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Is my HDD about to die?

By Duck
Sep 5, 2005
  1. Ok, this has happend twice now within a couple of days.. my PC is on, working fine, then i hear a strange noise from the hard disk like its powering down like after its been idle for a while (when it hasn't). A few seconds later the computer freezes, the HDD activity light is on constantly. The only thing i can do is turn the PC off, when it comes back on everything seems fine.

    I have a maxtor 60GB PATA 7200RPM drive. I'm not doing anything unusual like running it from a molex Y splitter or anything like that. I can't think what it could be apart from the HDD is about to fail.

    Also, how hot are these drives supposed to get? Mine feels a bit on the toasty side. Its not like its even in cramped conditions. Its mounted in a 5 1/4 inch bay in a zalman HDD cooler (i had to remove my 3 1/2 inch drivebays).

    I have alot of data that i really can not aford to loose. I would go and buy a DVD writter tomorrow if its likely the HDD is dodgy. I only have a 32x CD ROM lol.

    Its funny how somthing like this can really make you take backing up your data seriously. All of a sudden, everything else like gaming performance becomes completly unimportant.

    Does anyone know if my drive is on the way out? The only other thing is as i am writing this, i've just noticed there is some light and constant disk activity. But i'm not doing anything that would need HDD access. Not sure what to make of this all :confused:
     
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Download and run powermax on it right away:

    Click HERE

    I know what you mean about the "always too late" thing on backing up. I learned my lesson the hard way too. I'd go for that cd/dvd-rw drive asap :haha:
     
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

    Yep do what Don says, you need to test that drive right away. If it passes the test then its probably not going to fail immediately.

    But I would consider this an early warning sign. I've had hard drives limp on for months before dying before, and I've also had them die very suddenly. Make sure it passes the thourough SMART test at least.

    How much data do you have that needs to be backed up? It might be worth just buying another HD and cloning your existing one onto it.
     
  4. Duck

    Duck TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks for the very quick replys both for you. I'm going to have to look around for my old FDD to run that powermax software. I'm pretty sure i've got it under a big pile of computer junk somewhere. I think i'll just be getting a DVD writer because i need something to make backups with. i don't even have a CD writer. Plus if i bought a HDD, i wouldn't have anywhere to put it. Anyway, i don't need the extra expence, i've already spent quite a lot of money on my PC on more 'important' things (last week, important = CPU. Today, impotant = DVD R and fast :p).

    I'm going to run the powermax software now. Wish me luck..
     
  5. Duck

    Duck TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    I ran all the tests and it passed all of them. I even did the burn in test with 6 passes to make sure (which took AGES). Now i really don't know what to make of it all. Is it possible for a HDD that's on the way out to pass the tests?
     
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Try turning off your power saving features for now and see if that helps. Screen saver, sleep mode etc. It may be locking up when one of those are kicking in.

    Also, take a look in your "event viewer" and see if it is giving you any hints as to what is going on. Right click on "my computer", choose "manage" then "event viewer" and have a look around in there.
     
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

    If it passed all that, then I'd say you are pretty safe. Just be sure and keep backups (everyone should keep backups, most people don't though). Remember you can never trust 1 thing to hold your important data, always have at least 2 copies of anything thats real important.
     
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