The Hamster in my hard drive is back
December 15, 2011 9:28 PM   Subscribe

I have a Iomega Home Media drive on my LAN that starts chattering like it is about to explode with activity.

I had the same thing happen on the last one and it finally just died form exhaustion. It just started accessing reading/writing whatever at a ferocious speed, sometimes for a second, sometimes for a minute. On that previous one it started and kept going for a few weeks until finally it died.

This "new" one is a refurb replacement. It was silent for about a month and today the chattering/insane/hamster wheel accessing has started.

I looked at Console, but there does not seem to be anything unusual. Then I tried Little Snitch to look at the Local Network Activity and again I can see nothing odd going on at all. I thought perhaps it was Spotlight trying to index the drive, but it is not listed as a source for indexing in the preferences.

All I keep on it are movies files that I use for NAS to my ATV.

Love to get some more ideas on how to get this thing calmed down, it makes me nervous just hearing it under the desk, like time bomb.

Thanks MeFi
The drive is connected to a Ethernet switch that is coming out of my Time Warner Motorola Cable Router.

Mac OSX Lion
Iomega Home Media Drive
Ethernet Switch
All hard wired

There is also an ATV and a Time Capsule on the same LAN. I also use BackBlaze for remote backups (No the drive is not listed there as well)
posted by silsurf to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
The sound could be the bearings in the box's fan going out. Then once the fan stops working, the drive or power supply goes out and you've got a paperweight.
posted by zsazsa at 10:06 PM on December 15, 2011

The sound is absolutely a read/write accessing sound. I was going to upload a sound clip, but there is not doubt it is the drive working.
posted by silsurf at 7:54 AM on December 16, 2011

Iomega drives are known for noisy fans. But if it's definitely the HD, what happens when you cut network access to it?
posted by samsara at 10:53 AM on December 16, 2011

Here is the sound in all its glory
posted by silsurf at 12:12 PM on December 16, 2011

I just unplugged the Ethernet cable, I assumed it would be silent. But about a minute later the hamster started again. Seems to have nothing to do with anything outside the device itself.

Now THAT is weird
posted by silsurf at 12:44 PM on December 16, 2011

That definitely sounds like a fan to might be rubbing up against something, perhaps a wire. If the HD has an activity light and you're hearing the noise while it is not blinking, definitely another moving part within the case.
posted by samsara at 1:51 PM on December 16, 2011

Just for reference though, in case it is not a failing or obstructed fan, here are some failing HD sounds to go by.
posted by samsara at 1:54 PM on December 16, 2011

Hmm. I can hear the fan going, it is constant whirr. This activity comes and goes and sounds like all the other (five hard drives) on my desk when they access. I guess I can pop the lid to make sure it is not the fan, but it sure does not sounds like any fan I have ever heard.

I know about Iomeas rep regarding fans, this is my third Home Media Drive from them, the first one had a huge fan issue, the second and third have hamsters in them.

I greatly appreciate your help in trying to figure this out.

posted by silsurf at 2:39 PM on December 16, 2011

How's the activity light? (if there is one). Fwiw, I had a Lacie drive that had what sounded like a constant drive activity....ended up the power supply was slowly going bad. In your case, it's possible the spindle is making that noise instead of the fan. I'd just be extra cautious and keep backup copies of everything on it, just in case. I think It'll be hard to speculate unless it is disassembled...but only if you feel comfortable doing that (eg. out of warranty)
posted by samsara at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2011

Thanks, I think a disassembling is due. It is all backed up

posted by silsurf at 1:12 PM on December 17, 2011

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