View Full Version : Strange crash - any idea what is wrong?

12-22-03, 01:11 AM
A few days ago my computer started crashing in an unusual way. This is what happens:

1) I hear a soft 'click' and 'hiss' sound.
2) A few seconds later the computer freezes with the HDD light on.

I have to hit reset to restart and the computer works fine for many more hours after that. I am not sure if it is a hard disk problem. No particular applications are running at the time. Eg. it happens during a game, or while just running Internet Explorer. I don't know exactly where the click&hiss sound is coming from. The problem is not reproducable, it happens apparently at any time.

I have not installed any particular new hardware, software or drivers. About the only think I have done is installed Knights Of The Old Republic, roughly coinciding with the start of this problem. The computer does not appear to be any hotter, nor do any fans appear to have failed.

Western Digital 120gb HDD
WindowsXP Pro
512mb RAM
GeforceFX 5800
Epox 8RDA+ MB
AMD Athlon XP2100+ CPU

12-22-03, 02:01 AM
Do you have SMART enabled for your drive in the BIOS?

12-22-03, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by netviper13
Do you have SMART enabled for your drive in the BIOS?

SMART was not enabled in the BIOS, but I just enabled it for fun. Although BIOS was not set to monitor, I have run the WD diagnostic programs and SMART statistics are either perfect or close to eg. no sign of failures or errors.

Just to clarify, the click and other sound only happen once, not repeatedly. I have done a full ScanDisk surface scan and a WD Diag extended test and neither turned up a single problem.

12-22-03, 07:14 AM
It doesn't matter what the diagnostic software does or doesn't turn up. Your hard drive is about to go south. I know this because every single WD drive that's died on me (and there have been many) has exhibited the exact same symptoms. Eventually, your BIOS will not recognize that a hard drive is present and you'll be totally screwed. Fortunately, WD's RMA process is extremely easy and if you provide them a credit card number, they'll ship the replacement drive to you first. No charges will appear on the account if you get them the defective drive within 30 days.

12-23-03, 07:15 AM
Thanks. If you're sure that's the same problem it looks like I'd better replace the drive. Any idea how long it might hold out? Got to admit the 'click' sounds a lot like the head park noise on shut down and the 'hiss' is like a motor stopping.

12-24-03, 08:14 AM
Update... Hard disk now clicks continously and won't boot.

The Baron
12-24-03, 09:18 AM
Heh. Yup. Hard drive makes odd noise = hard drive about to go boom.

12-24-03, 03:47 PM
Just be glad you don't have a Compaq Ipaq, or 500 of them like our school has which have all had their hard drives die in the past year (fujitsu had a crappy batch of HDs and neglected to inform Compaq, heh).