Clicking, slowing, and self-rebooting.
My friend recently dropped off his computer at my place, with complaints that his 'tower' was made clicking noises, and his PC froze. From what he said, he couldn't boot it past BIOS after restarting, which gave him a 'media failure' error message. I told him it sounded like some sort of head-drive crash (such as the head hitting the drive when it tried to access certain parts).
Upon hooking the computer up and hitting the power button, it booted up fine with no problems. Suspicous, I ran AVG Antivirus 6 (for two reasons, one being to search for viruses that could be causing odd hardware behavior, and the second being an attempt to get the comp to make the noise again). It ran smooth for a few minutes, then the clicking started. I opened the case, and was able to confirm that it was the harddrive making the noise. There was whirring, too; the same noise computers make when you reboot them (a sort of high pitched "pyuuuuuu" and "piiiii"), which I think might have been the harddrive trying to shut off. But there was a virus, too... Clicker.V or something (which I'd never heard of). After getting rid of the virus, there seemed to be no more clicking. It happened again, though, during some routine maintenence I ran on it (since nobody else does it on that computer :b).
I've come to this conclusion: there's obviously something wrong with the harddrive. I don't know exactly what, but it seems to only make the continous clicking noise (which also slows down the computer itself) when accessing certain parts of the disk. My friend claims he doesn't have any important files he wants to keep, so I recommended he simply get a new drive and install Windows on it, maybe keeping the old drive as Drive F or something so he can still access his old stuff until the drive dies out.
The comp is a couple years old; a Gateway running WinXP with an Intel Celeron (1.1 GHz) and 128MB of RAM. It's had modem and Windows related problems in the past (it tried dual-booting a single WindowsXP installation which was solved by total harddrive reformatting (they sent the comp off to Gateway, but it came back with the modem problems)). It's not under warranty anymore.
So, anybody have any suggestions as to what the real problem is? I don't want to have the poor guy pay for a new hard drive and have me install it if it turns out to be unnecessary.
OS: WinXP Pro
Mobo: Gigabyte 8VM533M-RZ
CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Celeron
Vid: Gigabyte NVidia MX 4000 (128 MB DDR, TV out)
RAM: 512MB DDR
HD: 40GB (1:3 partitioned), 34GB
Drives: DVD R/RW and 16x DVD-ROM
ISP: AT&T/SBC Yahoo! DSL