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Old 05-27-2008, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default I Think My Hard Drive Is Going

Had a blue screen after a cold start-up. 32 file was mangled. Of course I had no back-up, and shrugged off the data loss, and re-loaded OS.

Everything cool until today, and the pc sounds like a bad power steering pump. I believe the fan is running OK, but not sure how to diagnose what is noisy and what to do about it. It is a 6-ish year old VPR BestBuy house brand. P4 2 Gig-1.99Gig/512Meg ram.

How do I diagnose the whine?

What type of internal HD do I to look for, if I am needing to replace it? Totally lost by IDE, parallel and serial. I only need minimal storage-thinking 80gig- 8meg-about 40 bucks.

I swap it, format it and reload OS (XP2000), right?

Oh, and get a backup system...

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Old 05-27-2008, 05:59 PM   #2
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If its 6 years old then its IDE. Just buy a IDE hard drive and you'll be fine.

As far as diagnosing the noise, unplug the drives you think might be causing the problem. I could even be a CD-ROM. You can unplug the case fans too to see if it is them. DO NOT UNPLUG THE CPU FAN.

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Old 05-27-2008, 06:28 PM   #3
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I disagree that a 6 year old IDE drive is the most likely culprit based on those symptoms. I vote for a bad fan ans the most likely with the HD and CD/DVD drive in second place.

Here's another thing to try: open the case and turn it on. Take a pencil and stick the eraser in each fan. If the whining stops, you found a bad fan. Stopping the fan for a few seconds will not do any appreciable harm to your system. Make sure you get the fan (or 2) in the power supply as well.



I'd lay good odds on the video card fan.

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Old 05-27-2008, 06:39 PM   #4
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Run SpinRite.

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Old 05-27-2008, 07:10 PM   #5
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What ever you do, I'd back things up NOW.

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Old 05-27-2008, 07:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornkob View Post
I disagree that a 6 year old IDE drive is the most likely culprit based on those symptoms. I vote for a bad fan ans the most likely with the HD and CD/DVD drive in second place.

Here's another thing to try: open the case and turn it on. Take a pencil and stick the eraser in each fan. If the whining stops, you found a bad fan. Stopping the fan for a few seconds will not do any appreciable harm to your system. Make sure you get the fan (or 2) in the power supply as well.



I'd lay good odds on the video card fan.
Thanks, KornKob!

I popped it open and it was filthy. I vacuumed off everything I could find for dust. Had to pick out matted dust in the CPU fan/heat sink fins, but it wasn't the whine. Then I checked the power supply, and it was not as dirty, but stopping both fans together, I still had the noise.

I slapped the sides back on and came back here.

I reread the posts, and had missed the last sentence. I go back in, and sure enough there is a small fan on a card, and it was filthy. I cleaned it up with a brush and vacuumed, and the noise was gone.

There is no case fan.

It is running quiet again, but can you just replace a card fan, separate of the card (Nvidia, I think), if this one dies?

Obviously I need to back stuff up. Can I just buy a flash type stick and use that?

Also, should I get a cheap case fan?
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:16 PM   #7
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If you want to back up data just grab a cheap external USB Hard Drive then backup to that with the built in backup software that comes with windows or use something like Acronis True Image.

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Old 05-27-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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not of any use, but rebuild it and throw it in mineral oil...

it makes for a cool fish tank computer.

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Old 05-27-2008, 08:27 PM   #9
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In a manufactured computer if there is no case fan than you probably don't need one, especially if it has been running fine for 6 years. : )


Yes-- a large flash drive could work to back up important files so long as you know what files are important to you. Make sure to store this backup unit separately from your pc. If a electrical problem kills the PC all attached devices are at risk. If you have static files (old resumes, old tax data, scanned documents, archived personal photos and the like) it's not a bad idea to make a separate copy of these on a small flash drive and store it someplace safe (like a fire safe or safe deposit box). The added benefit to this is that it is then safe from anyone accessing it without your permission or damaging it with a virus, etc.

(which reminds me I need to make an incremental backup soon as it has been a while)

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Old 05-27-2008, 08:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I disagree that a 6 year old IDE drive is the most likely culprit based on those symptoms.
I meant if it were a 6 year old hard drive then it would be an IDE interface.
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