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Clicking, freezing, crashing- PSU? HD? What?

This is a discussion on Clicking, freezing, crashing- PSU? HD? What? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. A couple of weeks ago, after I'd just given the inside of the case a careful clean, my PC started

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Old 11-21-2010, 12:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 49
OS: Windows 7

A couple of weeks ago, after I'd just given the inside of the case a careful clean, my PC started to make this clicking noise which I can only describe as the same noise that happens when you turn it off. Sometimes it made it several times in a row.

A couple of times when this has happened, more worryingly, the PC has momentarily frozen. Sometimes it recovered quickly, other times, it took about a minute before my PC returned to usability, and even then things were going slow. After a few days occasional clicking and crashing, the PC one day failed entirely to boot, and hung 'detecting IDE drives'.

I assumed that the problem could be from one of my 4 hard drives and that the clicking was the head spinning down due to immanent hardware failure-or possibly from the PSU somehow. I took one of the hard drives- the oldest one, out, and the PC booted fine.

For several days I used it without any problems whatsoever with only 3 hard drives. However, once I reconnected the 4th drive again, it booted fine once more, though a few days later the clicking was back. I couldn't help but notice though, that the clicking wasn't even coming from the direction of the oldest drive, but from the direction of the newest one, which is also the boot drive.

Disconnecting the oldest drive again resulted in a perfectly working PC with no clicking, for about a week.

Only today, much my horror, the PC freezes on boot up. Sometimes it gets stuck on the XP screen, sometimes it gets as far as the desktop before freezing up, but it is generally totally unusuable. No clicking this time or any signs of hardware distress.

Given that it is now having a problem with only 3 hard drives attached, could a failing PSU be responsible? Is it likely that it could still be one of the HDs if I have not heard the clicking from it in a week? Any other suggestions what it could be? This is seriously disheartening, I thought I had a really excellent, stable system going this time round.

Since it sounded as if it was the newest drive clicking last time I heard it, it's possible that the new boot drive has issues, but seeing as it did not click at all without all 4 HDs in I am not sure.

I have 2 disks that can possibly serve as boot drives, so I am going to try using the oldest drive and boot from that to see if I can and report back, but I am not hopeful.

4 hard drives are all Western digital SATA 2 drives. PSU is a 350w 'enertec' which came with the case, and probably not very great. Motherboard is a Biostar T560 if that's relevant, PSU an AMD 4400+.
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