Another Hard Drive Crash

The hard drive on Charlotte’s computer died this week. She had barely turned the computer on in a year so it was quite a surprise. Here’s what happened:

Last week I copied a pile of pictures to the computer

I ran Windows Update during a shutdown on it. It ran for quite a while with 20 updates. Mid-way through, some of the updates failed with odd messages. It said it couldn’t save the files correctly or something. I clicked through this message maybe 5 times over the course of an hour. I left the house. When I came back, the computer finally shut itself off.

When I turned it back on after the updates… sadness!

Windows wouldn’t start. :-(

So I got out my Spinrite. It ran for about two hours. There were several spots where it enabled it’s fancy Dynastat process. The computer’s speaker clicked insistently for a while indicating it was trying to recover individual bits on the hard drive.

I then powered up the computer and, hurray, Windows started! The hard drive sounded a little funny so I turned on my audio recorder. 2 minutes in, the hard drive started making awful awful awful sounds! I powered off, saddened.

Listen to bad hard drive sounds and cringe!

So I rebooted. This time with Safe Mode on. It made the same sounds after a minute.

I got to thinking…. the bearing has gone bad… probably the bottom bearing… what might allow me to read the drive for just a little while…. Tada!

I’ve been running the computer on its side for an hour, grabbing backups.

Phew.

Update: I got all the files :-). I turned off the computer and back on again about 30 minutes later. The BIOS asked if I wanted to boot from the network! In other words, it didn’t see the hard drive AT ALL. I fear the hard drive is now officially dead.

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