Laptop problems

Hi, emergency diagnostics, please: our laptop started to click ominously yesterday (a little bit like the clicking sound it makes when you power off) and then, after a few “spontaneous” clicks, it froze. This happened several times, each time we forced it shut as nothing else would work and do a restart, during which it would do a disk-check, but then start up normally.

Now today, it first worked o.k., but then started on the old clicking action again, freeze-up, forced shut-down, re-start, disk-scan and then what looks like a DOS message: “can not find operating system” … uh uh …

This now happenes every second time or so we power it up, every other time it will work o.k., yet a little slower it seems.

As I’m typing this, it clicks happily away in front of me … I did a virus scan (AVG), but no viruses found.

We’re running Windows XP (home) on a Compaq Presario 1700 laptop. Any ideas? Re-install the OS? Can it be the humidity in the recent weeks that got to it? Maybe a stupid question, no idea …

Thanks for any help, Xpet.

Sound’s like you’ve got a hard drive failure. You need to take your laptop to a shop have them check the SMART status of the drive, if it has that feature built into it (all modern HDDs have it; I can’t remember how far back you have to go before you get to HDDs that don’t have it.) The SMART status will confirm what you already know, undoubtedly - the hard drive is in its death throes. The best thing for you to do is turn off your computer and not use it anymore until you can get it replaced and someone can copy the files from the old drive to the new one. If you wait until it crashes completely, you’re probably going to lose a buttload of work.