Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm not sure, but I think my laptop might be on the brink of crashing. I hope I'm wrong, but given its age (I bought it in 2003) I shouldn't be especially surprised. Anyway, posting might become scarce or nonexistent while I try to determine the problem.


wintermuse x9 said...

What are the symptoms? Perhaps we can engage in a bit of remote telerepair, or at least diagnosis.

Mac said...

Symptom: an unusual noise from my hard drive. Needless to say, I'll be backing up files ASAP.

wintermuse x9 said...

Is it a PC or a Mac laptop, Mac?

dad2059 said...

Not good. Any noise from a hard drive doesn't bode well.

A friend of mine at work (IT) told me that if you get more than three or four years from a hard drive, you're doing good.

Any more than that is gravy.

Mac said...


It's a PC laptop. The noise occurred while I was analyzing the hard-drive to see if it was ready for defragging. Startup has been fairly slow and I got the feeling I was "rushing" it. It hasn't happened since.

wintermuse x9 said...

Well, my expertise is with Macs, so I don't know exactly what to tell you if the odd noise problem recurs--it may have been caused by lots of disc accesses during the process of checking to see if your drive needed to be defragged.

Regardless, to be on the safe side, I'd definitely backup to external hard drive or CD/DVD all critical files and apps ASAP, just in case the drive does fail. Replacement internal hard drives are cheap compared to the cost, pain, and suffering of losing files that are unique. Backup!

Anonymous said...

Since Mac hasn't updated PHB in the last couple days, I suspect his laptop did finally breakdown.

I'm sure he'll be back when his computer problems are resolved.

Nov. 19th

Anonymous said...

Two minutes after I post the above, Mac has a new post. Guess I was wrong. How presumptuous of me. Never assume is the lesson.

Mac said...


The noise continues, so you never know. I'm hoping the weird sound is at least fairly innocuous and that I can keep using my computer.

Anonymous said...

Since the noise is continuing, and was not apparent before, and assuming you laptop with the internal hard drive concerned is at least a few years old, I suspect you may have the beginning of a "stiction" problem, wherein the internal ball-bearing race is starting to wear out.

Eventually, within hours or sometimes up to months later (it can be maddeningly random) the drive "freezes up" (and the r/w heads settle down on the internal drive platters forevermore. Or at least until a drive recovery co. opens the case and manually manipulates and spins it up to recover the data).

It can be very expensive to recover data on a dead drive. Sounds are mechanical in nature, so it wouldn't be the controller board.

So, best bet: backup often, especially critical files, so that when/if the drive does fail, all you need do is replace the mechanism involved.

Mac said...

Thanks, Anon.!

Not knowing a hell of a lot about the insides of computers, I appreciate the feedback. The sounds I'm hearing certainly seem mechanical (like ball bearings) to me. I'm backing everything up so at least if the drive goes I don't lose data.

In the meantime I'm checking out options. I think it's time for a new computer; it's just a matter of getting the dough.