Anyone get weird noises from their hard drive?

McBernsMcBerns Join Date: 2013-08-04 Member: 186563Members Posts: 41
edited August 2013 in NS2 General Discussion
It happens every time I start up NS2 and go on a server. When it gets to the precache stage, my hard drive makes noises like something is being grinded together. I have two hard drives installed on my PC. So I re-installed the game on a different but quieter hard drive. Same result.
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  • JektJekt Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143714Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    Are you sure it doesn't happen during any other read/write intensive operation? Try a search on your entire C:/ drive for example. I would be backing up any files if I were you.
  • Ghosthree3Ghosthree3 Join Date: 2010-02-13 Member: 70557Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 3,432 Advanced user
    Sounds like the hard drive is reading stuff!
    76561197996992409.png
    SquishpokePOOPFACE
  • RuntehRunteh Join Date: 2010-06-26 Member: 72163Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,883
    This can happen as hard drives get older I believe. I have had my laptop for around 6 years, and the hard drive has seen a lot of files come and go due to work. It is probably slowly dying and it occasionally makes a horrible gritty cyper punk sound. Sort of like a dial up modem, but louder and more abrupt.

    Mine has been doing this for around two years on occasion, but it is worth have things backed up on a external hard drive. You can get some really nice compact drives for around £60.
  • xen32xen32 Join Date: 2012-10-18 Member: 162676Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 1,011 Fully active user
    Run SMART check.
  • UzverUzver Join Date: 2012-11-20 Member: 172632Members, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 74 Fully active user
    edited August 2013
    I usually check hard drive surface with Victoria and by watching a SMART parameter as "number of reallocated bad blocks". After sufrace scan If you get a tons of very slow blocks (takes about some seconds in order to read data instead of some milliseconds) and tons of unreadable blocks - you should replace a disk.
    Also these strange sounds may occur if your disk is heavy fragmented.
  • PimpToadPimpToad Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 166005Members Posts: 155
    McBerns wrote: »
    It happens every time I start up NS2 and go on a server. When it gets to the precache stage, my hard drive makes noises like something is being grinded together. I have two hard drives installed on my PC. So I re-installed the game on a different but quieter hard drive. Same result.

    NS2 is the only game I have installed in my dedicated video game drive (old 10k OEM WD I salvaged) that utterly thrashes it during precache/map loads. It happens pretty randomly, but I can tell NS2 is doing nasty things to it when it starts scratching.

    And no it's not an issue with my drive. SMART's all green and the drive is always defragmented so it has no reason whatsoever to thrash around. Already mentioned how NS2 is the only game causing this issue and I suggest you treat it as such.


  • LokeLoke Join Date: 2003-02-25 Member: 13988Members Posts: 637
    Yeah, I have this very same issue. My primary HDD would make these grinding noises like it was under extreme pressure or something. It never does this otherwise, only during the pre-cache stage. I reinstalled the game on my second HDD though since it's a lot quieter and I couldn't stand listening to this noise for 3 agonizing minutes while joining a server.
  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call? Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    I can only recommend getting a decent SSD. Yes, they cost money, and no they aren't huge (if you aren't super rich). BUT: the single biggest improvement you can make to any computer is to replace that old HDD and put an SSD in there. I just can't stress enough how much of a difference it makes to any computer, fast pr0 gaming rig or crappy slow old laptop.
    For all your gorge busting needs.
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    How True.
  • Ghosthree3Ghosthree3 Join Date: 2010-02-13 Member: 70557Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 3,432 Advanced user
    edited August 2013
    Roobubba wrote: »
    BUT: the single biggest improvement you can make to any computer is to replace that old HDD and put an SSD in there.

