Aug 192010

Hurrah, Hallelujah esplendidos. 😀

I have finally resolved (I think) an issue I’ve had intermittently since I bought my Dell Studio 1557 in November 2009.

Hard Disk Clicking and beeping in a disturbing manner.

Every once in a while (seemed to be worse in hot weather) the Hard disk would make a clicking noise accompanied by a beep from the system (like the beeps you get at startup). If you’ve ever had a hard disk crash, you’ll know the clicking sound. And it is a sound that makes you think your hard disk is going to crash – which instills fear into the heart.

You may remember in May I discovered the cause of the DVD drive not working well. Well this HDD noise was the next niggly issue. It hasn’t stopped me from doing anything, but it has made me fearful for the life of my HDD.

This week I happened across this forum thread which has 157 pages of chatter about the Studio 1557. It also gives insight into some of the problems people have had with them. Some a lot worse than mine.

Although I didn’t specifically find the noisy HDD issue solution there (I didn’t read the whole thread – it must be there somewhere) a few people made remarks about it, which made me search for a solution. The solution was buried in the drivers update page of the dell web site. Basically, it’s a known issue with a certain batch of Seagate HDDs. All you have to do is update the HDD firmware.

Firmware 4SDM1 or 5SDM1 fixes clicking noise on Seagate 2.5″ 7200RPM HDD’s Model #’s:

160G – ST9160412AS DP/N J423T
250G – ST9250410AS DP/N K556T
320G – ST9320423AS DP/N F729T
500G – ST9500420AS DP/N G629T

So that involved

  1. Backing up some vital data in case the update failed
  2. Downloading a boot disc image file for the update.
  3. Burning a CD of the disc image (in Win 7, right click the iso file and choose “burn disc image” )
  4. Rebooting and pressing F2 to go into setup to change the boot sequence so I could boot from CD
  5. Booting from the CD and letting it do its stuff, (<1 minute)
  6. Removing CD
  7. Switch off PC and switch on again
  8. Rebooting again after Win 7 asks you to

And here we are, next day and I have yet to hear the horribly nasty sound that makes me think my Hard drive is about to crash. I think it’s worked. Hurrah, Hallelujah esplendidos. 😀

I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but the computer seems to be running slightly cooler as well.