G-Tech external hard drive extremely loud scratching noises

Nostromo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 26, 2009
1,358
2
Deep Space
My less than three year old G-Tech 1 Tb drive makes very loud scratching noises, particularly when starting up or sometimes just when idle.

Writing is still silent.

No clicking noises.

Will the hard drive fail soon?
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2011
6,590
1,046
Baltimore, Maryland
That might be the sound of a couple of "bad blocks" on the drive. You should back-up what's on there right away if you need to.

If you haven't already, verify the disk with Disk Utility and see if it checks out as OK. DU doesn't detect a lot of problems, however...bad blocks being one.

Being on USB, the S.M.A.R.T. status can't be determined.

Do you have access to a Windows computer? If so, you could run Seagate's free "SeaTools" to check the drive and even repair bad blocks. SeaTools will check and can attempt repairs on any drive formatted, I think, in any manner. I had one making unexplained "activity" noises. SeaTools found two bad blocks and "repaired" them...no more noises, although I'm not sure I trust it now!

You could buy a third party Mac app to check the drive, but that could cost as much as a replacement drive.
 

Nostromo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 26, 2009
1,358
2
Deep Space
Is there a fan in the case?
No, it's a fanless design. So, a fan can't cause this by touching the casing.

That might be the sound of a couple of "bad blocks" on the drive. You should back-up what's on there right away if you need to.

If you haven't already, verify the disk with Disk Utility and see if it checks out as OK. DU doesn't detect a lot of problems, however...bad blocks being one.

Being on USB, the S.M.A.R.T. status can't be determined.

Do you have access to a Windows computer? If so, you could run Seagate's free "SeaTools" to check the drive and even repair bad blocks. SeaTools will check and can attempt repairs on any drive formatted, I think, in any manner. I had one making unexplained "activity" noises. SeaTools found two bad blocks and "repaired" them...no more noises, although I'm not sure I trust it now!

You could buy a third party Mac app to check the drive, but that could cost as much as a replacement drive.
I have Disc Warrior and will check it out.

Bad blocks, would this mean it's more a firmware problem than a hardware problem, and the heads would scrape around too much before finding the right spot - which could cause scratching and that there is no noise once the disc is being written on?
 

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