Software or hardware error?

  llollipoppi 10:43 17 Aug 2007


recently my p.c has started making a wierd noise. Its as if the cd rom drive tries to boot up but it only goes so far and then it makes a clicking noise (ther is no cd in it) I am not sure if it is the cd rom drive but thats what it sounds like. When this happens I can't use p.c at all.

Today it wouldnt boot into windows and would only boot into safe mode. It has now eventually booted into windows but obviously the problem isnt solved.

Does anyone have any advice?

I am running win xp.

Many thanks


  brundle 11:00 17 Aug 2007

Sounds as if the drive is on it's way out - does it fail to read CDs when the machine boots normally? Replacements are inexpensive and easy to fit.

  Taff™ 11:22 17 Aug 2007

"I am not sure if it is the cd rom drive but thats what it sounds like"

It is probably your Hard Drive which would explain why the computer doesn`t boot up sometimes. When successful XP realises that the previous start up was unsuccessful and boots into safe mode. A restart then enables you to boot normally. This is probably because the hard disc hasn`t stopped spinning. On a "cold boot" i.e. when the HDD is at rest, it is struggling to spin and hence the clicking. Does this sound plausible?

  umbongo(uk) 11:25 17 Aug 2007

ok unplug the cd drive
how to

switch off the computer
unplug the power lead
take the side panel off
pull the power connector out of the cd drive //a white plastic plug about 30mm wide
turn the system on again
if the noise is still there
it means the hard drive is at fault and like brundle says about to fail

you will need a new hdd if this is the case

  llollipoppi 12:38 17 Aug 2007

It is reading cd's fine, I think its most likely to be the hdd as the p.c stops working when this happens. Is this expensive to replace? And how do I get the data off my old drive to me new one?

Many thanks for your help


  Diemmess 12:54 17 Aug 2007

If your old HD really IS failing, it may be too late already to clone the contents to a new HD.

Meanwhile burn CDs or DVDs of all absolutely critical data trailing off to the least important.

Then I would buy a copy of Acronis (search around for best price).
This program is excellent for partition clones (OS and anything else). Later you can use other facilities for backing up data etc.

Transferring old to new........ Straightforward but the devil is in the detail.

Mount the new HD as a secondary or slave drive, install Acronis and use it to clone a copy of all the contents of your old HD to the new.
Then you should be able to swap the two HDs, Remove the old one and boot straight into windows as you would normally.

  llollipoppi 13:27 17 Aug 2007

So is it just an internal hdd and the software I need to buy or do I need anything else?

Thanks again

  Diemmess 13:48 17 Aug 2007

Anything else?
Yes, some luck that the present HD will behave itself long enough to be able to transfer all the contents.

If it freezes or crashes while you are collecting and saving your stuff, it will almost certainly corrupt the copy of that file and you would have to try again.

There are several ways to deal with this problem and I have only described the one I would try first.

Others may give their own way of recovering things which might work well for you, but overall the omens are not good and you might have to install Windows and the rest from scratch.
That is why I recommend rescuing your important data first.

  llollipoppi 23:05 17 Aug 2007

Just to let you all know that I bought a new hard drive today just a maxtor 80gb. I used the free software maxtor maxblast (from seagate website) to clone my old hard drive onto the new one. Then switched the new one into master position, and just removed the old one. It wasn't totally goosed but not taking any risks!!Everything seems to be fine.

Thanks for helping me out guys:)


  Diemmess 08:40 18 Aug 2007

Well done! It might be worth buying a powered case to mount the old HD as an external one.

You might find that formatting and subsequent use as a data store, clears out some corrupt code giving a new lease of life to the HD.

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

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone X

Awful clip art from 1994 is being tweeted every hour by a bot

How to update iOS on iPhone or iPad

Les meilleures applications pour enfants 2017