    Buy 32gb of ram and install ns2 on a ramdisk :3

    EDIT: Tbh 16gb would probably do it.
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  • UzverUzver Join Date: 2012-11-20 Member: 172632Members, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 74 Fully active user
    Ghosthree3 wrote: »
    Buy 32gb of ram and install ns2 on a ramdisk :3

    EDIT: Tbh 16gb would probably do it.
    Reboot your computer and you will lose all data.
  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call? Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    Ghosthree3 wrote: »
    Roobubba wrote: »
    BUT: the single biggest improvement you can make to any computer is to replace that old HDD and put an SSD in there.

    Buy 32gb of ram and install ns2 on a ramdisk :3

    EDIT: Tbh 16gb would probably do it.

    Even better, save/load the ramdisk from an SSD, then it won't take forever to boot and shut down :)

    For all your gorge busting needs.
    It is very strange how some1 who spend so much time makeing videos to help mans, can fall and take miror image of dark ages bourgeoisie, outdated set of belifs
    How True.
  • AyanomooseAyanomoose Join Date: 2013-05-06 Member: 185153Members Posts: 30
    I get this too. The hard drive is barely a year old. I was worried that it was going to die, but it has been doing it for months and nothing has happened yet. It doesn't always do it though and I've been lazy about moving NS2 over to my SSD.
  • joshhhjoshhh Milwaukee, WI Join Date: 2011-06-21 Member: 105717Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester Posts: 1,437 Advanced user
    Could be one of two things.
    1. Your HDD is dying. Grinding and clicking noises are never a good thing.
    2. Your NS2 is inefficiently installed on multiple sectors causing the HDD to work extra hard to load the game. Go Go Gadget disk defrag.
    or
    3. You need more hamsters one the wheel to power your PC. O_O
  • kk20kk20 Join Date: 2012-10-30 Member: 164592Members Posts: 263
    Get an SSD. SSD made a gigantic improvement in all my games. Rest of my system is good but not top of the line (i5 oc 3.8,6850,8gb) and i have zero performance issues in any game at 1080p
  • meatmachinemeatmachine South England Join Date: 2013-01-06 Member: 177858Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Supporter Posts: 1,551 Advanced user
    RUN A DEFRAG.
    Then back all your shit up and get a new HDD
    Too weird to live, yet too rare to die
  • SquishpokePOOPFACESquishpokePOOPFACE -21,248 posts (ignore below) Join Date: 2012-10-31 Member: 165262Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,610 Advanced user
    Put some lube on the spinny part
    To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to play Natural Selection 2. The gameplay is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of military strategy and advanced mathematics you won't even win a single game. Theres also the game's nihilistic outlook, which is deftly woven into the game. The maps and artwork draw heavily from Riddley Scott's Alien franchise, for instance. The players understand this stuff, they have the intellectual capacity to truly appreciate the depth of the game, to realise that it's not just great, that it also says something about LIFE. As a consequence people who dislike Natural Selection 2 truly ARE idiots. of course they wouldn't appreciate, for instance, the humour in the Marines' existential catchphrase "how do I get to be so good", which itself is a cryptic reference to the high degree of intelligence required to play the game as intended. I'm smirking right now just imagining one of those addlepated simpletons scratching their heads in confusion when spectating a game. What fools... how I pity them. And, yes, by the way, i DO have a Fade tatoo. And no, you cannot see it. it's for the ladies' eyes only, and even then they have to demonstrate that they are within 50 hive skill points of my own (preferable lower) beforehand. Nothin personnel kid.
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  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    When a harddisk is very busy it can make a grinding noise. As long as this is not a continues sound you probably need not worry.
    Check your harddisk drive with some diagnostics & check s.m.a.r.t. values if you want to be sure.
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  • PimpToadPimpToad Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 166005Members Posts: 155
    Other than the diagnostics, are you people seriously telling this person to buy something unnecessary to fix an issue that may be inherent with the game itself? You don't need an SSD that will at most let you load a few seconds faster. My buddy has 3 10k drives in a RAID0 setup and he only loads several seconds faster than I do compared to my old 10k drive that's barely faster than modern 5400 drives. Oh and I used to load way faster than him too until UWE finally decided to fix the vsync issue (much rage to be had when his beast rig takes several minutes to precache).

