency to get worse over time. On a newer drive this is often the sign of a manufacturing defect.


  • Make sure that the hard disk is mounted properly into the case, as a loose drive can accentuate vibration and noise.
  • Monitor the noise, if possible, over a period of several weeks. See if the noise is getting louder or not.
  • Contact your manufacturer's technical support department for ideas regarding this problem and ask them to what degree noise coming from the drive is normal. Of course, many technicians will tend by nature to say "don't worry about it" but if you present yourself as persistent, polite and informed you can usually get a straight answer in most cases. If the drive is new and is making a lot of noise, in my opinion you should get it replaced.

Next: File System Problems

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