Hard Drive Clicking Solution?
I found this info/program at the Dell Inspiron Talk Forum.
Download Program link: http://www.stevemurfin.com/stuff/silentdrive.zip
Info from readme.txt file included with file:
Copyright (C) 2002, Jaka Jaksic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
All Rights Reserved.
SilentDrive is a little program I wrote because my Dell Inspiron notebook,
which I love dearly, was driving me nuts with constant clunking sounds of
its hard drive. And, believe it or not, this program puts an end to it.
I decided to make it public, because from what I know, there are many of
you with this same problem.
2. ABOUT THE CLUNKS
After spending quite some time in fear that I may have a defective drive,
I found out that these sounds are actually a power saving feature - after
a few seconds (with Hitachi drives it's either 5 or 15) the drive unloads
its heads, which reduces its power consumption to about half. Do not
confuse this with turning off the drive. That's a different feature that
both parks the heads AND spins down the drive, and can be set to happen
after whatever amount of time, from a few minutes to a few hours. It can
also be turned off....
While the idea of power saving is good, I think the way it's done in this
particular case is not only useless and annoying, but also harmful to the
drive. And how much power does it save? Considering that the drive only
uses about 20% of power (2 of around 10 Watts), this particular feature
could theoretically save 10%, provided that the drive is idle and its
heads are unloaded all the time. But the drive is NEVER idle all the time!
In fact, during regular work with computer it rarely gets to be idle more
than a minute (except if it's used as a secondary drive), so the most you
can get out of it is 1-2%. Considering this and the fact that the
unloading and "ununloading" operation itself consumes some power, we get
to the number of around zero. But let's not forget the damage to the drive
and our nerves... even while the computer is connected to AC.....
3. HOW IT WORKS
It's hard for me to admit that SilentDrive does no magic, only a really
cheap trick - it reads a random sector every 5 seconds, which effectively
stops the drive from parking the heads and also keeps the heads from
staying in the same spot for a longer period of time (that's bad for the
drive for some reason I forgot). The solution itself isn't very elegant,
but the silence is beautiful. Well, you'll still hear clicks from drive
access, but that's completely unlike those downright painful clunks,
and also there'll be no more delays that happen when the drive is accessed
while its heads are parked.
SilentDrive should run on all 32-bit versions of Windows, from 95 to XP,
although so far it has only been tested on XP Professional. You may need
administreator rights to run it.
(Tip: If you're not usually logged on as an administrator, you can try to
set it up to run as a service with a utility called SRVSTART. Otherwise
just put it in your Startup or whatever.)
To use this program, just unzip and run it. It doesn't come with any fancy
tray icons or user interface at all, but you'll know it's running if you
look in Task Manager (that's also the place to kill it) and/or don't hear
There is also an optional command line parameter - disk access interval
length in miliseconds, which defaults to 5000. So, running the program
makes it access the disk only every 10 seconds.
Also, try not to run the program more than once.
By using this program you agree that I, the author of this program, am not
in any way responsible for any potential damage to your data or hardware.
You agree that if something bad happens to your files, if keys start
popping out of your keyboard, if your car gets stolen, your wife slept
with or anything else you may or may not like, you won't blame it on
SilentDrive. SilentDrive is your friend, for God's sake...
Although I, the author of the program, am a happy owner of a Dell notebook
with Hitachi hard drive, and that I wrote this program with Borland Delphi,
I am not in any other way connected with those companies.
7. REDISTRIBUTION AND COPYRIGHT
This program is a gift to the comunity of people with economical hard
drives, who live in fear that there may be something wrong with their
drives or are just annoyed by its awful power-saving. So, feel free to
give the program to other people with similar problems. However, you
may only redistribute the program for free, unmodified and together
with this file and all other content of the original archive.
Also, note that this program uses Physical Disk Access library by
Alexander Grau, so be thankful to him as well.