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Windows 7: Quick grinding sound coming out of HDD followed by a freeze

21 Jun 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
Quick grinding sound coming out of HDD followed by a freeze


So I'm having this problem for a while now. I keep "fixing" it and it keeps coming back after some time. I would be really grateful if you could point me to the problem's origin.

What's up?

I'm on my PC, minding my own business, when suddenly I hear a quick grinding sound (lasting ~1 second). I can guess it's coming out from my hard drive. After that, around 5 seconds past and the system freezes. I kept it like that for 20mins and nothing happened. It does not respond to anything. Then I proceed to restart the PC. Everything looks fine. But after some random amount of time (some time 5mis, some time 1 hour) the same thing happens: same grind noise followed by a freeze.

What I noticed:

Most of the time, explorer.exe freezez first, causing windows, taskbar and other related stuff to now work. Often other applications (web browser, video/music player, game) keep working for a few more seconds, ot at least keep playing audio.

What I did:
Checked the system for any virses/malware (Avast!, MSI, Mawarbites), cleaned and defragg (Ccleaner/Defragger). Computer is clean: no viruses what so ever. Ccleaner did nothing to solve the problem. Trough when I did a defragg of the OS disk (C), the "grind-freeze" stopped for about 2 weeks.

What I did next:
I found out that if I wipe the system and do a clean reinstall of Win7 Ultimate, the "grind-freeze" stops for several months. Yeah that's right. About 3-4 months.

Because the nature of the problem is so random, I can't pinpoint the exact reason.
Most people tell me my hard drive is dead/going to die. But I haven't lost a single file yet. And if that's the case, why does it still work after a system re-install?

EDIT: When I enter safemode, the "grind-freeze" problem NEVER happens. This is how I wrote this thread.

I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit. The whole setup (not counting the video card) is around 7-8 years old.

I'll appreciate any help. Ask any question you want.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2015   #2
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Before you do anything else, make sure you have at least one full backup of your HDD (hard drive). If you don't have another HDD to copy your data to, you will need to get an external HDD to use.

You can easily rule out the HDD being the problem by cloning your present HDD to a new HDD, then replacing the old one with the new one. Macrium Reflect Free is an easy to use program that can clone and image HDDs. Copying a HDD to another one is best done by cloning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2015   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

If it was my computer and I was sure the grinding noise was coming from the hard drive I would start with two things.

1. Back up every thing that I wanted to save.

2. Replace the hard drive.

No hard drive should make a grinding noise what so ever.
Because it only does it sometimes doesn't not matter.
It makes the noise, period.

I can't tell you why it only happens sometimes and I course I'm depending on your ears to make sure it's the hard drive.

With me if I'm in doubt about a hard drive I throw it out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Jun 2015   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I would advise that you backup that drive also, but also try a clean startup since it doesn't happen in safe mode perhaps some program is causing the drive to go into a premature sleep(?).

Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup

This is also interesting
Though when I did a defragg of the OS disk (C), the "grind-freeze" stopped for about 2 weeks.
Check the disc health Disk Check
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

I already did a backup.
The easiest thing I can do is replace the hard drive. But part of me wants to figure out that is happening. I'm guessing curiosity.

When I posted the thread, I was in safemode. After spending like 30mins there with no freezes, I loaded up Win7 as usual. To this point there have been no freezes.

Anyway, thanks for your suggestions @GokAy. I will try those out and see what I can figure out.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2015   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

Just an update.
I did a Disk Check. My hard drive is split into C: (OS) and D:

Scan result C:
Scan result D:

I don't see any problems here.
The mystery only perplexes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2015   #7

w7 ultimate 64-bit sp1

Hi, please have a look at CrystalDiskInfo - Software - Crystal Dew World
It will read S.M.A.R.T. information from your hard drive and tell you how good it is/was.
Like others said if HDD makes noise and system stops working - replace it. Get an SSD as they are cheap and fast, use this drive for storage if you not afraid to loose data on it.

Here is some info about what is happening with your HDD - Bad Sectors Explained: Why Hard Drives Get Bad Sectors and What You Can Do About It

Attached Images
Quick grinding sound coming out of HDD followed by a freeze-hdd.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2015   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

Mike I think you should triple check to make sure the noise is coming from the hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2015   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

Thanks for the suggestions guys.
I'm pretty sure the noise is coming from the hard drive. I've heard how my computer fans sound and I know for a fact that they aren't the source. The only other thing that could possibly make the sound is the CD/DVD drive. But I don't know if that can even cause a system freeze.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2015   #10

Windows 10 Pro X64

Any device can cause a freeze.

Disconnect the CD/DVD drive. If the noise continues it's not that so replace the hard drive.
If it doesn't happen again then it is the CD/DVD drive and you need to replace it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Quick grinding sound coming out of HDD followed by a freeze

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