Re: Hard drive making noise during network activity

Carl Thompson (
Fri, 15 May 1998 13:41:56 -0500 (EST)

My guess is that the sound is coming from the speaker on your modem. In
my experience, some cheaper modems do not have properly shielded
components that drive the speaker and you can get noise that coincides
with interrupt activity on your machine. Listen closely while moving
your mouse around in X or while pressing and holding down a key on the
keyboard. Do you hear the same kind of sound? I had this problem
recently with a voice modem so I was running it with powered external
speakers. Since there's nothing more annoying than amplified interrupt
noise I had to return the modem.

Try running you system with a different modem, too.

Hope this helps,
Carl Thompson

On Fri, 15 May 1998, Mike A. Harris wrote:

> On Thu, 14 May 1998, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
> > For quite some time now my hard disks have being making noise
> > during downloading and other network activity. I'm using dialup
> > ppp for my connection. Even if I telnet to a remote computer,
> > and run PINE for example, every time the screen gets updated, I
> > can hear this faint "zzzzz" of the hard drive. I don't
> > understand why all network traffic is generating this much noise.
> > It has been doing so for months and months with various kernel
> > releases (2.0.x). I'm currently using 2.0.34pre13.
> >
> > I think it might be possible that I've configured something into
> > my kernel that I don't really need that may be causing this. I'm
> > attaching my kernel config below, so that someone may be able to
> > tell me if it is a configuration problem, or a kernel bug.
> >
> > Try looking in /var/log and see if you have some log files which are
> > growing. That'll help you identify what's causing the syslogging (which
> > is almost certainly what's causing your hard disks to make noise during
> > network activity.)
> That is what I figured too, however I haven't changed any of the
> default log facilities, or added any new things that would cause
> such behaviour.
> The only large log files are maillog, and messages. The maillog
> file makes sense, since I can expect disk activity during
> "fetchmail", however ALL network traffic is generating this
> noise. messages, has ppp connection messages, but nothing
> verbose. I'm watching the logs right now while doing some
> pinging, and a couple remote telnet sessions, and every time the
> screen updates, the noise appears. I thought it might be my
> monitor, so I turned it off, and it is definately coming from
> inside the computer. Hard disk access. I can't for the life of
> me understand why, since the log files are not growing while this
> is happening.
> Someone suggested that I might have been hacked, but I know I
> have not, since for one, I use a dynamic IP, for two it did this
> noise on my first connection to the net, so I know that no-one
> has breached me. I'm just a home-pc with dialup PPP in Linux. I
> do have a firewall installed, and tcp wrappers to mask off
> attacks as well.
> It didn't do this before in older kernels, at least not to my
> knowledge, so that is why I suspect the newer kernels. I will
> download 2.0.29 and 2.0.30 and try them out as well.
> Any further help would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks for your reply.
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