Hard drive is dying?

By Schmutz ยท 6 replies
Dec 19, 2010
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  1. Hello all,

    I am experiencing a problem with my computer which I believe is being caused by one of my data hard drives

    Before I go into details here is my current hardware:

    Q6600 3.0GHZ
    6GB PC2 6400 800mhz (2x 2gb/2x 1gb)
    Nvidia GTX 275 896mb
    Onboard soundcard
    Windows 7 x64
    Jeantech 1000W PSU

    Operating system is on 500GB drive
    ++ two 1TB data drives (2.5TB total storage)

    The problem:

    Upon accessing certain files in one of my 1TB drives, I hear a distictive "click/lockup/halt" sound and then the entire system crashes (first the drive will become inaccessible, then windows explorer will crash, followed by the mouse and eventually a BSOD after a minute)

    My sixth sense is telling me there must be certain portions of this drive which are extremely corrupted/malfunctioning - an uneducated guess as to what could be happening.

    Possible causes:

    • I rarely defragment (once a year?) and I am always working with/shifting around massive uncompressed video files (30GB+)
    • I haven't had to format my operating system for a few years, so could there be corrupted registry files? I haven't used any registry clean up/checking software
    • PSU issue? Bear in mind the computer has operated flawlessly for the past year and the crash appears to coincide with opening/accessing certain files
    • Generic hardware malfunction

    Things I've tried:

    • Error checking tool (this process itself crashes the "faulty" 1TB drive after about 10 seconds causing the system to crash completely)
    • Defragmenting "faulty" 1TB drive - no impact? Maybe I should try another defragmenter...
    • Error checking tool for C: drive (500gb/OS drive, pre-boot) nothing to report no impact

    Things I haven't tried yet:

    • Defragment other drives (OS drive/other 1TB storage drive)
    • Error checking tool for other 1TB storage drive
    • Check for loose cables inside system - (I doubt this can be the cause of my problem)
    • Try different defragmenting software from the windows one
    • Format OS
    • Run antivirus software
    • Use registry clean up software

    Other notes:

    Since the problem began (about one week ago) the system fails to boot 1/5 times - cannot find "HDD" message at "verifying dmi pool data" screen.... but the OS is on my 500GB drive which doesn't appear to cause any problems?

    I have tried to go into as much detail as possible if you have any suggestions they will be much appreciated! :)
  2. kadesigns

    kadesigns TS Rookie

    Dying HDD


    Do you have or have you tried using a different PSU to see if it the cause - and PSU intermittent fault is one of the hardest faults to trace without a meter - and can cause some serious head scratching issues.

    It is unlikely that the cables would work loose.

    Have you tried disconnecting the 1TB and then booting to see if you have the same problem. If you disconnect it then boot and everything runs fine then you deffo have a problem with the 1TB and yes it can bring down the rest of the system.

    If however, you still have the problem then you could seriously ascertain that the 500gb could be the culprit and not the 1TB.

  3. Schmutz

    Schmutz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    Thanks Kadesigns, I will try your suggestions after christmas I think they should help diagnose my problem. First I'll try launching without the 1TB. If my system continues to crash I can be confident it is a hdd related issue and not PSU. I don't have a replacement PSU to try at the moment although I could borrow one from a friend if I needed to.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    That sounds exactly like a dying hard drive. Copy every important thing off of it ASAP.

    What did you test the drive with? I've had good luck with Seatools, although I have had it take a long time to open when a defective drive is present before. The drive might still be under warranty, worth checking at least.
  5. Cota

    Cota TS Enthusiast Posts: 513   +8

    More likely to be the clunk of death do what SNGX1275 says.
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    yes, I would say it is dying. Clicking sounds are a classic sign of imminent hard drive failure. clone your data ASAP. hard drives are very cheap nowadays. replace it!
  7. Schmutz

    Schmutz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    I bought a new 2TB a month ago. Since, the problems have become a lot more "random" and seemingly happen across all four drives (1tb, 1tb, 500gb, 2tb)

    I am now considering my PSU the culprit (Jeantech Absolute 1000w) It seems logical to me. Sometimes while performing tasks which put stress on several HDD's at the same time my computer is "choking", running as fast/smooth as it should but with sudden freezes (with those HDD "click - stop - restart" sounds)

    Booting into windows is failing from time to time (freezes on the "starting windows" screen, or DISK BOOT FAILURE, Insert system disk!. The PSU is modular - could certain "plugs" in my PSU are faulty? I haven't tested this extensively but in some cases when the computer is not starting up at all, using different power ribbon cable combinations seems to help. Also I had to remove my DVD drive completely when I first installed the new 2TB I bought and I don't think my computer will start at all with it plugged in anymore

    several symptoms suggest the PSU, any thoughts?

    If it is of any relevance, I use an Nvidia 275GTX which requires 2x PCI-E 6 pin power connections, 4 hard drives (power is supplied via THREE modular ribbon power cables - two HDD's share power from the same ribbon cable) lastly worth noting I use an asus Xonar 7.1 sound card (requires floppy power connector...)

    ... maybe I should make a seperate thread? Thank you in advance for any support

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