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205 comments

Anonymous Coward (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731171)

Pah, I've been hearing those sounds for ages and my computer's carrying on regardl

Re:Anonymous Coward (3, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732527)

My second ever computer's HD died. When it did, all I saw was my Windows desktop just sitting there - unmoving, like a digital corpse. I restarted and heard "click click click" and thought "why does my computer sound like a metronome?"

Incidentally, "The Sound of Failing Hard Drives" sounds like an awesome song title for a geek death metal band.

Ring tone one is awesome (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731181)

Man, how creepy would that be?

I bet it got reported as a "virus".

Re:Ring tone one is awesome (0, Offtopic)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731695)

In my case it wasn't a failing hard drive, but a failing power supply that erased my c: drive. The loss of power during a write cycle somehow corrupted the data such that my computer could no longer boot-up. I had to do a complete re-format using the WinXP restore CD.

I didn't lose anything but some porn videos, but it was still annoying, so now I back 'em up on an external USB drive. ;-)

Re:Ring tone one is awesome (3, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731847)

Uhh.. actually you should have booted up off the CD, selected "recovery console" and then run chkdsk /f c:

Re:Ring tone one is awesome (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732313)

I did. I tried every option I could to NOT reformat my drive, but after a day I realized I had no choice. I suspect the RAID information was lost during the power failure, and with the data being "divided" across two drives my PC couldn't make any sense of it. (shrug). I have since re-downloaded almost everything I lost, so it wasn't too bad of a tragedy. Now I make sure to back-up stuff on the external USB drive, just in case.

TRIVIA:

Voyagers 1 and 2 are still alive and in daily communication with NASA: http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/news/profiles_dsn [nasa.gov] .html - Amazing!

Re:Ring tone one is awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732875)

Actually he should have booted up off his CD
selected "recovery console"
typed fixmbr
typed Y
typed fixboot
typed Y
and then typed chkdsk c: /f

Too bad nobody posted this earlier... (2, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732471)

Like... BEFORE Halloween.

Some of the scariest sounds I've heard in years.

Worst Yanni album (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731187)

EVER!

Re:Worst Yanni album (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732849)

You have never listened to a Yanni album before have you?

Play several of the recordings simultaneously! (2, Interesting)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731191)

It's almost musical. In an avant-garde sort of way.

But you can't dance to it (4, Insightful)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731529)

adnonsense: It's almost musical. In an avant-garde sort of way.

Heck, I figured that just by reading the summary. Imagine my disappointment, then, when I got to the page and discovered the sounds were all encapsulated in mini Flash players instead of available to download, trim down, and load into the sampler of my choice.

Nice variety of sounds, but totally inaccessible. I give it a D.

Re:But you can't dance to it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731549)

Get yourself a nice little present and install "FlashGot". It is a FireFox plugin and it will download whatever you like, including Flash and embedded media.

Re:But you can't dance to it (2, Funny)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731681)

come on guy. Do an analog loop back and use Audacity to capture it.

Re:But you can't dance to it (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732179)

What's wrong with a digital loopback? Just record the stereo mix component, or use some virtual cable software.

Re:But you can't dance to it (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732819)

What's wrong with sniffing your traffic with Wireshark and downloading the mp3's directly?

There might be some sort of issue with an ampersand though.

Re:But you can't dance to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732405)

Any sound hardware worth a singular damn can record the digital output directly. Much easier. :)

Re:Play several of the recordings simultaneously! (4, Funny)

dword (735428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731635)

It's almost musical. In an avant-garde sort of way.

+1 UserIsHigh

Ringtones (1)

terremoto (679350) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731197)

The three or four I listened to all sounded pretty similar. Still, I can imagine that some readers here might like them as ringtones...

Re:Ringtones (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732729)

I replace HDs a lot at work and I've considered recording some of the sounds because a few of the forums I'm on we often help users with what could be a failing hard drive, and it's hard to describe to them all the various things they can listen for to identify a failing hard drive. This is particularly useful for laptops that have their hard drive entombed, making removal for testing impractical for the novice. Glad to see someone else has done this for me, as I don't have access to anywhere near the variety of failed drives as these guys do.

