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Hard Drive Okay Now?


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#1
periwinkle

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Just a week or so ago, I posted about problems I was having with a chirping noise coming from my tower. I kept having disk boot failures several times a day. So, on the advice of several people, I went out and bought a new hard drive so that I could clone it before it crashed. In doing so, I opened up the computer for the first time since I purchased it in Nov. 2003. Boy did it have a lot of dust bunnies inside! And, I have 5 cats, so I'm certain that helped contribute to the dust. I cleaned out as much of the dust as I could (only learning after I had vaccumed that I should not do that). I noticed a diamond-shaped piece (that looks like several fingers sticking up) was not attached on one side. It was stuck to the motherboard. I pushed the piece back into the little hole where it belonged and finally, it stuck. I would send a digital picture of it, but I have never been able to attach anything in this forum. I don't know what the problem is. I can successfully attach pictures, documents, etc. everywhere else. Anyway, once I installed the new hard drive, the computer has not had a single disk boot failure, nor any squeaking chirping sounds coming from it. It's run wonderfully, so I don't know what the chirping was, but I'll trust the people who told me it was my hard drive. Why isn't it making any sounds any more? Not that I want it to fail, but this is strange. I'm wondering if the cleaning might have improved things quite a bit?

The piece that was loose looks like this \ \ \ \ \ \
\ \ \ \ \ \
\ \ \ \ \ \
\ \ \ \ \ \
\ \ \ \ \ \

I really have no idea what its function is. Could anyone tell me? Sorry this is so vague. The piece is about 1 1/2 inches tall and about 2 inches square.

Also, how can I find out how hot my hard drive can run? Right now, HD Tune says that it is running at 53 degrees C. And, it's only 68F degrees in this room. In summer, it is much much hotter in this room. There is no AC in this room, and I live in Tempe, AZ where the high temps get up to 118F some days. It has gotten as hot as 90F in this room many days. Now, I have two hard drives, and I'm thinking it's going to be even hotter inside.
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#2
periwinkle

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Okay, I just converted the temp - it's 129F - with the supposed critical temp (according to HD Tune) being 131. Egads! Ay ay ay! Should I be concerned?
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#3
periwinkle

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I've reached critical temperature - 131F according to HD Tune. I'm scanning the newer hard drive right now. I wonder if it's causing it to heat up?
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#4
amw_drizz

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i got a 120mm fan on my hd with additional cooling to help keep them cool, the 120mm does a good job.

my comps on 24/7/365 and i have never had a problem with the hd overheating and i got it so it will be cooled enough.


whats funny is i had people say to me, man what is your light bill ??? like 300$$ amonth? cause i got some many comps running 24/7


Just put more fans on them it will cool down.
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#5
periwinkle

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Because of the metal case in which both hard drives fit, there is no space for a fan :tazz: , so my next option was to try either using an external case (which cost as much as the hard drive after the rebate) or to try installing the 2nd hard drive that I bought, just to be sure that the new hd is not the problem. However, I think the problem is the 7200 rpms speed. I really don't know much about installing fans - especially when they aren't pointing at the hard drive. Anyone have any suggestions??

This would certainly be the cheaper option, but I don't know how to attach the fans...brackets? At Fry's Electronics, they showed me a few different fans, but all of them were meant to be mounted in the drive bays. I don't think I have any more space in the drive bays. I just have this metal case that is a tube and the 2 drives are very very close together. Are there any hard drives out there with 160 gigs, but 5400 rpms? Anyone know any good online manufacturers of hard drives? I just don't get why they need to spin faster. How does this help with computing? At this point, the whole reason I bought the new hard drive is because I kept hearing a chirping noise and then I had a disk boot failure. This was happening every single time I turned the computer on. Now, I haven't had a single disk boot failure or any chirping since I vaccuumed out the inside of the computer. I keep wondering if this could have helped? No one answers though...[sigh] where are the geekmeisters when you need them?

I really need some help soon, I only have a few days in which to return these hard drives, if they aren't going to work for me. I just am baffled and frustrated about everything. The good news is I've had no disk boot failures, the bad news is that it doesn't look like this hard drive is going to work for me - not when it reaches the critical temperature of 131 degrees on a winter evening. In fact, last night, the new hard drive (7200 rpms) reached 132 degrees. What's a girl to do?

