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PC wont boot, makes clicking noise.

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August 11, 2007 12:15:22 AM

Ok, so I have a new PC build, it works most of the time, but I run into a problem every once in awhile. The computer crashes and wont boot up, and makes a clicking noise. There is also no display on the monitor while it is doing this.

I was able to get it to boot up again by turning off the PSU and unplugging the power cord.

What is causing this? and can anything be done to fix it?

Thanks for any help =)

More about : wont boot makes clicking noise

August 11, 2007 12:55:02 AM

we cant help you if you dont tell us whats in your pc.
August 11, 2007 2:14:28 AM

The clicking noise is your hard drive, which has all your data. I would save your data A.S.A.P.
Related resources
August 11, 2007 2:32:48 AM

CPU Intel Q6600
Display 8800 GTS 640MB
2GB ram
Corsair 640W PSU

I didnt think that my problem was the hard drive, as if this was the case, wouldnt the computer POST?

Also, I didnt mention that I had a similar problem with my old PC, that sometimes it wouldnt boot. It would sound like it was gonna boot, then restart itself in a constant cycle.
August 11, 2007 3:13:02 AM

by any chance, did u re-use any old parts to your new pc?
August 11, 2007 3:14:31 AM

I think it has something to do with the power provided to the PSU. In order to get it to boot up again i need to turn off the PSU and unplug the cord.

I have it plugged directly into the wall now (it was connected through 2 power strips, which might cut back on the current significantly), we shall see how much this helps.
August 11, 2007 3:15:37 AM

accu said:
by any chance, did u re-use any old parts to your new pc?


Sound card and 1 hard drive I had used and am using now for media only.

And floppy drive.
August 11, 2007 3:46:54 AM

The clicking sound could be your power supply. Try putting a different power supply on temporarily.

Or, start disconnecting stuff; start with that floppy drive.
August 11, 2007 5:51:30 AM

Edibletarget said:
I think it has something to do with the power provided to the PSU. In order to get it to boot up again i need to turn off the PSU and unplug the cord.

I have it plugged directly into the wall now (it was connected through 2 power strips, which might cut back on the current significantly), we shall see how much this helps.


might be
August 11, 2007 6:25:36 AM

I vote hard drive if it's clicking....
August 11, 2007 8:41:18 AM

try to connect a different power rail on to the hdd. it mostly solves the problem.
August 11, 2007 10:43:35 AM

I'd suggest you open up your case and try to pinpoint exactly where the noise is coming from. That way we could really be of help instead of being speculative. (And a neat trick to find out what's clicking: use some kind of tubing, like a toilet paper roll, put it too your ears and scan the innards of your puter like that).
August 12, 2007 6:35:55 PM

aziraphale said:
I'd suggest you open up your case and try to pinpoint exactly where the noise is coming from. That way we could really be of help instead of being speculative. (And a neat trick to find out what's clicking: use some kind of tubing, like a toilet paper roll, put it too your ears and scan the innards of your puter like that).


It sounds like its coming from the harddrives. Im thinking it's probably the power going into the PSU that probably didnt give it enough power to start back up. Since I plugged it straight into the wall, I havent had any problems yet.
August 12, 2007 10:27:49 PM

If the sound is coming from the HD's, I really suppose the problem lies there.

What kind of power source did you use? The one "going into the PSU"? Before you plugged it into a wall plug?

HD's are normally not the "critical" power drainers.

Enlighten us...

August 13, 2007 2:24:47 AM

aziraphale said:
If the sound is coming from the HD's, I really suppose the problem lies there.

What kind of power source did you use? The one "going into the PSU"? Before you plugged it into a wall plug?

HD's are normally not the "critical" power drainers.

Enlighten us...


Quote:
I have it plugged directly into the wall now (it was connected through 2 power strips, which might cut back on the current significantly), we shall see how much this helps.


regular strip and APC if it makes any difference. To clarify, one strip was plugged into the wall, and the APC was plugged into that. Not necessarily an ideal power source.
August 13, 2007 3:19:36 AM

so everything is fine now?
August 21, 2007 6:08:37 AM

So I thought Id give an update.

