I have just purchased a NAS HDD Enclosure which I was currently using with a 120GB maxtor drive to store my files and using the FTP functions to give my friends access over the net. It’s basically just a normal USB HDD enclosure with a board inside with a extractor fan to cool the drive and RJ45 network connection, with a metal casing that slides over it. (If you aren’t sure of what NAS is click here)
Well today I was showing someone the drive (forgetting it wasn’t all screwed together) I was holding it by the metal case and the guts of the box and heavy drive all came crashing out onto the desk. 100% my fault of course, but then something weird and totally unexpected happened.
I knew there was very little chance of the drive surviving this while switched on! and I was right, the NAS box no longer recognised the drive in the machine and it was completely totalled. When I turned the box off and on again I got a strange clicking noise and then a musical tune, definately not a mechanical noise but a real tune (imagine a song being played through POST beeps).
I presumed this was the NAS box’s way of telling me the drive was blown. Until I pluged the drive into a PC and found the tune was coming from the drive itself.
A bit of googling came up with this forum post (Link)
A guy on the forum posted this (Download), which is the exact noise i am getting.
Another guy posted this video, (Download) again the exact noise i am getting.
Thankfully the drive was just a spare and I already had 2 seperate backups of the data on it. Apart from being gutted at losing a good drive through my own silly fault everything is ok now and I have replaced the drive and the server is working fine again!
That certainly ranks are one of the strangest things I’ve seen, along with motherboard capacitor’s leaking electrolyte!
Update: After asking my friends on grc.techtalk, It seems the musical tune was coming from a component called a “voice coil” which the drive uses to locate data on the drive cylinder heads, this voice coil is coincidentaly the same component that causes the noise to be produced in a simple speaker. So I can only assume the voice coil inside the hard drive was damaged and was causing this strange noise to occur!