PC Hard Drive Read Fail

Posted on 2010-08-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Ran a HD diag on a Toshiba Laptop running Windows 7.  Results came back as a Read Read/Verify Failure.  Does that mean the hard drive is toast or can it be repaired using chkdsk /r/f or some other option?

Question by:cyber00
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LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 248 total points
ID: 33441816
I would replace the drive.  Drives are cheap and a read/read verify failure suggests there are problems reading from the disk (chkdsk likely would not do any good to solve this).

Author Comment

ID: 33441873
Does read/verify suggest bad sectors or as you stated just a bad drive that won't get better through any "repair"?
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

SysExpert earned 252 total points
ID: 33441990
It means that the verify after read failed, and that the drive is probably dying.

You could run the Vendor diagnostics and see if it can repair using spare sectors, but in cases like this the chances are poor, and the risk is high of more failures.

I hope this helps !
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 33442139
I appreciate both answers, but my suggestion would be to more direct in the answer.  Saying things are cheap and a procedure "likely" wouldn't do any good make it sound as though I should take the easy way out, because the altenative is troublesome.  That should be left up to the user to decide.  SysExpert, you provided options and a more defined consequences.  Leew, I'm not slamming you at all, it's just that words like "suggest" or "likely" imply that you may not be sure and are giving yourself an out if your answer incorrect.  I am trying to provide feedback I hope will help everyone better structure their answers that more directly resolve a question.  In the end, I wasn't sure, I asked and you helped.  Thank you very much.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33442192

Since you don't seem to feel my opinion was appropriate let me explain.

I've been doing this for 15 years.  I get an error like that and it's not worth my time saying anything else.  When I can replace the drive for $40-60 and any significant diagnostic test would require at least 30 minutes, more like a few hours, when you do the math it's not worth your time.  Unless of course, you don't value your time.  I charge up to $150 per hour.  $40-60 on a new drive vs. $300 in diagnostics of the old one... the answer is simple and clear.  Replace the drive.

As a further point, if your data is important, considering that a data recovery service would cost you $300+, it doesn't make sense to continue using a drive that's already suspect when a replacement drive is $40-60.  


Author Comment

ID: 33442276
I will say it again, I'm not saying you are wrong.  I asked a specific question and you gave an opinion.  I wanted an answer.  What you charge, the value of time and the subject of data has no bearing in this thread.  Neither does your need to self validate by stating your years of experience.
Present the facts and leave the decision up to the end user.  Comments like yours further the perception people have of "experts" being superior to others by validating their dollar value, years of experience and inability to handle any constructive opinions towards their work.
I have have been doing this awhile too and it doesn't hurt my ego to have to come to a forum like this and ask what should seem like a no brainer.  Sometimes I need to step back and review the basics to make sure I'm not taking something for granted or overlooking the obvious.
We tend to work in isolation, and that leads to tunnel vision at times.  Getting a reminder/help from those that know is wise and humbling.
My apologies if I offended you or made you feel inferior in front of your peers.  I need more friends than advisaries.
LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442875
For what it's worth, I'm with @leew on this one.  I will give you my opinion and maybe tell you what I would do... based on the facts presented.  But I won't tell you what to do because too often I have found that not all the facts were presented.  I thought his first answer was quite direct: "I would replace the drive."

Author Comment

ID: 33443158
Well guys, you seem to miss the point.  I presented a read/verify failure.  Saying "I would replace the drive" suggest that there are options, such asyou don't have to, you could repair it...or you could leave it in run this(whatever utility) and get more life from the drive.
Opinions and suggestions based on past experience are two distinct thoughts.
Example; Opinion - I seem to be getting alot of pop ups whatshould I do?  Ans: In my opinion you should first......(various answer, procedures, utilities, outcomes)
Example; Suggestion based on Experience or Fact;  I'm getting a read/verify failure, doe sthat mean the hard drive is bad?  Ans; In my experience that failure indicates a hard drive failure that is not repairable or if it does happen to correct through your idea of running chkdsk, would at best be a temp fix as the hard drive is damaged on some level and you are living on borrowed time.  Therefore the only safe thing to do is replace the hard drive.
All the other stuff is junk.  I don't care how much you make, what you charge by the hour and how my potential data would rack up charges if I were to do this or that.  Is the darn thing bad or not?  Can it be repaired?  Is it possible there are other things that could produce this error?
Please reread my question.  I told you what I did (HD diag), on what equipment (laptop), what brand(Toshiba) and what OS(windows 7).  I asked a direct question along with a leading question about possible repairs using a utility.
So I don't see what was left out.  And if you need more info, then you obviously know how to ask for it.  This club where everyone is threatened by anyone who asks a question is very old school.
"you're asking, so I must be superior, please don't question my opinions"...Boys no one cares about your opinions unless they ask for them.
See how silly this sounds..."so your pc is running slow after adding a program. Well my dad makes $165,000 a year on pc repairs and I went to school for 5 years learning about computer science and worked at Circuit City for 3 years as a tech.  How much memory do you have?  Make sure you have anti virus"
That horrible..
Now lets drop the "mine is better than yours" debate and adhere to the standards of what this site suggests, Experts.  Can we all just be friends and respectful?  I was very careful to tell you right after your answer that I was not dumping on you, just a thought I had.  But, not good enough...
What a waste of time and some great minds with little social skills.  In the interest of ending this, I will no longer be monitoring this thread.  I've apologized, kissed your boo boo and stroked your fragile ego enough.  Again never meant to offend, thanks for the help and good night.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33443324

There are ALWAYS options.  You could break out the soldering iron and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in testing equipment and run diagnostics for hours.  And if you have the time, skill, and inclination to do so, great.  

Most people who ask such a question don't have the experience or skills you appear to.  My advice was given based on the information you provided and the value I know MOST people put on their data.  It's simply UNWISE to continue using a failing disk when you can replace it so cheaply.  A read/Read verify failure implies bad sectors AT LEAST.  Why would you even THINK about trying to repair a disk that has clearly suffered a failure when disks today are generally quite reliable AND cheap?  When a disk experiences any measurable failure at all, I consider it unwise to continue using it for anything of any importance.  Even as a separate spindle for a pagefile would be bad because when the disk fails - and it WILL fail - your system will crash.

Corruptions to partitions or data are one thing - but a READ failure by a disk utility is NOT a simple corruption problem.  IF a format cannot fix it... it's not worth fixing.

Your right, there are options.  I don't have the time and inclination to spend speculating on what they all may be.  The easiest, safest, most cost effective thing to do is replace the disk.  THAT was my advice.  You are 100% free to ignore it.  Most people, I think, would take that advice in this case.

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