Home PC, Freeze and repeated clicking noise?

  Roy* 10:20 03 Oct 2006

Having problem with the home PC (2 years old Mesh, XP) where it freezes up and you get a very noticeable clicking sound from the hard disc area of the tower. It often blue screens with messages that don’t stay up long enough to write down. Ctrl Alt Delete has no effect, you have to hold the power button in for a few seconds to shut it down. When you restart it, it runs OK for several days then goes again.

This first happened when we had that very hot spell in June/July when my daughter was on Sims and had downloaded some updates to the game. I reset it back to a date several weeks before and it worked OK for several weeks. Then it happened again, so I reset it further back and it was OK for a few weeks then froze again and clicked away. This pattern has been continuing ever since.

I wondered if it could be hard disc problems? I did defragment the hard drive months before the problem occurred and it found no bad sectors etc. It now freezes up at random occasions not necessarily when running any specific programmes and sometimes immediately after start up.

Can anybody advise me on what it could be and what software to download to analyse it if it is hard disc?

  martjc 10:31 03 Oct 2006

...you've hit the nail on the head! Sometimes it takes a loooong time for a HD to completely stop working but it suffers from the symptoms you describe. I'd keep trying until you get it up and running again, then back up everything.

Next, find a replacement HD, not expensive these days. Easy to fit, too. Help available if required.

  martjc 10:36 03 Oct 2006

...at drive makers' sites. Maxtor has Maxblast. Seagate has Seatools, etc. Check out the drive and go get it.

  CalmCookie 10:47 03 Oct 2006

Just to back up martjc....it definitely sounds like your hard drive is on the way out or very close to it. Defrag nowadays very rarely shows any problems apart from the hard drive needs defragging or not. Diagnostic software as already stated is the only sure way to be 100%....but from your description of your problems - "nail = head".

  Roy* 23:06 03 Oct 2006

The hard drive is a Maxtor 6 Y200M0 SCSI and I've being trying to find a diagnostic on the maxtor site but the only thing I can find is a scsimax thing which i've downloaded but not sure it's the write thing? Any advice were else to look or what to look for?

the PC's still under return to base warranty so i guess if i can prove there's a fault it should be covered?

Or would I be better to buy a new drive install it then transfer the entire content over, remove the duff drive and carry on as new without having to reload all the software and files etc that have built up over the past 2 years? No doubt it's not that simple?

  martjc 22:41 04 Oct 2006

...buy a new drive, rescue my data, then return to base after removing the original data from the first drive.

Get the seller to put it right.

  terryf 22:47 04 Oct 2006

You could use Acronis Drive Image to make a complete copy of your drive on (for example) an external usb hard drive which will always be useful for backups, then arrange for back to base repair with all your data and programs safe. You will then be able to restore to the new HD with everything as it is now.
I would be inclined to clean off your data before returning it for repair

  woodchip 22:50 04 Oct 2006

The Hard disc is Damaged or Corrupt try Check disc. Double click My Computer right click on Drive Properties\Tools check disc tool

  Totally-braindead 22:51 04 Oct 2006

The program you want is MaxBlast click here I had a clicking sound once as well and thought it was my hard drive but it turned out to be the Northbridge fan on the motherboard failing so do try to check if you can that the noise is definately coming from the hard drive. Actually wrong link its this one click here reading the description it may do what you want in that it says it can back up your old hard drive onto a new one. Mind you the new drive might have to be a Maxtor as well for it to work.

  Totally-braindead 22:52 04 Oct 2006

Sorry ignore my posting above I just reread it and you have SCSI drives so Maxblast will not work

  Roy* 20:41 05 Oct 2006

Would i be able to run the PC off the external usb hard drive, with no hard drive installed?

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