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Problem with my Hard-Drive?

Posted on 2002-06-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hey all,

Just got a new CD-RW yesterday and just this morning my HD started making these weird scraping noises....right now it's pretty quiet like it usually was but like I said just this morning where previously the HD would "crunch" when it was thinking, now it's scraping....sometimes very softly and sometimes a little louder...only when it's processing data.

Does anyone know what this mean?. The people at the store made the new CD-RW the primary slave to the HD, and I recently defragged my disk after not having done so in a long long time. So I was wondering, would could this be?. If it IS my HD dying (which is PRETTY DAMN EARLY IF YOU ASK ME) is there a website where there are sounds of HD's  dying so I can figure out whether or not this is a sound that should be concerning me?.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance for any eventual help I might receive
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Question by:Blades1999
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by:Blades1999
ID: 7077845
Right now it would appear my HD is making regular sounds again...weird
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by:sorgie
ID: 7077849
boot to safe mode and run a through scan disk on yor HD. Noises from HD's are not a good sign. I would back up all your important info ASAP.
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by:sorgie
ID: 7077851
you can open the case and make sure none of the ribbon cables of power wires and near any cooling fans.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7077881
I second Sorgie's opinion.  If you can get a backup of all your data, that would be your best safest option for the moment.  Also depending on the brand of drive it is there may be some hard drive diagnostic tools of which you could use on the drive to see if there are any probs.

www.wdc.com (Western Digital)
www.ibm.com (IBM)
www.seagate.com (seagate)
www.fujitsu.com (Fujistu)
www.maxtor.com (maxtor)

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by:jhance
ID: 7077914
If you don't have a BACKUP of your important data from this drive, DROP EVERYTHING ELSE and MAKE ONE RIGHT NOW!!!!!

After you've done that, then go about the process of figuring out what's wrong.

1) Are you sure it's the hard drive?  Often cooling or CPU fans make horrible noises that can be mistaken for HDD noise.  Check them out as fans are MUCH less reliable than drives.

2) You mentioned that you just got a new CD-RW.  Could this be the source of the noise?  Many of these things make unexpected noises.  In fact, some are downright irritating.

3) If it does turn out that the HDD is making these noises, it's a VERY BAD sign.  Generally it indicates a mechanical problem with the drive.  These are not repairable by the end-user and hopefully it's covered under a warranty.  But remember if you send your drive to Maxtor/WD/Seagate or whoever for "repair" you will NOT get that drive or your data back.  They will sent you a "fresh" refurbished drive.  In other words, you will get a blank/formatted drive.

But again, BACKUP NOW.  You MAY NOT get another chance!
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7078061
Good thing you just got that CDRW drive...you have a convenient place to backup to!

-dog*
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7078071
Blades:
You also have 4 other open questions...please click your name to view your profile, and then "Show Questions".  If the open questions are resolved now (or you fixed it yourself), please close them.  If they're not resolved, put in an update which will then notify the Experts who have commented on your questions to get them back in it. E-E is constantly working to cleanup old/abandoned questions, and every little bit helps.  Of course you don't have that many (some people have 20+ open questions, many more than a year old)

Thanks!

-dog*
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by:pjknibbs
ID: 7078132
As well as fans and other things, I have seen a situation where a machine was making an absolutely awful noise because somebody had managed to snap off the metal door on a 3.5" floppy and get it jammed inside the floppy drive--that's another thing you might want to check on, especially if anyone else uses this machine!
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by:jhance
ID: 7078142
>>snap off the metal door on a 3.5" floppy and get it
>>jammed inside the floppy drive

I just HATE IT when that happens!  Those buggers are practically impossible to get out of a floppy drive.

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by:magarity
ID: 7079052
"Those buggers are practically impossible to get out of a floppy drive"

It's so easy to get those out.  Just pop the cover off the floppy drive unit and disentangle it.  On the other hand, trying to forcefully drag them out the regular floppy door will rip up the read/write head 9 times out of 10.
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by:Blades1999
ID: 7079251
Well let me give some more explanation about the problem. The problem is so damn soft that I can't even record it with my microphone. It's a soft "scraping noise". It's a Maxtor 20gb 7200RPM IDE ATA 100

I just downloaded a Maxtor program to check for faults on the HD. I have had the HD for less than 8 months. Could this just be phase?. And if the program from Maxtor shows that there isn't a problem, does that mean I am safe?. What if I used that program every week to check?.

Any further information about this would be appreciated
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by:Blades1999
ID: 7079284
Couldn't I just run Scandisk though?
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7079306
Blades1999,

You can run scandisk, but I suggest using the maxtor diagnostics and see if that rings up anything.  If it doesnt.  You may be safe.  But if it is making noises, that is not a good sign.  I would suggest you backup everything.  If you do come up with an error via diagnostics, Call MAxtor right away, and get a replacement drive.  They will send one out to you in like 2-3 days.  I would then use software like Ghost, and duplicate your drive onto the new one and send the old one back to Maxtor.  On maxtor's site should be a way to RMA the drive or a number you can call to do that as well...you will need your Drive model number and serial number handy.