    UWE already set the precedent for issues concerning precache/map loads in the past so there's a good chance the problem is on their end in this matter.
    LokeMiniH0wie
  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call? Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    PimpToad wrote: »
    Other than the diagnostics, are you people seriously telling this person to buy something unnecessary to fix an issue that may be inherent with the game itself? You don't need an SSD that will at most let you load a few seconds faster. My buddy has 3 10k drives in a RAID0 setup and he only loads several seconds faster than I do compared to my old 10k drive that's barely faster than modern 5400 drives. Oh and I used to load way faster than him too until UWE finally decided to fix the vsync issue (much rage to be had when his beast rig takes several minutes to precache).

    UWE already set the precedent for issues concerning precache/map loads in the past so there's a good chance the problem is on their end in this matter.

    No, but my advice to anyone who doesn't run their os off an ssd is to buy one if they can.
    The all round improvement to your computing life is absolutely vast compared with any other consumer upgrade.
    The added bonus is that precaching no longer takes much time at all, and also your computer is quieter.

    It's a no-brainer of an upgrade to absolutely any device that can support it.
    For all your gorge busting needs.
    It is very strange how some1 who spend so much time makeing videos to help mans, can fall and take miror image of dark ages bourgeoisie, outdated set of belifs
    How True.
  • peregrinusperegrinus Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Members Posts: 2,432 Fully active user
    edited August 2013
    My hard drive sometimes wants to chat about the weather. I find if you give it a disinterested reply the noise tends to go away. Hope that helps.
  • PimpToadPimpToad Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 166005Members Posts: 155
    Roobubba wrote: »
    PimpToad wrote: »
    Other than the diagnostics, are you people seriously telling this person to buy something unnecessary to fix an issue that may be inherent with the game itself? You don't need an SSD that will at most let you load a few seconds faster. My buddy has 3 10k drives in a RAID0 setup and he only loads several seconds faster than I do compared to my old 10k drive that's barely faster than modern 5400 drives. Oh and I used to load way faster than him too until UWE finally decided to fix the vsync issue (much rage to be had when his beast rig takes several minutes to precache).

    UWE already set the precedent for issues concerning precache/map loads in the past so there's a good chance the problem is on their end in this matter.

    No, but my advice to anyone who doesn't run their os off an ssd is to buy one if they can.
    The all round improvement to your computing life is absolutely vast compared with any other consumer upgrade.
    The added bonus is that precaching no longer takes much time at all, and also your computer is quieter.

    It's a no-brainer of an upgrade to absolutely any device that can support it.

    Yeah great recommend SSD all you like, but that's not really addressing the issue of the OP.

    For roughly the same cost one can buy either a 1TB HDD or a 64GB SSD. That's definitely a no-brainer for me!
  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call? Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    PimpToad wrote: »
    Roobubba wrote: »
    PimpToad wrote: »
    Other than the diagnostics, are you people seriously telling this person to buy something unnecessary to fix an issue that may be inherent with the game itself? You don't need an SSD that will at most let you load a few seconds faster. My buddy has 3 10k drives in a RAID0 setup and he only loads several seconds faster than I do compared to my old 10k drive that's barely faster than modern 5400 drives. Oh and I used to load way faster than him too until UWE finally decided to fix the vsync issue (much rage to be had when his beast rig takes several minutes to precache).

    UWE already set the precedent for issues concerning precache/map loads in the past so there's a good chance the problem is on their end in this matter.

    No, but my advice to anyone who doesn't run their os off an ssd is to buy one if they can.
    The all round improvement to your computing life is absolutely vast compared with any other consumer upgrade.
    The added bonus is that precaching no longer takes much time at all, and also your computer is quieter.

    It's a no-brainer of an upgrade to absolutely any device that can support it.

    Yeah great recommend SSD all you like, but that's not really addressing the issue of the OP.

