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HDD dying, any tools to diagnose?

By rmdl51
Apr 9, 2008
  1. Hello! I have 2 HDD WD 250GB which are kinda old, bought them about 3 years ago, and 1 WD 500 GB I bought 8 months ago.

    So, I can hear one of them is "clicking" not continuosly but eventually after 3-4 hours of use I hear 2 or 3 "clicks" within a lapse of time of 2 seconds each "click" then it won't happen again until hours or days, however this have been happening more often in the last 3 days.

    Based on my experience for me this could be head write/read problem (please correct me if I'm wrong) but the real issue is I don't know which of the 3 is the one is failing, do you know any good tool to test the HDD, my guess is one of the old ones is going bad, but that's just a guess, I need to be sure to back up my data ASAP since I have a lot of important data there.
     
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

  3. Tbolo

    Tbolo TS Rookie Posts: 22

    Spinrite is free and will tell you if you have bad sectors and fix some things. Download it and put it on disc. Then just boot to it.
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Western Digital's drive fitness program will tell you what you need to know... that it is failing the SMART test... With the click, you already have enough information to save your data, then install a new Seagate. This way you use the new drive as Master and the Western Digital as slave so you can drag and drop or software copy your data to the new drive.
    When you have a drive going bad, it is unnecessary to find out how bad. Bad is bad. Get it gone.
     
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Spinrite isn't free, what is free though is EVERY one of those in my link in the post above yours.
     
  6. Tbolo

    Tbolo TS Rookie Posts: 22

    My bad I was under the assumption it was free. Well, it's free for me:)
     
  7. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    Thanks to all for your input, do you think this issue (clicking) could be overheating related? I open me case and put a fan close to the HDD and the noise is gone, is there a possibility for this?

    I will try the utilities you suggest, I forgot about DFT I have that one on a bootable cd I will run it today and see if there are some errors on any of the HDD, I'm really concerned about my old 250GB HDD they have the most important data for me, I was thinking to get an External HDD to back up everything just in case.

    For some reason I don't like seagate HDD, too noisy I guess, that's why I never used Maxtor before seagate take over them, but I know they are very reliable and I've heard the warranty is much better on a seagate.
     
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    It could be anything. I know that is not helpful. Some harddrives, particularly older designs, do click routinely.
    Still, a clicking hard drive is a warning.
    Since yours has quit clicking, pay attention to it now and then.
    The real helpful aspect is to use the Drive Fitness test of the manufacturer. It the drive passes the S.M.A.R.T. test, they you likely do not have anything to worry about, where the hard drive is concerned.
     
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Yes, definately get that stuff backed up. Everyone should have important documents backed up somewhere, most people do not. But its imperative that you back up the stuff immediately when your hard drive clicks.
     
  10. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    I finally got a WD My Book external to back up everything, I run the tests on my HDD (all of them) and you were right, the SMART test didn't pass.... on "C:" which means my main OS drive is the one with the problem, besides I run the extended test and it found some bad sectors, damn! I don't want to install windows again, I guess I'll be using Norton Ghost to clone my HDD, but I hate norton on every single way, any other software to clone a HDD?

    I think I may be getting a Raptor soon for my boot HDD, but at the moment I don't wanna give any chances to find my self with an unbootable PC. even tough everything is backed up now I don't wanna spend so many hours reinstalling over 40 software applications I already have.
     
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Acronis works better, and is less expensive... it also comes in various formats so you do not have to buy the entire package.
    Our clients, and our repair clinic have had much better luck with Seagate than any other drive... and now they have super fast drives out.
    We also see more problems with cloned drives that any other.
     
  12. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    What do you mean by more problems with cloned drives? that a clone drive could carry the problems with old data or the issues that bad sectors could be generating?

    In your particular experience you wouldn't do a HDD clone if you have sensitive data?
     
  13. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Miscellaneous crashes, data failures, pauses, glitches. We do a great number of Clones for our business clients who forget to back up..
    It is not that they are serious trouble... They are just now close to as reliable as a clean install...
     
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