That Click! (3, Informative)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731223)

I've heard it one too many times, which is >= 1 times. I pretty much give up at that point - once the click starts, your drive quickly begins to stop :(

The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives (5, Funny)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731225)

The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Re:The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives (5, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731337)

The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

If a geek cries out in agony, but nobody is there to hear it, has he made a sound?

Or, until someone opens the basement door, is he like Schrödinger's cat: both screaming and not screaming?

Re:The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives (2, Funny)

bain_online (580036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731437)

The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

No, that one will be of a Falling Hard Drive

Re:The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives (2, Funny)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731693)

No, that one will be of a Falling Hard Drive

Only if there is someone falling with it.

Bird sounds (4, Funny)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731229)

A colleague of mine once demonstrated his bad hard drive as follows: "If I want to load that file, it starts singing." And indeed, the hard drive sang like a bird, but the file was never loaded.

Sounds bad (4, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731235)

The sound clips were interesting. Thankfully I've never heard these sounds for real. As a precaution I get new drives every so often and do a swap-out "just in case" the older drives might want to fail, it's not as if the drives are that expensive compared to yesteryear. The older drives then get used in non-critical machines so as not to waste them.

I will point out though that I have heard the one with sounds like head failure (clicking) on a pocket USB connect hard drive (first drive I got of this type). By my own investigation, I found out that when connected to the USB port, the drive started to spin up, then didn't have enough power to send the head all the way across, so it parked itself, then spun again etc. etc. After getting a spliced USB cable, I take power from two USB ports and the drive is working a perfect as any other hard drive.

Re:Sounds bad (4, Insightful)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731419)

That's not a good idea. Hard drives tend to die early or they last for a while, so by swapping the drives out like that, you're just making it more likely that you'll fall victim to hard drive infant mortality.

If you want to avoid the problem, set up a RAID 1 mirror or similar.

Re:Sounds bad (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731713)

My experience is 3-4 years on a desktop machine, heavy usage. If they make it through the first month that is. One exception was when we bought a case of WD drives which apparently came from a bad batch. All of those suffered spindle bearing failures between 9 and 12 month (high pitch whine which grew louder until the drive would one day refuse to spin up).

Re:Sounds bad (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731737)

I've two raptor in raid, and I'm worried: by default, they sound like a heavy machinegun in a WWI trench. I wonder what sound they would manage to produce when failing

Re:Sounds bad (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731663)

I would guess that the usb port you were connecting it to couldn't supply the maximum 500mA from the usb standard and the drive required it. Was there a bus-powered usb hub involved? Some old motherboards or the front-panels of some cases use a bus-powered hub internally to give you multiple usb ports, so connecting directly to the pc might still mean connecting to a port that couldn't supply full power.

The sound of being modded troll (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731239)

Involves a penguin being smashed through the Window while squashing apples and ripping up an encyclopedia then setting a fox on fire.

Thanks (5, Funny)

Elisanre (1108341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731253)

I had to come up with some competition for our boring christmas party and this solves it. -What is wrong with this harddrive and for bonus points who is the manufacturor? weewt!

April 1st prank/test material (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731269)

Setup one of these to play on a computer of your local BOFH and see if he/she is sharp enough to realize that the WD disk in his box cannot make the sound of a failing Maxtor...

In all my years. (2, Interesting)

Sterrance (1257342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731295)

From my Macintosh LC to my Macbook Pro (even my PCs) I've never had a single hard drive fail me. Am I just lucky or is the occurrence of hard drive failure rare?

Re:In all my years. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731335)

Either you're lucky, or I'm the opposite outlier to balance things out. I've had disks from all manufacturers fail on me, after using them 24/7 for a while. It's tempting to blame the cooling, but they weren't especially warm - I guess it's just a side effect of using a desktop drive harder and more than intended.

On the positive side, I haven't had any problems for a while now ...
(And now that I've said that, I fully expect to come home and find at least one drive having caught fire.)

