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HARD DRIVE MAKING CLICKING SOUNDS THAN PC FREEZING


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#1
superstar

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OM goodness. Okay I'm typing quick because I do not know what's going to happen. Okay well I have two hard drives attached to my motherboard. One is my windows drive and one is just used for data. And well I clean out my pc every month or so with a can of compressed air. My pc is always running fine for months... But usually everytime I do clean the computer with the can of air, the first time I turn it on it just freezes up and doesnt start xp or the pc freezes up like 20 minutes after runing xp and doing normal stuff. & when it does freeze up you'll hear "1" clicking sound coming from the inside of my pc.

Well usually it happens once or twice and I move around stuff inside the pc and make sure the hardware is inserted and connected properly than it works fine for months and never does it again. But this week I cleaned out my pc and it's been freezing up and making the click sound when it does. It has frozen up about 10 times now. I found out where the noise is coming from and its my secondary DATA drive. I have detached it from the ide cable and the freezing has not occured. Now well it was clacking and making repetative noises today so I had to detach it my friends!

I have my lifes worth of data on it.... What should I do? How can I save the data??????? What should I do before I attach it again? Any tricks... tips??? Please I'm nervous here!
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#2
Neil Jones

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Buy a new drive and copy all the data you can get off the old drive now while it still just about works.
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#3
superstar

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Okay well I turned on my pc this afternoon and it didn't freeze. I went into safe mode [don't ask me why - I guess I feel more comfortable there during mishaps]. Anyways I was able to pull of 70% of my entire life's work of data from my 120GB secondary [bad problematic drive] to my 80GB primary drive [good little buddy!]. Anyways the reason I haven't copied over 100% of the data from the secondary drive to the primary drive is because I have low space on my 80GB drive. So what I'm doing is:

1. Booting into safe mode with primary and secondary drive attached

2. Copying over all of my precious data from the supposedly ruined/dying secondary drive over to my good primary drive.

3. When my primary drive is just about full of data I turn off the pc and detach the ide ribbon cable and power source from the secondary drive. Than I boot into windows with only my good primary drive attached to my motherboard as the master.

4. Do a quick defragmentation of my drive, start up NERO, and burn off all the data I can to dvd-r discs.

5. Reboot my pc with my secondary problematic drive attached and once again repeat steps 1 to 4 above!


Now just for the record every time I reboot the pc with the secondary drive attached it makes a clicking sound a couple of times or so with about 10 seconds in between each instance before going quiet as it should. It sounds like it's struggling to run or something. Sometimes the pc freezes like I mentioned earlier when I try to boot with the secondary drive attached. But it than makes way after a few tries and let's windows boot with it going strong on it's last breath.

During the copying process [pasting secondary drive contents to my primary drive]. I notice that the secondary drive is really slow to copy over the data. It takes about 3 or 4 times longer to copy over any file. For example a 100mb file would take 4 minutes or so instead of the normal time I remember this drive doing before this happened [which was about 60 seconds for a file like that]. So yes it's really slow when referring to it's speed... Put it this way it takes 60 minutes or so to copy over 4GB. Another thing it does is make the clicking noise I previously mentioned within the drive once or twice periodically while copying over data, and sometimes it just won't make noise at all [But it definitely always makes the noise when I boot up my pc with the bad drive attached].

There were a couple of files that I actually copied over to my primary drive, and than went back to recheck if I had copied them from the secondary drive and they WERE GONE! Nowhere to be seen! But I luckly copied them over before they mysteriously disappeared from the problematic drive.

My questions are:

1. How in the [bleep] do I know if the data I'm copying over to my good primary drive isn't corrupt/ruined/damaged/etc?
I mean it looks as if the datas fine when I check it on my good primary drive and view pics, listen to music, etc. But it's so much stuff it would take days for me to open them all up to check if they work. Though I guess the data wouldn't be able to copy over from my bad drive to my good drive unless it were in perfect condition no?

