It can be unnerving when your hard drive starts rattling around inside your computer case. But what’s behind that rattling And is there anything you can do to prevent it? In this post, we’ll take a look at the possible causes of hard drive rattling and some solutions you can try. Read on to learn more!
Noise source in hard disk drives are generally vibration, much like the noise generated when shaking a drinks can. During normal operation of a computer, the number of vibrations generated by the hard drive is relatively low and many people never notice their effect. However when the hard drive is badly shaken or bumped by accident then these vibrations become very obvious. When this happens, they not only sound noisier then they usually do but also appear to be coming from within the unit itself – rather than simply being mounted on it.
One possible cause of hard drive rattling is that the drive is loose inside the case. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as poor assembly or vibration from other components. If your drive is loose, you can try to fix the problem by using screws or other mounting hardware to secure it in place.
Another possible cause of hard drive rattling is a malfunctioning bearing. When a bearing starts to fail, it can create excessive heat and vibration, which can lead to rattling. If you suspect that your bearing is faulty, you may need to replace the entire drive.
Finally, another common cause of hard drive rattling is a damaged disk. If there are any physical problems with the disk surface, such as scratches, cracks or dents, it can lead to a rattling sound. If your disk is damaged, you may need to replace the disk if it’s still under warranty. Otherwise, you may need to purchase a new hard drive to avoid data loss.
low-cost driver shake
noise source in hard disk drives are actually high speed motor called “voice coil”, instead of traditional spinning iron servo plate or suspension system used for mounting magnetic heads. Voice coil motor consist of a small magnet attached to the end of a metal pole, which is then passed through an electromagnet that has many windings. When the electromagnet is energized by electric current passing through it, magnetic lines are created, causing the pole mimic or mimic up and down movement which is proportional to the electrical signal applied to it.
The vibration cause by this “voice coil” would go away when you turn off power source applied to it (by switch you computer) so if you keep your computer turned off for long time (like few days or months), any rattles become silent even if shaken hard. If there was permanent damage to hard drive unit replacing with new one may restore hard drive to working order again.
Floating Hard Drive
The theoretical explanations are just fine, but it is much more interesting to actually see it. So we bought an accelerometer chip, wired its 3 axis outputs through op-amps. These were fed into a storage scope so we could record waveforms. Then I attached the acceleration to a Western Digital Ae 6TB HDD which I picked because I happened to have it on hand, and happens to have typical vibration characteristics. I then recorded HDD vibration under two conditions: free floating (actually suspended on elastics); and attached to a massive block of granite. These show the maximum and minimum magnitudes of internal HDD vibration (free-floating shows worst case, HDD mounted to granite shows the best case, whereas HDD’s mounted in a real server are an intermediate case).
Caused by a slight imbalance in the rotating platters. It is a readily identifiable sinusoidal vibration at a frequency that exactly corresponds to the rotational speed of the platter (90 Hz for 5400 RPM, 120 Hz for 7200 RPM, etc.). The dominant imbalance is in-plane so vibration is in the X-Y plane (see diagram below).
Reaction to head seeks acceleration HDD heads are mounted on arms, which rotate to seek to new tracks. These seeks can happen very rapidly, upwards of 100 seeks/second, so the arm must accelerate quickly. According to the laws of physics, a rapid acceleration requires a large force, and each action has an equal and opposite reaction. Thus a rotational force is applied to the HDD body. Although the HDD body is massive relative to the head and arm, the reaction force is sufficient to slightly move the HDD, causing vibration in the X-Y plane.
If none of these solutions work, then you probably have a loose screw around the spindle motor. This can be fixed by removing one side cover and tightening the screws holding the motor in place with an appropriate size Phillips head screwdriver.