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My hard disk (Seagate 1TB ST31000340AS) has started getting whiny (a very high pitch constant noise). Should I start shopping for a new disk now, or do you think it could last a while longer?

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once you've backed up and replaced, check if it's still under warranty and try and RMA it –  geocoin Nov 25 '09 at 10:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The bearings might be going bad.

Back up now. Shop later.

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+1. Excellent advice, and the emphasis is perfect. –  Chris W. Rea Aug 23 '09 at 16:30
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And this is exactly why I buy drives in pairs. Always have a backup. –  Troggy Aug 23 '09 at 16:46
    
BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! critical stuff first, nice to have's second, then if it's still in good shape when the replacement arrives, image the drive with something like acronis or norton ghost (especially if it's a system drive - so you don't also have to re-install - unless you want to) –  geocoin Nov 25 '09 at 10:33
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Don't forget to test your backups by doing a restore to another machine. You can back up all the livelong day but if you can't use your backups, you've still lost your data. –  Broam Jan 29 '10 at 18:06
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Better yet, have backups already. Automated nightly backup FTW. –  Grant Palin Jan 29 '10 at 18:09

You should definitely start shopping...meanwhile, back up your drive if you haven't already.

That happened to me before, and the drive lasted about two weeks.

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Let's think about this from a non-techie view point that most can relate to.

I am going on a long trip in my car. The engine is making a bad noise. Should I go anyway? Listen to your instincts.

If the info on the hard drive is important to you, then copy it onto another hard drive. In fact you could add a second internal or a second external hard drive and move all of your data over there leaving only your operating system on the whiny drive.

Then if it fails you have really only lost the time for a reinstall of your OS and application software. IF you are really up for it get a SSD (solid state drive) for your new system disk and your performance will jump dramatically (especially start ups and shut downs!)

Hmmm... hard drive is making bad noises... act right away or don't worry about it. Either something will happen or it won't.

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