General Question

Nullo's avatar

My hard drive (I think that it's the hard drive, anyway) recently began squeaking for 4-5 seconds when the system boots. How bad is it?

Asked by Nullo (21944points) September 15th, 2010

It doesn’t make any troubling noises the rest of the time.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

jackm's avatar

Bad news. Back up all your data, squeaks are often the first sign of a faulty HD

aprilsimnel's avatar

Could be the processor fan. What to do is to disconnect the hard drive from the motherboard, start the computer again and if the squeak comes back, it’s the fan. If it’s not squeaking, it’s probably the HD and I’d back up ASAP!

FutureMemory's avatar

Squeak as in electronic, or physical?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

“Squeaking” sounds more like the fan. Drives start to make louder “ticking” noises—and take forever to read and write, of course—before they go south permanently, at least in my limited experience with bad drives. Of course, that was in the olden days, when a 40 – 80 – 120 MB (not GB) drive was a “big drive”. And I’ve seen a LOT of fans go bad (with co-workers, more than myself).

Nullo's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I’ve played the ticking drive game before; this is definitely a different sound.

The HD is only about 2–3 years old. The processor et al. are from around 2005.

@FutureMemory Physical. It sounds rather like the sort that you’d get when you wash a window.

I guess I have my work tomorrow cut out for me. Yaaay.

Jeruba's avatar

Back up first before you do anything else, I’d say. No harm done if it’s not necessary. Last time this happened to me, I lost everything twice in two weeks.

Nullo's avatar

@Jeruba Worry not, I did a backup before reinstalling Windows, not all that long ago. I haven’t produced anything new yet.

Jeruba's avatar

Lucky you. I was working on a novel.

FutureMemory's avatar

It definitely sounds like a fan. I had the exact same problem for weeks before I deduced it was a failing fan on the underside of my video card. I disabled the fan and now have a regular house fan permanently pointed at the exposed guts of the computer. Obviously I could have replaced it properly, but I’m ghetto enough not to care how it looks if it means I don’t have to spend money.

I would advise you to solve this asap – if it is a busted fan, the excess heat could easily damage your comp… mine was starting to shut itself off because it was getting too hot (not fun when you’ve spent an hour writing an important document or email).

poisonedantidote's avatar

that does not sound like a hard drive to me, it is much more probable that it is either the fan, or the cd/dvd drive. my money is on the fan. this is something you want to get fixes asap, i would advise that you dont use the computer for extended periods of time until you replace it, as a hot cpu wont give you many second chances. if its the fan you can fix it for a few loose coins.

if it does turn out to be the hard drive (they normally make a tap tap tap or motor sound) then its a sign that it will die soon, how soon i cant say, i have had hard drives make funny sounds at me in the past and then be broken within the hour, and i still have an external one that sounds like a lawn mower, that started making funny noises about a year ago and stil works.

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