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Thread: Bad Harddrive

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    Bad Harddrive

    I think I may have a harddrive going bad. When I started my computer today there was a "rattleing" sound which then dissipated after booting. I have 2 hard drives - "C" and "D". "C", of course, is the main drive and on "D" I keep backups of certain programs in addition to images using Acronis True Image. I usually make an image once a month but made one today just to be safe. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    I don't remember how willing you are to take the computer covers off, but the sounds you heard could also be something other than a hard drive, such as a FAN of one variety or another. A little closer eye-and-ear inspection with the covers off might help to check. Otherwise, if it does still look like the drive, you're in the right mode with your up to date backups. Keep us posted...

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    Ok ... I took off the cover with some trepidation. There are six fans. I stopped them each one at a time and the "chatter" did not stop. Now that I can get my ear next to the drive bays, I don't think the noise is coming from there (I guess THAT is good). On the motherboard, there is a large Zalman fan with a heat sync (I think that is what it is caled) around the fan. The sound seems like it is coming from behind that fan as it persists even when I stop the fan. Is there anything possibly behind that fan that may cause this ?

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    I'm not familiar with that brand name and certainly limited experience with heatsink-fan combos. I have seen a number of CPU fans that make noise when they go bad, but if you're stopping the fan and sill hearing noise, I don't know what to think. Hang on to see if another Lounger is familiar with the brand name you mentioned.

    In any event, if your tinkering experience is limited, you may want to think about taking the thing to a local shop for possible replacement. I just don't know.

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    Zalman is a very reputable maker of CPU fans. You really shouldn't stop the CPU fan, even for a few seconds, as this can lead to very rapid failure of your CPU.

    Can you have a very close look at your motherboard, there is often a very small fan that cools the Northbridge, and these frequently go noisy and fail after 1 to 3 years life.

    StuartR

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    I looked with a flashlight and magnifying glass for what you descirbed and did not see anything of that nature. That does not mean it is not there as I am not sure what I am looking for. Is there a picture online so I can see what you are describing ? Could it be behind the the Zalman Fan/Heat Sync (which is almost 5" in diameter) which takes up alot of real estate ? Any other thoughts are appreciated !!!

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    You won't need a magnifying glass, but the Northbridge could well be underneath the Zalman heatsink - these can be pretty big!

    Here is a picture of a motherboard with a green rectangle round the northbridge heatsink.

    StuartR
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    I think I see it.. It looks like the picture although it is a black heat sync with ASUS written across. The noise seems to be in that area. As I raise my ear north of that heatsync towards the Zalman Fan the noise is not as loud. So where is the fan ? Inside the heatsync ? Is that something that is difficult to change ?

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    These fans are usually pretty easy to change - but you will have to take the motherboard out of the case.

    I usually throw the fans away altogether and replace them with a decent heatsink, like these.

    StuartR

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    Mystery Solved - As it turns out the offending fan is the one on the video card. I didn't see it at first as it is on the "under side" of the card. I was told by the computer manufacturer (Falcon-NorthWest) to buy a new video card as that would be easier to install than changing the fan. Any comment ?

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    Re: Bad Harddrive

    I've rigged a few fans on GPUs before, but they tend to be non-standard so finding a replacement could be a wee bit of a challenge. It can be done, though, and would be far cheaper than a new graphics card.
    -Mark

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