Is this Hard Drive Failing?

My friend dumped her computer on me after it stopped working properly. Apparently she thinks I am some kind of guru, which I am not. Anyways when you turn the computer on, it stays on for 10-30 minutes then the monitor goes into Standby, the computer OS (Windows Vista) shuts off, the Tower makes some clicking noises but, the tower never exactly turns off.

When you open the side of the computer after it does this, the fans are still running. Once you do eventually turn the computer off and back on it says "Windows has shut down improperly" or whatever that window is. Luckily she uses the Vista Backup Status and Configuration on an external hard drive, so all the information is backed up.

Do you guys think it is a hard drive failure?
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More about hard drive failing
  1. I believe that is the most likely reason.

    Loud clicking noise = hard drive is failing.
  2. Yes,hard drive is gone,but if u want to understand better now and in the future what happens with the hdd when it fails , i recommend the use of a small program,very useful,and simple .Speedfan 4.39 by Alfredo Milani Camparetti. Run in Win.XP compatibility and read S.M.A.R.T voice.This is a simple tool not a savvy program. Get a new hdd and try to backup the old one.
  3. Could you please mention your config along with the brand names...
  4. The Computer is a Gateway GM5410E w/ Vista. I have the Gateway Recovery Disc and the CD Key for Windows Vista, is that all I need to reinstall windows on a new hard drive?
  5. U don't need OS key,is a OEM version, just use the Recovery disk.U don't change the mo-bo,just the HDD. It will be fine and easy.
  6. Thank you tons guys! Even if it turns out not to be the hard drive, she has been trying to get me to upgrade her HD for about a year now. I'm sure it is though.
  7. I replaced the Hard Drive and the problem still persists. She doesn't mind the harddrive upgrade but, that scratches out that theory. zipzoomflyhigh, I guess by man. diag. you mean for the hard drive, correct? Would the Processor or Motherboard be going out?
  8. Processors rarely die while a failing motherboard won't cause clicking noises.
  9. The clicking noises are gone but, the powering down is still occurring. I am going to have her bring it in to be looked at.
  10. I am probably way off but the following might help...

    XP Recommendation

    Right click on desktop hit properties
    Screen Saver tab
    Lower you will see a button called power click on it

    Turn off hard disks (Never on a desktop)
    System Standby Never
    Go to Hibernation tab, take that out too.

    For vista or 7
    Simply find the power options and do the same...
    Some computers for god knows what reason have issues comming back from standby...

    I once had a power supply fan make crazy clicking noises..
    Harddrive was a good guess tho
  11. Before I brought it in, I ran speedfan on the machine to monitor temps. the Processor was getting extremely hot, something like 110C. So I had her take it in. I'm sure the bill will be up there, possibly even close to what it would cost to buy a barebones kit and just build a new pc but, I don't mind.

    Geeksquad thinks it's 'thermal' issues. I will report back when I have anymore info.
  12. Have you checked the heatsink and fan for dust & fluff? :bounce:
    You haven't given spec/age! :non:
    The more info you give, the better the accuracy of the suggestions.

  13. That is why i prefer to have the machine in front of me for troubleshoot issues. For a full understanding of problems u need full access of the machine specs. At the end it seems that the machine is failing. U have to understand if u need a complete upgrade,replacement or is something on thermal- psu range problem as a fast minor fix-upgrade.
  14. As the previous post said, check for heatsinks/fans clogged with dust and if necessary blow them clean with compressed air (I use air in a can from photo shops). I had a bad clicking noise that sounded like the head had fallen off the hard drive - it turned out to be a stray cable hitting a fan when it ran full speed. You can also check for overheating components by downloading a diagnostic tool. Nvidia have one that will give you CPU and GPU temperature etc.

    If you think it is the hard drive then most manufacturers have diagnostic tools to check the drives, or at least Western Digital do. You can also download a free SMART monitoring tool that will show you the SMART data from the hard disk such as read errors and bad sectors, e.g. Active@ Hard Disk Monitor.

    It could also be the power supply failing. If you cannot detect anything with the diagnostic tools then it is time to start swapping out components like the power supply and hard disk. If problems persist then it may be the motherboard which can be the biggest pain of all because it can make it look like any other component is failing.
  15. On the second post I made on this thread, I gave everyone a link to the computers specs. Replacing the hard drive was eventually going to be done anyways and the heat sinks and fans were the first thing I cleaned. I had also looked for bloated capacitors. I mean I am not technically dull, I do know what to look for but sometimes problems seem like they should be one thing but end up being something else.

    Bluescreendeath said:
    Processors rarely die while a failing motherboard won't cause clicking noises.

    GeekSquad has called back and it was the processor that was in the process of dying. I ran a replacement over there about a hour after the store opened, they put it in and the PC is back at my friends house, running like a champ. Overall Repair cost + the expense of the new 500gb harddrive was $167.56 USD. Thanks again boys.
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