Also just because the diag soft says it's ok today....It doesn't mean that the drive won't bail on you tomorrow.  Hard drives are never safe.  Never have been.  Sometimes you get lucky and they last for 10 years...or more....other times they last a month....or even less...just luck of the draw.  Like when buying a car, life is so uncertain, you can buy a used car, and pay 1000 bux for it and drive for years and years and never get in an accident, but then you got and buy a nice $100,000 car and then turn out onto the street away from the dealership and wham, someone hits you....life is not fair that way is it?
Hard drives work the same way....sometimes you get lucky....but other times you dont...
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by:magarity
ID: 7079735
' It's a soft "scraping noise". '

So it is only making this extra noise during read/write activity...  Is it possible that it has done this all the time and you just recently noticed it?

The problem with most mechanical failures is that they aren't detected by diagnostics software until the failure goes over the edge.  If this unit really is failing, the best advice is to make backups of everything, keep them constantly up to date, and hope the thing dies a quick death so you can get it replaced under the warranty.  

While it isn't much consolation, one in only a very large number of hard drives fails and Maxtor is among the most reliable.  If the downtime to replace the thing is much of a pain in the butt, consider a RAID level 1, or 'mirror' so you can operate seamlessly when a drive dies.  RAID-1 is available via software under Windows2000 and XP, or you can get a hardware accellerated RAID-1 controller starting at about $60US.

regards,
magarity
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by:Blades1999
ID: 7080178
Naw I was SURE the sound wasn't there before..but starting today the sound was gone. Maybe it's a weird little thing and I doubt that it has anything to do with the sound, but the PC was on for more than 24 hours recently (had to defrag). Could this have caused a sound? Or maybe the casing wasn't firmly placed on? (Causing it to make a sound when the HD was "vibrating"?

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by:Blades1999
ID: 7080207
alright, turns out it was just the casing making that stupid sound...whenever I press softly against the casing (when the HD is processing data) it just keeps quiet.

Now I have the following question that you guys could hopefully answer, it sorta has to do with my HD as well.

You see I am installing a new motherboard...and the person who would be delivering it said that I'd need to reformat my HD because of a new motherboard. Is there any truth to this?. any way I could avoid having to do this as I'd really prefer to just keep the HD the way it is

Also with a PIV 1,6 ghz and 256 MB RAm would it be wise to switch to Windows XP? I have heard good things about it.

Any help would be appreciated
Thanks in advance guys
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Wakeup earned 200 total points
ID: 7080234
Blades1999,

The person who is delivering the board is right, you would need to probably reinstall the OS.  If you are running WinXP you should be fine it will autodetect your new hardware.  However you may need to remove old hardware drivers yourself.

You may be able to get away with having to reformat your drive if you reinstall the OS on top of itself.  And have it redetect all your new hardware.
When you swap out your moboard, there are alot of things the OS needs to reconfigure and install new drivers for.  Ie, IDE controllers, motherboard Chipset, Parallel port, serial port, USB port, PS/2 ports, PCI controllers, AGP controllers, etc etc etc...the list goes on and on.

To see what kind of stuff your system may need to reinstall go here:

Enter your device manager Via the control panel.
Depending on of course the OS you are running which I am not sure of.  There are several ways to do it.  Anyway if you need help finding out how to get there let me know what OS yer running.

If you look in System Devices most of those need to be reinstalled.  If you have any new onboard devices those will need to be installed.  and basically everything else I had said above.  

Win9x OS's have a hard time processing the change.  Sometimes after swapping out all the hardware your system will not be able to boot into windows.  If that happens to you....one of a few things you could do is this:
Reinstall OS on top of itself to refresh the system,  or reformat (which is probably the best way since the system will be clean and ready to go.) and reinstall your OS, Or upgrade to WinXP.
I've done a few overhauls on my system under winXP, and boy have I been impressed by XP.  detects everything fine, you may need to reboot and may need to install some drivers here and there, but everything comes up beautifully.

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by:sorgie
ID: 7080326
If you want to give it a try, and you have all your drivers (in case), Before you install the new motherboard
go to regedit from the start run command. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Enum folder delete it. This will delete all hardware. so when you bootup after install new MB all hardware will be reinstalled. Also you may try just starting with your drives and display card then add on once your up and running.
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by:Blades1999
ID: 7080547
Alright, now assuming that the store where I'll get the HD does the setting and the hardware and stuff, all I'll need is a few drivers and a operating system right?
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by:Blades1999
ID: 7080548
with that I of course meant that they'll put all the hardware in the new motherboard and I just get a blank PC with a formatted HD
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by:sorgie
ID: 7081765
Yes or they will tell you  YOU must format the drive.
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by:Piri
ID: 8965794
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Split pts between sorgie and Wakeup
Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

Piri
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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