Is this hard drive failing?

My mom's 2006 desktop has gradually gotten slower, and recently a sound like an overworked fan has started. When listened to the outside of the case it does seem like it is coming from the front (where the hdd is), rather than the processor cooler. Her monitor stopped showing anything, and we had to pull the plug to shut it off (we couldn't even force it to turn off with the on/off button). We tried starting it up again, and it happened again after a few minutes. Note that it was NOT a blue screen.

Luckily, I know she has two HDDs in there, one of which is completely unused. She also has the Windows restore disc she got when she bought the system. I can reinstall Windows on it, but she is very anxious about opening it, so I need somebody else to agree with me about the issue before I try listening with the case opened.


I have opened it before without her permission, and I know for a fact that she has two physical hard drives.

Update 2:

Yeah, I know I can do it beforehand, but just to be safe it would be better to remove the bad one while installing (to make sure I install on the right drive), so that I can save her files (at least I know that I can use an Ubuntu LiveCD to see files in the Windows partition, so I figure this should work as well.

Also, I want to have it open so that I can hear better. I also have an extra RAM stick that I'm going to add.

3 Answers

  • WayneH
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The problem sounds like hardware. You can try the restoral CD, but that will wipe the hard drive and put it back to day one out of the box. If there is anything you want to keep, it will be lost. If this is OK you can boot from the restoral CD and try a restore.

  • 9 years ago

    if it boots you don't even need to open the case just put your disc in boot from there and it should only see the good hd but it may be that you had 2 partitions on one hard drive in which case what you thought were 2 hard drives are both gone. but what you describe could be several things, I had a hp that had the same symptoms and it was the motherboard.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    She does NOT have 2 drives. She has one drive with 2 partitions. So if the main partition is dead, so is the other. You need to fit a new drive and then re-install quickly. Even then there is no guarantee she will be able to recover her files from the original drive. This is why you should use backups.

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