cakentennis
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:41 pm

Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:45 am

Info

HP Pavillion DV9000 Series
120GB 5400RP SATA 2.5" Hard Dsik
Windows Vista


Problem

Last night, I was browsing the internet watching videos and all of a sudden I got an error message saying that my hard disk was failing and that I should take immediate action. The error message was not specific, though. I'm not sure if it was a head crash because I was able to safely shutdown windows and turn the computer off. I haven't dared to turn it back on since. The message offered me three options; one being to transfer an entire image of my OS along with files to another hard drive. I didn't recover or transfer any data because I was scared it might be a head crash. But then again, I got no blue screen or anything crazy happening as you would suspect with a head crash.

I took the laptop to Geek Squad and they were no help, they charge an obnoxious $100 per 9GB data transfer. I don't have anything important on the laptop, the disk was formatted by HP recently when they had to deal with the left display hinge breaking off. However, I went through the arduous task of re-installing my games and adding a variety of add-ons, all manually, no convenient .exe files Sad. That took hours! I have some .mp3 files that I bought from Amazon and had yet to transfer to my iPod. Also, I didn't get an OS disk when I bought the laptop so there's no way for me to install windows on a new hard disk.

I have an old SATA hard disk from a defunct IBM laptop that I dug out and am using as an external hard drive on my Mac. I was wondering if the OS on it would function normally if I used it on my HP notebook.


Any help appreciated.  Smile
 
austinairport
Posts: 615
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:56 am

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:55 am

Hmm. Well if just Windows told you that your hard drive is failing, you should still have some time to boot up and backup all your files onto some sort of removable storage.
However, if your BIOS tells you that "Disk Failure" is soon to come, then you may have problems.
If your not worried about losing your files, then my suggestion is go to the manufacturers website, and figure out exactly what hard drive specs you need, get on ebay, buy a new one, and install it yourself. Its super simple, and im sure HP, will have directions on the website.
As for your OS. I would maybe try a Linux distro. Maybe you could use that in the meantime.. then wait for Windows 7 to become available, and buy it!
 Smile
I hope i helped.

Quoting Cakentennis (Thread starter):
I have an old SATA hard disk from a defunct IBM laptop that I dug out and am using as an external hard drive on my Mac. I was wondering if the OS on it would function normally if I used it on my HP notebook.

Probably wouldnt hurt to try. If it fits in the notebook, and doesnt use jumpers or anything weird like that, then it should work.
Whoever said you can do anything you set your mind to has obviously never tried to slam a revolving door!!!
 
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Francoflier
Posts: 3790
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:36 am



Quoting AustinAirport (Reply 1):
If your not worried about losing your files, then my suggestion is go to the manufacturers website, and figure out exactly what hard drive specs you need, get on ebay, buy a new one, and install it yourself. Its super simple, and im sure HP, will have directions on the website.

Alternatively, get a software like EVEREST to figure out your exact drive specs and serial number, and while you're at it check the SMART values. Then go to the manufacturer website and download their dianostic tools. Don't trust Windows messages alone for that stuff. If the diagnostic tool tells you it is indeed failing, then contact the HDD manufacturer (with the part and serial number) to check whether the drive is still under warranty to get it replaced for free (assuming the computer itself is not under warranty anymore, right?).

Or it might be time to upgrade to another HDD with more capacity. Any 2.5' HDD will normally be compatible with your computer.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12502
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:59 am

First of all, have you backed up all critical files? Do you have the program/ recovery disks? I have had HD crashes, one where I had to replace the HD. HD's are relitively cheap, the biggest issue was reconfigurifing everything, downloading updates although on the good side, I ended up with 1 more free year on my anti-virus program  Smile
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:34 am

If windows warned you, then you're drive is probably still fine, for the time being.

Quoting Francoflier (Reply 2):
check the SMART values.

I wouldn't even bother. You know the SMART system is working since it warned him. Not to mention there was no BSOD or other weird issues. Best course of action would be to boot windows in safe mode and backup as much as you can before the drive actually takes a dump. Then later you should worry with the diagnostics.

May want to try some of these:

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/09...ree-apps-to-clone-your-hard-drive/

Quoting Cakentennis (Thread starter):
I took the laptop to Geek Squad and they were no help, they charge an obnoxious $100 per 9GB data transfer.

That's BS considering I can do all the stuff they do myself for free. Their whole client base is people who barely know how to turn on their own computer. I wish I had come up with the geeksquad concept myself. I'd be rich! Heck, how many so-called hole in the wall "PC Repair Stations" do you see charging $50 for a freaking spyware cleanup? And I'm willing to bet they use freeware programs too.  Yeah sure
 
austinairport
Posts: 615
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:56 am

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:38 am



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 2):
Alternatively, get a software like EVEREST to figure out your exact drive specs and serial number, and while you're at it check the SMART values. Then go to the manufacturer website and download their dianostic tools. Don't trust Windows messages alone for that stuff. If the diagnostic tool tells you it is indeed failing, then contact the HDD manufacturer (with the part and serial number) to check whether the drive is still under warranty to get it replaced for free (assuming the computer itself is not under warranty anymore, right?).

Or it might be time to upgrade to another HDD with more capacity. Any 2.5' HDD will normally be compatible with your computer.

