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Hard disk is humming plus random power loss.


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#1 Jacklejack

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:31 AM

Computer info:

Dell Studio XPS 435t/9000

Intel Core i7 CPU 960 @ 3.20GHz 

RAM 12GB

OS: Windows 7 64-bit

 

I love this computer. It's very powerful, can run a myriad of Adobe and Autodesk software along with high end games. This morning it was as strong as any other day, but then I tempted with fate.

 

I bought a new internal hard disk for it. The current one is 500GB and is nearly full, so I bought a 1TB SATA II disk. I had this idea that I could run my OS on the smaller hard disk while running heavy programs off the larder one. Here's what I did.

 

1: Installed the new hard disk. The power supply wasn't an option, but I didn't have another SATA cable to connect it to my mother board. I don't use CDs very much, so I figured for the time being, I would just use the cable going to that. 

2: Managed to get it partitioned.

3: Started installing programs on it while uninstalling from my smaller hard disk. The computer was going very slow at this point. 

4: I decided to restarted it to see if that would speed things up.

5: Took two tries to start. Still going slow. 

6: Called Dell's tech support, and they basically told me I need to reinstall my OS to include both drives, and that what I was trying to (OS on one drive, programs on another) was basically impossible.

7: I unplugged the new hard disk from the power supply and mother board and hooked up my CD drive. 

8: Problem is not solved.

 

My hard disk(I assume) is making a loud humming that it only ever made when I would render and compress video, and periodically the power will just go off. At one point tonight, the circuit in my house actually went out, which may or may not be related. 

 

Any ideas? 



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#2 wolfeking

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:48 AM

First off, what Dell told you is a load of bologna. You can certainly have the OS on one drive and programs on one or more extra drives (on my desktop I have the OS an a 128GB drive, Games and downloads on a 1TB, and a 1TB (4x250GB) RAID array with the Musik and other things I want access to across the network. It was all set up without a single reinstall. The only time you will need to do a reinstall is if you go with Windows 7 or before and enable RAID mode, that will require a reinstall (windows 8 picks it up just fine). 

 

Secondly, when you say your circuit went out, how do you mean? Did the breaker trip? If so, how many amps is it rated for, and what do you have on that circuit? (basically, with the circuit off, what does not work? This will help to determine if you just need to replace it (not a bad idea if it is more than maybe 5 years old, or if you are overloading it *hint, the average US circuit is good for 1725 watts of draw, which isn't much if you are pulling 500+ watts with your desktop.) 

 

Third, Your hard drive should not be making much sound at all. from inside the case. Can't say for sure with dell desktops, but you may be able to use something like this http://www.lowes.com/pd_199053-1366-34441_0__?productId=3132227 between the drive and the case to reduce the noise. That is assuming the drive does not have an issue. What brand of drive did you buy? That will enable us to determine what you need to use to test the drive to determine if you have an issue. 

 

 

I would still suggest in line with dell on a reinstall, as that will be much cleaner than trying to move the programs to the new disk. Anything that relies heavily on read/writes to the drive will be better of installed to the scratch disk than the OS disk. 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#3 Jacklejack

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:10 PM

That was a lot of information, thank you for not being a snob like the other places I tried! Is there a way I can tell whether Windows 7 is in RAID mode? I really like 7 and have no desire to move on to 8. 

 

 

Secondly, when you say your circuit went out, how do you mean? Did the breaker trip?

 

The breaker tripped. The breaker runs to two rooms, both of which have computers that are constantly on. My roommate plays games all day and I'm usually on mine either to play games or do work. It's a lot of juice, yes, but it's never been a problem before. I DID hook a personal heater up to that same circuit last night, which might have pushed it over the edge. I have since moved the heater. But, that doesn't really explain why the computer, itself, loses power when I try to run heavy programs like I use to. The fact that this specifically happened when I opened the computer is making me worried that I damaged something on the inside. 

 

What brand of drive did you buy? That will enable us to determine what you need to use to test the drive to determine if you have an issue.

 

It's not the new drive that I bought, it's the old one that's making the noise. It only started making noise after I installed the new one, and hasn't stopped making noise even after uninstalling the new one. As for the brand, I don't know, it's came with the computer and I'm not sure how to figure that out. 



#4 wolfeking

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:46 PM

I am not exactly sure how to test if the OS is running in RAID mode.  The easiest way I would think would be to go into the BIOS and look for something like Storage and look for the mode. In most newer (like core 2 forward) should have 3 options which are IDE/Compatibility, ACHI/SATA and RAID (not all will have all options, depending on the BIOS installed). 

