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cornjuliox
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28 Jul 2009, 3:45 am

The laptop that I'm on, an IBM Thinkpad T30, has been having a strange issue as of late. Occassionally I hear the hard drive start to click, indicating that it may be damaged or dying, and then a few minutes/hours later the thing actually dies. Whenever I try to boot it, it gives me the "Operating System not Found" error message, which would normally indicate to me that my HD is indeed dead. The thing is is that if I leave it off for a while, like a few hours or maybe an entire day, and then try to turn it on again, it will magically start working (like it is now). I'm beginning to think that the HD is not the issue here, so thats why I wanted to ask if anyone has any ideas as to what this might be? I remember reading something somewhere that said the T30 had an improperly designed hard drive cage and that it didn't allow proper airflow, but I can't find the article anymore. Any ideas?



Fuzzy
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28 Jul 2009, 3:50 am

The hard drive is dying. There is no doubt. Back up and replace as quickly as you can. You'll lose your data otherwise.


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28 Jul 2009, 5:27 am

yep, the thing is dead.

reason why it's working after some off time is most likely heat related. it's working, until it gets hot, then need cooling time.

but no matter what's the reason, backup right now, then exchange the thing before it gives up finaly.


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Togiraikonoka
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31 Jul 2009, 12:40 pm

either dead or faulty connection within the computer between wires and the hdd



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31 Jul 2009, 5:26 pm

Dying hard drive is by far the most probable explanation. Fortunately, it's also the easiest to deal with. A bus problem or cable issue would be much more expensive. Hope you don't lose any data.



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31 Jul 2009, 6:51 pm

It's likely an internal part of the hard drive is corrupted. Replacing the hard drive shouldn't cost too much. Usually the platters will last a very long time, but the ball bearings and the grease inevitably wear out.
From what I have read, the issue is heat. If you can cool the hard drive enough, you can continue to use it for a long time. This is the problem with laptops, airflow can be a problem.

It shouldn't take long to backup the data, a professional will be able to transfer the data without you really seeing much difference when you boot up. Maybe more space, but that would be about it. It's how I would do it



kip
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01 Aug 2009, 12:04 am

Yes, the 'click of death' is often heat related. We would place clicking dead HD's in the freezer in an attempt to get more time out of them, allowing us to get the data off. Condensation is an issue though, so don't try this at home. Buy a new HD, and get all your data off that old one now. Drivesavers costs nearly 1000 dollars to rescue data, and there is no guarantee they can do it. But, if you act now, you save! :P


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pakled
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01 Aug 2009, 11:33 pm

Sounds like a Seek error. If you get 4 clicks in a row, that's usually an indication that the heads are 'losing their way' on the hard drives. T30s are a bit on the old side, so that's the most likely cause.

Next time you get it up and functioning, start backing things off...if you haven't already.



cornjuliox
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03 Aug 2009, 8:28 pm

Yeah, I noticed that letting it cool off after a long day "fixes" the problem. So far it hasn't failed completely on me (all my stuff is backed up now, btw) but I have gotten 2 blue screens and 'Operating System not Found' errors already.



Fuzzy
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04 Aug 2009, 12:42 am

cornjuliox wrote:
Yeah, I noticed that letting it cool off after a long day "fixes" the problem. So far it hasn't failed completely on me (all my stuff is backed up now, btw) but I have gotten 2 blue screens and 'Operating System not Found' errors already.


Thats a relief!


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04 Aug 2009, 2:45 am

I sometimes have this issue with a T21, which admittedly I'm using as a webserver until I can secure a better machine for the task, it also depends on the ambient temperature in my room, my IRC server is located there, as well as a P4 that is constantly on and puts out some heat, thus warming up the T21's HDD by heat released into the atmosphere, a bit of cooling time for the T21 and it works again :)


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04 Aug 2009, 3:43 am

Hard drives are relatively cheap. If you want a partition size that exceed the 127GB limit imposed by the BIOS I would check that it has been updated. I can't remember if it was the limit of the drive or the limit of partitions, although the drive size sounds more like it.

Why just "back up the hard drive"? Wouldn't it be easier to just to an image back up and then place that on the new drive... No hours of reinstalling stuff again - just continue



pakled
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04 Aug 2009, 1:44 pm

T30s and T21s hard specialized Hard drives, though I wouldn't bet money that you couldn't find them out there. Usually you can dismount the Hard drive by unscrewing a single screw on the bottom of the unit. There'll be an IBM part number, but there should also be a drive model number (brand, and model) on the drive as well. You'll also need to unscrew 2 screws holding the plastic plate on, if you want to remove it.

I'm not sure if you'll find Hard drives that will still work as being available, unless someone has a T30 or 21 they're not using.



DavidK
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05 Aug 2009, 11:15 am

I've got a computer here that's about as old as I am (mid-80s) with a 5MB hard drive that would do some serious damage if you dropped it on your foot... still works too (just about, makes some nasty scraping noises)

Quote:
T30s and T21s hard specialized Hard drives

What you dismount isn't usually just the drive though. Is there an adapter or a caddy attached? Have you taken it apart as much as you can?


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pakled
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05 Aug 2009, 2:27 pm

I haven't in a long time, but yeah, I used to repair T21s (er...I just to repair PC juniors, but that's another lifetime ago...;)

IBM isn't the OEM for the hard drives; they buy them on the open market. It's the form factor you need to get. The actual manufacturer (Maxtor, Seagate, whatever they used) will be on a white label on top of the hard drive. The IBM-specific bits are just the mounting hardware; anywhere from a piece of plastic on the outside, to an actual cage in the later models. If you replace the HD, please just save the mounting hardware (you don't get those if you're ordering from Lenovo, who took over the IBM bits).

As long as you haven't enabled a logon password, you should be fine, but you'll have to load an operating system, etc., to get it back up and running.

For that matter, you might check with a refurbishing center (we used to use Planet ROI in New Jersey, where for some strange reason almost all hardware depots seem to be...;) to see if they have a T30 (or something even more recent) that works, at an affordable price. The place I worked at was sending palette-loads of T42s, T60s, Dell 620s and 630s off to places like that.