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Thread: Is This Hard Drive Failure?

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Sep 20, 2010
    Is This Hard Drive Failure?

    I was wondering if anyone could possibly help with a problem I have with my imac (2 years old). Yesterday I'd left it switched on for about 24 hours by mistake, but it still seemed fine until it randomly froze. When I tried to rebook the computer, it stopped reading my hard drive. When booting up, you'd just get the dreaded blank screen with flashing question mark, or, if it did boot up, it would freeze up after a few minutes.

    Now, my initial reaction was a hard drive failure. However, having turned the computer off for a good few hours, when I turned it back on it seemed perfect again, operating really fast.

    I'm not sure how long that will last, but my housemate thinks it's a loose connection to my HD that could become faulty when the components heat up and expand, as it's something he found once with his PC.

    Does this sound possible, or has anyone had these 'symptoms' with imacs? Surely a straight hard drive failure would mean it stops working all together?

    Thanks in advance, and sorry if this has been posted before (I looked but didn't find a similar problem).


  2. #2

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    I don't buy the faulty connection theory..since these components are actually designed to operate at fairly high temperatures..

    However, a "failing" hard drive might do so intermittently. If it was a full failure of the mechanical parts, that would be preceded by noises that announce the impending demise, but if it has been quiet and all..then the failure could potentially be more electronic..

    I think you should checkout and run that on your HD..see if that will tell you of any failures on the drive..the HD should be SMART compliant and it does keep track of any failures it's seen..

    If that utility tells you that there are problems..make sure you update your backup and might want to start keep an eye on needing to replace the HD..


  3. #3

    Member Since
    Sep 20, 2010
    snow. drantse
    That's great, thanks for your help, I'll try running that tonight. The hd hasn't yet made any horrible noises (I've heard a laptop's failing hard drive and it's deafening!) but last night when I switched it on, seemed to make a slightly louder noise than normal. The computer then worked well for a whole 15 minutes until I tried doing something more intensive for the hd to do, when it just froze again.

    Then, then when I tried switching back on, just as before, I could hear the 'whirring' (presumably of the hd) stuttering, before gradually powering down, until the screen went blank and the 'blinking question mark' appeared again.

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