Squelching less
November 13, 2007 10:58 AM   Subscribe

My first ever laptop makes a squelching noise when the hard drive parks. I'm calling it Mr Squelchy and trying to learn to love it but I'm wondering if there is a better solution.

As it was a recent purchase I took it back to the shop and they listened and decided it wasn't a cause for concern performance wise and, with shop background noise, not loud enough to worry about. Sitting in a quiet room, however, it sounds like the after effects of a bad curry. In fact - so intestinal did it sound I literally suspected my belly was in disorder for a couple of days. DiskMon, however, revealed the noise to occur when disk activity stopped - so it doesn't happen when I'm viewing something off a drive (handy) but happens a lot when I'm typing (distracting)

So seeing as I can't return it, I was wondering about the merits of something tweakable that might, every once and a while, call the drive so it doesn't park. I could just virus check every half hour, but I thought there might be a more elegant solution to avoid keeping the drive spinning 24/7
posted by Sparx to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh, and specs: Amilo 2428, running Vista (because it came with it preloaded and I felt I should at least try it and yeah - it sucks as much as you heard)
posted by Sparx at 11:04 AM on November 13, 2007

...So seeing as I can't return it...

How long ago did you buy this and from where? I am surprised that the store is giving you a hard time even for an exchange.

Could you not try to contact the manufacturer directly, tell them that the store is refusing to help you?

You could also return to the store and speak to a manager. You want an exchange. End of story. Demand an exchange! Or, you can also tell them that you spend a lot of time in a library and that you were warned to get this thing fixed or you would get kicked out...

You paid good money for your laptop and you should get it in reasonable running order.

It is not your problem that the computer is defective!

Good luck!
posted by bitteroldman at 11:41 AM on November 13, 2007

Not quite your issue, but could help you identify processes that may contribute to the squelch.
posted by Soup at 11:55 AM on November 13, 2007

Modern drives are supposed to be quiet. Don't wait until this one dies to get it replaced.

And if you don't have 2 gigs of RAM, do that upgrade, and then come back and tell us what your think of Vista. Maybe turn off Aero, too, considering the limitations of your laptop video.
posted by paulsc at 1:50 PM on November 13, 2007

I have already tried to get it replaced. No Joy-as it works fine but it makes mildly squelchy noises - the fact that it works makes it unreturnable. As I said DiskMon indicates it's a drive parking noise - so I was wondering if there was maybe a piece o' code I could run to stop the squelchy drive parking without thrashing the drive itself
posted by Sparx at 2:36 PM on November 13, 2007

My Dell laptop makes a quiet clicking noise when the heads park. To avoid this, I installed Notebook Hardware Control and turned the acoustic performance settings up to the max ("loudest" / "max performance"). This seems to be better anyway because there's an aging-related SMART value ("Load_Cycle_Count") that's no longer increasing.

I don't know if NHC works under Vista, but if not I'd look for something similar that lets you tweak those acoustic settings (maybe even directly in the BIOS).
posted by dixie flatline at 4:48 PM on November 13, 2007

Thanks dixie flatline. That appeared to just work (plus it's a neat little app) when I set the acoustic settings to 'quiet'. Works with the abomination they call Vista too, and its free! Trifecta!

I'll sign off now before I sound all pepsi bluish
posted by Sparx at 11:47 PM on November 13, 2007

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