Is my laptop's HDD dying?

By hopgop1
Nov 24, 2013
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  1. I was at my Dad's house where I have faster internet than where I currently live so naturally I do all my large downloads there and then send them to my laptop via flash drive then to my main PC back home, again, via flash drive. This weekend though I was transferring files from my Dad's PC to my laptop when we were in a rush to get going back home so I transferred the rest of the files that I downloaded to my flash drive and decided that I should do the rest of the transfer from the stick to the laptop in the car to get going as soon as we could. I put the laptop into sleep mode after it was done (and I probably shouldn't have done this in hindsight) put it on the backseat upside down, while still in sleep mode. I have done this before my laptop pretty much stays in sleep mode for it's entire life, I do this while travelling too. But here is where the problems start. I get home to transfer my files to my PC (realizing that I left my USB stick in the car which I will get back later in the week via the post) so while searching for my USB stick not realizing that it was in the car now en route back across the country, I hear a strange noise coming from my laptop, it sounds like a regular 2 clicks every few seconds or so. So I do some research not knowing if it was a normal write head noise that I have never noticed before or a dying HDD, people with similar problems (from what I could tell) ended up backing up their drives and getting another new drive. This is where it gets tricky and I need your guys help. The people in similar situations downloaded a HDD scanning tool to check what was the problem but I can't download anything when I go to any website and try to download anything the download just says "starting" and nothing happens! I don't have my USB stick which is my only way to transfer files so I can't backup the drive till later this week when I get my flash drive back. Does from what I have described sound like a HDD problem or is it a normal sound for a 160 GB 2.5" laptop drive? Is there any other way I can backup my files? Is the PC safe to shutoff, I am worried that it won't start up again? What do I do???!! thanks for reading this awfully long post I just thought I should include as much information as I can now and save questions later. Thanks again guys.
  2. TheHawk

    TheHawk TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 190   +6

    Hey hogpop1. A repeating cyclical sound from an hdd is not normal.
    Secondly, I wouldn't put a laptop in sleep mode when it is in transit, I always power down so the heads park normally.
    You are able to browse the Web but are not able to download anything?
    What OS does your laptop have?
    Does the laptop boot up from being off normally without any problems or messages?
  3. Benmar

    Benmar Newcomer, in training Posts: 53

    Putting laptop in sleep mode is not good, the most safe is to shut it off. for the safe of your HDD. now your problem is you hear a tick2x sound coming from your laptop, there might be a mechanical error for your hdd,, it sound that your hdd will soon be failed. so back up everything in there before it;s to late...
  4. hopgop1

    hopgop1 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 175   +19

    Sorry for the late reply, been having internet issues. Benmar I know in hindsight it wasn't a good idea and I know it probably will die soon I will probably just replace it with a cheap laptop drive. TheHawk, I am running Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit, I am able to browse the web but downloads fail and I am able to boot without errors.
  5. TheHawk

    TheHawk TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 190   +6

    I've never seen that scenario,. Have you tried to download anything using more than one browser?. If you can download with another browser, I would reinstall the browser that doesn't work. If you can't download with both browsers, sounds to me like a critical Windows file is corrupted/missing. I don't know what Service Pack level your Vista is on (should be at the SP2 level), but I would download (on another pc) the 2 Service Packs and transfer them by flashdrive to your pc, then double click on the SP1 file to install SP1 first, and reboot when it's completed. Then I would install the SP2 executable file, reboot after completion, then see what happens. Below are links to the 2 Service Packs for the 32bit version of Vista. Each SP will likely take about 15min once it starts.

    Service Pack 1:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30

    Service Pack 2:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=16468


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