2 Iron

Alienware 17 R3 - Clicking noise from left side? (video included)

FYI: Alienware 17 R3 - i76820HK - 8GB GTX980M - 16GB RAM - PCIe SSD + HDD

Since I've had this I've noticed that there is an intermittent sound coming from the left side of the machine, and the best way I can describe it is as a cross between a soft click and a liquid drip.  It sometimes happens regularly, say every 5 seconds whilst other times it is silent.

I've done a little research regarding this and someone mentioned it could be something to do with the power efficiency settings on the HDD causing the head to be stored when not required - is this true?

I just want to find out if this is something other people have experience or if it is an anomaly and what could be the cause.

I made a quick video of it where you can hear the noise a couple of times (at 2s and 7s):

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3 Replies
3 Zinc

RE: Alienware 17 R3 - Clicking noise from left side? (video included)

i had a similar problem as you are describing, but only when the fans turn on

but it sound like this

and i solved it by replacing the left fan, in your video i cant hear anything..... you need to make a better sound quality video

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2 Iron

RE: Alienware 17 R3 - Clicking noise from left side? (video included)

Hey, thanks for your response. In this case it's definitely from the secondary hard drive as I've tried running without it and the sound goes away.

That is the best quality I can get of the noise, but I promise you if you put headphones on and turn the volume up you can hear the dripping kinda noise at the 2s and 7s mark.

I need to know is this is a normal noise or if I need to get the HDD replaced before it breaks.

I've noticed that it seems to occur when the HDD goes between high usage to low usage or vice versa.

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7 Plutonium

RE: Alienware 17 R3 - Clicking noise from left side? (video included)

The "click" is hard drive thermal re calibration.

"new feature" hard drives now have advanced power modes.

This happens when the HDD leaves idle mode and goes to do an active seek.

The built in servo mechanism automatically adjusts for shifts in the position of the media due to temperature variations.To combat this problem, most drives include a feature called thermal re-calibration. Every few minutes, the heads are moved and the distance between tracks measured. This information is recorded in the drive's memory and used to aid in positioning the heads when when reading or writing to it and even if you are not. As drives become more dense this happens more often.  When it can no longer read or calibrate it usually clicks frantically and the drive is dead.

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