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SgtAlex

Hardware problem

Question

Some time ago I started to experience some random freezes on my computer. After some research I could hear that just before the freezes, the hard drive made a strange noise, like if it stopped and started working again. Everytime I heard that noise I could know that a system freeze was incoming.

Solving that problem took me days, or even weeks, because I didn't know what was causing that problem and I couldn't find anything on internet that was exactly my case, most things pointed that my hard drive had some malfunction and it might be near to die. I installed a tool provided by the manufacture to detect disk problems. Every test passed succesfully, but problem was still there. Finally, frustrated because I couldn't find the cause, I decided to sacrifice most of my data and wipe de HDD, installing everything from scratch, but it didn't solve the problem. At that time I started to think that the problem may be caused by something else, and some time before I had manually replaced the fan of the PSU which had broke, so I replaced the PSU with an older one I had and for my surprise, problem wasn't there anymore, no freezes or strange sounds. I thought I probably had broken something at the PSU by replacing the fan or that the fan broke something when it broke. With the old and functional PSU installed, I installed everything again and everything as gone fine until now.

Lately, since some days ago, these noises and freezes has started again, so having in mind that problems isn't caused by HDD nor PSU, I've started to check some other things. At the first time, I thought that problem could be caused by a lost of power somewhere, so I check all cables, unplugged and plugged them all again (all that came from PSU). Problem seemed to be resolved again, naive of me... Yesterday night and today, problem was there again, so I was quite sure that problem is caused by any of the cables, but which of them? I have double checked again all PSU cables, and this time I've also replaced the HDD's SATA cable and right now the PC is working fine. So my question is, is it possible that a simple SATA connector can make this happen?? Cable looks fine, no scratches or anything.

I'll test the PC like this for some time and if it look stable I'll change back the PSU by the other one, which is better and makes way less noise.

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What's the PSU and how old? Some of the cheap ones are terribly unreliable? Stopped using cheap ones eventually as they just gave too many crashes as they wore out so fast, no matter how many watts they were rated at.
I only buy Gold rated ones now.
Am getting the occasional crash now I switched to a very hungry Vega 64 graphics card, which is strictly speaking rated for 100W more than my current PSU, but system was rock  solid until then. 

Edited by Humledrik
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Tacens Radix Eco III 650W.

Yesterday I changed the old PSU of 500W (very old and noisy) by the one I thought that was causing trouble at first (the one of 650W), because I thought that problem was caused by the SATA cable. Today I'm getting the same freezes and noises that I experienced months ago, so I don't know what to think now... I have ordered a new PSU and will arrive in few days. I finally think that problem is PSU related, but I have to say that I'm not sure at all.

So my hypothesis is:

  1. First suspect is HDD
  2. HDD passes all tests made by provider's tool and wiping all data (restore to factory) has no positive effect.
  3. Discarded HDD as problem's causant
  4. PSU #1 is replaced by PSU #2 and problem seems solved.
  5. Now, months later, PSU #2 seems to cause same problem, noises by HDD are there again but they're very very uncommon compared with months ago and they don't cause freezes, only some system unstability (Could had been caused by many other things [CPU and GPU are Overclocked] so there is some uncertainty at this point).
  6. Discarded PSU as problem's causant. Kept PSU #2 connected.
  7. Cables (SATA specifically) are suspect of problem's causant.
  8. Checked all cables and changed SATA one. Problem seems solved (but PSU #1 is still installed)
  9. PSU #2 is replaced by PSU #1
  10. Problems come back as bad as in months ago.
  11. PSU #1 is problem's causant (?)

Here is an audio of the noise the HDD makes every time:
Audio 2018-11-28 21-25-40 .wav

 

Note: CPU and GPU were not Overclocked months ago

Edited by SgtAlex

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Finally I solved the problem. While I was removing the PSU #1 to replace it again by the PSU #2 I noticed that the fan of the PSU (which I had changed) was not plugged where it should be. It was directly connected to a MOLEX connector instead to be connected to the motherboard, so it was my fault after all. I still try to understand what I was thinking on when I mounted the PSU the first time to plug it like that.

 

Thank you all for your interest and will to help

Edited by SgtAlex

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