Possible hard drive failure...advice needed!!

By sslcheun ยท 8 replies
Jan 13, 2004
  1. My computer crashed the other day, and now it no longer boots up.

    I was in the middle of a game when I heard the hard drive click and then the computer reset. After that whenever I try to boot up, the hard drive begins to click and the process stops there. The BIOS appears in order, the memory test is okay, and the boot up screen appears to recognise the boot partition of my hd

    I've tried using a boot disk, but still run into the clicking, though it does works when I disconnect the hd.

    My system is only 2 years old, and this is the first time I've had any major problems with it. I'm thinking its a physical failure of the hard drive, and if that's the case, is there any way to retrieve my data?

    I'd greatly appreciate any insight or advice people provide.
  2. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Depends on whether it's a freeze-up or not....but it doesn't sound like it. If it's critical data that you are willing to pay for, there are companies that charge an arm and a leg but most likely will get your data.
    If you have another comp or a friend with one and it is stiction (plates freezing together) place the drive in a freezer for an hour. Remove it, connect it as a slave to another hard drive in a system and you might be able to "see" it from the system to retrieve your data. I've had this work twice for me.
    Please be careful if you try this. Cold to heat (and vice--versa) causes condensation. You're working with electronics so keep the slave drive separate from the rest of it.

    Good luck!
  3. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    If it's stiction, and the above doesn't work, one last thing to try is this. Take your drive, and with it's bottom surface, bang it against6 a table top or something similar. this may unstick the drive. Don't go OTT with it. Just a firm whack.
  4. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Sounds like your hard drive is screwed, which basically means you've lost all your data, unless of course you don't mind paying a few hundred bucks to have a data recovery service retrieve it for you.

    If you had 2 hard drives (always a good idea), then you could easily have kept a backup, and a second bootable OS from which to attempt data recovery, though in this case it doesn't sound like that is going to be possible. Hard drives just aren't as reliable as other PC components, as you've now discovered.
  5. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Thanks Spike.....I had failed to remember that....though a valid fix.

    And Nic is right....having a second drive onboard is a smart move....just for keeping valuable data. Your main drive takes the punishment.....the second doesn't get near the amount of work, hence the smallest potential for failure.

    BTW, check out the warranty on the drive as well....it might've fallen under the old 3 year warranty.
  6. sslcheun

    sslcheun TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I figured I was probably out of luck. I just never realized how prone to failure they were. The harddrive on my old 386 still works great.

    I'll try connecting it as a slave, the freezer, and if that doesn't work...I'll give it a whack or two. In the future I will definitely backup more frequently and invest in a second drive.

    And I will see if I am still covered under warranty, even though shipping will probably cost the same as replacing it.

  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You could try running scandisk on it first.. It may be just a bad sector.
  8. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

    clicking is usually a baaad sign. good luck.
  9. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

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