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New upgraded drive always seeking (loudly)

358 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Jazzsax
I just upgraded my 5040 to a 160MB Seagate and though it's all working and the drive is quiet, it seems to be seeking all the time (which is really NOT quiet). It's not one of those seek-every-1/2-sec things, but a very fast seek sound. It does it while it's on Live TV, but for example, if I go to view something without live TV on it, the seek stops.

Now, I know you want to say.. well, it's just buffering the TV to the HD for Instant Replay, etc, but I don't remember the sound of the seek being this obvious, and certainly not as obvious as the stock Maxtor 40gb that was in it. And it's a Barracuda V Seagate to boot.. so it's supposed to be a quiet drive. It's to a point where I will have to probably put the 40gb drive back if I can't fix this since it's the bedroom TV.

I was thinking that maybe it's doing a one-time diagnostic since I just installed the drive, but I've left it running 4 or 5 hours now and it won't stop.

I've tried:

1) Powering completely off and restarting (ie, pull the plug)

2) Making sure it was on Live

3) Reconnecting to network to refresh the guide, etc

4) doing a few rewinds and then Lives

.. but the seek is still there. I am running the latest 5.0 software. I guess I'm hoping it's not just a normal drive sound. There's no AMSET for Seagate drives as far as I can see.

Any ideas? Thanks.
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same here - but I have a Maxtor 120GB and don't want to use the AMSET...
Seagate is not the quietest drive despite their claim. There isn't an AMSET like utility either. It is what it is.

Quietest drive I've found is the Samsung 7200 model and Maxtor (when you set AMSET /QUIET). Too bad 7200 RPM Samsung fails to boot in the 5000 series.
To somewhat answer my own question, I did a good deal of research and found this tool that appears to allow Seagate drive owners to set the S.M.A.R.T parameters on the drive, including the AAM.


..the Feature Tool. I think because IBM/Hitachi developed SMART, they don't check for drive IDs when the tool runs. It worked on my PC's Maxtor too (though I didn't change any params on the drive) I did notice that both those drives had the SMART turned off. The Maxtor is an old 6GB model so it may not have had this option enabled.

The big issue however for me was that I could not set the AAM param on the Seagate drive as it stated it was not supported, though other parameters such as write cache settings were modifiable. Not sure if that is a bug in the Feature Tool or if the Seagate drive has a different setting for their AAM, or it's really not supported by the drive.

In any case, the 7200.7 Seagate Barracuda drive I have.. well, I've given up. I guess I'll have to try a different drive. A comparison of the Seagate drive and the stock Maxtor Fireball 3 drive showed a very noticable noise difference in seek. The idle noise on both was very good.
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Do you recommend using the AMSET utility on MAXTOR drives all the time? Or only certain models?
The Seagate B'cuda drives do support the Automatic Acoustic Management feature, see p.33 here:

No BTDT but I suggest trying the Seagate tools from their website.

- Matt
Originally posted by johnner1999
same here - but I have a Maxtor 120GB and don't want to use the AMSET...
Just curious, why would you NOT want to use AMSET on your Maxtor?

Is it in a PC? Then I could understand it; but if it's in a Replay???
Originally posted by TMOSteel

Do you recommend using the AMSET utility on MAXTOR drives all the time? Or only certain models?
I would set AMSET /Quiet on all Maxtor drives. I find seek clicking unacceptable in a TV top appliance such as a PVR.

I called Seagate support and asked if they have a AMSET like utility. I was told Seagate does not have the rights to this technology, end of story.
I got this reply back from Seagate. I guess this stuff is mostly here now for documentation purposes in case someone does a search someday on Seagate and quiet drives...


Seagate has decided that we will no longer support AAM. Seagate is in the

process of removing all product information pertaining to the support of


Our drives are extremely quiet while operating at the highest performance

levels, so we believe the ability to switch between Modes is unnecessary.

We are also involved in patent litigation with Convolve and MIT. Although

we believe the lawsuit is without merit, Convolve alleges

that one of its patents, US Patent No. 6,314,473, covers AAM technology.

We understand that Convolve told the T-13 standards committee that it

would license its patents on a reasonable, non-discriminatory basis.

If you want a utility that will switch AAM modes you must procure it from

a third party. Seagate cannot make any recommendations as to what third

party utility you choose to use, nor do we in any way support the

utilities. However you can perform an Internet search for Automatic

Acoustic Management and select from the available 3rd party
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