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 Post subject: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Posts: 9
Location: Stroudsburg, PA
Hi all.

I gave my T42 as a holiday gift to a relative who needed it for work. To replace it I needed something cheap---as in each dollar counted. Thus, I bought an R51 1836 Q4U on eBay.

It was a tough choice: I very nearly spent a few more bucks to buy a T43 from a well-regarded poster on this forum, but decided to roll the dice on the R51, since the T43 came with a weak battery I would have had to replace. (The R51 has a 9-cell that lasts four hours of light use, as advertised.)

Apart from the larger size, the R51 and my old T42 feel much the same. Same CPU---1.7 GHz Dothan, same size and speed HD, and so on. I wonder why IBM got so much more for the T-series when they were new....but to the point:

The one issue with the R51 is disk grinding. Not all the time---but not just when you would expect, when running scans or searches, either. It comes and goes seemingly at random. I tried disabling everything non-critical that might be the cause: hibernation, System Restore, page file, indexing, even Prefetch. None of that changed things. The hard drive still 'gurgles' every now and then.....before it stops for awhile---sometimes an hour, sometimes a bit less---then it starts the grind anew.

Ideas? I hesitate to open the case without a good clue as to what to look for and how to fix it. I am pretty good on the 'outside' end of a PC, if only from long experience, but being left-handed and near-sighted I tend to limit my 'innards' work to RAM, graphics cards and cleaning fans. "Clumsy" is being kind....

Apart from the disk grinding I am quite happy with the R51. The grinding is not so bad it ruins things, but it is sufficiently annoying and distracting to make me want to fix it, if I can.

Thanks for all advice and pointers.


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:41 pm
Posts: 2653
Location: Paragould AR USA
Is it the CPU fan, HDD or the optical drive that is making the grinding noise?

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Collection = T500 - T400 - X61s - T61(14" WSXGA+) - T60p(UXGA) - X40 - T43p- T42p - A31P - A30P - 600E - 770


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 12303
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
Run "linear" test from PC Doctor for DOS on the drive.

If it fails...well, start backing up the data...yesterday.

If it passes, check whether there's a firmware update available for the particular model of hard disk.

Good luck.

_________________
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your friendly retired FlexView farmer)

Collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: T43pSF, T60, T61, R60F, R500F

For sale: various FrankenPads


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Posts: 9
Location: Stroudsburg, PA
Neil wrote:
Is it the CPU fan, HDD or the optical drive that is making the grinding noise?

99.9% sure it's the hard drive. That's the physical location from which the sound originates, and it makes precisely the same noise you hear when Prefetch/Superfetch kicks in soon after boot in Windows. (Though as noted I disabled Prefetch along with all the usual suspects.)


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Posts: 9
Location: Stroudsburg, PA
ajkula66 wrote:
Run "linear" test from PC Doctor for DOS on the drive.

If it fails...well, start backing up the data...yesterday.

If it passes, check whether there's a firmware update available for the particular model of hard disk.

Good luck.

Will try that later tonight. Thanks.

Maybe I shoulda spent a few more buckaroos on that tempting T43....


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:38 am 
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RBS10000
RBS10000

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Posts: 13253
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Start saving a few bucks for a new hard drive, before the Thailand floods chase drive prices further through the roof...
That HD of yours is on its last legs!

_________________
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Board Room for:
- LED-mods for the 15" T60/R60/R61
- SATA-mods for any T43/R52 with ATI GPU
- other Services


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Posts: 9
Location: Stroudsburg, PA
ajkula66 wrote:
Run "linear" test from PC Doctor for DOS on the drive.

If it fails...well, start backing up the data...yesterday.

If it passes, check whether there's a firmware update available for the particular model of hard disk.

Good luck.


I installed PC Doctor for DOS from the Lenovo site, but did not see an option to run a "linear" test. The HDD passed all tests at the Lenovo Toolbox, including the 'full' version.

Thanks for the suggestion. The grinding has let up a bit since I disabled all disk-intensive functions I could think of, but it is still there, off and on. See my next post, in response to RBS.


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Posts: 9
Location: Stroudsburg, PA
RealBlackStuff wrote:
Start saving a few bucks for a new hard drive, before the Thailand floods chase drive prices further through the roof...
That HD of yours is on its last legs!

Thanks for the good cheer. I doubt I will replace the hard drive if this one fails; a new HDD would cost as much as another used R5x or T4x, until production hits full stride again. (How many 2.5" laptop PATA drives are still produced, anyway?) I had heard about the price spike after the floods, but when I checked last night....oy.

Anyway: I am almost certain this drive is not the OE. It's a Toshiba MK4026GAX, with a power-on time of 482 days, per Speccy. It runs at 5400 rpm; all original R51 drives were 4200 rpm, per the hardware maintenance manual at the Lenovo site.

That gives me hope it's not simply dying of old age. The drive passed all the tests at Lenovo Toolbox; it's gotten a bit less grindy since I disabled all the disk-heavy stuff. Now I wonder if some process or service is accessing the hard drive, to make it grind. As noted, it sounds just like Superfetch in the minutes after a Win7 boot.

So, I stopped every non-critical service I could find, then removed Lenovo System Update and Toolbox. I checked task manager and do not see anything suspicious....which makes me think the drive is simply not seated correctly.

If it gets worse I might take a deep breath and open the case to inspect it. My fat-fingered skills for fine-tuning tech hardware are limited....as long as it stays no worse than it is I will just live with it---and back up the few mission-critical files on this puppy obsessively.

If my finances keep me in the $100-ish segment next time I need a laptop, I will shop local....


Last edited by eric99 on Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:01 pm 
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RBS10000
RBS10000

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Posts: 13253
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
If you have another hard disk to try, it's only 1 screw on the right front bottom to remove the drive...
(mind it goes in upside down, label to the bottom of the laptop!)

_________________
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Board Room for:
- LED-mods for the 15" T60/R60/R61
- SATA-mods for any T43/R52 with ATI GPU
- other Services


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Posts: 9
Location: Stroudsburg, PA
RealBlackStuff wrote:
If you have another hard disk to try, it's only 1 screw on the right front bottom to remove the drive...
(mind it goes in upside down, label to the bottom of the laptop!)

OK, I got a replacement hard drive today. Now for the embarrassing duffer's question: How do I transfer the contents of the possibly fried drive that's in the R51 onto the new disk?

Note that there is no recovery partition in the drive in the laptop right now. If there were, I could do the 'transfer' on my own. Also I could have the guy at the computer shop a few blocks away do it on the cheap, probably.....but I am not going to spend another dime on computer stuff till the sun shines bright and the price of gas goes down. (Thus, please do not point me to the marketplace where folks have recovery disks for sale.)

TIA for all advice, as usual.


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 Post subject: Re: R51 Disk grinding
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:41 pm
Posts: 2653
Location: Paragould AR USA
Use Acronis True Image (there is a free trial edition) to either clone the drive, or make a backup image of the drive and restore the image to the new drive. You will want to put the old drive in a USB enclosure and the new drive in the ThinkPad for this operation.

_________________
Collection = T500 - T400 - X61s - T61(14" WSXGA+) - T60p(UXGA) - X40 - T43p- T42p - A31P - A30P - 600E - 770


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