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written by Raptorjedi on Apr 17, 2006 12:04
My harddrive is failing, making all those nasty grinding sounds and such. What can I do to stop this from happening? And how much will it cost? Because I can't do anything with my computer at home until this gets fixed, which means no RJ around.
written by Naavis on Apr 17, 2006 12:24
You should make a backup of the hard drive as soon as possible. Grinding sounds and such are signs of a failing hard drive. If you want, you can take it to a repairman, but you can't really do much about old failing hard drives.
└> last changed by Naavis on April 17, 2006 at 14:47
written by Jaxe'd on Apr 17, 2006 14:24
Yeah, getting a replacement hard drive is probably the best option at this point. Chances are, though, if you go to a repairman, they'll charge you more than it would take to replace the hard drive. You could probably get a small hard drive for around $50 or less, depending on where you go.
written by Cryoburner on Apr 17, 2006 20:47
Yeah, having a hard drive repaired is likely to cost a lot more than getting a replacement. Modern hard drives aren't designed to be opened, and doing so can easily destroy them. The only logical reason to fix a broken hard drive would be if you really needed to get some data off it which was not backed up elsewhere.

If you are able to order online, 80 gig drives can currently be found in the vicinity of $50 at Newegg.com, while 250 gig drives are available there for around $90. Here's a link to their Hard Drive Section. Be sure not to get a Serial ATA (SATA) drive unless your computer has connections for that newer type. You might also want to check if your computer is still under any sort of warranty first.

In the mean time, you'll probably want to back up any important files, game saves, downloads, etc. that you have on your drive, in case it ends up failing completely. If you have a Windows installation CD that came with your computer, You can use that to reinstall Windows on the new drive, otherwise you might need to find some software that lets you copy the operating system from your old drive to the new one, so long as the drive's still working. I don't think you want to buy a new copy of Windows XP, too. : )

Also, make sure that the drive is the source of the noise. You'd feel a little silly if you went to install a new drive only to find the sound coming from a case fan. : P
written by Ouch on Apr 17, 2006 22:13
SpinRite 6.0 has sometimes saved a few drives (and files) for me. (damn e-machines...) I don't know how, but it works. it can take a completely nonredable drive and make it like nothing happend. it's a bit scary really...


it's not cheap ($90) but it is the best out there as far as I'm concerned. you can read some of the reviews and some horror stories there as well. The way I look at it is even if I was paid $0.01 an hour to recreate everything on my drive it would still be cheaper to buy his program.

he also makes a free zip disk checking and fixing program, it's originally how I found spinright

also pretty much all of his programs are programmed in assembly... this guy knows his stuff.
i haz title: speed-g-dof
written by Speeder on Apr 18, 2006 01:47
This topic made me cry... I remembered that I dropped my 120GB 7200RPM ATA HD on the ground two weeks ago... (and here a new one cost U$200 Oo... A 120B S-ATA is just U$320... Oo)
written by Raptorjedi on Apr 18, 2006 12:10
Okay, more on my problem, first, I can't afford to do ANY of this right now, right now even 50 bucks is too much. Second, the sound wasn't exactly a grinding, I tried again later and it no longer makes the sound, but I can't exactly find out where it was coming from. It sounds more like.... like... taking a playing card and sticking it in the tire of a bike, then slowly riding away picking up speed. It starts off slow then gets faster and faster (I immediatly shut it down when it did that.) So could it possibly just be a fan or something?

Edit: And why did the sound just stop? Could it have just been something in the fan, some dust or some such?
written by Naavis on Apr 18, 2006 14:14
The problem could be in a fan, but if the sound came from the hard drive, it probably isn't a fan problem. Hard drives have spinning platters (disks), which can make the same sort of noise.

Mosts sorts of unusual noises from the hard drive imply a nearing failure.
written by Raptorjedi on Apr 18, 2006 14:24
Any idea why it would stop making that noise but still work fine? And how would I go about backing up my hard drive, god I feel like such a noob right now, but if I lose my computer it could be months before I could get it fixed or replaced.
doing pushups
written by Megagun on Apr 18, 2006 15:10
I'd say: get some bootable CD version of Linux off the 'net, and use that for a while, disabling the harddrive features.. I'd recommend Knoppix (which is by far the easiest), but I think that one automounts Harddrives, and I'm not sure if you can keep it from doing so... And besides, it's big (700MB)..

Damn Small Linux might do (50MB), or Puppy Linux (50MB, too)...
written by Raptorjedi on Apr 18, 2006 16:22
I don't know how to do that.
lieutenant busybody
written by Fth on Apr 18, 2006 16:26
You ask Megagun in IRC where to get it and then burn it to a cd. Maybe you need to change some BIOS settings so your compy boots from the cd, but there should be lots of guides for that. If you don't have a cd burner, it might even be possible to put such a thing on a USB stick and boot from that. Or you could burn download and burn it from some public computer, like at the school library or an internet café.

I have Hikarunix on a bootable cd ^^
written by Cryoburner on Apr 19, 2006 04:15
Anything that spins could have been making the sound. It could even have been your CD drive, although that seems less likely. If it was a fan, I doubt that dust would cause noise like that, but a stray wire or something could have slipped into its path. You might want to open your case and check to make sure there's nothing stuck in any of your fans, and that they all spin when the computer is turned on.
written by Corsair on Apr 19, 2006 09:01
Apparantely if your hard drive fails, by putting it in the freezer for a few hours then plugging it back into the PC, it will work long enough to make a backup.

Not sure if this is true or not, but read it in a relaible computer magazine, so i am assuming it is true.
written by Raptorjedi on Apr 19, 2006 12:15
Okay, I'm getting a new computer (not sure how we can afford it right now) and it IS my hard drive, I went in to back up my bookmarks (they are safe, thank god, I have hundreds) and something with my firefox default profile was corrupted, and I have no idea what else is. So I'm fairly sure it's my hard drive. I should have a new computer when I get home from school today.

I'm just going to grab what I can and cut my losses.
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