Re:In all my years. (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731369)

I've not had one catastrophically fail (such that it would make a noise I could hear) but I have had old ones constantly become corrupted.

Re:In all my years. (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731461)

It's supposed to be pretty rare but I have three or four dead HDDs lying around here, two of which simply fail to react to the power cable being plugged in. There is no visible damage to the PCBs but I think that's where the prolam probably is.

Re:In all my years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731469)

I've had one drive fail, but that was because I busted off a surface mount capacitor putting the drive in a case. The most common problem I've had over the past two decades is corruption (due to bad motherboards or overclocking, rarely the drive itself).

I always test the temperature of everything when I assemble a PC, and I also can't/don't drop my computers. (I've never owned a laptop)

I'm pretty sure the main causes of HD failure are physical shock, using the drive when it's too hot or too cold, or (less often?) humidity.

Re:In all my years. (1)

boredhacker (1103107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731611)

I've never had a single hard drive fail me. Am I just lucky or is the occurrence of hard drive failure rare?

No, you're not lucky... you simply don't use your computer much, or you upgrade equipment way too frequently.

Nevertheless, the sounds aren't as frightening when you install your system onto a fault tolerant RAID array (which, if your data has any value at all, I strongly recommend).

Re:In all my years. (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731727)

Until the controller (single point of failure) on your fault tolerant RAID array fails, either mirroring the errors or corrupting multiple disks simultaneously. Have seen that happen twice.

Re:In all my years. (1)

boredhacker (1103107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731767)

Until the controller (single point of failure) on your fault tolerant RAID array fails

I wouldn't consider a non-duplexed RAID to be fault tolerant... but that's just me ;-)

Re:In all my years. (1)

reidconti (219106) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732701)

Counting the 4 drives currently attached to my Mac Pro, I've had easily 20 hard drives in my past and current home and work machines, and only had one, an IBM Travel(death)Star die in my iBook. Actually it still works but it would make the click of death once a month and hang my box, so finally I replaced it.

Many of my systems had drives run for 5-7 years or more, long past the useful life for the disk size.

However, in college, it seemed like everyone had at least ONE laptop drive. So don't trust them laptops :)

Disk failures are relatively rare, but once you get enough spindles going, you'll start seeing 'em. At work it seems like we replace a drive once a week.

For not so failing drives (5, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731299)

Radiohead's Nude, done with old hard drives and other hardware [youtube.com]. Even if you're not a fan of Radiohead, I think it's worth a watch just to see the setup in action.

(And don't worry, only the hard drives get "nude", so it's SFW.)

Re:For not so failing drives (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731313)

(And don't worry, only the hard drives get "nude", so it's SFW.)

Unless your name is Bender Bending Rodriguez.

Re:For not so failing drives (1)

shippo (166521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731425)

Setup screen? That's just the standard Sinclair ZX Spectrum tape loading mechanism.

Re:For not so failing drives (1)

Greyor (714722) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731683)

Ah hell, you beat me to it. Such an apt reference, and I thought that video was excellent. I even ended up ripping the audio from the FLV and made an mp3 out of it.

Also, re: this comment [slashdot.org]:

Heck, I figured that just by reading the summary. Imagine my disappointment, then, when I got to the page and discovered the sounds were all encapsulated in mini Flash players instead of available to download, trim down, and load into the sampler of my choice. Nice variety of sounds, but totally inaccessible. I give it a D.

... with mplayer you can easily rip the audio from the flv once you download it (assuming you're in a Linux terminal; this should work with the CLI of mplayer on other platforms as well):
mplayer -dumpaudio old-file.flv -dumpfile new-file.mp3
(courtesy here [edsupport.cc] via a quick Google search).

Re:For not so failing drives (1)

jweller (926629) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732705)

I used to know a guy who had a file he would print that would make his dot matrix printer play "Hail to the Redskins"

Next Slashdot story: (3, Funny)

FRiC (416091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731315)

The sound of slashdotted servers.

