Is my hard drive shot?

Trying to power up, but getting no signal to the monitor. Can hear the HDD spinning, but doesn't do the normal ticking and whirring it typically does when it fires up. Heat sink fan, along with the rest of the case fans spin. LEDs on the mobo and graphics card are lit. If it matters, I've got a WD Caviar Black and I put this system together about 4 years ago.

If it is shot, do I have any hope of recovery without paying $300+? Have lots of pics of the family that I didn't have a chance to backup. I'd try to do it myself if I had good instruction. Wish I'd gotten around to that RAID array I've been thinking about...

Grateful for any advice.
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  1. Forgot to mention that when trying to start up, fans and drive spin for about 15 seconds, then it powers down and tries to restart. Does this loop over and over until I cut the power. Thanks
  2. Do you have a know working PSU to swap in?
  3. Best answer
    Even if your HDD was shot, you would still see a message akin to " boot device not found" error. Its most likely is the PSU, it could also be a short somewhere in the system. Go ahead and breadboard the system, that will tell you where your problem is.
  4. I'll give it a shot and report back. Thx for the advice.
  5. I agree with the guys above, and suspect the Power Supply... this sort of display problem is common with bad Power Supplies.... the Hard Drive not spinning up may be caused by the Power Supply if it doesn't deliver enough power to make it spin up. Check the Power Supply with a multimeter or replace it... cause that is probably the whole problem.

    Four years are not enough for a HD failure, even if it's ticking, clicking and whirring.. I have a 12 year old WD that I dropped in mid 2006 and it's been doing loud clicks and occasional whirrs before every boot since then and it still boots up.. It was my daily HD up till mid 2010 when I gave up waiting for it to fail definetely.. I still use it occasionally for tests and practices and it keeps working though I get BIOS warnings but that's all. The only times it has given more trouble it's been due to a bad PSU so I see it as a tool in diagnosing problems. That said, your chances of recovering files from the Hard Drive are good (if it should get to that)... Either install it as a second hard drive on another PC or from a USB enclosure. If while attempting it the BIOS doesn't recognize the HD, disable the S.M.A.R.T. BIOS setting.
  6. Yup--it was the PSU.

    Appreciate the guidance from you all. Only bad news is that the fan on the new Coolermaster TR2 I bought has a WAY louder fan than the old Corsair, but I'm totally relieved i didnt lose all my photos. Time to do some backing up!

    Thanks again.
  7. seasropp said:
    Yup--it was the PSU.

    Only bad news is that the fan on the new Coolermaster TR2 I bought has a WAY louder fan than the old Corsair.

    Thanks again.

    Are you sure it's the new PSU fan?, it could be there's more power available so all fans are spinning faster... if that's all, it can probably be solved through tweaking the fan speeds in the BIOS.
  8. Best answer selected by Seasropp.
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