Pausing and freezing, hard disk failing?

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I've been experiencing occasional "pregnant pauses" of 1-2 seconds while using the computer lately, but this evening the computer crashed 3 times within five minutes, the first time while playing Dawn of War but the other two while simply idling on the desktop! Within the next hour after that I had three more incidents where everything simply froze, like the "pauses" I had been experiencing but longer. The first time I waited a few seconds and then rebooted, and, upon loading up, Windows told me that a delayed write operation had failed. So the second time I had a freeze, I waited, noticed that the HDD light was going on and off, and it seemed to me that I could also hear some clicking noises coming from the HDDs. After roughly 1', it unfroze and everything went on as normal. The third time, the same thing happened again, everything freezes, HDD LED indicates HDD activity, but, this time, despite leaving it for 10', nothing happens, so I reboot.

I opened her up and checked that all the cables were in properly, payiong particular attention to the HDDs, and then I switched it back on. In the last 5' I experienced a single "pregnant pause" of half a second.

I suspect one of the HDDs may be dying, but I have no idea which of the two. How would I test this?
 
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Thanks, downloaded and running the test now, although the "Health" tab listed everything OK on both my drives.

Last night it ran for about an hour with the case side panel off without crashing. Since CPU and GPU temps were the first thing I checked before I began to suspect the HDDs and they were both within their pretty normal range, I don't think this is a temperature issue. Rather, what's probably happening is the side panel on my SLK3700 is touching either the power or the SATA cable on the HDD, causing it to not make good contact. I'm at a loss how this could've happened though, because I haven't opened the case in over a week before last night, and it was running 24/7 without a crash before the 3 consecutive ones I had last night...
 
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hey,

i seem to be having the same prob as you. sometimes the computer crashes whilst loading up the startup items. a couple of my HDDs are getting on a bit and thought it was the drives failing to find what they need.

i think it will be a case of a buying a new drive... unless anyone can suggest another reason for this type of hanging.

josh
 
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Just wanted to post a quick update to say that it was indeed the SATA cable being pushed about by the side of the case. A bit of wrapping it around and I haven't had the same problem since.
 
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