Re:Next Slashdot story: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732259)

Re:Next Slashdot story: (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732777)

that page loads but all the drive sounds are /.'ed there. I wonder if they don't attempt to mirror media like those recordings?

That or I wonder if they don't mirror on the fly... as in, they begin by mirroring the main page only, and then anytime someone requests a child page or media like those sounds effects, it downloads them from the actual page and then adds them to the mirror. That would explain why some of the HD sounds are not responding - they got there too late to mirror them before the original server went down.

DIY Data Recovery for Broken HDDs (4, Informative)

wehe (135130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731327)

Just in case you don't want or don't need to order data recovery from a professional service, which is often expensive and takes time, here are some do-it-yourself guides for data recovery from broken hard disk drives [repair4harddisk.org]. Of course you will not try these approaches if your data are really precious. But it you can afford to loose the data or you don't want to reveal them to others, these guides are worth a try to get the data resurrected.

The sound nightmares are made of. (4, Funny)

Willeh (768540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731353)

Every single one of those made me shiver like a leaf...imagine the lost porn on each of those drives and I think you'll shiver along with me.

Yep we hear them all too - fascinating PR win (4, Insightful)

Wiseleo (15092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731365)

This story is an example of a fascinating marketing win for the PR company handling datacent's account. Drivesavers just did something similar kicking off their FUD campaign against other DR firms, like mine.

Heck, I published some videos on youtube how to rip apart external enclosures.

So, what the hell, since this story is a slashvertisement, I'll play along! If you hear such sounds, give me a call as well. I can actually tell you what can be done with your specific drive and don't charge an arm and a leg, just the arm.

http://www.harddiskcrashed.com/?sl [harddiskcrashed.com]

But is data recovery for real? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731489)

I know all these companies which pretend to be able to rescue hard-drives. But do the ones which ask for a reasonable fee (like $1000) really do anything?

My sisters hard-drive died after her laptop fell around 25 cm into the table, some guy which is the friend of her boyfriend had looked at it but he couldn't read it so I guessed there was probably not much I could do either.

I know there is various applications around but in case the head has trashed into the plates I doubt that really helps much? And I guess the more one fiddle around with it the more the plate can get damaged?

So, does a cheap private person affordable "lab" really do anything extra ordinary which you can't do with a working machine, whatever OS and some pirated recovery software or do they only talk bullshit and can't do shit at all except get your money from the "trouble shooting"?

Re:But is data recovery for real? (4, Interesting)

Wiseleo (15092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731587)

Well, it depends on your definition of reasonable. We charge about $1200 to replace heads on such a drive. Laptop drives are easier to work on than their big brothers, in my experience. If the firmware isn't corrupt, then basically all you need is a clean bench (aka clean room, laminar flow hood) and a working drive. Impact damage means new heads, new motor, then perhaps firmware recovery as well. But, yeah, fiddling with a crashed drive is not the smartest idea.

Re:But is data recovery for real? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731907)

Don't you think the plates is damaged then? I think it's rather weird something happened for such a small drop to. My sister is very careful about her electronics, so careful she doesn't even have a computer bag or bring it with her even though it's turned of and all.

I think she was lifting it and the power cable was plugged in so it pulled the laptop back so to speak, but still it was only a rather small drop onto the living room table. My MBP has fell down from the couch two times onto the floor and nothing has happened. Dunny if those acceleratorthingis helped save it.

Do you think the drive would be rescuable if one turned it in? Problem is also it's only 30 GB of which like half was used so kind of the only "important" stuff is some digital photos but it's less than a year worth of photos and the new zealand pictures she has backup of, at least the one she though was best of them.

So while she would probably want her things back I doubt she'd like to pay like $ 1000 for it. The firm in question had lower prices for private persons though, guess they see it as a kind of bonus service just to be kind and know private persons don't have that important data and don't want to pay that much.

Re:But is data recovery for real? (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732195)

There are free hd recovery tools that work really well. THat would be the best solution.

