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Chapter 33. Managing the Hard Disk > Tips from the Windows Pros: Quieting a Noi...

Tips from the Windows Pros: Quieting a Noisy Drive

Hard drives vary in the noise output they produce. Sometimes the stepper motors are annoyingly loud. Other drives have loud spindle motors. When a drive is coupled to the body of the computer housing, motor noises can be effectively amplified, increasing the aggravation you experience using a system. If your computer sounds like a garbage disposal from time to time, chances are good that the stepper is not a quiet one, and as the head dances around on the platters, the drive shakes just enough to get the computer chassis rattling a bit, too. It's a bit like the relationship between the strings and the body of a violin.

Spindle motors (the motor that turns the platters at high speed) often start out life quietly, only to get noisy over time as the bearings wear in (or out). This noise is particularly annoying in laptop computers if you happen to use them in a quiet place, such as a library or in a home office. I actually replaced my 8GB IBM 3.5-inch drive once this year (Dell laptop, free of charge thanks to Dell), only to find that within a few months it developed the same annoying whine again, so I gave up and accepted it.


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