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#6
amw_drizz

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i got mine installed half a$$, i have the side of my case open with my 120 pointing on the hds from the side ontop of a couple of dead hds. my case is like a dust magnet but i try to clean it every once in a while cause i see it more often.
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#7
Samm

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The chirping noises you were experiencing coming from the hard drive are almost certainly warning signals that the drive was getting too hot.

If you're pushed for space, then the best way to cool the drive is either:

1. buy a drive cooler. This is a metal plate with fans in that screws on to the underside of the drive. It will make the drive slightly bigger though in terms of thickness so make sure it will still fit in the bay.

2. Buy a hard drive caddy with fans mounted in the front. These fit in a 5.25 inch bay like a CDROM drive.

Also try & tidy the cabling out the way so that it doesn't obstruct the air flow through the case too much. Failing that, use round IDE cables instead of flat ribbon cables as round ones won't obstruct the air flow so much.
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#8
periwinkle

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A picture is worth a thousand words. I will try to attach my photos of the inside of my computer. I have several pictures of the casing where my two hard drives are installed. There is about 9 mm of space underneath the hard drive closest to the outside casing (of the computer) in which to put a fan. Fans aren't this slim to fit in here. I looked at a couple, but both appeared too thick to fit inside the metal tube, in which both of my hard drives are installed. I'm certain that the combination of both 7200 rpms and the fact that the two hard drives are so close together (about 6 mm apart) is adding to the overheating problems of the 7200 (newer hard drive).

If I install a fan, it would have to go outside of the metal tube in which the hard drives sit, and the fan would be blowing towards the 2 hard drives. There is a crescent moon shaped hole for ventilation in this metal tube underneath the newer hard drive. Would it be okay to point the fan towards the 2 hard drives? The other thing is - where do I attach the fan? I would have to somehow jimmy it to the metal tube. I'm just trying to weigh all my options.

I was also shopping on TigerDirect.com and I noticed that they have a Maxtor 250 gb hard drive with 5400 rpms for only $85 and a reasonable shipping fee, however it doesn't come with any software to install it. If I hadn't had the software to install my hard drive, I'm not sure how I would have gotten it to work. When I first installed it, the computer didn't recognize the hard drive at all until I ran the SeaGate disc wizard. I do have Norton Ghost, and I've been told that this can clone the drive, but if I can't even get my computer to recognize the hard drive, then I'd be up a creek. This is just another option I'm considering.

Edited by periwinkle, 15 February 2006 - 10:28 PM.

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#9
periwinkle

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This is the metal tube where the hard drives are. You can see how little space there is between the metal tube and the hard drive. It's about 9mm.
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#10
periwinkle

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Why don't my pictures ever attach in this forum? Could they be too big? I just don't get it!!! Very frustrating!
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#11
amw_drizz

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here is what my hd set up looks like

Picture_002.jpg

Picture_001.jpg

Picture_003.jpg


so yea

it over flows a bit
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#12
periwinkle

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amw_drizz, how did you upload those pictures to this forum? I have not been able to do that no matter how many times I've tried!! How big are you picture files?
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#13
amw_drizz

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there 640x480 (webcam)


just did upload (in the post option) and clicked add to post. it worked.


try it, and thats what my hd set up looks like.
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#14
Samm

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periwinkle - too add pictures from the 'Add Reply' option (not 'fast reply'), click on browse to select file, then click 'Add this attachment'. You then need to click 'Add into post' option. Don't worry, this confused me the first time I tried to add an attachment as well!

I'll come back to the drive cooling issue after I have seen the pictures. As for the Maxtor drive though, I woulldn't bother getting that until you know what can be done about cooling. You are right to say that a 5400rpm drive should create less heat than a 7200rpm one, but whether that alone is sufficient to keep the drive cool enough, is another matter. Part of problem as you said, is that both drives are so close together. Would the 5.25in caddy with fans in be an option in your case? This would allow you to place the hottest drive in one of the CDROM bays & so would solve a lot of the overheating problems.

As for the software issue & the Maxtor drive, all hard drive manufacturers have these types of utilities freely available for download from their websites. All you have to do is find the correct one for your particular drive.
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#15
periwinkle

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Thank you, thank you, Samm! But there is no option to add the pictures internally. The only option is to insert pics via URL. I don't have a URL, however I do have an account with Photobucket.com, so I will upload the pictures there and then attach the URL. I just don't know why this doesn't work here. Is there some option on my computer that I have disabled? The only option I have is to Browse and Add This Attachment. There is no option to put it in the body of the email. I'd send you a screen shot, but well, I can't do that, either.
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