View Full Version : Is my hard drive dead?

03-05-2007, 01:41 PM
So I booted up my PC this morning and nothing is displaying on my monitor. The red LED that indicates hard drive activity is not turning on, and my hard drive isn't making any noise. It's usually quite loud during startup. Heat is accumulating in the drive, though no parts seem to be moving.

I'm posting this from my Library, and when I go home I'll remove my video card and attempt to use my motherboard's onboard video. (It will default to onboard, correct?) Although I still suspect it will be the hard drive, given the lack of moment and activity light.

My motherboard appears to be functioning normally. My fans are operational, and my DVD writer has power.

Sound like a dead hard drive?

All parts are over 3 years old: :(
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-8IK1100
Processor: P4 2.6 Ghz 800 mhz FSB
Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda 120 GB SATA
Video: ATI 9600 Pro 128 MB

03-05-2007, 02:23 PM
Maybe not, do you see anyanything on the screen during boot up. The PC should start normally, and then list the hardware, if the hard drive is toasted it would then display the error......

03-05-2007, 02:35 PM
Remove everything except PSU, mobo, CPU, RAM (so remove HDD, CD/DVD drives and any PCI cards and GFX card) yes it will default to onboard if there are no other GFX cards installed.

Ultimately you can not say what is fine and what is not at this stage, almost anything could be causing this.

Pete O'Neil
03-05-2007, 03:06 PM
As SolMiester has already said chances are its not the harddrive causing the problem, although in saying that i use to have an old 80Gb drive that would sporadically cause the PC to stop booting.

Make sure the video card and memory are all seated properly. If you do as David has suggested and the system doesn't boot then at least you know its not the harddrive.

03-05-2007, 03:32 PM
if you get nothing on screen at all just unplug the hdd and try again - if nothing changes it's not the problem.

As for the onboard video it depends, while most motherboards will automatically use onboard or seperate video cards some BIOS's still allow you to turn off the onboard video altogether to prevent compatability issues.
If this is the case you may need to go into the BIOS and enable the onboard video before removing your graphics card.


03-05-2007, 04:07 PM
So I booted up my PC this morning and nothing is displaying on my monitor. The red LED that indicates hard drive activity is not turning on, and my hard drive isn't making any noise.
Sound like a dead hard drive?


If it was dead it would boot and then complain it couldn't find an operating system.
And you would be able to access the BIOS.

Dead ram, dead motherboard or dead power supply.

06-05-2007, 11:10 AM
Turns out my motherboard doesn't have onboard video. So I took a closer look, and the video card fan (which is on the bottom of the card) wasn't running. So I swapped out the video card, with no change in the result. So I swapped out the power supply, and still no result.

Again, when I power-up, the monitor comes obviously receives an electric signal of some kind since it wakes up from hibernation, but it shows me the "check your cable" message.

I have 2 sticks of RAM, and the probability of both going bad is low so I swapped them around with no results.

Sounds like a bad motherboard then? The hard drive interface connection is on the bottom half of the MOBO along with the AGP and PCI slots, so perhaps I've lost power to the bottom half.

06-05-2007, 12:16 PM
So have you taken out every thing that is not neccesary to POST as I said above?

Though looks like you will need to keep the GFX card...

Take out 1 stick of RAM and try it with only 1 if no results try it with only the other stick...

In fact... take out both sticks of RAM and see what that does... a PC with out RAM will usually beep like nuts, what happens? I would think if it beeps, RAM could be the issue, if it doesn't then it isn't the RAM causeing this issue