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hard disk error

hi, guys,

        I have a Dell sx270. Recently it seems that the hard disk has some problems. Everytime I start the pc, it shows me:
 
WARNING: Dell's Disk Monitoring System has deteccted that the mater drive on the primary IDE controller is operating outised of normal specifications. It is advisable to immediately back up your data and replace your hard-disk drive by calling your supoort desk or Dell Computer Corporation.

Strik the F1 key to conintue. F2 to run the setup utility.

      I usually hit F1 and pc still can be started but sometimes it will turn down by itself for no reason.

     Do I need to replace the harddisk or some software problem?

Thanks
Acton
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actonwang
Asked:
actonwang
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6 Solutions
 
CallandorCommented:
Get the UltimateBootCD and run the disk manufacturer's diagnostic tool on it.  If it says there is a problem, you should replace it.
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actonwangAuthor Commented:
>>UltimateBootCD

    what is this? where can I get this?
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CallandorCommented:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download and burn a CD from the image.  The disc is bootable.
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shaharidzalCommented:
It is the SMART disk monitoring in Dell's system that detects a failure in the hard drive. The failure could be due to a bad sector.
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actonwangAuthor Commented:
>> due to a bad sector
     can I just disable the sector and continue to use it.
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f-kingCommented:
looks like the harddrive is going ,you can try and mark these bad sectors by using the windows thorough disk check(by going to your drives properties,clicking tools and check now ,scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors).
Also try a different harddrive cable.

Good Luck
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cyan990Commented:
Hi,

Sometimes Dell has a special diagnostic in the POST sequence....if you press ctrl+alt+d you should hear a beep and a "fitness" test will run.  I don't know which models this applies to, but may work for you.  Also, you could try pressing F12 or Boot Menu to access Dell diagnostics.  

Not much to go on?  Sometimes the diags can give you an idea how long you have until the disk dies....as others have said....start looking for a new disk/or if under warranty, start a claim.


PS  If it "turns down" by itself, could it be that the hd is overheating?  Check the warmth of the drive...if it burns your hand, replace it :)

Thanks,

Andy
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PatrickKBCommented:
Hi if its a dell hold down F8 on initial boot up, it will take you into the selective boot area. Select Diagnostic normally the last one and let the tests run, this will do varius tests including a harddrive self test.

Should bring up some errors if there are any.

If any errors come up in the diagnostic save your data and replace the drive. Harddrives are a nightmare and if its on its way out you might not get a better warning than this so if you continue to use it may lose everything. Better to be safe than very sorry.

Regards
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Okay, first a simple answer to your question:

"... Do I need to replace the harddisk or some software problem? " ==>  Yes, you should replace the disk.   This is NOT a software problem.

... now a bit more detail:

The error is being generated by the disk's SMART subsystem, which monitors various characteristics of the drive and has this information available for any SMART monitoring application -- which Dell has embedded in its BIOS.    There are a variety of issues that could be happening here, but the key thing is the SMART subsystem has identified a failing drive -- do NOT ignore this warning !!   (or at least don't be upset when it fails -- you've been forewarned)

Can you simply "... disable the sector and continue to use ..." the drive?  No.   When a sector fails, the SMART subsystem automatically re-maps it to a spare sector (all modern drives have a spare zone for this purpose);  so any bad sectors are already being re-mapped.   If the drive has failed to the extent that it's out of spares, then Yes, a Windows surface scan will mark off the additional bad sectors -- but if the drive is in this state it IS failing, and it's NOT a good idea to continue to use it.

Bottom Line:   Replace the disk.  NOW !!   ... and whatever you do, be sure you have a good backup.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... if you're not familiar with the S.M.A.R.T. technology used on modern drives you might want to read the following (it's actually written by a company that sells a SMART-monitoring tool;  but it's a good writeup on the technology.   Your Dell already monitors the SMART data -- that's why you're getting the warning):  http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/smart-technology.html
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actonwangAuthor Commented:
WO. a lot of good information.

I will defintely try and I so appreciate your guys' advice. Maybe I just need to replace it spending a few bucks out of my pockets.
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CallandorCommented:
Replacing it with a good drive is usually more cost effective than having it crash with valuable data and then try to recover it.
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nls73mCommented:
replace while you still can
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