Turns out the Power didnt do anything, as it continued when I put the PC on its own circuit. I started reading forums and figured out that "cold start" problems arent uncommon on a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P motherboard. I have tried increasing the RAM voltage like other forums have suggested, but that didnt work either.

While looking for these settings though, I found another problem. Using CPU-Z, I noticed that there were only 2 out of my 4 cores detected by windows. Im not sure if this is due to the motherboard or some other reason.

Im thinking I may have to RMA the motherboard, Ill be calling Gigabyte tomorrow I think to see if they have any suggestions.
August 21, 2007 6:50:17 AM

Reguardless of what might be wrong with your motherboard, I really don't see how a clicking noise can be blamed on the motherboard. clicking is from a physical motion in your computer. Either a fan, hard disk, floppy(when in use) or CD drive(when in use). You need to isolate the clicking noise ASAP. If it's the hard disk your data needs to be backed up now. Anything else is an easy replacement.

As a side note, and I find this VERY unlikely. If the PSU is giving sporatic power to the hard drive, it may make a clicking noise when it spins down and back up due to voltage fluctuations. But in scenarios like that, you have LOTS of other problems, and the clicking noise just confuses you more. I've seen this with cheap power supplies where you start a load in the house(refrigerator, microwave, vacuum) and the starting current causes a voltage spike that the power supply doesn't react to fast enough, and the computer may stay on and the hard drive will click off, then spin back up 10 seconds later. This problem is solved with a UPS. The voltage floating transformer in the UPS will pick up the slack.
August 21, 2007 6:54:12 AM

Did you do a fresh install of XP/Vista with the new build? If not, install fresh you should see the 4 cores.
August 21, 2007 3:25:11 PM

cyberjock said:
Reguardless of what might be wrong with your motherboard, I really don't see how a clicking noise can be blamed on the motherboard. clicking is from a physical motion in your computer. Either a fan, hard disk, floppy(when in use) or CD drive(when in use). You need to isolate the clicking noise ASAP. If it's the hard disk your data needs to be backed up now. Anything else is an easy replacement.

As a side note, and I find this VERY unlikely. If the PSU is giving sporatic power to the hard drive, it may make a clicking noise when it spins down and back up due to voltage fluctuations. But in scenarios like that, you have LOTS of other problems, and the clicking noise just confuses you more. I've seen this with cheap power supplies where you start a load in the house(refrigerator, microwave, vacuum) and the starting current causes a voltage spike that the power supply doesn't react to fast enough, and the computer may stay on and the hard drive will click off, then spin back up 10 seconds later. This problem is solved with a UPS. The voltage floating transformer in the UPS will pick up the slack.


I opened the case and agree that the sound looks like it is coming from the HDD, I could remove them and see if it continues. My concern is that, when it clicks, the computer doesnt even have a chance to get to the HDD for it to be a problem. Would a hard drive keep the computer from POSTing?

Did you do a fresh install of XP/Vista with the new build? If not, install fresh you should see the 4 cores. said:
Did you do a fresh install of XP/Vista with the new build? If not, install fresh you should see the 4 cores.


Yeah its a fresh install, I guess I could try installing again to see if that fixes it.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2007 4:02:30 PM

I'm voting for an HDD problem too. My PoS IOMagic external disk recently died in the middle of a big copying operation. I copied about 300 MB to it last month, right after I took it out of the box, then last week I wanted to move the stuff to the new computer so I turned the IOMagic on and dragged the stuff. It copied about 30 GB, then it started clicking and no more files were copied. I turned it off and back on, even retried the next day, nothing. It just clicks but won't show in Windows Explorer any more. The PC is fine, the USB port I was using is fine, the power adapter is fine (works with another external drive). It's pretty clear that the problem is wit the disk itself. And in my case there's absolutely no doubt about who is doing the clicking...

a b B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2007 4:13:11 PM

Edibletarget said:
...Would a hard drive keep the computer from POSTing?

