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Old 05-27-09, 12:51 AM   #1
johnkeel105
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Default Imminent hard drive failure

Yesterday, I reformatted Windows XP for someone because their OS was infected with Spyware/Viruses. Everything went alright with the format while I was there and I went home. This morning I got a phone call that the computer was running really slow after I left and she left it running overnight. In the morning the PC displayed SMART Imminent hard drive failure, backup data and replace harddisk.

I have worked on quite a few PC's for people. I have never ran into this til now. I was wondering how accurate this SMART Detection is? Is the hard drive really dead? If so how do I know its failing for sure and not just an error?

Any help would be appriciated. Thanks
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Old 05-27-09, 01:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

The SMART detection goes off of certain properties that the drives performs upon startup. I honestly don't know that much about it but it does basic checks for things like how long it takes for the spindles to start-up. If something is outside of the normal values that would cause it to trigger an error.

I would have to say it would probably be in your best interest to replace the hard drive. The main thing is that everything might be working right now, and it might work for say another 6 months fine, then all of the sudden everything dies and you can't recover anything. By being proactive you won't be in that position later.

What brand of HDD is it?

You can run diagnostic tools in windows from several vendors by finding their software.

WD: http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...&sid=1&lang=en

Seagate / Maxtor: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/sup...oads/seatools/

Samsung: http://www.samsung.com/global/busine...s/ES_Tool.html

Hitachi / IBM: http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm
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Old 05-27-09, 03:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

Well I know that it would not boot into windows even when she used the proper F1 and F2. If I can get into Windows then I will run those programs. If I can't I suppose it is dead...


This is the PC. I gotta pick it up tomorrow.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/p...os=228&lang=en
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Old 05-27-09, 06:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

If you can take the system home, rip it open, put the failing drive into an external enclosure, and see if you can pull whatever data you need off it that way. Let it be a lesson to whoever owns that computer to back up his/her important files on thumb drive/CD/external hard drive/whatever.
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Old 05-27-09, 08:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkeel105 View Post
Well I know that it would not boot into windows even when she used the proper F1 and F2. If I can get into Windows then I will run those programs. If I can't I suppose it is dead...


This is the PC. I gotta pick it up tomorrow.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/p...os=228&lang=en
Yea that sounds like a safe bet. A lot of the programs can also be run from floppies/Cds but if a system you just reformatted is already failing to boot that doesn't sound good.
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Old 05-27-09, 12:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

Luckily I managed to backup her stuff on a flash drive before I reformatted. But I do agree, more people should keep backups. I have had friends lose so much to their failing 1TB hard drives. Thanks for all your help guys. I really appricate it.
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Old 05-27-09, 05:23 PM   #7
nekrosoft13
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnotaku View Post
If you can take the system home, rip it open, put the failing drive into an external enclosure, and see if you can pull whatever data you need off it that way. Let it be a lesson to whoever owns that computer to back up his/her important files on thumb drive/CD/external hard drive/whatever.
problem is that most people don't understand that hard drives fail, and she will blame the tech support for breaking it
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Old 05-27-09, 09:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

Well this thread inspired me to finally buy a dedicated external backup drive.

I just bought a 1Tb Western Digital Elements USB drive for $88 shipped from Dell:

http://www.slickdeals.net/permadeal/...ate-205-or-196

I wasn't real happy with the $30 e-Sata enclosure I bought a couple years ago and I ended up sticking the drive in my PC anyway, which sort of defeated the purpose of having an emergency backup drive that wouldn't get fried if my PC blew up.

This should do nicely though. A ton of storage, simple USB connection (ie, no e-sata problems) and its dirt cheap.
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Old 05-27-09, 10:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

best enclosure ever!
http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Produc...C=1285&ID=1659

I have 3 of them, hard to find more
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Old 05-29-09, 04:15 PM   #10
johnkeel105
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

So I went to her house the other day. I ran some western digital disk utilities from a boot cd. Windows wouldn't even boot. Utility showed the disk had issues and decided it was best to be replaced. I mean the pc is from 2002 lol, so its time for something to go wrong. Since I am the tech doing the work for her at her house, I doubt I catch any blame. I ordered a replacement drive from newegg WD 80gb with 8mb cache. That should fix things!
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AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz | GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 | OCZ Reaper HPC (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 | 1024MB Nvidia Geforce 550Ti | Western Digital 750 GB SATA HD | Western Digital 500GB SATA HD | Visiontek Killer 2100 | Creative Xi Fi Fata1ity | Ultra X3 600 Watt ATX Power Supply | Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Windows 8 Rig:
AMD Phenom 9750 | 2x1024MB PC-6400 DDR2 | Nvidia GeForce 9800GTX+ | Seagate 80GB ATA HD |17" Samsung | Windows 8 Preview 32-bit

Gaming Laptop:
AMD Phenom II X4 N970 | 2x4096MB DDR3 | AMD Radeon HD 6650M 1GB DDR3 VRAM | OCZ Solid State HardDrive | Killer 2100 Wireless N | 15.6 HD LED LCD | Blu-ray Drive | Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit | Ubuntu 11.04



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Old 05-29-09, 06:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Imminent hard drive failure

my drive was @ 70% fitness according to the SMART readings when it started clicking, Just in time to transfer it.
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