Hard disk problem

I have recently ran defrag on my 8.1gig hard disk.  I did not realise that it would take a long time so I quitted after 10mins.

I then had tons of problems, nothing would load, nothing worked.  I then ran defrag again and let it end.

After that, it was ok... but the hard disk every so often clicks like it is powered down, then restarts...

I have checked the power save options, even disabled it, but it still happens, any ideas?!?!
Gordon209Asked:
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Davy070599Commented:
Did you check them in Windows and in the Bios?
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sandman97289Commented:
Gordon, if you have checked the BIOS and everything looks ok in there then this sounds like your hard disk may be starting to give away. This has happened to me before, it makes weird clicking sounds and is slower than usual. Scan disk won't give any errors. Does this sound familiar? Well usually this means that your hard disk is ready to fail. Before jumping to conclusions though listen carefully to it, after the clicking do the disks make that slight wirring sound like they are coming back to life after going into hibernation? Or do you just hear the clicking, if its the former then this maybe a software gliche somewhere but if its the second then this could be the begging of some hardware problems. I would call a technician if I were you. Good luck, having your hard disk crash is no fun, I know.
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Gordon209Author Commented:
Its a click then a winding up kinda noise, if this isn't a hardware problem then what could it be??

Help, I don't want to have to buy another hard disk, they cost a fortune!!!!
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dew_associatesCommented:
Gordon, try this and let us know what happens.

When you instaled Win98, you created a Win98 boot disk. Put the boot floppy into the drive and boot to it. Now change to the "C" drive and run a direcory on the hard drive and listen for any telltail sounds. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes and then repeat the process.

Now reboot to Win98 normally and then go into Find, Files and Folders. Search for any file of your choosing, just to get the search to occur over the entire drive. Again, listed for the sounds. Let is rest again without any screen savers etc. Then run Find Files again.
What happens now?
Dennis
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netmageCommented:
Run scandisk from Dos with surface checking.
This will take quite sometime and you will see if the HD shutsdown and restarts.
You will also find,if any, BAD blocks that may be causing this to happen.

It also rules out any Windows problems if the problem occurs.

As this problem is likely  to be a hardware problem, check all cable connections especially the power leads.
I recently encountered problems with Quantum Hd's in that they seem to use thinner pins in the power connecor. This means that if the female power connector was used on another device, the internal crimps get expanded and fit loosely on a Quantun HD causing the exact problem you describe.

I realise that your problem occured after you had started the defrag but cause and effect have a weird way of manifesting at a strange time.

Does this HD use SMART?
What sort of HD?

Netmage
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hemorrisCommented:
Gordon209,

If you hard drive is SMART capable (you should see an indication when you first boot up the machine and the BIOS identifies your physical drives) then I suggest using SmartMonitor to determine if this is a hardware problem or not.

You can find the SmartMonitor at www.systemsoft.com.  The software can be use to regularly check your hard drive for conditions that lead to failure of the hard drive and warns you before the HDD actually fails.  In this case the first time it runs it will tell you if this noise that you are hearing is something to be worried about.
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Gordon209Author Commented:
What does it mean if its SMART compatable?  The hard disk is but its news to me!!

All cables inside the pc are connected properly, everything is secure..

I've ran scandisk in DOS but it still clicks, does this mean its knackered?

Is there any place in the bios to setup the hard disk?  I have auto detect on but I haven't changed any other settings....

Many thanks for all the ideas :)

Gordon
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hemorrisCommented:
Auto detect in the bios is the correct setting and I wouldn't recommend that you can any of your bios settings as you stated earlier that the machine had been running fine until the abort defrag.

With respect to what SMART compatable means here is some info from the systemsoft.com site I recommended above.  To me it is pretty cheap protection and would tell you in a few minutes if you have a HDD problem.

Here is the info from systemsoft.com:

SmartMonitor takes advantage of the underlying S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) technology, utilized by today's hard disk manufacturers, to detect and alert the end user of an impending hard disk failure prior to occurrence. SmartMonitor periodically observes (silently) the hard disk(s) while consuming a minimal amount of computer resources. Once alerted, the user is able to backup their data and replace the hard drive.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. S.M.A.R.T. is a way for hard disk devices to analyze and monitor their own performance in real-time and report their analysis via software to applications. The hard disk manufacturers decide which performance criteria are monitored. Disk drives may monitor one or several parameters in order to predict drive wear. These parameters are continuously compared against initial thresholds set when the drive is manufactured. The drive reports its wear state to SmartMonitor.

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dew_associatesCommented:
Gordon, did you run the test I suggested above?
Dennis
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Gordon209Author Commented:
>Dennis

I have tried what you suggested and when I had rebooted from floppy and did a dir /s it never clicked.  I then left it have 20 mins then reset and let windows boot normally, it clicked before it finished loading Windows98.

The only thing, while in dos I ran a scandisk and it clicked...

Does this help?

>Hemorris

How much does it cost for the software and would it help for my problem?  Do you think the hard disk is salvageable?
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dew_associatesCommented:
Gordon, in all honesty SmartMonitor is nice, but far from failsafe. Given the sharp decreases in drive prices, it may pay you to invest in a new drive. 10G drives are about $135.
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sandman97289Commented:
Before going out and buying a new hard drive it may be worthwhile to format the entire hard disk and reinstall Windows98 and then see if the clicking still comes. When I say format I mean everything, a clean unadulterated format C:
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hemorrisCommented:
Smartmonitor is $19.95 and you can buy it online.  I don't know the condition of you hard drive but this should tell you if it should be replaced.  As Dennis mentioned above, the good thing is that hard drives are pretty cheap.
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netmageCommented:
Again, What sort  of HD?

Quantum have a util that closely examines the SMART status of the HD and its free to d/load.

The problem you have seem to be electrical in the drive power in that it comes and goes without further damage.

SMART tools won't actually help with this problem.

The only fix is to replace the HD.
It may still be under warranty.


Before doing this try different power and HD cables.

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Gordon209Author Commented:
Sorry to have been so long before answering, but the hard disk died...

After re-installing everything again on my new 6.4gig hard disk :( (smaller is not better) (but cheaper!)

Many thanks for all who helped with my problem, and one last question, how do I finish this thread?

Gordon209
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dew_associatesCommented:
I think Sandman first advise you about the possibility of a failure, so in fairness to him how about awarding this question to him by accepting his original coment as an answer.
Dennis
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Gordon209Author Commented:
Many thanks
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