View Full Version : Reported HDD failure imminent!

27-07-2010, 06:12 PM
I have an IDE 5200 rpm hard drive running WIN7.

I am now getting warnings that the disk is suspect, backup the drive immediately.

What can I use to check the drive? The BIOS includes SMART, how can I check the drive with SMART?

27-07-2010, 06:16 PM
Back it up right now before you run tests.

The Manufacturer will normally have free diagnostic software you can download.

28-07-2010, 07:12 AM
Yeah, once you determine who manufactured the drive, try to download their own particular flavour of drive testing / diagnostics / utility software. Ideally, do this via another machine, so that you are reading and writing to/from that drive as little as possible.

Typically running this software will involve creating a boot disc, although many do have a windows version.
The diagnostics only tell you the manner in which it is failing - it won't save it from death, so ideally switch it off and leave it off until you can get it backed up.

29-07-2010, 11:32 AM
"warnings that the disk is suspect"

unless you really know what you're doing, replace that drive.
Dont muck about if want something reliable & value you data.
Backup data now.

-I have occasionly seen manufacturers HD test tools PASS faulty drives.

29-07-2010, 11:37 AM
-I have occasionly seen manufacturers HD test tools PASS faulty drives.

I have too.

Speedfan will tell you the SMART status.

29-07-2010, 11:57 AM
I have too.

Speedfan will tell you the SMART status.

can it hard to get the warranty replacement when it passes manufactures tests etc.
At least our supplier doesnt actually test HD's we send back to them for replacement (they admitted they dont have time to do it)

Not happy with some of the 'refurbished/repaired' drives we occasionly get back

29-07-2010, 04:06 PM
Well this arvo' it failed. Using Acronis I deleted the two partitions and recreated another two. Instead of the first partition being C, it became D. The old D became C. As a punt I recovered my backup to the new C and it actually works!

Tomorrow I'm off to find a replacement disk. So far I have always had IDE but wonder if I should now get SATA?

If I was to get a SATA, can it have extra partitions and used as C? Will the existing extra disk I have be recognised as a slaved disk?

May I have some advice please?

29-07-2010, 09:14 PM
The procedure for partitioning SATA is exactly the same as with IDE drives.

However, you do need to make sure you have the correct power cables and in particular, the correct interfaces on your motherboard for a SATA drive (or get a PCI SATA card).

Sata drives do not share data cables, so there is no need to set Master or Slave.
Lastly, some motherboards in the early days of SATA did not allow simultaneous support of both SATA and IDE drives, and you had to tell the BIOS whether you were seleceting SATA or IDE.

I suppose I am trying to say go ahead with caution if you are not certain your motherboard supports SATA. But if it does, then go SATA and forget IDE forever.

I wouldn't guarantee getting a successful boot from a SATA drive connected via a PCI adapter... so only go SATA for your boot drive if your mobo has a SATA data cable connection point.

?Clear as mud?

Alex B
29-07-2010, 11:08 PM
SMART tells you SFA, seatools works on pretty much every drive I've tried it on.

30-07-2010, 07:45 AM
SMART tells you heaps. For example a drive in a laptop has previously been overheated but is currently at a legit temperature. It's failing, because of this overheating. Thanks SMART for telling me, and Linux Mint for popping up as it boots to warn me.

I always keep Linux Mint handy, just for that reason ;)

30-07-2010, 12:51 PM
Also, when reinstalling(if this is the case) enable AHCI just incase you ever want to use it later without too much hassle.

30-07-2010, 01:13 PM
SMART tells you SFA, seatools works on pretty much every drive I've tried it on.

I use SMART all the time, it's very useful when you find a drive has 20 reallocated sectors and is gaining more every week.

Especially when Seatools gives it a clean bill of health, but with faulty sectors steadily increasing it's fairly obvious the drive is dodgy, you should backup if you haven't already and prepare to get a new drive.

Seatools will only tell you something is wrong once an attribute reaches a certain threshold. If the limit was 200 bad sectors but you have only 20 (although increasing) Seatools won't tell you there is anything wrong (when there clearly is)

You might be confusing this with the fact the SMART can only predict about 50% of failures

HDAT2 is a much better testing program, which works on all drives, and shows SMART values for all drives (Seatools doesn't)