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Old 2013-10-04, 02:37   #1
TheMawn
 
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Default Hard Drive Failure? In 3... 2... 1...

Hi folks.

Just wondering if any of you happen to have some experience with a clicking hard drive. A bit of research on Google brings up, much to my terror, the hard drive click of death. It sounds an awful lot like my own symptoms.

I was playing a game and it crashed. I heard a clicking which I had thought was a cable clicking against a fan blade or something, but it was coming from a hard drive. Fearing a hard drive failure, I checked windows explorer and the two partitions of that hard drive vanished.

Because I am running an additional GPU and it's in the top slot for thermal reasons, whenever I boot up my machine, I get a blank screen through the post and up until Windows gets properly started (the Welcome screen) when it finally tells my GTX 670 to start displaying something. When I rebooted the computer, I sat with a blank screen about a minute longer than it usually takes ( SSD: less than twenty seconds usually) and since the noise kept on, I decided to turn off the computer entirely with the power button.

No issues of any kind anymore. Hard drive is back on. No clicking. A few hundred paging operation errors on a hard drive and a handful of flushing failures. Looks like nothing permanent. I've sent a message to a local computer shop but it's Thursday evening so I might not hear from them until next week. In the meantime, I'm considering my options.

I'll try running a disk check, which shouldn't interfere with any GIMPS work. I'll backup its contents to an external drive (they should just barely fit) but I don't know what else and if I should be concerned for imminent catastrophic failure, or just assume the much more likely scenario of a random hardware problem fixed by turning it off and back on again.

Note the drive was scavenged from an older computer so it has been in one computer for about two or so years, wiped and placed into my new one where it has happily lived for nine months. Not exactly new, not exactly old.
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Old 2013-10-04, 02:58   #2
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Don't bother with the disk check. It's gone. Try copying anything you care about ASAP.
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Old 2013-10-04, 03:25   #3
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Originally Posted by Mark Rose View Post
Don't bother with the disk check. It's gone. Try copying anything you care about ASAP.
+1
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Old 2013-10-04, 03:59   #4
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Alright. I'm on it as we speak.

This sounds like a pretty big deal. I was a bit skeptical of teh mihgty internetz telling me my HDD was about to kick the bucket but I'm going to take this seriously based on what you've been saying.

The users folder being on the separate hard drive has been a nice thing as far as the SSD is concerned but I'm not looking forward to the possibility of temporarily losing it. I'll see what my external drive situation is after I've added the SSD image (I've been regularly backing up the users folder already) and decide how I feel about keeping the HDD until it kicks the bucket.

I'm trying to weight the risk against the cost of mitigating it entirely. I honestly don't know if the clicking is a sure-fire you-be-boned-son thing or not.

I'm seriously considering just keeping my backups in a more secure place and just buying a drive and replacing everything if and when the drive actually goes. Then again, it feels silly to be putting up with something that might break. I just don't want to waste time fixing something that isn't a problem. I'll see what the computer shop thinks.
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Old 2013-10-04, 04:01   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rose View Post
Don't bother with the disk check. It's gone. Try copying anything you care about ASAP.
+1

TheMawn,

You may, just possibly, be able to copy off files which, if you continue normal operation, may no longer be copyable. You must treat this as a serious disk failure until proven otherwise*. All you lose by doing so is a little time, while proceeding as if normal risks more extensive data loss than you already have.

Added: (posted before I saw your most recent post)

* by professional disk diagnosis

- - -


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
This sounds like a pretty big deal. I was a bit skeptical of teh mihgty internetz telling me my HDD was about to kick the bucket

< snip > don't know if the clicking is a sure-fire you-be-boned-son thing or not.
It's not normal for hard drives to produce unprecedented clicking sounds, followed closely by partition disappearances.

Quote:
how I feel about keeping the HDD until it kicks the bucket.
How do you feel about the time and expense of losing data on the HDD?

Quote:
I'm seriously considering just keeping my backups in a more secure place and just buying a drive and replacing everything if and when the drive actually goes.
How do you feel about the time and expense of losing data on the clicking HDD that you might not have lost if you had promptly switched it all to a new drive?

Quote:
Then again, it feels silly to be putting up with something that might break. I just don't want to waste time fixing something that isn't a problem.
Clicking followed by partition disappearance IS NOT NORMAL.

Something is already broken.

You already have a problem.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2013-10-04 at 04:22
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Old 2013-10-04, 04:04   #6
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The image is too big. I'll just pray my SSD doesn't crap out in the time my HDD is dead if and when it happens.

