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possible hdd failure?

Last response: in Storage
July 3, 2008 5:22:42 AM

Hey everyone,

I have a dell inspiron 1100 laptop. Yesterday, all of a sudden it wouldn't boot up after I shut it down. It would get stuck at the bios screen, and the hard drive would start making a squeaky noise, and then it gives the dell notice that the "system could not recognize the device in the modular bay" After a lot of tries to boot it.. it finally went in to windows.

Is the squeaky hdd a sign of hard disk failure, or imminent failure. Because after it started booting normally, the noise stopped.

Any ideas?

Thx in advance

More about : hdd failure

July 3, 2008 6:09:30 AM

I would be concerned about a "squeaky" HD. I would save all your critical data to CD as soon as you can. If you don't have a CD burner use a thumb drive.

July 3, 2008 6:42:43 AM

Hmm... Squeak of death is a new one on me, but as Zorg said get all of your critical stuff off quickly.
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July 3, 2008 8:55:53 AM

like the hdd only squeaks when it refuses to boot, otherwise it has normal operation.

They're aren't many files on this computer, I access most of my files from my home data server, so there's really nothing to back up
July 3, 2008 9:11:44 AM

Then run it until it takes a dump, then get a new one. It is failing.
July 3, 2008 10:23:46 AM

UPDATE: I later ran dell's pre-boot diagnostic tests... while they said my hdd is fine.. apparently you guys think it's on the way out.. and i agree wholeheartedly with you all... I was surprised though, to find that the memory test also failed, saying "Memory Integrity Test Failed"

could this be having an effect of the computer not booting?
July 3, 2008 10:38:13 AM

Bad memory, bad disk writes.... Bad hard drive info. However, I'd expect this to be a hard error, not a once or twice incident.
a b G Storage
July 3, 2008 11:39:40 AM

This is beginning to sound like a power supply/power regulation issue (would account for the squeek); did the Dell diagnostic disk check the motherboard voltages?
July 3, 2008 1:00:12 PM

no, it did not.. but it's not a totally intermittent thing either.. like when this starts happening, i will have to reboot like 20 times to 30 times in order to access the boot screen.. but then it's fine.. for some time
July 3, 2008 1:02:57 PM


i also expected it to be a steady error. I had to reboot at least 50 times last night till it finally got to the boot screen. Then today, it did the same thing, although i was lucky enough to only have to boot 10 times or so
July 3, 2008 8:30:40 PM

I don't know about Dell's pre boot diagnostics, but if you run Memtest86+ and it fails then your RAM is bad. Bad RAM will absolutely cause boot problems. It should also cause blue screens.