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dmet
Working Member

27 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2007 :  09:22:46  Show Profile
Still in Arizona so can't get to Springfield meetings yet. My ears aren't too good but now notice that when the computer starts normally the hard drive makes a high speed whirr or noise for a second or so then quiets down and proceeds preforming the normal start procedure however when malfunctioning the high-speed noise continues until you crash the computer. We have to start it three times now and then so apparently is gradually getting worse so if anyone there has any thoughts on this would appreciate hearing from you.

D.Oliver
Moderator

868 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2007 :  00:05:53  Show Profile
I'm not Super-Duper at diagnosing things, but I'd replace the harddrive immediately. If you had Smart-Disk enabled on the drive, it would probably be warning you. Time *IS* running out.



David
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

XP-Hm(SP-2) Athlon 1GBRam 160GB Networked 2-Way Satellite
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Mick
Administrator

1496 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2007 :  17:27:42  Show Profile  Visit Mick's Homepage
Leaning to the safe side, I would concur with David. Without a trained ear, it is hard to tell the difference between disk noise and fan noise. But the fact that the noise is associated with a system malfunction sure suggests a failing drive. If you have important or valuable data on the computer, you should consider an immediate back-up of that data, CDs, Floppies, external hard drives.

Mick



-----------
'Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.'
—André Gide

or

'No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.' - Mignon McLaughlin
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dmet
Working Member

27 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2007 :  22:48:21  Show Profile
Thank you David and Mick, I was somewhat afraid that might be the problem. I had the cover off so I'm sure the noise is in the hard drive. The computer has also started jumping back to the previous page and pages are sometimes coming up small then enlarging etc. Will start shopping for hard drive, have a Maxtor any better suggestions appreciated this one was 160GB. I have copies or programs for most important things, my only other question would be is there an advantage to replacing the hard drive before it does fail? Thanks again for the help. Dave
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D.Oliver
Moderator

868 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2007 :  23:28:16  Show Profile
If you have WindowsXP you should have something called "Files and Settings Wizard." This will salvage all your important settings and, er , files BEFORE your hard drive crashes.

It will create one large (8 MBs or so minimum) file with your important (?) settings for email and such. This, along with special data files or documents generated by you (using the programs) might prove useful to you if you can save them to other media BEFORE the drive crashes.

You can do this before you do anything else and you will be a fairly happy camper. Your mileage may vary.

Keep us posted.

David
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

XP-Hm(SP-2) Athlon 1GBRam 160GB Networked 2-Way Satellite
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Mick
Administrator

1496 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2007 :  01:28:44  Show Profile  Visit Mick's Homepage
Some interesting reading on drive reliability.
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070225-8917.html
Appears that some of the "common knowledge" on hard drive reliability may not be supported by real life tests. I was very surprised to hear the finding that drive motors and bearings just dont fail. Of course, that was in Google's facility, may be a little better environment than my basement.

On the "wait until it fails" choice: It would not be worth it to me, but it may be possible to save a few $s on a new drive by waiting a few weeks. The local sales show a couple of fair prices on 160GB drives, (49.99) but I have gotten 160's for $29.99 last year. Just watch here for deals.
http://www.salescircular.com/mo/computer/hdiskp.shtml
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dmet
Working Member

27 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2007 :  23:17:40  Show Profile
David & Mick, Thank you for the helpful information. I enjoyed the very informative article and appreciate the comparison page I'm sure I will find it useful.
I do have the files and settings wizard. Interestingly the settings come to 40MB and with files1138MB I am at present using about 10% of my 160GB hard drive. I tried to save the settings on a CD but get a corrupt or no disc message. I tried two types of disks and both media player and record now programs, I find I can still record music and data from a different source. I did get the settings to go on a USB memory stick however when I plug in the memory stick it shows USMT21MG Data ,39.9MB, attributes archive on properties but when I try to open it with various programs I still get a message cannot open, may be in use, not supported or corrupt. I think I probably have it saved but don't know how to view it, or possibly could it be a hard drive malfunction?

Sorry to be a pest but wanted you to know I am trying and really appreciate the help. Hope to get back to Forsyth and see you again in month or so. Dave



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D.Oliver
Moderator

868 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2007 :  06:44:22  Show Profile
Dave,

If you install your new hard drive as a "slave" in your system you can maybe clone your old hard drive to your new one. I'm not familiar with all the latest software available for this. Maybe Mick would have some insight on this?

David
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

XP-Hm(SP-2) Athlon 1GBRam 160GB Networked 2-Way Satellite
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Mick
Administrator

1496 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2007 :  22:44:13  Show Profile  Visit Mick's Homepage
quote:
I'm not familiar with all the latest software available for this. Maybe Mick would have some insight on this?



I have used the "files and settings wizard" with good results, but that was on a system where I was happy with how things were working. It seems to me, that when your are having drive problems, there is a risk of backing up your problems.

My first concern would be the data. Get that backed up. Then, you can consider the pros, and cons of getting your applications running again.

My experience with the total drive environment backup is limited to "Drive Image" software, which I have heard rumors has been purchased/incorporated into Norton "Ghost". DI worked a couple of times for me. Backup, and restore. But, I am not at all comfortable with recommending a total drive image of a system where the drive is making unpleasant noises, and is (perhaps) on the verge of failure. If it were me, with the amount of data that I have to worry about, I would just burn my data to CDs, (or even better an external hard drive) and then put in a new hard drive, and reinstall everything, then restore my data.

Another possibility, that I have no current experience with, is a drive reconditioning software, like "Spinrite". About 15 years ago, an earlier version of this, I was thrilled with the results. And there are lots of folks that praise it today, but I just have not needed it, and have no direct experience with the later versions.
http://www.grc.com/sr/testimonials.htm

Keep us in the loop if your need more advice, and let us know what you try, and the results.

Mick
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