hard drive failing...how can you tell?

  jay.p 18:41 03 Jan 2007

had a whining noise on start up for quite a few months now. during this time have had a new psu , new cpu and fan and new graphics card , so with no case fans present i can only conclude it is the hard drive.
the noise usually goes after a few minutes . am having a few probs such as media player playing mp 3s slowly at times with cpu at 100%. dvd writer and rom freezing the pc when trying to access a disc through my computer and things in general running slowly.
if it is the hard drive is there any way i can test it.

  brundle 18:43 03 Jan 2007

Manufacturer's diagnostics; click here

  Rayuk 18:44 03 Jan 2007

Go to the hard drives manufacturers website and download their Diagnostic software,and dont forget to back up

  Totally-braindead 18:45 03 Jan 2007

If you can find out the make of the drive and goto the manufacturers website there are tools you can download eg Seatools for Seagate and MaxBlast for Maxtor etc. And they can run tests on your drive.

They only do their own drives by the way ie Maxblast will only work on Maxtor drives.

  jay.p 21:17 03 Jan 2007

cheers guys didn't know these tools existed so i will give them a go.

  Technotiger 21:19 03 Jan 2007

Hi, if it does prove to be a failing hard drive - I recommend Acronis True Image full backup to an external hd asp.


  Rtus 21:34 03 Jan 2007

Does the mobo have a chipset fan ? this if fitted can also make this noise.Another way of determining this is to unplug the IDE& power leads (jot down/note how they go ) to the hard drive then boot up to cdrom (some live linux , noppix or something similar)

  Totally-braindead 22:52 03 Jan 2007

Thinking about the noise. I got this a couple of years ago I was positive it was the hard drive failing but it passed all tests. Turned out it was the Northbridge fan failing which is common enough, replaced it with a Zalman heatsink(no fan Involved) and it never bothered me again. Only cost about £4 from Dabs.

  terryf 23:05 03 Jan 2007

roll up a piece of stiff paper or thin card about a foot long and use it to listen inside the case. The roll will focus the noise and help you to pinpoint the source

  UncleP 02:04 04 Jan 2007

Best check on HD performance is provided by the SMART diagnostic system built into all modern drives. Download a free monitoring utility and run it continuously or every few days. It will tell you the rate of change of each operating parameter, and provide an estimate of the remaining life of the drive - much more informative than simply doing a surface scan.

Do a Web search for 'SMART hard drive diagnostics' or something similar to get a more detailed explanation and sources of the utility.

  theDarkness 04:38 04 Jan 2007

it might also be worth trying a hard drive temperature checker to make sure your hard drive is cool enough during use.

click here

I killed my last hard drive as a result of my constant updating (gfx card etc) and my Time computer having a bad air flow. instead of the recommended cool air blowing in the front with one fan and hot air out the back using another, the default system fron the store had the one simple fan with cool air in the back, which wasnt much use!

if your system is staying cool -mid 30s or below at the maximum then youre doing well.

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