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Failing Hard Disk: dry clicks (Read 3961 times)
Gerrit-Jan Linker
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Failing Hard Disk: dry clicks
19.04.06 at 09:01:36
Dry clicks: a failing hard disk?
The PC is nearly a year old and it has been working fine. Over the last month I noticed that it had slowed considerably. It used to boot in 20 seconds it now takes 1:30 min. That was the first sign that it was not ok.  
When the computer was delivered I have taken a trueimage disk image of the preinstalled files. After setting that back it was ok again. Next time I booted it fell back into its old habits. Slow!
Now a week ago I was working on the machine and I heard a loudish dry click. The PC froze for about 10 seconds. The PC worked as normal afterwards. Suddenly I heard another such dry click. In total I had 6 of them in a row.
Investigating the event log (Start | Control Panel | Administrator | Event log) I noticed that there were events logged: Event 9, source: hard disk. A final event was from the source ntfs with error 11. There was no further explanation but I took it as a sign the hard disk was going.
I spent a couple of hours running chkdsk on the volume. Running it from the DOS prompt as chkdsk c: ran through and said it found errors. I ran the utility again with the fix option chkdsk /f c:, it makes you reboot to complete the operation. After that I checked it again like above and it kept finding problems. I went through 3 such cycles before calling my hardware vendor.
The hardware vendor suggested I used a tool called HD tach. See
I used this utility to determine the drive speed: 3.5 MBps for a 80GB SATA Maxtor drive, way to slow!
The computer vendor had seen it before and claimed the drive would be normal again after a reformat. We could both not understand how that would fix it considering we had reimaged it. Anyhow the computer vendor replaced the disk. Running the HD Tach utility again we determined a speed of 150 MBps.
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Gerrit-Jan Linker
Linker IT Software
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