Imminent Hard Disk failure or harmless noises?

  spras 20:49 21 Oct 2008
Locked

During the past couple of weeks one of my Hard Disks has began making a clicking noise and has been 'disk thrashing' a fair bit more than it used to cause a momentary halt to operations (system will freeze for 5 - 10 seconds). It is not, at the moment, often enough to really bother me but what I am interested in is if my hard drive is about to go tits-up.

I've had a Hard Disk fail before and the symptoms were similair, except the noises were much more frequent and the disk would often fail to load. Apart from what I have described about I have had no other problems - do you think my HDD is on the way to complete failure or is it just making harmless noises?

I have recently defragged all my drives and done a general clear-up, but that did not seem to improve anything. Windows hasn't asked to scan any of the disks for sector errors or anything like that.

I run Windows Vista 64, Amd Athlon 6000+, ATI 1950 GFX
Primary HD: 80GB IDE, approx 4 - 5 years of age, holds Windows Vista. Partitioned in two, one of which is empty.
Secondary HD: 200GB Sata, approx 1 - 2 years of age,holds all my data. partitioned in to 4 drives.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:20 21 Oct 2008

Backup your data and scan for errors a see if it quietens down if not then change the drive before you lose everything.

  woodchip 21:39 21 Oct 2008

As above first do a check disc, then defrag the drive

  DieSse 22:52 21 Oct 2008

Disk thrashing may simply be that the system is too busy - due possibly to

too many programs running in too little RAM - reduce the number of programs running and/or add more RAM

too much rubbish/temporary files accumulated - run a disk cleaner and possibly a registry cleaner and defrag.

Whatever you do make sure as a matter of urgency, ensure your backups are kept fully up to date.

Clicking may be a more serious noise or it may be associated with the thrashing.

And yes - it might also be a sign the drive is dying.

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