I just had a WD HDD go bad on me yesterday. It wouldn't allow my computer to POST when it was connected. It seemed to hang on HDD detection which is very early in the POST cycle. It was doing the "click of death".

August 21, 2007 4:21:36 PM

ahhhh....the infamous click of death...
August 21, 2007 4:26:41 PM

rwpritchett said:
I just had a WD HDD go bad on me yesterday. It wouldn't allow my computer to POST when it was connected. It seemed to hang on HDD detection which is very early in the POST cycle. It was doing the "click of death".


My computer doesnt get to this point, it doesnt POST at all.

My hard drive also is not dead, It works fine when i get the computer to boot up normal, no clicks no nothing.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2007 4:37:53 PM

Edibletarget said:
My computer doesnt get to this point, it doesnt POST at all.

My hard drive also is not dead, It works fine when i get the computer to boot up normal, no clicks no nothing.

That's what I was trying to say, my system wouldn't POST at all. Nothing on the screen (stays in standby mode), just power to the case LED's and the HDD would constantly spin up, click, spin up, click...
I was able to boot successfully a few times after it started doing this. I ran the Seatools utility on the suspect drive. Quick test passed, but long test failed. I suggest you run HDD diagnostics when you are able to boot.

August 21, 2007 4:39:56 PM

I bet the harddrive is the problem but it could also be the power supply. From the sounds of it, some of the other people on this forum know quite a bit more about this than me, but if I were you I'd unplug all the hard drives and see if it even gets to the set up screen. If it can't then you know your hard drives are probably not the problem. If you have an extra powersupply or can get your hands on someone elses I would swap it into your machine and see if that helps. I had a power supply go out on me and it made my computer act crazy for a while while it slowly died more and more. I also once had a hard drive die on me. It made a clicking noise that quickly became a grinding sound. I hadn't backed up my thesis in a few week and I nearly shat myself. Lucky for me I was quick on the draw with my USB drive and everything turned out OK. Good Luck dude.
August 21, 2007 4:47:22 PM

rwpritchett said:
That's what I was trying to say, my system wouldn't POST at all. Nothing on the screen (stays in standby mode), just power to the case LED's and the HDD would constantly spin up, click, spin up, click...
I was able to boot successfully a few times after it started doing this. I ran the Seatools utility on the suspect drive. Quick test passed, but long test failed. I suggest you run HDD diagnostics when you are able to boot.


K, Ill try this, thanks.

I bet the harddrive is the problem but it could also be the power supply. From the sounds of it, some of the other people on this forum know quite a bit more about this than me, but if I were you I'd unplug all the hard drives and see if it even gets to the set up screen. If it can't then you know your hard drives are probably not the problem. If you have an extra powersupply or can get your hands on someone elses I would swap it into your machine and see if that helps. I had a power supply go out on me and it made my computer act crazy for a while while it slowly died more and more. I also once had a hard drive die on me. It made a clicking noise that quickly became a grinding sound. I hadn't backed up my thesis in a few week and I nearly shat myself. Lucky for me I was quick on the draw with my USB drive and everything turned out OK. Good Luck dude. said:
I bet the harddrive is the problem but it could also be the power supply. From the sounds of it, some of the other people on this forum know quite a bit more about this than me, but if I were you I'd unplug all the hard drives and see if it even gets to the set up screen. If it can't then you know your hard drives are probably not the problem. If you have an extra powersupply or can get your hands on someone elses I would swap it into your machine and see if that helps. I had a power supply go out on me and it made my computer act crazy for a while while it slowly died more and more. I also once had a hard drive die on me. It made a clicking noise that quickly became a grinding sound. I hadn't backed up my thesis in a few week and I nearly shat myself. Lucky for me I was quick on the draw with my USB drive and everything turned out OK. Good Luck dude.


