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Why is my hard drive clicking when idle?

Jan 7, 2011 9:53 AM

It seems this only happens in Lightroom. There is a constant click, like a hard drive head seek, once a second. I don't have Lightroom doing anything in the background like building thumbnails, but instead is just sitting idle there for hours. When I close LR, it stops imediately.

 

It has been doing this in LR since I can remember, like maybe years.

 

It's mildly annoying, and moderately worrying that my HD is getting extra wear and tear. Anyone else notice this, or have an idea why it's happening?

 

Thanks!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2011 9:56 AM   in reply to Fohaba

    Back up everything immediately to another drive. Remove the drive If this is the system drive you will need to reinstall the OS and applications. A clicking drive is a failing drive and it will fail completely soon. Lightroom is most likely the first application you have used that really stresses drives. You are best with good quality fast 7200 RPM drives kept well cool. They will still fail eventually, so make sure everything is regularly backed up.

     
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    Jan 7, 2011 2:56 PM   in reply to Fohaba

    LR is hard on disks because it uses them a lot, more or less constantly (rather than at the end when saving as something like PS does, or only when rendering as with a Video editing application). It is reading and writing to the disk where the catalog and previews are and when in develop mode also to wherever the cache is located. If you also have write xmp to file selected it is writing to the disk they are located to as well.

    Unfortunately you cannot separate the previews from the catalog, but everything else can be split onto different disks which both speeds up things generally as well as giving less wear to your disks.

     

    If you can hear a disk over the sound of your cooling, unless you have a water cooled system you most likley have hot hard drives (or maybe not enough cooling fans, or both). Hard drives running at much more than room temperature fail quickly. Anything over 35 C and they fail very quickly. Clicking usually means that yet another location on the drive is being written off. eventually this will lead to failure. To much movement of the heads means a fragmented drive and/or one with too little free space. For an aplication like LR I would always want at least 25 % or more free disk space wherever the catalog is located.

     

    Any noise from a hard drive, other than the start up whine that sometimes comes with some drives after they have been shut down completly, is bad news. I would run whatever checks are available on your OS first, although Windows checks are not that good. CPUID HW Monitor is free and will give you a good idea of the temperatures your disks are running at as long as SMART is enabled in the BIOS. If one drive is running a lot hotter than other then that will be the problem one.

    HDD Regenerator claims to be able to regenerate disks. You can download a free trail. I am not at all sure about its claims to fix drives, but in trial mode it will soon show where the problems are and can be run within windows.

     

    I have lots of drives on my systems as I also do some video editing as wekll as stills. I have experienced lots of drives going bad over the years. The one investment I made last year that certainly imporves drive read times and hopefully will delay drive failures (as well as good cooling) was a copy of Diskeeper. This constantly defrags drives in the background and hardly uses any RAM or CPU time to do it, an excellent aplication for anybody running lots of hard drives on a windows based box.

     

    You can find the apps I have mentioned with a quick google.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2011 10:50 AM   in reply to Pete Marshall

    Hey Pete, do you know that you can move the previews folder using Symbolic Links? Useful if you've a lot of drives in the machine.

     
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    Jan 14, 2011 11:41 AM   in reply to Seán McCormack

    I didn't know it was possible.....I would try it...is there a link to how to do it?

    I have the Link Shell Extension on my windows system, but don't really know exactly how to use it. I assume I can move the preview folder to a separate hard drive from the catalog and then make a hardlink back to the original location so that LR still thinks it is there, however I don't really know how to do this.

     

    Presently I have the app itself on one disk, the cache on a second and the files on a third...I would stick the preview files on a forth, in the same way as I have Premier Pro set up spread over four internal fast disks. This using Win 7 32 bit.

     
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    Jan 14, 2011 2:15 PM   in reply to Pete Marshall

    Here's my OS X article, but someone mentions it can be done on PC in the comments:

     

    http://www.pixiq.com/article/moving-the-preview-folder-mac-osx

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2011 2:36 PM   in reply to Seán McCormack

    Thanks for that..it is real easy in Windows 7, works...don't know if it is any faster yet, but will report. Here is how


    1. Download and install Link ShellExtension if you havn't already

    2. Move previews folder to new location

    3 Right click on new folder select Pick Link Source

    4. Return to catalog folder and right click in the folder

    5. Select drop as symbolic link

     

    You are now ready to go with previews on a separate drive.

    I will put this in a seperate posting as well

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2011 2:38 PM   in reply to Pete Marshall

    I actually added a win 7 link to it since posting.

     
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    Jan 14, 2011 2:47 PM   in reply to Seán McCormack

    Command line stuff...scares people like me...as soon as I see that i start to get scared....the linkshell extension just does it in explorer, much less frightening

     

    What you have to worry about, if you use windows, is why so many useful tools built by microsoft for windows 7 are not included as standard, whilst so much rubbish that slows users down and makes the OS take over the machine is.....it always seems so perverse to me that microsoft cripple there own OS, I sometimes think that Bill Gates still has so many Apple shares he wants to ensure that after a time windows users give up and throw cash at Apple to get a machine with an OS that (usually) works out of the box

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2011 3:04 PM   in reply to Pete Marshall

    Updated again to add this, with a reference back to the thread. Apologies on the accidental thread hijack too.

     
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    May 24, 2013 9:12 AM   in reply to Pete Marshall

    Hello! I also have such a problem. I agree on and render in sony vegas pro 12, and it has worked very well! But something strange happened 1 week ago. When I would render it went no CPU use up to 97% around a while, and then went down to 3% or so, and then started the computer make a click noise. When that clicking sound had been a while so stopped it, and it came up lot of colorful lines and had shut down the computer. Anyone know what it is? Or how to fix it?

     
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