A non-mac computer problem

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by sikkinixx, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. sikkinixx macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #1
    I didn't know where to put this since its not a mac question but the folks around MR seemed to be a pretty smart bunch so I might as well ask

    My PC *waits for the hisses and boos to go down* is having issues. While running it gets a little fairly high pitched *clunk* sound, then about 2 seconds later the computer freeezes for a few seconds, then keeps doing whatever it was doing. its odd. it almost sounds like something is resetting or something. I thought it could be my heatsink going so the CPU was gettng overheated but then it would just turn off, not freeze then keep going.

    I kinda hope its FUBAR'd cuz then I will have an excuse to buy an Apple to go with my macbook :D
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    Hard drive's dying. Back up your data AQAP and buy that new Mac.
     
  3. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    Portland
    #3
    I noticed something similar, but not the same on my old PC. Sometimes whatever I was doing would freeze for a few seconds, and then I would hear the HDD start to rev up to full speed, then when it got there, everything would unfreeze. Do you hear anything that could be HDD related before or after the "clunk"?
     
  4. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

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    May 6, 2006
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    Leeds, UK
    #4
    Check the "S.M.A.R.T." status of the disk to see if it in a failing state. Worth noting that a non-failing state doesn't necessarily mean it isn't failing but a failing state deffinetly needs replacing.

    How you do this on Windows I don't know but a google for "smart disk" seemed to turn up a couple of options.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    If it's not an imminently failing drive, it's technically also possible that this is caused by your energy saver settings having the hard drive spin down too easily... look in your control panel for that.
     
  6. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #6
    awww HDD?! balls... I just got the damn thing a few months ago!
     
  7. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    #7

    Yah. Sadly the HDD is one of the most likely things to make a sound like that. Back stuff up just in case, but as was mentioned check to see if it is spinning down too often. I would be less worried if it was an older HDD (like mine) because it spins at a much slower RPM and is just getting old. If your computer is new then I would be worried.
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    What brand? Most HD warranties are at least a year. Back up, then see if you can RMA it
     
  9. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #9
    its a WD, its a SATA2 one. The pc isn't new (3 years old) but I needed more than 80GB so I got this 300GB one. Problem is that I bought it OEM with no case or anything, just the drive itself, so I dunno if that will affect the warranty.

    Most stuff is easy to back up, but one thing I always have troubles with (and my folks will snap if I lose this) is where the hell the emails get saved. I use Thunderbird as my mail program but I can never find where it saves the messages on the harddrive :confused:
     
  10. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #10
    welcome to the wonderful world of HD failure. At least you're not trying to explain it to your utterly non-technical boss :rolleyes:

    I wonder if the HD is overheating. Have you checked to see if your fan is operating properly?
     
  11. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #11
    funny you should mention that, the side fan on my pc window was kinda screwed so I had it unplugged. I plugged it back in (just makes a lilt bit of an annoying hum) and so far this morning there has been no noise for the HDD. the thermo says the system is running about 9 degrees C cooler so maybe that helped? this drive does get a lot hotter than my old one.
     
  12. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #12
    Ta-DAA!!

    Hmm, yes I would think an improperly cooled PC, just like anything lacking in correct airflow would in fact suffer problems.

    At least we found the actual cause of the problem. This reminds me of an episode of House, we diagnose lots of things that it could be but the person with the problem is withholding information they deem irrelevant that actually leads us right to the root of the problem.

    Keep your fans on, if they're "kinda screwed up," fix them, don't just unplug them.
     
  13. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #13
    The other issue could be the chipset. If it's a passively cooled northbridge then it may not be getting enough airflow. Having it overheat would interfere with I/O. Not running just one side fan extra should not result in a temp increase to cause HDD to shut down - is the rear exhaust(s) runnig?
     
  14. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #14
    yes the two rear fans, plus the PS fan and the top fan and every other fan (damn this thing has a lot of fans) are all working. Maybe because the side fan is about 6 inches from the HDD? Anyway, Im going to keep monitoring it to make sure ....
     
  15. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #15
    yea...the bigger drives do tend to heat up a bit.

    it might be a good thing to get a can of compressed air (hell, get 3 or 4...not like you won't use them) and blow out the vents on your case and also on your power supply/fans.

    Sesshi makes an excellent point re:chipset. If the BIOS in your machine controls fan operation it might be possible to reset it so that the fan(s) kick on a little earlier. You may want to cruise the net for information on your particular model and see what the story is with that.
     
  16. iTwitch macrumors 6502a

    iTwitch

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    East of the Mississippi
    #16
    Next time it happens check to see if the cpu fan revs up, sounds like a heat issue.

    CPU heats, fan revs up, sucking more power on a strained power supply. Not enough juice to go around.
     
  17. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #17
    The BIOS temps aren't totally accurate but they're good indicators. You can also download HDD temperature monitors.

    Mapping out airflow by calculating the air being moved around based on the specs of the fans and the movement of air inside the case significantly reduces the need for redundant fans, which may actually be being counterproductive - bad 'over-fanning' can actually keep heat inside the case.

    Airflow mapping is what I did with a builder for an application-specific workstation I wanted. Once we figured out how much air would need to be moved, he fashioned plastic baffles to guide air and used temperature-controlled fans. The result was quite dramatic: Cool *and* quiet. It's more or less the same design processes used by Dell, Apple et al in their top workstations.

    I'm not suggesting the same extent of work on your system, but it may be worth experimenting with fans while monitoring the BIOS temps. If there's a front fan, try turning it off and see what happens. If that doesn't do the trick, head on over to places like Silent PC Review (silentpcreview.com) and get some cooling tips - they have fanology down to a fine art :D
     
  18. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Danville, VA
    #18
    Sounds like the HD to me as well, A for Thunderbird some quick googling turned this up

    Emails are stored in the profile folder. In Windows it would be a path like:

    C:\Documents and Settings\[windowsuser]\Application
    Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\r7q3hpvc.default\Mail\[mailaccount]

    The actual message files are those withOUT a file extension, e.g., Inbox
    instead of Inbox.msf. The msf files are index files and can be safely
    deleted. No NOT delete any file you are not certain of.

    Heres a page with the locations of the profile folders for different OSs

    http://www.holgermetzger.de/pdl.html

    Hope that helps

    EDIT: Sorry I skipped ahead and didn't realize you solved your problem, but mabye the thunderbird info will come in handy for backups in general
     

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