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IBM T41 hard drive noise (Hitachi Travelstar 40GNX)

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Mikko Suniala, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. My T41 has a Hitachi Travelstar 40GNX (IC25N040ATCS05) hard drive.
    Otherwise I'm very happy with the laptop but the hard drive is making
    too much noise for my taste especially during heavy load.
    Unfortunately it also makes annoying clicks and other not so loud
    noises while (almost) idling. The laptop is about 8 monts old.

    I guess the problem is in the drive and not in the laptop body design.
    Does anyone else have such experiences with the said drive or T41? Is
    the noise a feature of 40GNX? Would some other hard drive be quieter
    inside the T41?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    - Mikko -
    Mikko Suniala, Nov 17, 2004
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  2. Hi Mikko,

    I have an IBM T40 with the exact same hardrive.

    The harddrive was designed to be a high-speed harddrive (and it _is very
    fast) : it spins at 5400rpm and has a pretty big buffer. At the time,
    though, 4200rpm harddrives were almost silent.

    When I got my T40, I was surprised at how quiet it was - compared to any
    laptop I'd ever come across before. It is still that quiet, but compared to
    newer laptops (my sister has just got an R52, and a friend, an iBook, as
    well as the thin Sony Vaio (can't remember the name)) - it is noisier. It
    comes from two sources - the processor and the harddrive.

    With age, hardrives get noisier - but this shouldn't be a problem with yours
    just yet. The clicks are normal - the harddrive is accessed on what seems
    like a random basis by windows - this is especially noticeable when you're
    running low on memory. The loud click is the drive parking - this is
    normal. The problem is - Objectively - how loud is it?? If it really is
    loud (maybe try comparing it to another laptop) - the harddrive could be
    about to go?

    Try setting the harddrive to switch off after 3mins (battery scheme
    settings), and seeing how quiet it is then - you may find that it isn't that
    much quieter, and therefore not worth replacing the harddrive. (NB - it
    often takes much longer than 3 mins for the drive to stop - because windows
    is almost always accessing the harddrive - try resetting the computer, not
    loading any applications and not being connected to the internet). When I
    do this on my laptop, it makes it eerily quiet!

    Duncan J Murray, Nov 17, 2004
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  3. I don't remember the hard drive sound bothering me when I got the
    laptop so I was wondering if the noise could have increased since. But
    I guess not. The processor fan noise of T41 (while the fan is actually
    idling, an issue which has been discussed thoroughly on many forums)
    was an annoyance at first but now I just seem to ignore it.
    I suppose it is just typical noise for this drive. It does not hurt my
    ears but I've also come across laptops with much quieter drives. I
    just wanted to figure out if other people's similar drives also make
    noise or is it just mine.

    Thanks for your reply, although I was kinda hoping there was something
    wrong with my hard drive... you know, with the warranty and all. :)
    Well, maybe after a year or so I'll by a bigger (and quieter) drive.

    - Mikko -
    Mikko Suniala, Nov 18, 2004
  4. Na- the harddrive's great! I have only a 1.3Ghz processor (which means I
    don't have the fan problem - low power), and the high speed harddrive more
    than makes up for it!

    Duncan J Murray, Nov 18, 2004
  5. I recall reading somewhere that this is a known problem. Maybe you
    should search Google...
    Richard Grossman, Nov 19, 2004
  6. Actually I did search Google (without success) before asking.
    Sometimes finding things with Google can be a real pain. Sometimes
    it's just hard to figure out the right words for the search but
    sometimes even the right words don't help. Trying to find reviews of
    products usually results in tens of pages that say "be the first one
    to write a review" (or something like that) and nowadays even pages
    with fake reviews. Of course I realise that this in not Googles fault.

    BTW, is there a website that would do in-depth reviews of laptop hard
    drives? Something like Storage Review (unfortunately they don't review
    laptop drives atm).

    Anyway, I also got two private mails about the noisiness of the 40GNX.
    I clearly am not the only one to have noticed this problem. Thanks,

    - Mikko -
    Mikko Suniala, Nov 24, 2004
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