    For roughly the same cost one can buy either a 1TB HDD or a 64GB SSD. That's definitely a no-brainer for me!

    It's my view that every computer should have an ssd. The fact that it would in fact bypass the op's issue entirely while making the entire system so much more responsive is an added bonus. Honestly, if you don't believe the difference it makes to absolutely everything you do on your computer, prepare to have your mind blown when you do eventually get round to using one.
    For all your gorge busting needs.
    It is very strange how some1 who spend so much time makeing videos to help mans, can fall and take miror image of dark ages bourgeoisie, outdated set of belifs
    How True.
    JektSoylent_green
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,875 Advanced user
    edited August 2013
    A hard drive is a mechanical thing and NS2, unlike most games, doesn't batch any of its files into a virtual file system or .wad or anything like that. It reads lots of little tiny textures, material files and props one by one from the drive.

    A 1 MB file takes ~10 ms for a hard drive to read. Then it needs to seek and that takes ~5-10 ms and produces an audible click. Most textures and stuff in NS2 is much less than 1 MB; it will spend most of its time seeking.

    If the seek noise of your drive is at all audible it should make almost continous clicky/crunchy noises when loading NS2.
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,875 Advanced user
    edited August 2013
    PimpToad wrote: »
    For roughly the same cost one can buy either a 1TB HDD or a 64GB SSD. That's definitely a no-brainer for me!

    They don't belong on the same level in the cache hierarchy. They are not the same kind of object, any more than RAM prices should be compared to harddrive prices, or the price of L3 cache compared to RAM.

    L1(~4 clocks) - L2(~12 clocks) - [L3(~36 clocks)] - RAM[hundreds of clocks] - [SSD(~100k clocks)] - HDD(40 million clocks) - [tape drives(hours!?!)]

    An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can get.
  • PimpToadPimpToad Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 166005Members Posts: 155
    Roobubba wrote: »
    PimpToad wrote: »
    Roobubba wrote: »
    PimpToad wrote: »
    Other than the diagnostics, are you people seriously telling this person to buy something unnecessary to fix an issue that may be inherent with the game itself? You don't need an SSD that will at most let you load a few seconds faster. My buddy has 3 10k drives in a RAID0 setup and he only loads several seconds faster than I do compared to my old 10k drive that's barely faster than modern 5400 drives. Oh and I used to load way faster than him too until UWE finally decided to fix the vsync issue (much rage to be had when his beast rig takes several minutes to precache).

    UWE already set the precedent for issues concerning precache/map loads in the past so there's a good chance the problem is on their end in this matter.

    No, but my advice to anyone who doesn't run their os off an ssd is to buy one if they can.
    The all round improvement to your computing life is absolutely vast compared with any other consumer upgrade.
    The added bonus is that precaching no longer takes much time at all, and also your computer is quieter.

    It's a no-brainer of an upgrade to absolutely any device that can support it.

    Yeah great recommend SSD all you like, but that's not really addressing the issue of the OP.

    For roughly the same cost one can buy either a 1TB HDD or a 64GB SSD. That's definitely a no-brainer for me!

    It's my view that every computer should have an ssd. The fact that it would in fact bypass the op's issue entirely while making the entire system so much more responsive is an added bonus. Honestly, if you don't believe the difference it makes to absolutely everything you do on your computer, prepare to have your mind blown when you do eventually get round to using one.

    Your solution involves an unnecessary expenditure on the OP's part for an issue that is most likely caused by UWE. A cursory search on Newegg shows that the cheapest SSD I can purchase with the same capacity as my current HDD costs $155. Seems like a pretty expensive solution for a singular problem don't you think so?

    My laptop came with one and yes it loads the OS faster, but my mind was not blown by the difference in comparison to my desktop. I prefer the capacity over (my perceived) negligible performance gains an SSD provides.

    PimpToad wrote: »
    For roughly the same cost one can buy either a 1TB HDD or a 64GB SSD. That's definitely a no-brainer for me!