Try: Auslogics Free Trial
I recommend Data Doctor Recovery NTFS if you can get a copy. You'll need to network/attach another drive to store the recovered data on.
If Data Recovery can't read the drive (and it will take hours), then you'll have to look at professional solutions if you can afford it.

Re:But is data recovery for real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731857)

Yes....well, it depends on the person.

Anybody can have X number of different applications to try to recover data, but it's not all too difficult to go that step farther. If the drive is just failing without reason, and you don't think it's the mechanical stuff, you can buy an identical hard drive and swap out the controllers.

Now, of course, I've heard of people swapping heads on hard drives, but I'm not completely sure that can be done with a basic set of tools.

and...oh yea, make sure you have an almost dust-free room, as dust can easy screw things up :D

The age old question... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731493)

If a hard drive fails in an empty server room, does it make a sound?

windows theme (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731527)

Do these sounds come installable as part of a windows sound scheme?

Re:windows theme (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731593)

Nah, they're part of the base schema. With all the swap file use from your average windows install you'll be hearing one of these babies soon enough...

Seagate and Quantumfunkel (5, Interesting)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731573)

Hello hard drive, my old friend.
I've come to boot you up again,
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of failure.

In restless dreams I walked alone.
Narrow halls of servers drone
neath the halo of an office lamp.
I lay my forehead gently in my hand
When my ears were stabbed by the grinding of
A faulty drive
That split the night
And touched the sound of failure.

Re:Seagate and Quantumfunkel (1)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732017)

Sorry... not about a drive, but I still remember the ode I wrote to a huge OCE brand copier that was broken more than it was operable.... OCE can't you see? By the fluorestent light What so frequently failed, and caused such a reaming. And the managers' glare... Pink slips falling through air... Gave proof to us all, that this slag was still there... OCE does this breakage-prone copier yet lay... O'er the land of the unfree and the home, of, the frayed....

Re:Seagate and Quantumfunkel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732289)

Burma Shave

Re:Seagate and Quantumfunkel... Franky! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732509)

Oh, what a night, late December back in '93
What a very special time for me
As I remember what a night!

Oh what a night,
You know I didn't even know the name
Maxtor, Seagate gonna be the same
Grinding clicking, what a night!

Oh, I got a funny feeling at the first reboot
And I, as I recall with utter disbelief it ended much too soon..

(Oh what a night),

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25731723)

how the hard drives in their data centre will sound after the slashdotting they just received.

Gizmodo Drive Death Dance Track Competition (1)

jcims (316827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731945)

Gizmodo had a competition a few years ago:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/announcements/hard-drive-dying-dance-track-winner-151666.php

The winner was incredible, entirely synthesized from drive failure sounds:

http://media.odeo.com/9/4/2/Hitachi_Hard-Drive_Project_-_Noriko_Version.mp3

or

http://beemp3.com/download.php?file=1512610&song=

Re:Gizmodo Drive Death Dance Track Competition (1)

nobleswan (1067912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732675)

Gizmodo had a competition a few years ago: The winner was incredible, entirely synthesized from drive failure sounds

That tune has been in heavy rotation on iPod ever since that contest!

My pet theory here... (3, Insightful)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25731999)

I think that hard drives fail earlier and more often than people realize. I've believed for a while now that "winrot" and general perceived operating system instability are most often caused by hard drives in the beginning stages of failure. I think it's an underrated cause of random crashes, and boot errors such as "missing c:\windows\system32\hal.dll, etc" I wish the hardware vendors (Dell, Gateway, Apple, etc) would take more responsbility and be quicker to blame the drive (and replace it), instead of blindly having the end user run the recovery routine. Performing the recovery only papers over the underlying problem by temporarily rebuilding the file system. Because the substrate upon which the operating system rests is decaying, it's only a matter of time before the problems crop up again.

Re:My pet theory here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732269)

Yeah, I once had a failing Maxtor on which my Windows resided. After reinstalling Windows four times I got clever and tossed that drive away. It lasted a few boots after install before I got the missing hal.dll error. So that's only one failed hdd here out of about 25.

