Whining noise on startup - hard drive failure?

  CLONNEN 11:09 01 Jun 2009
Locked

For the past week my computer has sometimes been making a sort of high-pitched whining sound when I push the Power On button. It boots into Windows same as usual and I can use programs such as Paint, Word and everything else that is on the operating system drive. But my documents and portable programs which are on a secondary hard drive will not function.

If I shut down and then turn the computer off and on at the wall plug then push the Power button it nearly always turns on without the whining noise.

The secondary hard drive functions normally if the whining noise isn't present. Is this hard drive failing?

  ^wave^ 11:25 01 Jun 2009

be safe back up the hard drive it doesnt sound good once its backed up then try and do some investigation on that drive

  ened 11:30 01 Jun 2009

You really need to take the side off the case to ascertain where the sound is coming from.

It might just be a fan.

Your other symptoms suggest it probably is the Hard Drive.

Try unplugging the Hard Drive - both power and mobo connection - and see if it still makes the noise on start up.

I would certainly follow the advice from ^wave^ and back up the drive as a matter of urgency.

  Pineman100 11:35 01 Jun 2009

I completely agree with the others, that you should back up or image your hard drive as a matter of urgency.

One other thing you might check is your PSU. If its air intake is clogged up with dust, the cooling fan might be working much harder than usual.

  T0SH 11:58 01 Jun 2009

If in doubt go here and listen to the typical sounds faulty hard drives make

click here

Cheers HC

  Belatucadrus 14:17 01 Jun 2009

It could also be a fan, some worn fans make a real din until they get up to speed and seem to regain equilibrium.
But that said the unpredictable behaviour of your second hard drive seems to indicate it has problems.

  mooly 14:25 01 Jun 2009

"Secondary hard drive" is that physically separate.
Thinking something different here, some electronic circuits can make exactly that sort of noise, high pitched squeeling, usually switch mode power supplies or invertors and nearly always caused by dried out electroylitic capacitors. Just a thought.

  woodchip 16:15 01 Jun 2009

Check you have not left a D in as Optical Drives are very fast when reading CD's

  CLONNEN 11:15 02 Jun 2009

Have tried opening the case and checking the connections - everything seems to be firmly in. Removed a lot of dust which was clogging up the air holes and the PSU. Tried booting with and without the secondary hard drive attached (3 times each way) - the pc booted successfully every time. So no nearer ascertaining if it is the problem.

This morning the whining noise is back.

  ened 13:02 02 Jun 2009

Tonight, after you turn it off, unplug the suspect HDD.

Leave it unplugged and see if the noise returns when you turn it on tomorrow morning.

  CLONNEN 11:15 08 Jun 2009

Am now running the computer with the side panel off. The whining noise came back this morning about 3 seconds after I pressed the Power button on the front. Coincided with my turning on of the Monitor. The graphics card lit up with a blue light. I booted into Windows and then waited to see if the noise would eventually stop. Had to wait for about 7 mins then the noise stopped and the blue light on the graphics card went out at the same time.

Could my graphics cards be causing the whining noise? I can't tell for sure if the noise is coming from my Radeon 9550 card.

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