2. & how about the fact that the bad drive is copying the data over soooo slowly... Can that harm my computer components [ie: motherboard], or my good drive while it's passing it's contents over? Or does my primary drive not care about the secondary drives struggling speed as long as it gets from point "a" to point "b"?





- Thank You

Edited by superstar, 24 November 2007 - 03:41 PM.

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#4
Neil Jones

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Now just for the record every time I reboot the pc with the secondary drive attached it makes a clicking sound a couple of times or so with about 10 seconds in between each instance before going quiet as it should. It sounds like it's struggling to run or something. Sometimes the pc freezes like I mentioned earlier when I try to boot with the secondary drive attached. But it than makes way after a few tries and let's windows boot with it going strong on it's last breath.

During the copying process [pasting secondary drive contents to my primary drive]. I notice that the secondary drive is really slow to copy over the data. It takes about 3 or 4 times longer to copy over any file. For example a 100mb file would take 4 minutes or so instead of the normal time I remember this drive doing before this happened [which was about 60 seconds for a file like that]. So yes it's really slow when referring to it's speed... Put it this way it takes 60 minutes or so to copy over 4GB. Another thing it does is make the clicking noise I previously mentioned within the drive once or twice periodically while copying over data, and sometimes it just won't make noise at all [But it definitely always makes the noise when I boot up my pc with the bad drive attached].


It will do - it's dying.

1. How in the [bleep] do I know if the data I'm copying over to my good primary drive isn't corrupt/ruined/damaged/etc?
I mean it looks as if the datas fine when I check it on my good primary drive and view pics, listen to music, etc. But it's so much stuff it would take days for me to open them all up to check if they work. Though I guess the data wouldn't be able to copy over from my bad drive to my good drive unless it were in perfect condition no?


Normally Windows will tell you if it can't copy a file but that doesn't mean its physically intact. You'll only find that out when you try to open it.

2. & how about the fact that the bad drive is copying the data over soooo slowly... Can that harm my computer components [ie: motherboard], or my good drive while it's passing it's contents over? Or does my primary drive not care about the secondary drives struggling speed as long as it gets from point "a" to point "b"?[/b]


When hard drives are dying they will slow down a lot to a point where they don't work anymore. Unless they develop electrical faults as well, the only effects they have on a computer will be speed and response times.

On your main topic of getting everything off the drive to a new one, a far simpler solution would have to just purchase a new drive, put it in, connect it up and copy everything across straight over instead of having to copy it to your 80Gb and burning to DVD. Then you could have started it copying, left it overnight and it would have probably finished well before now :)
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#5
superstar

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On your main topic of getting everything off the drive to a new one, a far simpler solution would have to just purchase a new drive, put it in, connect it up and copy everything across straight over instead of having to copy it to your 80Gb and burning to DVD. Then you could have started it copying, left it overnight and it would have probably finished well before now :)


Yes but how would I do that when my secondary drive is not an o/s? My primary drive is an operating system so how would I be able to copy from my bad drive to a new one? By the way my motherboard only supports two drives. So naturally I have a primary drive which is the o/s and a secondary drive for my data. I mean how in the heck could I start a new drive without an o/s on it and copy over the file contents from the bad drive? I don't see how this would work for me unless you can tell me how...
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#6
Neil Jones

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Unplug the CD unit?
You don't need CD access to do a drive to drive copy.
Anyway almost every board made in the last 10 years is capable of holding at least four drives - you just have to sacrifice a CD unit temporarily.
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#7
superstar

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But my cd units use a 40 pin cable ribbon. Unlike my hard drives which use an 80 pin ribbon. Does this matter?
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#8
Neil Jones

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No.
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#9
superstar

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You know what's strange Neil? I was lucky enough to copy and paste over all of my data from my bad secondary drive to my good primary drive even though it copied over slow as heck [3-5 times slower than normal]. I only received one cycle redundancy error message on my bad drive during the process [I don't know what that means]. The bad secondary drive made clicking sounds on every reboot and froze most of the time. As I mentioned after pasting the data over to my good drive some data disappeared from my bad drive mysteriously. Anyways after copying over all of my data I decided to run Western Digitals diagnostic tools for SMART drives. Both of my drives showed up as being ok with the grade "PASS". I decided to use the tools to do a quick scan on my good drive. Of course the scan passed with flying colors... I did an extended scan on my good drive with the same tools and it also passed.

