Harddrive clicking 2

Posted on 2004-10-10
Last Modified: 2010-04-26

I have similar problem as Zamman002 in this question, but my problem is weirder.

About six months ago I had two HD's and two CD devices when first problems started.
Most of the time everything worked, butt occasionaly my HD would start clicking, which would couse the whole system to hang.
Sometimes BIOS would fail to recognize my CD devices, and sometimes if they were recognized by BIOS, Win2000 would report that device had been unsafely removed.

I was playing with this for over a month. I bought new Hard disk and new CD-ROM, but the problems continued until I removed everything from Secondary IDE channel.
So all summer I had both, new HD and new CD on primary IDE channel.
But last week it started again. Same simptoms, which were rare at first, but it started to occur more often until today morning when it was unable to boot windows becouse clicking would prevent it.
I then removed CD-ROM leaving only hard disk, and now it works again. It didn't hang whole morning.

What is cousing these problems?
Question by:dbrckovi
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

tmj883 earned 100 total points
ID: 12271635
The most common cause of premature failure of various drives is a faulty or inadquate power supply.
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 12271889
Is 250 W enough for those basic devices? How do I check if it's power supply?
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Assisted Solution

huntersvcs earned 100 total points
ID: 12271932
Jump to 350 W., especially if you want to use all channels.

If the clicking first started on the secondary controller, and is now happening on the primary, I would guess either your MOBO or at least the controller (in addition to the power supply) is the problem.  If you switch out the power supply and still have problems, you can either:

a.  Get a new motherboard, but you'll have to install all your SW fresh.
b.  Try a new controller.  If the one onboard is from Promise, you can get a PCI substitute.

If you have access to a second computer, you might try attaching yours to it and see if (at least) the clicking stops.

If all else fails, it might be that your new HDD is also defective!  I had two 120GB HDDs go down inside of one week on different PCs.  I'm sticking to the 80s for now!

Hope this helps.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 12272035
Evaluate your system's power needs. This is pretty accurate though not exact. Specific information for all devices using the three power rails(3.3, 5, 12v) and the output specifications of the power supply are needed for a exact calculation. From my experience, this calculator is usually within 10% for a normal system's requirements. In any case, more power will not hurt.
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 12272897
According to power suply calculator, 250 W is enough to supply everything I need.
I have an old big tower case burried somewhere in the cellar. I'll try to use it's power suply.

I forgot to mention. My brother has some P1 machine. Once I tried using HD from that computer, but it was clicking too. When I put it back, all partitions on that disk were destroyed.
I had to Fdisk and Format in oorder to make it work again.

I'll come back tommorow when I try it.
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 12272912
Is there a way to measure max output power?
I have universal instrument (Voltmeter, Ampermeter, etc.)

Can output power be measured by this instrument in some way?
I know that it can't be mesured directly, but is there some other way to do it?

Expert Comment

ID: 12273091
If you get yourself a power supply tester, which doesn't cost much, it'll most likely tell you what voltage to expect at what pin (as well as testing the power supply).

You can also google 'power supply AND pinout' or ''the name of the power supply' AND pinout''.

But then again, a new power supply doesn't cost that much.  Also, the output of power supplies will drop off as they get hotter.  If you don't have much in the way of cooling fans you might consider adding some.  It also doesn't hurt to hit the power supply with air every now & then to get the dust out.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12274567
If the HDD was clicking on both machines it is probably defective.  I've one on the workbench right now that WAS clicking, at first intermittently and then more often.  The PC was restarted often the last couple of days and now the clicking has stopped - it will never click again!  DEAD!  I don't know if the controller contributed to the early demise or not.  If the HDD is still under warranty, get it exchanged as quickly as possible.
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 12274619
Yesterday, after I disconnected my CD drive, I left the computer ON, through the whole day and night. It's almost 24h since it has been ON, and it didn't have any problems.

I still didn't try that Power Suply but I'll do it later today when I come back from work.
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 12278252
I took out that power suply from my old computer, but connectors for main board are not the same.
It has two small pieces which connect to main board , while my supply has one big semi transparent piece.

Now I cleaned it, connected my CD rom back, and disconnected Floppy drive, and it seems to be working now.

But I was wandering, if it crashes again, even without floppy, can I use two power supplies? The old one would provide power to main board, while the other would provide power to floppy, CD and hard drives?
I have a hole in front side of my case, where I can put another switch.
I'd just have to turn on drives first, and then the main board.  And turn them off in opposite order.
I have two 5.25 slots unused where I could fit second supply almost perfectly.

Off course. I won't try anything like that if it shows to be working now (cleaned and without floppy).
What do you think about that idea?
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12284964
It is possible, but do you really want to?  The older power supply is an AT version (connector in 2 parts), the newer is probably an ATX.  You'll have to use separate switches to turn them on.  The ATX is controlled by the mainboard, the AT has it's own power switch.  I would use the ATX for MOBO and HDD - they're the ones most in use.

I would recommend, though, that you purchase a new power supply that supports everything.
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 12285798
This is probably what I'm going to do. If I don't buy a new computer before.

Anyway. I'm preety sure it was the Power Suply which was cousing these problems, becouse now when floppy is disconnected, everything works again.
I tried connecting two more CD drives only to power cable (without connectiog IDE cable), and it crashed again.

This prooves that there is nothing wrong with IDE controler as I thought all this time.

Now to distribute some points...
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 12563107
It, in fact was faulty Power Supply. I bought new 400W, and now all devices work perfectly.

I dissassembled my old Power Supply and found out that it's fan is not spinning.
Power Supply was overheating all the time, so no wonder it couldn't provide enough power.

Thanks again.

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