Having spent several years developing software for large disk subsystems, I frequently found myself surrounded by racks and rack of noisy disk drives (or “disc” for the purists among you) often performing random seek tests in less than forgiving laboratory environments. Not for anyone who suffers from migraines I can tell you.
However, what I never really realised until recently was that there is somewhat of a subconscious comfort factor associated with the noise generated by a hard disk. As long there was a nice actuating noise coming from the disk (and not a high-pitched scratching noise), it at least meant that the system was still doing something and not hung.
I say this because I am currently in the process of carrying out some lengthy configuration of some new Solaris servers from a remote location (another room in the same building) which involves lots of slowly moving progress bars. I keep looking around for the system chassis to listen for disk activity (or look at a disk activity LED), all to comfort myself with the fact that the update is still progressing … but alas, nothing.
It’s a very strange feeling.