Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Seagate Grindith

My 3 year old computer has a 160 GB Seagate hard drive in it, that began making unpleasant grinding, whining noises, before I left on my last business trip.  I powered it down, and Dr Desert Flower didn't need it powered back on (since she has a nice MAC) while I was gone.  Upon my return, I booted up to hear the awful grrrrrinding sounds again.   I cut the power, disassembled, found a plethora of dust and cat hair had been drawn in (first time in over 2 years I had it apart..  Far Too Long between required maintenance... don't wait as long as I did).  I blew it out with clean compressed air, vacuumed up the residual dust (making sure not to GROUND the vacuum to the PC to avoid statically shocking it here in the low humidity desert) and with the cover off... the PC booted up quietly, peacefully, happily.  "OK" I thought, "Problem solved?".  Then I put the cover back on... and the awful sounds of mechanical death resumed.  It got to the point where the BIOS fatally told me that the Hard Disk "Could Not Be Found" and asked for a boot disk.  Ugh.

Removing the cover, and taking out the 4 mounting screws for the hard drive, the PC once again purred quietly, and I hopefully, cautiously, booted it back up.  Viola, it started!  And has been running for hours, error free, quietly, just the sounds of the fans whirring.  But I know that 100% of all spinning hard drives have eventually failed.  It's just a matter of time.  So Dr Desert Flower and I went to our local Big Box store to look for a replacement drive.  1TB, $90.  2TB, $120. They didn't even offer a tiny 160 GB drive - smallest was a 320 GB for $49.  So I bought another Seagate SATA, the 1TB (since it also runs at 7200 rpm, just like the 160 GB does), and I'm going to try and install it as a 2nd hard drive, in the space right above the 160 GB.  I've got the power cords and ports for it, and I THINK the PC has got a serial connector.... we'll see how well it works.  This may be the last JustJoeP post for a while, if I screw it up.


  1. for work, religiously, yes. Before any flight or trip where I know the hard drive will be jostled.

    For the home desk top, less so... but now with Terabytes being so cheap, I will be more often.


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