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Hard Drive Sound/Freeze

2098 Views 15 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  sorcos
i think my hard drive is dying but i don't want to believe it since it is fairly new lol.

-Windows XP Home
-120GB Western Digital Hard drive (3 partitions - acronis true image zone/windows/program files and games)
-250GB Western Digital Hard drive (slave)
-Raidmax 420 watts (i can get more info off the side if needed)

anyway, my problem is that my 120gb Western Digital hard drive (which is partitioned 3 times) makes a sound and shortly after (seconds), the computer freezes and usually theres a loop in whatever was playing at the time. this only happens in games although it did happen once out of game. the loop is more of a cracking sound over and over. and as for the sound the hard drive makes, the best way i can explain it is the normal sound the hard drive makes when accessing info but louder. i guess this would be called clicking?

i have ran the western digital diagnostics program which says the drive is fine. i am free of viruses and malware. all my drivers for everything i can think of is up to date. my mobo is an asus so i also have a program to monitor things like voltage, however i do not really know good values for the voltage. i just go by the program telling me they are ok.

i know it is the 120gb drive with windows installed because i removed the slave drive with no change. now what i found strange is that one time when the computer started up (with both drives installed), the slave drive was not detected. i thought maybe i could change the ide cable so i used an extra one i had. the computer worked flawlessly for the rest of the night. however, today when i turned it on, it made that sound and froze within minutes of starting a game. im assuming that it working last night was just a coincidence.

since i would love to fix it without buying a new one (if it cant be helped then so be it), could a bad power supply or drivers cause this problem?

just as a side note, i was having problems playing company of heroes where sometimes my ati card would do its vpu recover and sometimes my computer would freeze. some people think its the game and some think its the ati card but im thinking maybe if my power supply is going it could be causing these problems. since i have not had the vpu recover problem in any other game so far, my major concern in the hard drive sound and freeze.

let me know if i let any needed info out. thanks.
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also, i dont know if its a big deal but a few times when it freezes it goes to a blank blue screen. no error messages or anything. theres nothing in the event viewer either.

i also just tried to make an image of two of the partitions and it made the sound and froze. im leaning towards the fact that i will have to buy a new drive, no? :sigh:
Download the drive manufacturers disk utility and run a diagnostic against the drive. You should be able to find a link in my sig.
If the drive is not that old, it maay still be under warranty. You can check this at the drive manufacturers website simply by inputing the drives serial number.
this drive was a replacement for another drive so the warranty is up, i checked. i have said in my original post that i have run the diagnostic tools which said everything was fine.
Did you run the quick diagnostics or the full diagnostics? Usually it is better to run the full diagnostics becasue the quick will skip certian tests.
i ran both multiple times over the course of this problem :smile:

i restored the windows partition to an image i made right after i formatted a while ago so theres nothing installed on it and i still have this problem. i also noticed that it froze a few times while playing video in windows media player, not all the time though.

it seems to only happen when doing something with video (ie games/videos). could the power supply cause the hard drive to make a noise like that? or is it more likely the hard drive is bad? or could it be something entirely different lol
Could be a PSU issue. Do you have any specs on the PSU?
C-joe is right on the bullseye here IMHO :pray:

I think your PSU has caused your drive to bite the bullet, when inadaquate power is delivered to a writing drive the result is mechanical damage

Raidmax is a VERY low quality PSU

I think you are headed for a PSU & drive replacement :mad:

I would not doddle about it either, dont give that PSU the chance to fry your memory, video card, motherboard

give us your complete system specs and we can make you some reccomendations

for some "great" PSU understanding read here:
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the only info i have on the PSU is from the side of it. if there is more info please let me know where to find it.

Raidmax ATX 12v

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

after reading that link, it seems like the +12V is pretty low and is the most important one.

as for the computer specs, it is getting to be a fairly old computer but it used to get the job done just fine :laugh:

AMD Athlon 2800+
ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe nforce2
ATI Radeon 9800pro 128mb
SoundBlaster Audigy 2
2 - 512mb pc 3200 DDR-400
120gb Western Digital
250gb Western Digital
16x DVD-ROM (which does not read cds anymore. PSU maybe?)
Pioneer DVD-RW
6 in 1 card reader
3 case fans

i listed everything i could think of since were dealing with the PSU lol. did i leave anything out?

also, is it a possibility that the hard drive is not broke and replacing the PSU will fix the problem entirely? is there anyway to check the PSU to make sure that it is in fact the problem or is it the kind of thing that you just have to see what happens? i do have two programs that monitor the voltage output of the PSU but i do not know what is good and what is bad. ill look around the forums in the meantime. thanks.
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as of right now, with the computer doing nothing but sitting, the voltages are:

vcore: 1.66V
+3.3V: 3.20V
+5V: 4.65V
+12V: 11.92V
-12V: -11.66V
-5V: -4.72V

while playing a game, the only big changes were:

+5V: 4.50V
+12V: 12.13V
-12V: -11.52V

also another thing i think is worth mentioning. it seems to me like the voltages appear to jump to their highest/lowest output for sometime, then jump back for awhile. i was playing the game in windowed mode so i could see speedfan, i am not sure if this makes much of a difference.
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its weird though, ive been playing things for awhile today with no problems at all.
Voltages +/- 5% is out of tolerance for any PSU.
Voltages +/- 5% is out of tolerance for any PSU.
is that voltage "movement" or +/- 5% from the 12/5/3.3?
all three of those cannot fluctuate more than 5% from their stated target goal.

Its very hard to ascertain this though, most volt meters are not sensitive enough to pick up the fluctuation fastest; enough unless you have a rather pricey meter.
ok thanks for the help, i will most likely be buying a new PSU then. just out of curiosity, don't hard drives use the 12V rail? it seems like the 3.3V and 5V are crappy and the 12V is fine. could a bad 3.3V and 5V still cause problems with the hard drive? or is it the kind of thing where if one goes, it causes problems for everything?
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