simple HD / PS question

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Flicker

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Aug 21, 2004
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53
Hi.
I have Xion tower with a stock PS. My harddrive is randomly clicking and 'losing its train of thought' so to speak (it stops booting up when that happens, stops doing what its doing when it happens in windows).

It did this a couple months ago, but i noticed that whenever it clicked, the LED lights on the case flickered. I replaced my two 80mm LED fans with one 120mm non-LED one. My system then continued to work properly until now. I'm assuming it was the power supply.

Now, it is doing the same thing again, only the LED is less noticibly flickering (i have to watch it carefully). This case's PS is known to fail after time. I'm also getting stop errors relating to data-reading errors (0xf4, 0x7A) periodicaly, presumably from when the HD 'skips'.

My question is simple (maybe): Before I spend 70 dollars on a new power supply, is there anything else that you think this could be? Thanks.
 

MysticEyes

Banned
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Messages
4,825
Sounds like a bad HD and you don't have to spend $70 on a PS unless you have a loaded system. Get a HD diagnostic app from your maker's site. A boot floppy type might be best. Power down and unplug your opticals and run the diagnostic.

You could try this app first to check your voltages to see if they are correct. It will also tell you many things about your HD's fitness.

http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php

Decent brand name PS:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817701001

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817153023
 

Flicker

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
53
the clicking isn't the typical 'click-click-click-click' that a bad HD has...my last HD was a Hitatchi Deskstar; i know what that sound is. This one is different - it's one click, followed immediatly by what sounds like a slowing or powering down of the drive. It doesnt happens in rapid sucessions, or even within a minute of another. If it were the hard-drive, why would the LEDs dim every time that happens? That's what I can't figure out.

I'll run diagnostics you sent me; thank you for those.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
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668
Flicker, I am not an expert like a lot people here but I think you are right about the PSU. Just last week I had a computer to repair that the owner thought was a HDD problem I replaced the HDD with a known good one and guess what? It too started to click! I replaced the PSU and reformatted the new drive. That computer is running great now. By the way the original drive is shot!
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
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Oct 19, 2002
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106,425
The drive is likely to be dying, you need to backup as soon as possible, if it's even possible! I would expect a bad P/S would affect the other parts of the machine and cause crashes other than disk related. It's also possible that you have a failing P/S, or maybe even both components. parts substitution is the normal way to diagnose this issue.
 

Flicker

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
53
ok. I downloaded PC wizard and am looking at voltage levels...

The CPU is around 1.42 (and since its an AMD 64, that's about right)
the 3.3v is sitting at 3.23
the 5v is right on at 5
but the 12v is at 11.25, which seems pretty significant (...?)

I'm still hoping its the PS and not the harddrive...i disconnected a case LED and a side fan w/ leds on it and it seems more stable...i.e. hasn't crashed in a couple hours...

Does 11.25 seems low? if it is, what can i do about it?

Thanks for recommending PSs to me... in the even that i decide to get a new one, is 430watts going to be sufficient for my system?

ASUS A8N Sli-Deluxe MB
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
WDC SATA II HD
Sony DVD RW Drive
2x GeForce 6600gt
1 Gig Ram

Thanks for your help; hope arises every time someone gives a suggestion.
 

Triple6

Rob
Moderator
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Dec 26, 2002
Messages
52,933
Its a little low but not terrible. Unfortunately the sensors aren't always very accurate, you'd need a multimeter to check it and be confident.

430 watt would be enough.

I actaully wouldn't be surprised if both the power supply and hard drive are failing. Running hardware with a faulty power supply will eventually damage other hardware.
 

Flicker

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
53
This is about everything it says about the drive.

Health : 99% (estimated)
Performance : 91% (estimated)

Raw Read Error Rate (01) : 00000 (Threshold : 051 - Worst : 200 - Max : 200)
Spin Up Time (03) : 00ADF (Threshold : 021 - Worst : 184 - Max : 244)
Start/Stop Count (04) : 001DA (Threshold : 000 - Worst : 100 - Max : 100)
Reallocated Sector Count (05) : 00000 (Threshold : 140 - Worst : 200 - Max : 200)
Seek Error Rate (07) : 00000 (Threshold : 051 - Worst : 200 - Max : 200)
Power On Hours Count (09) : 008DD (Threshold : 000 - Worst : 097 - Max : 097)
Spin Retry Count (0A) : 00000 (Threshold : 051 - Worst : 100 - Max : 100)
Calibration Retry Count (0B) : 00000 (Threshold : 051 - Worst : 100 - Max : 100)
Power Cycle Count (0C) : 001D4 (Threshold : 000 - Worst : 100 - Max : 100)
(BE) : 00022 (Threshold : 045 - Worst : 058 - Max : 066)
Temperature (C2) : 00022 (Threshold : 000 - Worst : 108 - Max : 116)
Reallocation Event Count (C4) : 00000 (Threshold : 000 - Worst : 200 - Max : 200)
Current Pending Sector Count (C5) : 00002 (Threshold : 000 - Worst : 200 - Max : 200)
Off-Line Uncorrectable Sector Cou... 00004 (Threshold : 000 - Worst : 200 - Max : 200)
Ultra ATA CRC Error Rate (C7) : 00000 (Threshold : 000 - Worst : 200 - Max : 200)
Write Error Rate (C8) : 00002 (Threshold : 051 - Worst : 200 - Max : 200)
 
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