Hard Drive Failure

  ngb68 20:28 24 Sep 2008

Please help. I have a 4 year old HP desktop computer and the hard drive has just packed up on me (well I think it's the hard drive). When I turn it on I get nothing. None of the usual grinding noises etc and nothing appears on the screen. Is this terminal or can it be fixed (for a reasonable cost)? There is information on there I would like to retrieve but it's not valuable enough to warrant spending a fortune fixing. And with the age of the machine, might I just be better getting a new one? Any advice would be appreciated.

  sinbads 22:37 24 Sep 2008

sounds like the power supply is caput check plug fuse and cable to unit.

  Dragon_Heart 23:49 24 Sep 2008

"When I turn it on I get nothing"

No lights ?

No fan noise ?

Can you see the fan moving on the power supply at the back ?

'sinbads' advice is sound. If you have or can borrow a spare power cable ( IMPORTANT check it's same fuse rating as original ) try that.

Flowchart for ATX Power Supply Repair click here

Power supplies can start from about £12 up to £100.

Replacing a Power Supply click here

NOTE ! Yours PROBABLY is an ATX type, you will need to check and for it's power rating in watts.

Cross reference of popular Hewlett-Packard power supply part numbers to the appropriate replacement or upgrade click here


You say when it was working your hard drive was making "grinding noises" ? If you do manage to get your PC back up and running it may be worth checking the hard drive is securely fixed in place and has adequate ventilation .... a good blast with a can of compressed air to give it a 'spring clean' can help. Also check the CPU cooling fan is moving OK without any 'grinding' !

  ngb68 13:40 25 Sep 2008

Thanks for your responses. Firstly, I apologise for not being specific enough. The power supply is ok. The lights on the box come on and the fans are working ok. When I say 'grinding' noise I was referring to just the normal noise a hard drive makes when accessing information. The point I was making was that this noise is not present when I turn the machine on anymore leading me to conclude that it was a hard drive failure. But I'm not all that clued up on computers so I could have jumped to the wrong conclusion.

  ernie66 16:01 25 Sep 2008

I run a HP compaq computer with 40gb of hard drive
and running windows XP HOME edition with 1(one)
licence.If I change the hard drive to 250gb will
I be able to re-install the XP HOME back onto the computer,advice would be appreciated.thankyou.

  DieSse 17:10 25 Sep 2008

"If I change the hard drive to 250gb will
I be able to re-install the XP HOME back onto the computer"

Yes that's entirely in order.

You would need the CD or be able to do some sort of recovery procedure to re-install.

A better plan might be to clone your existing installation onto a new drive.

Seagate Disk Wizard (if one or the other drives is Seagate) will do it.

So will Acronis True Image (commercial).

So will xxclone (free).

So will DriveImage XML (free and commercial)

and possibly others.

  DieSse 17:12 25 Sep 2008

BTW ernie66 - it's better to start your own new thread, then you can get notifications of answers, and it won't get mixed up with a different query.

  ernie66 20:51 25 Sep 2008

thanks DieSse, I have the CD so should not be a
problem. many thanks.

  Dragon_Heart 02:42 30 Sep 2008

......... have a hard disk light ? If that's stopped flickering it might well be a hard drive problem as you say.

It could be something as simple as a loose cable or connector.

If you are going to check inside the PC case firstly, as you are probably aware, disconnect the PC from the mains.

If you don't have an earth wrist strap e.g. click here place your hand on a bare nearby radiator pipe to discharge any static electricity in your body.

In my old HP desktop the 'IDE' type hard drive was situated at the front of the case just above the power button and below the floppy disk drive. e.g. click here

Check the hard drive cable / connector ( the ribbon cable with a flat connector feeding into the back of the drive click here ) must be pushed firmly into the socket. Check that it is also firmly installed into the Motherboard at the other end. click here

Also check the power supply cable / plugs are also connected properly click here

This shows how to install an external hard drive into a case but the connection principle is similar click here

If all OK check for any sharp kinks / bends in the cables as these can lead to broken wires that are not visible from the outside.

Stand the PC upright if you've put it on it's side and KEEP FINGERS, HAIR, JEWELLERY ETC. CLEAR OF OPEN CASE whilst you reconnect and switch on. Check the cooling fans are working on both the CPU and the main case, might only be a single duel purpose fan.

Does it work ?

  canarieslover 08:54 30 Sep 2008

If nothing appears on the display at all then it is not normally a hard drive failure but motherboard or power supply. If motherboard was OK then you would get the normal booting up sequence appearing on screen followed by a report that the bios cannot detect hard drive. This is assuming that your graphics have not failed. Are you getting any beeps during the power up of the computer?

  chub_tor 08:59 30 Sep 2008

This may be red herring but it is easy to check. This weekend I had a machine with the same failure to boot up ie no display, no beeps, no hard drive light. Turned out to be a keyboard failure. Changing the keyboard turned it back into a fully functional machine - no other attention was required. First time that I have ever seen that.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review

What went wrong at the Designs of the Year 2017

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

Comment regarder des séries et talk-shows américains en France ?