Possible dying hard drive ??

  Technotiger 16:28 10 Jun 2008

Running XP Home (SP3), loads of RAM and CPU 3Ghz. Quietly browsing the PCA forum, as is my wont, when my desktop PC switched itself off, just like that! I did hear a slight click which appeared to come from the drive, a bit like a light-switch being operated. I have never had this happen before and am wondering if my hard drive (C:) (80Gb) is just giving me a warning of possibly going belly-up? It is at least 5 or 6 years old - but kept very clean and in excellent physical condition.

I am not too worried because I have a full up-to-date Acronis backup on an external hard drive (Seagate 320Gb). I also have a second external hard drive, containing only Games.

What I am wondering now is (and any advice would be most welcome), Should I now swap my Internal drive for what I call my Games Drive, and then perhaps just keep the older internal drive as a external in a caddy. My Games drive (120Gb) is in a caddy so the physical swap would be very easy. I do have all the original discs for all my games, so I could format the Games drive ready for restoring a Clone. I could then Restore my Clone to what was the Games drive, which would then become my C: drive.

I guess I will need to make a Clone of my present C: drive though, rather than try to use the normal Full backup, because I will then be Restoring C: to a different physical drive.

I hope that all makes sense - I suppose basically I am just looking for a bit of moral support, never having had to use a backup of any sort until perhaps, now! Though I have prompted many others to make the effort! Now it looks as if it maybe my turn is about to happen.

Question is - does this all make sense? (I don't want to use my external 320Gb drive as my new C: drive) and would I really need to Format my Games drive or could I just add the Clone without taking off all my games?

I am not desperate at this stage - yet - just adjusting my Parachute and and making sure my Life-jacket fits!!

If you have read this far - I thank you sincerely, and may the force be with you. Apologies for being so long-winded.


  Pamy 16:36 10 Jun 2008

I would check the hdd with the manufacturers diagnostic software, free fom them to download to a floppy or cd (most manufacturers supply software)

  brundle 16:38 10 Jun 2008

Have you looked in the Event Viewer to find out what occurred when the PC switched off? Not saying the drive is definitely not failing but there are a number of other possibilities.

View eventlog, run ChkDsk;
click here

Run manufacturer's diagnostics;
click here

  wiz-king 16:41 10 Jun 2008

I had a ticking hard drive after a power cut just as the computer was booting up. Poor thing, it lost the operating system and all the data - so I would replace it as soon as possible.

  Technotiger 16:59 10 Jun 2008

Many thanks Pamy, brundle and wiz-king, working my way through things slowly - Event log shows DCOM Error at 15.37 (about the time it happened) and reports the following, which does not make a lot of sense to me.

"The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Launch permission for the COM Server application with CLSID
to the user NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM SID (S-1-5-18). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool."

  Technotiger 17:33 10 Jun 2008

Have made Diagnostics CD - not run it yet. I live alone, and right now it is time to cook my dinner, no one to do it for me (sniff sniff) - so I will be away for a while.

Will continue later.

Thanks again to all of you good people!

  Pamy 17:39 10 Jun 2008

It's a lovely evening, go out for your meal

  Diemmess 17:48 10 Jun 2008

For what its worth...

If you have to juggle HDs and 'Restore' an Acronis 'Backup' as the source, you shouldn't need to format first.
Acronis will wipe all before it on the target drive.

  Technotiger 17:52 10 Jun 2008

Hi, nice idea - but dinner now in oven, and in any case I am disabled and although I have a scooter, popping out for din-dins is not a possibility. I can still enjoy the lovely evening, I have large windows and a South facing flat, with windows on all sides except North - I can even sun-bath indoors... LoL - plus the beach is only half-a-mile by scooter!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:53 10 Jun 2008

I'm still running some hard disks that are over twenty years old.

Have you got S.M.A.R.T. enabled on your drives?

Single click and a total shutdown could also be something else i.e. PSU / motherboard maybe heat related.

  Technotiger 17:56 10 Jun 2008

Yes, thanks, will certainly bear that in mind ... if/when I need to.

I believe I am correct in saying I need a Clone in order to change C: to a different physical drive?

Gotta go - the oven timers just dinged, and no, not a micro-wave!

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