Power supply may be difficult, but i know i can at least try to boot without the hard drives.
August 21, 2007 4:51:29 PM

i've seen the same problem on my friends computer before...the probelm was caused because he had 2 ram sticks and they have to be put in the same color slots. On most boards it slot 1 goes with slot 3 and slot 2 goes with slot 4. So if u just put ur ram on slot 1 and 2, ur comp will crash for no reason. I hope this helps.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2007 5:23:28 PM

Did your friend's computer also click? I really can't imagine the RAM chips clicking :)  Maybe the mobo gets confused and sends the wrong commands to the hard disks, which start clicking...
August 21, 2007 5:37:29 PM

Was going to post this as a new topic, but the cases are the same.

I built a computer for my brother, been working fine for 2-3 months. It failed to start up this morning, when he initially pressed the start button. The only thing that came on was the hard drive light. He did a reset and the same thing happened. Then is his words he had a "brain fart" and pulled the power plug for thirty seconds and now everything it working fine.

I built the thing and I'm ticked, don't like to build crap. So, if any one has any ideas on what to look for, if it happens again, be MOST appreciated. Could it be the power supply? I had some initial quirkiness with the supply, which I thought I fixed by reseating the 24 pin connector on the MB.

Thanks

The computer

Windows XP Pro
McAfee Anti-Virus and Firewall
Spy Sweeper anti Anti-Spyware program
Intel E4300, Not Overclocked
Gigabyte 965P-DS3
2 GB Corsair Memory DDR2 800
2 SATA 250 GB Hard Drives
2 Samsung DVD Burners
Sony Floppy Drive
EVGA 7600GT Video Card
Corsair HX 520 Power Supply
Antec Solo Case
Samsung 22" LCD Monitor
Logitech Keyboard and Mouse
Docking Station for a Dell PDA attached via USB Port
Sony Card Reader attached via USB Port
August 22, 2007 3:00:52 AM

Well I can now say with confidence that this issue is NOT being caused by the hard drives. I just recreated the problem, then pulled out the power and connectors to both hard drives. Not only did the machine not boot, it still clicked.

I tried to locate the clicking noise, and it seemed to be right in the middle of the lower half of my motherboard, possibly on or under my graphics card.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 22, 2007 4:03:55 AM

The graphics card's fan?
August 22, 2007 5:09:11 AM

aevm said:
The graphics card's fan?


Fan was running, I looked.

Im thinking it could come from a capacitor somewhere in either the motherboard or video card. If its a capacitor that might be why it starts after I unplug the power.

I just need to find a PCIe card to test with =/
August 22, 2007 7:57:04 AM

The clicking and seeing only 2 cores with a fresh install, I wonder if they are related? Bad mobo?
August 22, 2007 4:20:21 PM

Zorg said:
The clicking and seeing only 2 cores with a fresh install, I wonder if they are related? Bad mobo?


This looks like it might be the case. Im trying to narrow down everything else before I RMA though =/
a b B Homebuilt system
August 22, 2007 4:42:07 PM

Just a thought, is it possible that an extra standoff was overlooked behind the motherboard and it is shorting, maybe even arcing as current tries to pass through? That would make a clicking sound I suppose.
October 4, 2009 8:10:30 AM

I had an identical issue to the original poster just today. My computer wouldn't go into POST and there was a clicking noise when the PSU started up. It would click probably 10-12 times at uneven intervals and then the HD would start to whir like it was being accessed, but nothing would happen on the monitor. My first thought, like most people on here was that my HD was toast and that I would just need to swap it out.

The lack of a POST really made me wonder though, so I decided to use my laptop to Google similar problems. I'm glad I did, because just like the other poster, I tried completely removing my HD and booting up. Still no POST and the same clicking noise. Thinking along the lines of a possible power issue, I started unplugging other devices. The first thing I unhooked was my cd burner. I powered up, and voila, the system booted up without issue. I have no idea what actually occurred, or if the problem will recur, but for now, it appears to be working.

I know the original post was several years ago, but I hope that anyone with the same issue who comes across this thread might find this helpful. It saved me the price of a new HD. Thanks guys.
January 10, 2010 8:32:44 PM

OK iv just had the same problem with my pc, and i opened up the case and booted it with the case open. I found my wireless card had a light flashing in time with the clicks so i took that out and it seems to be working fine now. I think it wasnt getting enough power or something and was stalling the bootup.

