HDD failure at same point at bootup?

Hard drive runs fine during WinXP install. As drivers are installed one-by-one, the system restarts. Everything is fine to this point. However, somewhere in the list of installing software programs (not drivers -- more like the Windows Update site where Media Player 10 & the .NET framework are) the system will request a reboot.

Upon trying to boot windows & entering the "loading" screen, the Hard Drive will make a loud CLACK/POP sound similar to the sound of a quarter (25¢) being thrown against the case. 8O Quite alarming as you can imagine. The system then sticks at this point with the blue scrolling-thingy moving forever... well, only about 5 minutes. But if a 3700+ would boot up windows in 5 minutes, it never will.

So I hit the reset button and go into Safe Mode and roll-back these software installs. Mysteriously, everything is fine. :? So I figure I can later go back & find out which one is causing my system to poop out; meanwhile, I install Age of Empires 3 (yep, from Microsoft) and wouldn't you know... same thing!

:?: :arrow: My question, WHAT THE SNAP!? What software has the power to cause a hardware failure of the HDD? Is it, in fact, the software? I've been able to replicate these conditions with about 5 different WinXP installs. Any ideas, I'll be sure to get right back to you. THANKS!!
{Trying to build}
AMD Athlon 3700+ (San Diego core)
ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
eVGA GeForce 7800 GT
Western Digital (WD4000KD) 400GB SE16
Antec 550W Truepower 2.0
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  1. I have a USB hard drive that does the same thing. It's dieing. I would get all pertinent info off of it and replace it ASAP.

  2. Then I'll get started on the DOA form from Newegg.com seeing that it's a brand new OEM drive (had to rip open the anti-static bag). The only pertinent info on there is my ½-day player profile for AoE3 :lol:

    Thanks mpjesse. If there is anyone else that can offer a different suggestion that might save me from that route, please let me know.

    Very strange diagnostic. I had always read raving reviews of WD's reliability.
  3. Run the manufactures Diagnostic utility (extended test) and check its smart status. 99% of the time a bad drive will fail the tests. The other 1% sometimes means you have to argue with a support tech.

    BTW western digital never makes me argue, even when I had weird problems (that when away with the replacement drive they send me)
  4. I'm using a WD 80GB 7200RPM right now, and I've never had a problem 8)
  5. WINDSHEAR - Like I said earlier, I've only heard great things about it... that's why I went that route.

    Codesmith - I'll check out that webpage as soon as I get off work. That you for the great idea. By chance, does WD (or any manufacturer) have a program that can fix these problems. I haven't heard of anything and I'm not sure how on Earth software can affect physical placement of read/write heads, or change the magnetic properties of the permanent magnets inside the HDD... but that's why I'm here afterall, to ask from "experts." :roll:
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