Can a failing hard drive damage any other pc parts

  theDarkness 21:26 27 Feb 05
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My pc makes a clicking sound once a night, usually when booting, other times not at all until hrs of use. Always the same double-click. I cant see any fans stopping and starting, so just before I heard the click last time I put my ear up to the hds and was almost certain it was coming from one of them.
Ive now taken out my newest (few months old) Maxtor 160Gig drive and the clicking still occurs, so its either my 2 yr old Seagate 80Gig, or something else on my system. The noise can be quite loud, but after the two clicks I will usually hear nothing at all until the next night I switch on.

Could anything else on my pc make a clicking sound? Its not my new PSU as the noise was there before I installed it (I thought my fans were double clicking a couple months before since I was running 2 hds and a cooler on a poor 100W Time PC power supply, but the noise is still there with the new 480W PSU). I have replaced a VIA motherboard before (1 yr after buying the PC) as it failed on me for no good reason, and now it seems the machine is playing up again.

Could a failing hard-drive damage any other components or drives when it finally does give up? The drive I [think] is making the noise is the Seagate 80Gig with windows XP installed. I have backed my files up onto dvd just in case it does die! If Im running windows and it fails will I hear it going mad and grating or would my pc simply freeze?

Thanks for any help if anyone can! :D

  josie mayhem 22:00 27 Feb 05

If you go to each manufactuers web site for your hard drives, the will have a utility, that you can down-load and check the drives with.

The only hard drive that I've had pack up on me, keep on freezing, and then wouldn't reboot, but limped on with reformatting until it gave the ghost completley up.

But weather it could damage another component, I doubt it, unless of course it goes up in smoke and sets fire to the whole lot. But the later is very unlikley to happen.

Are you sure that it is a hard-drive playing up, because I would imagine that it would click all the time, and not just the once, is there anything in your computer that might expand with heating up, and click at a set temperture?

I would run a diognistics utilities on them first before you comdem them.

  groundhog 22:26 27 Feb 05

HDD failures can happen either instantly or over time and one of the first things i've notice when a HDD is begining to die there is a general increase in the noise it makes while operating and then read/write errors start creeping in, One indication I've had was windows informing me of an improper shutdown even though I know it was shut down properly.

I think if I was in your position I would keep restarting it till I was 100% sure where the clicks are comming from.

I've never heard of a failing drive being able to damage any other part of the computer but I do know that when a drive fails bios takes for ever to load.

I would suggest that you make an image of your Sys HDD then if it does go you can restore the image to the new Hdd, you are then back in operation with the minimium of fuss.

  Buchan 35 23:01 27 Feb 05

Hi, as josie mayhem said run a diagnostics before condemnationb but do the HDD backup firse. Try Belarc, that`ll tell you the state of health of the HDD. Cheers.

  theDarkness 00:33 28 Feb 05

Theres definately no weird whirring or grinding noises at all, just a (fairly loud) "click.. click" (it has only done it once tonight, and a few hrs after switching on, nothing since). I've got the "SEATOOLD_EN" Seagate HD check program from their website, doesnt seem to install/run properly, but I'll have to check out the readme on how to do so- perhaps it doesnt run straight from windows.

I cant think what else could be causing the noise on the pc at all, Ive just installed a new dvd drive but the noise was there before I put that in. The pc makes the noise when the other hd isnt in so its not that. I did have a hd cooler installed (takes up a whole bay) for the extra hd (and the noise appeared after that was inserted), but its been out of the pc for ages now.
Im trying to keep an eye on the fans to make sure that its not the case or processor fan stopping and starting. Its just that it makes the noise so infrequently each night its almost impossible to keep track of.

Windows in the past has informed me before that it needs to shutdown, rather than saying it wasnt done so properly after a restart, but this was before the clicking, and I assumed it was because I either accidentally shut off zonealarm, and/or someone tried to hack into my pc while online. Last month zonealarm actually shut off itself when I was online as it said there was a problem with some sort of windows file? That doesnt sound good.. but apart from this my system has been running fine for weeks, just the occassional click.

My pc is running service pack 2 and all the security updates are installed.

  theDarkness 00:35 28 Feb 05

just another thing- I dont have any room on my other hard disc to make an image of the system, and surely that wouldnt be a good idea if its not running properly anyway?

thanks for the help!

  The Spires 00:46 28 Feb 05

Hard drives do click as the heads park etc.

  theDarkness 01:33 28 Feb 05

I can hear tiny clicking sounds as the drive is accessed which is normal, it's nothing like the double click I get now, which would drown that out completely. My drive [if it is that] has never made this particular noise up until now-from the last month or so

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