To be honest, this is making me want to just get this over with and buy the damned drive right now.

Last fiddled with by TheMawn on 2013-10-04 at 04:04
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Old 2013-10-04, 04:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
The image is too big. I'll just pray my SSD doesn't crap out in the time my HDD is dead if and when it happens.

To be honest, this is making me want to just get this over with and buy the damned drive right now.
That's what I would do. If you care about the data at all.

I wouldn't trust that old drive for anything, even to last an hour more.
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Old 2013-10-04, 04:19   #8
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Alright. Thanks folks. During the last little while I've Googled some more. Most people who've started a thread asking about the click of death followed by perfectly fine operation have been getting more or less the same: that HDD's are doomed once the clicking happens. OP's said stuff along the lines of "I had no idea this was even possible" so it would appear most of the internet agrees with you that I might have a dead drive when I come back from my shower or it might last a few more weeks yet.

At any rate, the data is all backed up, except for the image of my SSD. I'll see if I have time tomorrow. A Saturday Project otherwise.


My SSD is C: Games and other software are on E: Users partition is F: OS Image Partition is Z: (who doesn't want a Z: drive, really?)

I'm thinking this whole job would be super easy if I could makes the partitions of the new drive F: and Z: again and maybe fool the computer into thinking nothing every happened, instead of messing around with a whole bunch of dead links to a mysterious F: drive. Does anyone know if I can do that?
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Old 2013-10-04, 04:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
Alright. Thanks folks. During the last little while I've Googled some more. Most people who've started a thread asking about the click of death followed by perfectly fine operation have been getting more or less the same: that HDD's are doomed once the clicking happens. OP's said stuff along the lines of "I had no idea this was even possible" so it would appear most of the internet agrees with you that I might have a dead drive when I come back from my shower or it might last a few more weeks yet.

At any rate, the data is all backed up, except for the image of my SSD. I'll see if I have time tomorrow. A Saturday Project otherwise.


My SSD is C: Games and other software are on E: Users partition is F: OS Image Partition is Z: (who doesn't want a Z: drive, really?)

I'm thinking this whole job would be super easy if I could makes the partitions of the new drive F: and Z: again and maybe fool the computer into thinking nothing every happened, instead of messing around with a whole bunch of dead links to a mysterious F: drive. Does anyone know if I can do that?
Yes. When you have the new drive installed (use different letters then), you can use the Disk Management console to rename partitions, except maybe C:.
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Old 2013-10-04, 04:34   #10
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Originally Posted by Mark Rose View Post
Yes. When you have the new drive installed (use different letters then), you can use the Disk Management console to rename partitions, except maybe C:.
So if I take out the old drive, and put all the new stuff on, say G: and Y: for the new drive, and then reassign the letters back to F: and Z: (can I even re-use the old letters?) will windows think that the F: drive is back in action and have everything work? Or will it still not be able to find all the old users stuff?
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Old 2013-10-04, 04:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
Alright. Thanks folks. During the last little while I've Googled some more. Most people who've started a thread asking about the click of death followed by perfectly fine operation have been getting more or less the same: that HDD's are doomed once the clicking happens.
It's not that they're 100% for-sure absolutely doomed.

It's that without a professional disk diagnosis, you can't be confident that it won't be 100% for-sure absolutely doomed if you continue to use it "normally" (as opposed to immediate just-copy-all-the-data while you still can) for even a few minutes.

Quote:
OP's said stuff along the lines of "I had no idea this was even possible"
Amazingly, computer hardware does fail! It was happening before I was born, it happened all through my working career, and it still happens now. It's not magic. :-D

(Actually, you're all lucky to be using HDDs that come sealed inside a case nowadays. I've swapped removable disk packs (with exposed writing surfaces that I could theoretically have put a smudge on while I wrestled with it) in and out of disk drives. Please believe me that it's better if you just can't touch, or even see, the disk surface.)

Quote:
I'm thinking this whole job would be super easy if I could makes the partitions of the new drive F: and Z: again and maybe fool the computer into thinking nothing every happened, instead of messing around with a whole bunch of dead links to a mysterious F: drive. Does anyone know if I can do that?
Of course you can do that. (I've done that lots of times.)

It's a good idea, just as long as you don't try to fool the computer into accepting two F: partitions or two Z: partitions simultaneously and somehow divining which one you mean for any particular operation!! :-D

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2013-10-04 at 04:56
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