My guess is it could be anything connected to the motherboard thats causing it.

Just for the record, im not a computer wizz or anything, so if any of this is wrong or doesnt make sense thats why.

Hope that helps!
May 15, 2010 12:17:13 AM

I am having the same issues on my pc at the moment. Everything was running fine last night. I woke up and tried to run a few programs and it was clicking, so I restarted. Keep getting error's telling me to restart pc, that there is a hard disc error. I ran a diagnostic check from the startup, says the HDD is fine. It isn't though. The HDD keeps clicking. I have never had an issue like this ever occur with this PC in two years.

Right now I have it system restoring, just in case it's a hard disc issue from a recent update. Nothing has been installed lately, minus notepad++. That has been the only manual installation other then updates from windows in days, possibly weeks.

I still have to test powersupply, but right now.. I am just trying to get it to boot up at least once to get my external attached and remove all my programing code for my video game server and other important applications I have.

I keep reading it could be floppy, etc, etc. I don't have a floppy drive. Just one DVD RW+/-. Other misc port connectors for differant flash and memory cards and a media drive bay. Which btw minus usb ports, none of those get much use. Most don't get used at all.

So any advice on the matter would help a lot.

Another note: This is not a home built pc, but doing a google search this was the best topic that got brought up for the issue. This is a prefab though and as I said, I have never had an issue with it.
May 15, 2010 12:36:53 AM

It's def the hard drive. The clicking is coming DIRECTLY from it. Not anywhere else as I keep reading. Recovery has been running for an hour, which has never taken longer then 15 minutes...

Any advice on how to get this hard drive information transferred to my external at the moment? Should I just hook it to this pc and try to transfer. Another issue lies in my OS is partitioned into the HD as well.. Yay for HP... ugh.

I was thinking about using boot discs to just wipe and test, but I still need this info taken off here.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 15, 2010 1:59:03 AM

Without reading all this did you get your answer? Because it's late for me and I'm tired :) .


Anyway answer is your hard drive is failing on you, that's what's making the clicking noise. Yes that'll prevent your comp from posting. Unplug drive and see what happens.

Fireball you're not too far off. Certainly it can be anything and I don't doubt a wireless card as well.
May 15, 2010 3:07:41 AM

Actually, I am in school for IWD, DG, Networking (Cisco, office, and engineering).. and I figured it was that. I wanted to be sure. I had to call my uncle and tell him what I thought and he agreed with me (He is cisco certified and engineering certified, which comes with A+.. meh we all know this). He is dropping me off spin rite tomorrow so I can attempt to recover all my home work, programs, and my UO server and scripts.

Thanks for the help anyhow guys.

So for those who don't understand the reason on fail:
Your head crashed in your HDD. Which was what I assumed, and my uncle confirmed. Once your head crashes pull it out, get a new one (HDD I am referring to). Get a program to pull your info off, if even possible. Another tip to add, my uncle said freeze your busted HDD for about 6 hours before you try to retrieve info, this allows it to remain "Cool" For hopefully enough time to get your information before it heats back up and crashes.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
August 5, 2010 9:24:47 PM

I am having the same problem with my computer. It started up perfectly for 3yrs, then al of a sudden boom. Mine was working fine then it crashed, when it restarted it was clicking. It sound as if it's coming from the hard drive so I replaced it with 2 cloned drives a 3 clicked.

It is not the hard drive.

Get this if I leave the hard drive unplugged the computer boots to c> No clicking. I unplugged other components it always clicked. Also, if I pushed the on/off button it did not turn off you had to hold the botton for 2-3 sec before the computer would turn off. After a while I discovered a way to get to come on. Here the process:

1. Turn on - clicking
2. Push and hold reset button
3. open cd drive tray and release reset button just before it fully extends
This works sometimes - if it doesn't turn off try again. Usually boots after
turn off.

I also have a Gigabyte board. I read some other post this seems to be a constant. I'm going to plug in another PSU.

For people with this problem plug in another hard drive if it clicks also it is not the drive it is either motherboard of PSU.
March 30, 2011 7:17:43 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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