Now when I did a quick scan on my bad drive it failed halfway through with this notice:

"Quick test on drive 2 did not complete!
Staus code = 07 [Failed read test element], Failure Checkpoint = 65
[Error Log Test]
SMART self-test did not complete on drive 2!"


I than did an extended scan on my bad drive and it ended up saying bad sectors were found or something like that and they were repaired [I can't remember what it fully said]. Anyways my hard drive is still under warranty from Western Digital so I went online and filled out their easy RMA process to get my customer code so I can mail my hard drive in for what I believe would be either repair, or replacement [I don't know which one they will choose to do for me]. So in order to prepare the bad drive I had to be sure I at least tried to wipe out all of my personal data from it. I was able to delete everything off the drive except for one file which was not able to go. So I said "why stop here?", and opened up Western Digitals diagnostic tools so I could use the "WRITE ZEROS" option on my drive. I did a quick run of "Write Zeros" instead of the extended run and it actually finished fine. I was anxious to see and hear what would happen to my pc if I restarted it there after to hear any noises or pc freezes. Oddly enough there were absolutely no freezes or noises coming from the drive when I restarted! So I than went into windows Disk Management and decided to see what would happen if I partitioned the drive and formated it for use. I did so and was amazed that it actually went through the whole process. So now I was like "okay let me restart the pc and see/hear what happens". I restarted the pc and heard no noises/pc freezes. I was like "this is weird!" and decided to see what would happen if I copied and pasted some data onto the drive. Well I must say I was amazed to see that the data was written to the drive at normal speed. Than I copied and pasted some of the same data on the same drive and it copied itself normally. I even played some of the files I copied in windows media player and they played fine. I ran the Western Digitals diagnostic tools on it and the quick scan shows up as a pass now and also the extended scan too... So what is up? I also ran windows check disk tool and it only showed a few kbs in bad sectors.

So now I'm like what the [bleep] is going on? Is my drive good to use now or should I still send it to Western Digital since I already applied for the RMA process? Why the heck is it working now with no noises and what could have caused the drive to go bad beforehand when I had problems?


- Thank you for your help

Edited by superstar, 26 November 2007 - 03:48 PM.

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#10
Neil Jones

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Bad sectors are bad sectors. They multiple like rabbits and bring drives down. If you've got everything off it and its under warranty, send it back. There's no point having a warranty if you've not going to use it. Good drives do not have bad sectors (that are reported), ever. Soon as one appears, it is an early warning sign the drive's life is limited.

To all intents and purposes, a drive can usually get away with a few bad sectors over the course of its lifetime. When a bad sector is found, it is essentially remapped to another spare part of the drive so you don't notice it. However when these spare parts run out, then the sectors start showing up in Scandisk logs and what not, and that means there's no more space basically to do anything about them, therefore they get marked as "don't use this bit of the drive" and that's that. In an ideal world on a big enough drive, it would last until effectively all the bad sectors fill the drive, but in reality the drive is more likely to suffer mechanical failure long before this happens.
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#11
superstar

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I still don't understand why the drive works now after I used WD"s "Write Zeros" option, partitioned the drive, and than formated it. It makes no sense in the world to me because that clicking noise was loud and the drive was slow prior to me doing what I just mentioned. Well I will still send it back tomorrow via mail... Thank you for your help Neil I appreciate it and if you do have any answer as to why the drive works now please let me know. I'd hate for WD to get it and call me saying "Oh yah well your drive works so tough luck buddy we're sending it back!"

Though I really doubt they would do such a thing.

Edited by superstar, 26 November 2007 - 05:41 PM.

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