 

2 computers and a heater (with everything else generally on a circuit. Like here, it would be the computer, speakers, Sat receiver, Tele, Radio, and the netrok equipment.).  The main reason I was worrying to start with is because a sudden loss of power can damage the system (especially if it is writting anything to the hard drive at the time). And Circuits do degrade over time, but I do not think that is your issue with so much draw on the one circuit (especially is it is a 15 amp one).

If the system is shutting down under load, then that is generally a sign that the power supply is either damaged or failing (assuming that you have nothing undervolted or overclocked). Just to check though, grab a tool like realtemp or coretemp and install/run it. Then grab a program like Prime95 or Intel Burn Test to put the CPU under load (these are artificial loads, but work fine for what we are testing for) and monitor the temps. If they go over 80ish degrees, then it is likely that you need to clean out the heatsink and reapply the thermal paste, and is likely the cause of your shutdowns. (could also be, as said, the PSU, or VRM overheating, or OCP form the PSU, but one thing at a time.)

 

To tell the brand of the drive, you can either go to device manager and look under  Disk Drives, you can look at the label on the drive, or look in the BIOS under storage devices. Also, can you describe the noise to the best of your ability? Is it a humming type noise or closer to a clicking? Or something completely different? 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#5 Jacklejack

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:02 PM

I will try all of that and get back to you. It seems unnecessary though, since the computer was running perfectly fine until I opened it up to install the new hard disk. There were never power outages. I blew a lot of dust around and wiped everything down with a dry, clean rag. I kept hold of the metal casing on the computer to keep myself grounded, but would loud humming, sudden degrade in quality, and power loss have anything to do with the motherboard short-circuiting?

 

Another interesting fact: I had a small work lamp plugged into the surge protector that the computer uses. The thing is a decade old, and this morning, the lamp wouldn't turn on until I tried a different outlet. I'm running the computer off a different surge protector now, but it hasn't helped. 

 

I'm about to try a fresh install of Windows 7 on the new hard disk to see if the old hard disk is the problem. *crosses fingers*



#6 wolfeking

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:28 PM

The only issue with that though is that just because when you opened it up coincided with the start of the problems does not necessitate that opening it caused the problem. Sometimes things can just happen together for unknown reasons. 

 

Short circuiting could be the issue, but it is at the very bottom of the list of possibilities, especially the motherboard SCing. The main possibilities that we are tracing at the moment are heat issues and power issues. Mainly tracing heat issues as that leaves no physical signs, and is extremely easy to find without any disassemble at all. It is a fact that over time a heatsink will gather dust, which acts as an insulator. That is not to count that fans can fail over time, as well as drying of thermal paste. 

 

On the power end, it is completely possible that a bad surge protector could have damaged the power supply. Testing that is going to be difficult without having a way to put it under load (having the no load numbers will be useful, but under load it can drop voltage causing a shut down also). Lets just trace one thing at a time. 

 

Okay, report back when you are done installing and let us know if any improvement is found. 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#7 noknojon

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:34 PM

Hi wolfek,,,  -

Only if you can - I just "skimmed" your posts .........

Please post a snapshot with Speccy for more system details whenever you can -
How to Publish a snapshot with Speccy <<-- Full Directions Here

 

Thanks -



#8 wolfeking

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:24 PM

Hi wolfek,,,  -

Only if you can - I just "skimmed" your posts .........

Please post a snapshot with Speccy for more system details whenever you can -
How to Publish a snapshot with Speccy <<-- Full Directions Here

 

Thanks -

I am not going to do that, as I am not looking for help.


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#9 Jacklejack

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:18 PM

I am posting from my phone at the moment, so I cannot give system specs.

I took apart the fans to clean them, as they are making the noise. They are constantly on at a high speed. I also cleaned the vents. While cleaning, I found this. Is this thermal paste, and if so, does that look right?


Edit: file is too big to upload. The paste looks sparse and dry. It is gathered like water on a waxed hood.

Edited by Jacklejack, 20 October 2013 - 06:20 PM.


#10 Jacklejack

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:54 PM

Here is the image.

 

I've managed to get Windows 7 on my new hard disk. Fan is still running high speed. I'll run the tests you suggested now. 



#11 noknojon

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:07 AM

Sorry -

My post was meant for Jacklejack, as I simply posted the wronk name to start ...

It also only applied if the computer was working ..........

 

My Bad -



#12 wolfeking

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:18 AM

okay, sorry for the misunderstanding. 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#13 Netghost56

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:58 AM

I would recommend cloning the old drive to the new one at this point. The health of the older drive is suspect. You can run some apps on it (Seatools, for one) but if it was me I would just scrap the old drive and get another one.






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