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hard drive warning - HP Pavilion a1310n

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2014-04-02
We have a client machine that is showing at bootup
"hard drive failure imminent, need to back up files" THis is an HP hardware thing that we've seen before. Is it a "false posivitive" or should we just go ahead and replace drive. Any other reason this might show up???

Thanks,
Changed the Zone from "Web Browsers" to "Hard-Drives".

rindi,
EE ZA Storage

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Question by:interc3905
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:jimponder
ID: 35198704
Have you run a complete chkdisk on it to verify the drive is ok?  Run that first before replacing the drive.
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Expert Comment

by:Hutch_77
ID: 35198756
I would agree with Jim better to be safe then sorry do chkdisk and disk diagnostics.. you can get a false positive.
If HP has a disk utility or raid utility I would run it it may need a rebuild or it may point to a true failure.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 35199055
No, this isn't a false positive. HD's have a feature built into them which is called SMART. This collects a lot of data from the HD, like temperature, number of bad sectors etc, and as soon as certain thresholds are reached such a message is triggered. Once you get such a message you should act and have the disk replaced, as usually such a disk will stop working soon.

Although it is possible that the disk will keep on working for longer, you have a bigger risk of data loss if you don't replace it soon, and of course once you get such messages it is very important you make more regular good backups.

Also, what you should make sure of before replacing the HD, is to have restore media. As most PC with preinstalled OS these days have a separate restore partition but don't come with CD's or DVD's, and if you replace the HD, you wouldn't have this restore partition on the new disk. But HP and other manufacturers have a utility installed that allows you to make a set of recovery media (usually that should be done as one of the first things after a new PC is unpacked and setup the first time).
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LVL 34

Accepted Solution

by:
Michael-Best earned 250 total points
ID: 35199997
Never run chkdisk on a failing drive as it may stress the drive to death.

Download the latest diagnostic software and utilities from the manufacturer of your hard drive(s).
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

For HDD magetic failure repair:
HDD Regenerator 2011
http://www.dposoft.net/

hdsentinel has free testing / monitoring versions (which are great) or buy it for total HDD failure monitoring / warnings.

Hope this helps.
http://www.hdsentinel.com/
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 35200025
Forgot HDSentinel link
see:
http://www.hdsentinel.com/
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:jimponder
ID: 35200104
Those SMART drives will throw these errors out whenever it comes across a bad block so chkdsk 'can' be used to resolve the problem.  Based on the importance of the drive, I would run the chkdsk and then replace if any errors are found/fixed.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 35200214
No, SMART won't give out any messages whenever it comes across a bad block. It only triggers messages when a certain threshold of a parameter has been reached, and it checks on many different parameters.

The idea behind SMART is that the user is warned before the disk actually has failed, so he has enough time to backup anything he doesn't have a backup of, and change the disk before it actually dies.

Also, once SMART has been triggered, this can't be reset.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 35200270
It must be pointed out here that one must use CHKDSK with extreme care because if the disk is failing imminently, such operation may stress the disk to a point of complete failure. Put it ironically, if you have a good working disk, try it. If you think your disk is failing imminently, , refrain from using CHKDSK.

http://www.datarecovery.com.sg/data_recovery/bad_sector_on_hard_disk.htm
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 35200375
Some BOIS options allow you to tun off the SMART monitor (not recommended)
SMART attributes cannot be reset.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 35200415
Also, the SMART message doesn't mean that there are also file-system errors, which the chkdsk would repair. A chkdsk would only be necessary if there are files you need on the disk that can't be backed up because of file-system corruption.
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Author Comment

by:interc3905
ID: 35337051
We were able to get data and replaced drive
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