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Grinding noise from laptop

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Lydster, May 18, 2005.

  1. Lydster

    Lydster Private First Class

    I have an older laptop that we use infrequently here in the office, and it's making a pretty loud grinding noise. I looked into this a bit on-line, and everyone seems to agree that this probably means the hard drive is going. I just want to confirm a few things with an expert before I proceed:

    1) Is there anything I should try to get rid of the grinding noise before I just pack it in and trash this laptop?

    2) Although the laptop is older, I really don't want to trash it. Does it make sense to buy a new hard drive?

    3) If I do buy a new hard drive, is that the kind of thing that I can install myself, without too much experience? Can you guys help me through it?

    4) Do you have any suggestions on where I should go for the drive and what I should get? (It's a Dell Notebook)

    Any assistance is very much appreciated!
  2. bigbazza

    bigbazza R.I.P. 14/12/2011 - Good Onya Geek

    What operating system is it using? W98? W98SE, ME, XP or what? What make and model of laptop? Beware there may be limitations on the capacity of the hard drive that the OS/BIOS will accept. Can you get a copy of the manual, either from the office, or via the net, or makers website? Also there may be limits on the anount of RAM that can be installed if you want to upgrade. let us know and someone here can probably help.
    Can the IT representative at your office help with further info? Bazza


  3. Shadow_Puter_Dude

    Shadow_Puter_Dude MG Authorized Malware Fighter

    Click-Click sound is usually the HD. Grinding noise is probably a fan going bad. When a fan loses a bearing it gets pretty loud.
  4. bigbazza

    bigbazza R.I.P. 14/12/2011 - Good Onya Geek

    Great catch, S.P.D., I should have thought of a fan bearing. Most, including me, think of a hard drive failure first. Bazza


  5. rogvalcox

    rogvalcox MajorGeek

    Considering that the only moving parts in a computer are the drives, and the fan...it would have to be one of those!!

    As far as replacing the hard drive....my toshiba...you just take the keyboard off!! And some laptops have a removable plate on the bottom, which will allow you acces to most removable parts without having to totally disassemble the laptop!!

  6. Lydster

    Lydster Private First Class

    Thanks so much for the tip on the fan! I was speaking with another tech, and he concurred that this was probably the problem. Because the grinding noise doesn't start right away, but kicks in after the laptop's been on a while, he seemed to think that the fan is a more likely culprit than the hard drive. (Funny that not one of the forums I visited made any mention of the fan -- everyone who posted about grinding noises is being told it's the hard drive!)

    The laptop's a Dell Latitude, running Windows 2000 PRO. I've found and printed the system manual. It currently has 128 MB RAM, upgradable to 256, with a 6 GIG hard drive. I'm not concerned about storage on the hard drive, because we're basically just setting it up in the conference room to use for internet access and to run as a sort of dummy terminal to access our agency management system for training, etc.

    I'd hate to let it go, so I'm calling Dell to see if a replacement fan is available for purchase. What do you think are the chances that an inexperienced person such as myself could install a fan in a laptop? (Our tech guy left in Sept, and we're not yet ready to hire a new one, so I'm kind of on my own for right now anyway.)
  7. Shadow_Puter_Dude

    Shadow_Puter_Dude MG Authorized Malware Fighter

    Shouldn't be all that tough, as long as your careful when you disassembly the system. Make sure you DL and print the Service Manual also.
  8. rogvalcox

    rogvalcox MajorGeek

    Whatever the problem is...keep in mind that the longer the computer runs...the hotter it gets, so therefore EVERYTHING expands, allowing for loose bearings, etc.!! Whereas when it is cool...everything is nice and tight and will tend to run smoother!!

    If you take a clattering hard drive out, and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours...odds are you will find that if you immemdiately put it back in...it will run smoother!! Little tip for if you need to get that last ounce out of the drive to recover information!!


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