    They don't belong on the same level in the cache hierarchy. They are not the same kind of object, any more than RAM prices should be compared to harddrive prices, or the price of L3 cache compared to RAM.

    L1(~4 clocks) - L2(~12 clocks) - [L3(~36 clocks)] - RAM[hundreds of clocks] - [SSD(~100k clocks)] - HDD(40 million clocks) - [tape drives(hours!?!)]

    An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can get.

    I thought we were comparing HDD's and SSD's? I consider the ludicrous cost per GB to be a large factor in my decision to stick with HDD. I do admit that SSD's provide performance gains over standard HDD's, but I won't pay a 900% premium for it.

    An SSD may possibly be the single biggest upgrade one can get, but that only applies if your computer is already running top-end parts. Besides it's not like it offers much, if any, performance increase once your game finishes loading.
  • KamamuraKamamura Join Date: 2013-03-06 Member: 183736Members, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 669 Advanced user
    I also have NS2 and other I/O intensive games in a SSD drive. SSDs have insanely short seek times. You should not think of them as HDD replacements, but as a I/O booster in special cases where it is needed.
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  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call? Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    PimpToad wrote: »

    An SSD may possibly be the single biggest upgrade one can get, but that only applies if your computer is already running top-end parts.

    I'm sorry to bang on about this, but honestly this just wrong on all levels. I have a horrendous old laptop. It has a Pentium 4, 1GB ram, and would take ages to do everything. I put a cheap 60GB ssd in there and now it's an awesome living room laptop. everything is responsive, not just loading programs but anything that program does is sped up enormously, if it had anything to do with reading or writing anything.
    Older computers actually benefit more than top end rigs (but they still benefit hugely too).

    I will grant you that once you've loaded into the game, it won't speed the game up, but loading maps, downloading mods, precaching, etc are all sped up immensely
    For all your gorge busting needs.
    It is very strange how some1 who spend so much time makeing videos to help mans, can fall and take miror image of dark ages bourgeoisie, outdated set of belifs
    How True.
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    Not answering the OPs question with this one but yes, a SSD is a solid performance upgrade on even a very old rig.

    Problem with ssd however is limited size. A ssd per GB is a lot more expensive then a normal drive.
    Also cheaper ssd tend to be 'slower' then there more large (246 or 512 or higher) relatives.
    SSDs new tech also is a bit of a grey area. The ssd controller is one of the big influences on performance & stability and most of the ssd are below expectations on that. (I would definately readup folk, it does matter. Controller is the most important part of a good ssd)
    Also SSDs perform worse over time in a non trim setup. Older computers may lack trim.
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  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,875 Advanced user
    Problem with ssd however is limited size. A ssd per GB is a lot more expensive then a normal drive.

    A problem with RAM is it's limited size. RAM per GB is a lot more expensive than a normal SSD.


    Makes about as much sense. SSDs are mid-way between RAM And HDDs; the only reason you think of them as storage is the impermanence of RAM(this too may change in the not too distance future).
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    No you simply misunderstood me as I didnt talk anything about ram.

    a low GB ssd has less speed then a version of the same model with more GB.
    While its still godly fast compared to a normal disk, a 60GB ssd for example, is in the ssd world very slow.
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    Old/resigned Dutch Translation Lead. Give feedback about the translation, or help improve by clicking: Current NS2 Dutch translation project. Dutch players apply!
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    Ingame: DCDarkling
    'DCDs Steam Workshop', for your NS2 X-Hairs and Viewmodel Weapon mods
    Viewmodels are the ones you hold in your hand, not the one shown in the world!

    Old NS2 Stuff:
    Marine Commander Guide NS2
    Alien Commander Guide NS2
    NS2 Mentor Program
    Old NS1 stuff:
    'Infested Pack v0.6' for models & props
    Darklings Guide to Commanding Version 1.001
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