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Windows 7 - Windows detected a hard disk problem error

Posted on 2010-11-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a client who has a 8 month old PC.  It has Windows 7 on it.

Twice he has suffered a power failure at home and after the power come back up, when Windows boots up it comes up with the "Windows has detected a hard disk problem.  You should backup............" message.

I am wondering if this is actually a hard drive hardware problem or whether this is more the fact that the power cut out that the computer may think it is a hard drive problem but it was the fact the power cut out.

It happened about 3 months ago on his computer.  I went over and looked at it and the computer was running fine.  There has been no issues on the computer until the other day when there was another power cut and the message came up again!

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Question by:mbelletty
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EmpoweredBiz earned 2000 total points
ID: 34082232
When I have seen this problem before it is often true I would back up the customer data asap and since it's only 8 months old the HD is probably under warranty and I would have it replaced. Machine don't like sudden power loses as well in my experience when the power come back up it's often "dirty" and can cause many more problems
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Expert Comment

by:greggy86
ID: 34082295
Nothing is wrong with the HDD - you can verify by going to command prompt and running chkdsk.
This is caused by the improper shutdown of the system by sudden loss of power - the best way to solve this is to get a UPS - this can be done for less than $50 see http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=72&name=UPS
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by:Ghousullah
ID: 34082372
Please check your Hard disk by following th below steps.
Open Computer by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Computer.

Right-click the hard disk drive that you want to check, and then click Properties.

Click the Tools tab, and then, under Error-checking, click Check Now.  If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

To automatically repair problems with files and folders that the scan detects, select Automatically fix file system errors. Otherwise, the disk check will simply report problems but not fix them.

To perform a thorough disk check, select Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. This scan attempts to find and repair physical errors on the hard disk itself, and it can take much longer to complete.

To check for both file errors and physical errors, select both Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.

Click Start.

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Expert Comment

by:Ghousullah
ID: 34082394
If this does not show any issues. Then no need to worry. Please see the below link which is applicable to windows 7 also.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Check-your-hard-disk-for-errors
using other tools will need you to be techy to work on it. Except segate tool most will require you to invest some bugs to puchase it.
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Expert Comment

by:faizbaig
ID: 34082426
-> Unproper shutdown may result such messages, If message comes on every boot up than scan drive via MyComputer by selecting "Automatically fix file system Error"

I recommend you advice client UPS (to regulate power issues) to avoid Unproper shutdown and for the safety of PC
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34082451
i do not agree with the above.
the message comes from SMART monitor with checks and holds all the threshhold values for the disk -
***note : those values cannot be reset or changed in any (normal) way
the power cut may have damaged something.
what i do in such cases (i have a disk here with the same problems as you have : message on start, but runs fine for months)
- run the proper diag on the drive; best use the diags from ubcd, it has all manuf's diags : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
- then i run hdat2 scan and repair  http://www.hdat2.com/
- if you like, you can run the diag again, to see if the problem has changed.  (probably not, but you know the status of the drive)

-=-=in my case, nothing has changed, and i am still using the disk, BUT i know i must not use it to store data i don't want to loose.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 34082502
It depends at what point you get that error. If it is a S.M.A.R.T. error, then it is serious and the disk must be replaced (Just make sure the customer made the recovery media, as most PC's don't ship installation DVD's these days, and the data saved, that is no problem, as the PC must still be under Warranty). S.M.A.R.T. is built into the HD's, and if the BIOS is setup to monitor S.M.A.R.T. it'll show hardware errors on the disks at bootup, before the OS itself comes into play. These errors warn about a bad disk, and they will show a bad disk before it is actually broken, so you have time to react.

So if that error shows up before the OS loads, it is a S.M.A.R.T. and you must get in touch with the PC vendor or manufacturer to get a warranty replacement. Some PC's also have a tool installed within the OS that is resident and monitors S.M.A.R.T. errors, so it is also possible for such an error to show up inside the OS. So your first course of action is to find out if it is a S.M.A.R.T. error or not (but from the wording of the error it sounds like it is one).

If it is another error, first run the HD Manufacturer's diagnostic utility on it. If that tool finds errors it might offer to repair them, let it. If it finds errors that it can't repair, again make sure the customer has his backups and recovery DVD's and go with warranty. You'll find the diag tools of most manufacturer's on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com

If all the above is error-free, run chkdsk /x on all drive letters to fix any possible errors with the file-system, except if there are fat file-system, convert those first to ntfs).
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