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Bad Hard Drives? Bad Power Supply? Bad Motherboard?

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System Specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
ASUS P5W DH DELUXE Motherboard (Flashed to latest BIOS)
HIPER HPU-4K530-MS ATX12V v2.2 530W Power Supply
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250820AS 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2b

Hi All,

I just built a new rig, but have run into some strange problems. Everything I'm using is brand new, out of the box. Hardware assembly and setup went very smoothly. During Win XP's installation setup, I noticed that the full format of my hard disk drive was taking quite a long time. I decided to be patient and let it run it's course, yet the hard drive suddenly started to make VERY LOUD chirping/clicking noises. That was certainly concerning, as was the fact that the formatting process stopped at the 95% or so, and didn't budge past that mark.

Assuming I'd gotten a faulty hard drive, I decided to replace it with another brand-new drive I had just purchased. The replacement drive was the same manufacturer (Seagate) but a different model drive. Here's what I can't believe -- I proceeded to install XP, and during the formatting, the SAME THING happened. Everything was okay until the formatting was about 94% done, and the drive got very noisy. Formatting hung and I was forced to reset the computer. :blink:

Getting desperate and very worried, I decided to go for the "Quick" formatting option, which didn't cause any problems. XP was able to install successfully. However, the drive was still unusually noisy -- I've been around enough computers to know that the loud and irregular clicking sounds coming from the drive were NOT normal.

Right now, XP and a game I've installed are both running just fine. However, the hard drive noise is very concerning. Even more concerning, when my computer boots up it lists the hard drive's "S.M.A.R.T." status as "Bad". To top it all off, I decided to run Check Disk -- and wouldn't you know it, the computer hung as Check Disk was 89% done. I had to reset then, too.

So, I'm stumped as to what the problem is. The fact that Windows *seems* to be running just find has made me rule out a problem with my install CD. Based on the noises, hangs, and S.M.A.R.T status, I know this hard drive is FUBAR'd. But should I put another in? My tentative plan is to replace the current Power Supply with one I've had for about a year before putting in a new HDD -- losing three drives to whatever problem is going on would just be too much. Does anyone out there have an idea what my problem might be? :whistling:
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Hi ryanx27. Welcome to geeks to go.

What u have described is a bad hard drive. Ii is ironic tho that two hard drives "died" at the same stage. The klicking sound is when the arm in side the disk hits the side meanning that it is not running properly. The fact that it is runnning after aquick format is that a quick format does not actually check the whole disk and if the beginning of the disk is ok u managed to run xp on the good part. Dont save impotant data on the disk it doesn't have much of a life left.

The S.M.A.R.T. test gives a prety acurate diagnose of the disk. If u want u can try do preform a low level format on the hard drive but on new disks it I have rarely had any success.

From my expreance there should b no problem inserting a new hard drive and the power supply doesn't really affect it at all. if the power is off the disk is not the first thing usually to make problems.

One thing is don't u have warranty on the hard disk. They seem pretty new?
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It could be a bad drive, but it also could be a bad cable or a problem with the motherboard.

If you have another machine that you can use, I would suggest putting the disk in that machine and use the Seagate diagnostics to test the disk. Once you have tested the disk, assuming that it works, then try it in the new machine and run the tests again. If it does not work, then you know that you have another problem.

You need to determine what is good and what is not. With everything new, everything is an unknown. It could be the power supply too. Bad power can create strange problems.
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