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6500 - crashed/erased hard drive TWICE!

Posted on 2000-04-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
My power supply fan started making noise awhile back - I ignored it cause I didn't have time to get it fixed. So one day about a month ago I boot up the machine and nothing except a little blinky disk with a question mark. I boot up from the CD and it won't recognize the hard drive, so I take the machine to the shop. They opened it up and cleaned it - they said it had all sorts of crud, and that's what caused the crash AND the power supply fan noise. My hard drive was completely gone - so they reformat, and test it - everything's working great they tell me - I don't need a new hard drive OR power supply fan. I spend 2 weeks reinstalling all my software and crying about the work I lost.
Then this morning, I turn on the machine, and kapow - little blinky disk - same thing as last time.....
Both times this has happened, the machine was shut down and started cold, which I normally don't do - I usually just turn off the monitor, although there have been times that I shut down and booted up fine....I'm wondering if this may be a problem with something besides the hard drive? In hindsight, the day before the crashes occured, my computer started acting sluggish too - so it probably is the hard drive, right? I just don't want to replace the hard drive if that's not where the problem is.
Any input would be appreciated - thanks!
It's a 6500/250 w/64Mb Ram.....and no history of insanity (til now).
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Question by:chayton
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by:postpress
ID: 2749206
Make sure that your power supply is working properly. Check your power cable and your wall plug for power surgers. But mainly sounds like your power supply is fluctuating.
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by:chayton
ID: 2749258
That's kinda what I thought too - but the people at the shop told me that if it was a power surge it would corrupt data, not just wipe out the hard drive.

Not TWICE anyhow....

They say it may possibly be a virus - I'm currently waiting for updated antivirus software before I reinstall any of my software.

But if it IS a fluctuating power supply, what can I do? How can I test it? Should I replace my power supply unit? Get a different surge protector? A new house? A different utility company?
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Steven_K earned 75 total points
ID: 2750051
A better surge protector and don't forget the modem line either.

Viri are rare on macs, possible but rare.

btw a flashing q is very different from drive setup not seeing the hd. A comparative minor fix with dfa can sometimes fix a flashing q whereas drive setup not seeing a drive would be a very bad symptom. Ussually this happens when the drive wont spin up and that is definetely the dead end.

On the other hand drive sizes have balooned and so for relative modest money you can get a drive perhaps 10 times larger (definately hfs+ and OS 8.1+)

Power surges can cause corrupt data and so can aging drives. Cold start should not matter (though there is something called stiction but that is primariy caused by age.)

Crud perse should not have affected the drive. It could easily have spot shorted the logic board or caused overheating because of acting like a blanket.

Next time format the drive with "write zeros" (will map out bad blocks on ide drives.)
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Author Comment

by:chayton
ID: 2750657
Thanks - I'll try it all - and if it happens again, I'll take it as a sign that it's time for me to get a G4!
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