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  1. #1
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    Sound like a hard drive failure?

    My sister's pc is maybe 6 years old. She reports that suddenly, when turning it on, she gets the blue screen with (as she dictates it to me) BIOS setup configuration questions such as COMS SETUP UTILITY, PNP/PCI Configuration, Load BIOS defaults and other very fundamental questions. At the same time, a"wierd, high-pitched noise" comes from the pc tower. It sounds to me as if the hard drive may have gone haywire. Or could it be something just related to a Windows setup or corrupt file? Thanks for any ideas.

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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    Being a 6 year old PC, there's a good chance something is wrong, but, consider this:

    Seeing you've mentioned the CMOS, and PNP/PCI settings, it appears that your sister's PC is entering the BIOS upon startup. I wonder if she's pressing a key (or combination there of ) to enter the BIOS, without understanding why, or possibly the correct key(s) is stuck while turning the PC on?

    I've seen PCs which have previously been setup with a Boot-Up Splash screen (a logo such as IBM, Compaq, Dell, etc), now showing the 'old style' text start-up. And if the user of the PC isn't a 'techie' type, 9 times out of 10, they'll hit the key(s) for "setup" or "configuration".

    Just my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> ... hope it helps.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    OK. So I should take up a different keyboard in case the one in use is jammed. She doesn't fool around with the keys..they're used to standard startup procedures and would always wait until Windows came up...so the keyboard might be an issue...but why would that generate such a noise as they hear? That's my concern...does that noise indicate (at least initially) something wrong with the hard drive... Thanks.

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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    Sorry about that -- missed the part about the high pitch noise.

    That could be the PC Speaker signaling a keyboard error (repeated beep, rather than a long tone), or maybe a hard drive failure - but without getting past the BIOS, or knowing what the exact sound is, I can't pin it down any better.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    If you are getting the CMOS setup screen on boot, that might be a bad battery. Six years could be about time for one of those to go.

    High pitched noise could be a lot of things.

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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    I agree with Jim about the battery being on it's way out.

    Also the noise could be an internal fan bearing also going south.
    I had a fan go once and it would emit this "banshee" screech every once in a while. After I got tired of bashing the case to stop the noise, I finally opened the box and found and replaced the complaining fan.
    BOB
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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    But, really. 6 years old?

    Christmass is coming. Just buy your sister a new PC. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    Lots of good advice, even from a Steeler's fan to an Eagles fan! Thanks to all..I will see what happens. Would I be able to obtain a replacement battery without trouble, let's say at a Comp USA or do I need something from the manufacturer?

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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    You would think so, but they really aren't replaced as regularly as they used to be, so it's possible you might run into someone in a smock who has never heard of a motherboard battery, and will then proceed to try and convince you they don't exist.

    All of the batteries that I've seen in the last 5 or 6 years look like a large quarter-sized watch battery.

  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Sound like a hard drive failure?

    They are VERY common.
    Most hardware, office supply, Radio Shack or similar will have them. Shouldn't be more than a few dollars-most. Just take a peek inside the box and look for a shiny quarter size flat disc. The number is stamped on it, or if you have an owners manual it will tell you also.
    BOB
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