Re:My pet theory here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732321)

I work at a service center at a university, we service Dells, IBM/Lenovos, Apples, and a few others. When a system can't boot, we ALWAYS run a thorough hard drive diagnostic. Always. It takes less time than a reload and prevents us from wasting that time doing the reload when we'll just have to do it again later. Plus, if it's a hard drive failure, the warranty pays for it, not the customer, and that always makes them happier :P

We usually work with laptops, so HDD failure is the number one problem we deal with. But software problems are prevalent enough that I don't think it's unreasonable for vendors to talk the customer through a reload to see if it fixes the problem, unless they have built-in diagnostics (like Dell).

Re:My pet theory here... (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732473)

I think that hard drives fail earlier and more often than people realize.
    I've believed for a while now that "winrot" and general perceived operating system instability are most often caused by hard drives in the beginning stages of failure.
    I think it's an underrated cause of random crashes, and boot errors such as "missing c:\windows\system32\hal.dll, etc"
    I wish the hardware vendors (Dell, Gateway, Apple, etc) would take more responsbility and be quicker to blame the drive (and replace it), instead of blindly having the end user run the recovery routine. Performing the recovery only papers over the underlying problem by temporarily rebuilding the file system. Because the substrate upon which the operating system rests is decaying, it's only a matter of time before the problems crop up again.

It's really hard to say...

A failing HDD certainly can cause trouble. And I've definitely seen Dell blame Windows for what was ultimately a hardware failure. But Windows certainly has plenty of issues as well.

I really hate to say it, but we've pretty much hit the point where many people are better off treating a computer as disposable.

Most folks are able to use a Windows machine without too many issues for 1 or 2 years. After that it starts getting crudded up with malware. Many of these users are unable to keep the malware off their machine in the first place, and are completely unable to clean it off once it arrives. So then they're looking at either spending some time on the phone with Dell learning how to reload their machines, or they'll pay someone like me a couple hundred dollars to reload it for them.

Or, they could buy a new computer from Dell for $400 or so. It won't have all the malware that their old machine is bogged down with, it'll have newer hardware, it'll have newer software, and it'll come with a new warranty. Sounds like an all-around win to me.

Unfortunately, that doesn't encourage anyone to actually turn out a quality product. Why bother fixing all the issues with Windows if we can sell another license in a couple years by leaving it this way? Why bother building higher quality hardware if we can sell another machine in a couple years by leaving it this way?

The alternative, of course, is to bypass the whole OEM market and do it yourself. But that's beyond the scope of what most home users are willing to do.

The Chainsaw (2, Funny)

Yarcofin (1397091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732089)

I don't really want to go through the horror of listening through all those sound files, but from my own personal experience I don't think "the chainsaw" is on there. When my hard drive crashed, it started with a soft noise which within 30 seconds built to an extremely loud noise akin to a chainsaw, before suddenly and completely seizing up.

It asks the question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732091)

... if a hard drive crashes in a server forest, does it make a sound?

OK, now we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732153)

...software that uses the PC's microphone to listen to the hard drive and compare the input to the failure sounds, giving the user a warning that their drive is on the way out. /not sure whether I'm being sarcastic or not.

Sounds at different drive speeds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732163)

It would be interesting to see what it sounds like when a 5400,7200,10k,15k drive
fails and would it be different? If so, I could tell from the sound at least the
drive speed. Is it different for SCSI, IDE, SATA, USB???

I have myself a new project for the day (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732235)

Writing a daemon that sits on the machine and plays one of these at slowly increasing volume for 5 seconds at a time throughout the day.

Heh heh...

Smell of failing drive (2, Funny)

jmyers (208878) | more than 5 years ago | (#25732571)

You young whipper snappers talk of the sound of failing drives. I remember and can never forget the smell of failing drives. When you get the call that the system wont boot up and you walk into the computer room to the very distinct smell of a head crash on a 14" platter. You ask the operator "where are the backup disks?" and she says "I tried them all and none of them will work". Oh crap she just trashed the backups.

/. ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25732775)

I think their harddrive(s) crashed...
ether that or they got slashdoted

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