Recently my hard drive has been making some weird noises and I’m getting pretty worried about it. Sometimes my computer even locks up when it happens. Does this mean my hard drive is going bad?

Obviously, if your hard drive is making an odd sound that you’ve never heard from it before (it may be some sort of a clicking sound), it could be a warning of a bad situation about to happen.

If this happens to your hard drive, the first thing you should do is back it up! Of course, it never hurts to already have a back up of your hard drive, but if you don’t, do it now! You might be saving yourself from a bunch of headaches later. If you back it up now, you can get by with little hassle in case your hard drive does ever completely fail on you. Read here for some back up help.

You can check your hard drive for errors by running a simple scan of your drive. This will help you figure out what may be causing your computer to lock up and maybe even why your hard drive is making all of those nervous noises.

For Windows XP, you can run a CHKDSK utility. Go ahead and restart your computer and when it is booting back up, hold down the Ctrl key so you can put it into safe mode. Select the option to start it in safe mode and then continue.

Now, go to Start, Run and type in “CHKDSK C: /F /R” (without the quotations, but with all of the spaces) and press Enter. In case you were curious, the /R function tells the CHKDSK to scan your drive for any bad disk sectors and the /F option tells it to fix any errors that it may find.

Once you have hit Enter, a black box will appear on your screen. If it says anything like convert lost chains to files, recover lost data or fix something else, you should allow the CHKDSK to do so. Once the scan is finished, you should again restart your computer and then see if the noises come back again.

Unfortunately, if the sound does come back, your hard drive is probably damaged and you should replace it as soon as you can. You shouldn’t use that hard drive for much longer after you find out its doom, because it could affect other parts of your computer as well.

If you use an older version of Windows, type “SCANDISK” into the Run command instead of CHKDSK.

~ Erin