HDD Clicking Noises (contd)

  ened 06:47 25 Aug 04

I recently posted that my HDD was producing rapid clicking noises.
None of the advice I received cured the problem and I made sure I backed it up to the second drive.
As a last resort I did a system restore as far back as I could go.
Machine worked fine for four days then the problem recurred.
Virus check comes up clean and I have changed nothing in the way of new programmes etc.
he question is does it still look as though the HDD is in danger of failing?

  User-312386 07:08 25 Aug 04

My HDD chaters away all the time, nothing wrong with it though

mines a maxtor

  €dstowe 08:24 25 Aug 04

Do you mean your replacement hard drive clicks like the old one?

For reference, other thread is click here

  Stuartli 09:15 25 Aug 04

If your HDD is making clicking noises then it is most likely on its way out.

I had the same experience about eight months ago and made sure that not only was a full backup done, but a brand new replacement (a WD600JB with a three year warranty) was installed as soon as dabs had it delivered.

  Scillonia 09:58 25 Aug 04

Hard drives are mechanical devices and have moving parts, when you hear clicking noises it means one part is hitting another in some way, not software related but a mechanical failure. A common problem is often reported as a sound like a ping-pong ball, this happens usually before the HDD fails completely. You may be lucky and it may last months/years before failure occurs, some do some don’t. Keep regular backups. One day you may switch on to “No OS found…”

  €dstowe 10:40 25 Aug 04

ened, you said at the top that you have carried out all the advice given in your previous thread.

My recommendation was to replace the errant hard drive. Have you done this?

  ened 13:43 25 Aug 04

The only task I haven't carried out is replacing the drive.

The machine started behaving erratically (a single quiet click followed by a freeze where the only option was the reset button and refusing to Copy/Transfer files)so in desperation I tried a System Restore.
All was fine and I was able to move everything using the Files and settings Transfer wizard.

Whilst I agree that those clicking sounds are a sign of imminent doom and I have another HDD ready to install, it worked fine for four days until yesterday morning when I had a single soft click and everything froze. Incidentally when this happens I hit the reset button and then the machine stops on the 'Detecting IDE drives' page. Turn off - leave for a couple of minutes and turn on : normal boot!

It has worked flawlessly since yesterday morning.

This w/e I am thinking of a copmlete re-format.

Or do you still think it is a hardware problem?

  €dstowe 13:59 25 Aug 04

I'm getting even more persuaded that a failing drive is the problem especially as you now report that your machine is failing to detect the drive.

One of the problems with mechanical failures like this appears to be is that they can be intermittent - working one minute, not the next. The will come a time when it will refuse to work at all. This is not too bad if you're prepared for it so make absolutely certain you have a full and up to date replacment image on a new disk ready for when that happens.

If it were me, though, I would have that old drive out immediately as it can happen (not normally) that you can have a catastrophic failure of a drive which causes (data or electrical) damage to other parts of your computer.


  ened 17:44 25 Aug 04

Sorry to be so sporadic but I have been busy with work.

€dstowe: I take all your points and obviously your last paragraph causes some concern.

But I have been clinging on to the idea this is somehow software related. I am using Broadband and the machine is on and connected all day. I am using AVG but have not had a firewall since the cockup with the latest version of Zonealarm.

I agree that a strong argument against this is the failure to detect.

I also think that common sense suggests an HDD failure.

But it passes all the tests and has now been working for 36 hours without so much as a murmur.

Thanks for all your advice I will update this at the next event.

  €dstowe 17:47 25 Aug 04

If, by chance, it is not the hard drive that's causing the problem, you can always put it back again and use your new drive as a permanent safety net.

  woodchip 17:54 25 Aug 04

The clicking noise is not head hitting some other part. It is the head searching the hard drive there may be bad Sectores but it may just be a Corrupt MBR. If you are on Win98 shut down to DOS then type Scandisk select the Drive you want to scan and see what it brings up. Next in DOS you can Type
FDISK /MBR to repair the Master Boot Record

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