Jesus 'n Jim
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Hard disk drive problems

 

If you are having any of these problems, you waited too long to upgrade your drive, or you got one that was DOA.

If it's DOA within the approximately 14-day DOA refund period (see your recipt or seller terms), return it to place of purchase immediately for replacement. you will probably get a refurb. alternative is simply to buy a new drive. cost you $90-$300, but safest route. you can recycle the old one.

These are symptoms in which you would need to replace your hard drive. you MIGHT be able to upgrade it. If the drive is less than 14 or so days and is eligible for DOA (Dead On Arrival) replacement period (see your receipt or their web site for this policy), then be absolutely sure you get it in by this date. If drive is under waranty, you are eligible for warranty replacement. this is more difficult than either way (DOA or warranty), you don't get your data back.

  • no spin, chirping noise: it used to be seagate drives were known for stiction (now it could be anyone), where the lubricant on the platters is heated to the point to becoming glue when the drive cools down. when the head lands back on the platter, it plows into the lubricant, the lubricant cools and hardens. the drive from then on makes a chirping noise when the drive motor tries to start spinning the platters but can't. Data Recovery shops with a clean room charge up to $500 for jobs like this. You need a Data Recovery shop with a clean room.
  • overheating: this shows by constant steady blinking of the drive led on some mfr of drives such as maxtor. I hear one solution is to have the logic board replaced by a data recovery shop or by the mfr. I *think* you need a Data Recovery shop with a clean room.
  • drive recognized, no spin, no chirping noise: drive motor dead (unlikely), or one of the power lines is not getting power. Never plug in or unplug a drive with the computer's power on. you can blow the drive and the computer's interface or worse. (+12V yellow if on molex - check the connector). On a molex, You may need to crimp the connector slightly if it is too loose, or loosen it up very slightly if it is too tight - don't do that with the power on or you could blow your power supply! otherwise, make sure the power connector is fully seated, and if it is a molex, that one of the pins is not sticking out (that happens if the catch is bent - not very fixable - just be sure to push the pin in so the drive connects). if it still doesn't work, try a different power connector. still no go? check the connector with a VoltMeter or DMM for proper voltage (don't attempt with SATA power connector - too close together, chance of shorting). still no go? suspect the logic board - take the drive to a Data Recovery shop with a clean room. I am not sure what they charge for this, but it's probably <$500.
  • drive not recognized:
    • logic board is totally blown (static?)
    • is (more likely) not getting power. Never plug in or unplug a drive with the computer's power on. you can blow the drive and the computer's interface or worse. reseat the connector with the computer's power off! the logic board is driven with +5v power(red) on a molex connector. On a molex, You may need to crimp the connector slightly if it is too loose, or loosen it up very slightly if it is too tight - don't do that with the power on or you could blow your power supply! otherwise, make sure the power connector is fully seated, and if it is a molex, that one of the pins is not sticking out (that happens if the catch is bent - not very fixable - just be sure to push the pin in so the drive connects or use a different connector). if it still doesn't work, try a different power connector. still no go? check the connector with a VoltMeter or DMM for proper voltage (don't attempt with SATA power connector - too close together, chance of shorting). still no go? suspect the logic board - take the drive to a data recovery shop. I don't know what they charge for this, but it's probably <$500.
    • CMOS SETUP could be configured for "no drive"
    • CMOS SETUP could be configured for the wrong kind of drive (AHCI/RAID/IDE/SATA).
  • screetching noise: the head has plowed into the platter and is scraping grooves into the data layer. most of your data MAY be recoverable of the surface has not been too badly scraped up. any seeks would only make this worse. so don't turn the computer on. take the drive to a Data Recovery shop with a clean room IF you want a percentage of your data.
  • mid-pitch grinding/whining noise: not sure what this is, but it's not good, not normal. replace the drive ASAP.
  • high pich squeal: this is your power supply. your power supply is over-rated by about 370W. you probably have an antec. it will probably go away after about 6 months-1 year. to properly rate your system, put it under a stress test like with prime95 while you have the system on a wattmeter like the P3 International Kill-a-watt.
  • periodic clicking: (like it's parking or resetting, going clunk), drive not accessable... not sure what this is. but it's not normal. could be a manufacturing defect, or symptoms of dying. replace drive ASAP (as soon as possible). you don't know how long this drive is going to last, could last a long time or could last a few days, but this is only a guess, no real consistent numbers here.
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