If there's an easier way, I sure the hell wouldnt know it.
Wish i had asked you when my HD failed!  Big grin
I never even checked to see if it was under warranty.
Whoever said you can do anything you set your mind to has obviously never tried to slam a revolving door!!!
 
Mir
Posts: 19108
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:50 am



Quoting AustinAirport (Reply 1):
However, if your BIOS tells you that "Disk Failure" is soon to come, then you may have problems.

I don't know - I've been getting that message on my laptop for close to a year now, and while the screen has decided to stop working, the hard drive is still going strong.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Phoenix9
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:25 pm

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:52 am

Try this: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/db-express/index.html

and

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-personal/

I just had one of my desktop drives fail on me 2days ago....almost 300GB worth of files...gone. I recovered some of the important ones using this software and seems to have worked well.

[Edited 2009-04-29 17:55:23]

[Edited 2009-04-29 17:55:38]
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
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Francoflier
Posts: 3790
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:02 am



Quoting AustinAirport (Reply 5):
Wish i had asked you when my HD failed!

The reason I know that is because I recently bought a second hand Seagate HDD, which turned out to be a dud... I though I'd wasted the money, but I went on the manufacturer's website and started downloading all the diagnostic software, which really did little but confirm that the drive was indeed fubar. But then the website allowed me to check on the drive warranty, and after entering the p/n and s/n, it turns it still had 2 years to go! It was just a matter of shipping it to the service center, which sent me a new one for free as soon as they received it.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
austinairport
Posts: 615
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:56 am

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:15 am



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 8):
The reason I know that is because I recently bought a second hand Seagate HDD, which turned out to be a dud... I though I'd wasted the money, but I went on the manufacturer's website and started downloading all the diagnostic software, which really did little but confirm that the drive was indeed fubar. But then the website allowed me to check on the drive warranty, and after entering the p/n and s/n, it turns it still had 2 years to go! It was just a matter of shipping it to the service center, which sent me a new one for free as soon as they received it.

Sweet!
Whoever said you can do anything you set your mind to has obviously never tried to slam a revolving door!!!
 
Ken777
Posts: 9103
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:38 am

I had a HD on my PowerBook fail a few years ago (a Toshiba HD) and caught it in time because of the SMART Drive technology - but I was really lucky. Backed up all critical data ASAP and then kept using DiskWarrior until the free replacement drive arrived ( love extended warranties).

I have since found a neat app (SMARTReporter) that emails me if my HD is failing and feel sure that Windows systems will have basically the same thing.
 
Klaus
Posts: 20649
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:44 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 10):
I have since found a neat app (SMARTReporter) that emails me if my HD is failing

It also shows the drive status in the menu bar. It is here:

corecode->SMARTReporter

Generally SMART indications of a failing drive should be seen as highly urgent. While it is possible that the drive (or at least most of its data) may still remain accessible for a longer while, it may also fail within hours or even minutes. One should immediately ensure that there is a timely backup of all important data.

The by far best way to ensure that would be by keeping an automatic incremental backup mechanism running in the background all the time, such as Time Machine on the Mac.

SMART may warn you in time, but the drive may still fail without warning. It depends on the kind of defect. Backups are by far the best way to be prepared.
 
AverageUser
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:21 pm

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:43 am

The best way to rescue a failing disk is to clone it immediately onto an external USB drive, or for desktops onto an additional drive that is connected internally. For XP, I recommend XXCLONE. For Vista, making the target bootable (as a C drive) requires an extra step, which older cloning software may not be able to handle. You could do it manually, or use software like Acronis True Image under Vista.
 
Klaus
Posts: 20649
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:18 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 12):
The best way to rescue a failing disk is to clone it immediately onto an external USB drive, or for desktops onto an additional drive that is connected internally.

You are certainly right in principle, although if the health of the disk is rapidly declining it may be more useful to immediately grab the most critical files from the disk in the order of their importance first if one doesn't have a timely backup (which is a bad mistake in any case!) and only after that is done attempt rescuing the entire disk, which may not be possible if there are more severe problems.

It depends on whether there are any really critical files or only the complete disk would be worth rescuing. And the possible success of either method depends on the nature of the defect.

Readers please note that even the emergency copies can already have been damaged under certain circumstances, so don't copy them over previous backups of the same files but make fresh copies just in case, ideally on a different medium from your normal backups such as a flash drive because the integrity of the system may already be compromised.

Yes, I'm paranoid, but with valuable data I think that's a good thing...
 
AverageUser
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:21 pm

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:24 am

In my opinion the easiest method for securing a hard drive of a Windows system is to clone the whole drive at once. You will have everything saved. You can clone onto any number of hard drives, which are available at very reasonable prices. By the time your average person has figured out where his or her files are located in the first place, a straight cloning would easily have been halfway through.
A SMART hard drive condition monitor is a useful tool. The parameter I'm usually worried about the the "ECC corrected sectors" as this will often precede worse problems. Anything in "Relocated Sectors" means the trouble is nearing fast.

[Edited 2009-04-30 04:25:26]
 
austinairport
Posts: 615
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:56 am

RE: Hard Disk Failing Message - What To Do?

Fri May 01, 2009 9:24 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 6):
I don't know - I've been getting that message on my laptop for close to a year now, and while the screen has decided to stop working, the hard drive is still going strong.

-Mir

Mine lasted a long time, All the way up until when it wouldnt even boot into linux.
Whoever said you can do anything you set your mind to has obviously never tried to slam a revolving door!!!

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