The history of drive clicking
Andy Finkel explains why the Amiga floppy disk drive has
an annoying clicking sound:
The story actually is as follows:
When the A1000 came out, we wanted to be able to automatically
detect disk insertion. So Neil Katin came up with the bright idea
which solves the usual problem of disk detection by stepping the
drive head, which resets the disk inserted latch. This, allows us
to automatically detect the insertion of a disk, or the removal of
a disk, because the latch is reset.
He decided to make it step from track 0 to track 1 and back.
This produced a clicking noise. OK, that was 1.0. For 1.2, we
discovered that we could reset the latch by stepping from track 0
to track -1. Because all drives have a 'track limit' sensor, no
actual head movement would occur. Thus, no click. Sounds good,
right ? Well, unfortunately, it seems the drive mechanism vendors
noticed that the track limit sensor was unused on the Amiga. So,
they removed it. You'll find that many 3rd party external drives
(and some A1010s) don't have this sensor. You know what happens
when you seek from track 0 to track -1 on a drive without the limit
sensor ? Right. The drive head bangs against the stop, which not
only is louder than the original click, but is actually damaging
the alignment of the drive itself.
And that's the story. If your drive clicks louder when you use a
'Noclick' program, stop using it. You are hurting your drive. (BTW,
the early A1000 driver had the track limit sensor. Those were
premium drives, in fact. Possibly your A1000 had its drive replaced
at some later time).
(And the drives don't click if you have a disk in the drive,
whether or not you run a NoClick program)