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Posted on 2014-02-21
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Last Modified: 2014-02-22
Hello Experts,

I am suspecting that my hard drive is going bad and I am wondering what diagnostic tools can I use to check?

I think defrag and disc cleanup are not it? I was thinking more of a chkdsk?and I was hoping to write the results to a file.

Thank you
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Question by:APD_Toronto
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jeffery Hayes earned 84 total points
ID: 39877206
In Windows 7 the chkdsk logs can be found in the Event Viewer under Application Logs.

Event Viewer > Windows Logs > Application

"Sort by 'Source' and look for 'Chkdsk' as the source. The Event Viewer will list each scan. Click on the desired scan to view both system-event information and scan results in the preview pane; if you don't see a preview pane, you can turn it on in the 'View' menu or simply double-click the log entry to open it in a separate window.

You can save it as a text file by clicking the 'Save Selected Events...' action button in the action panel. Then, give the text file a name and use the 'Save as type:' menu to choose 'Text (tab-delimited) (*.txt)'"
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:WebDevEM
WebDevEM earned 84 total points
ID: 39877225
Hi,

If you right-click on Drive C (or whichever drive is suspect) in File Explorer and select Properties you see the default tab "General" with a pie graph.  Click on the Tools tab to see those options, and you'll get:
Error-Checking
Defragmentation
Backup
The Error-checking tool is the Windows 7 version of chkdsk, and that would be a good place to start.  When I run that, it schedules the actual check for next boot, so there'd be on way to capture results to a file that I can think of.

Hope this helps,

WebDevEM
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:Manjunath Sullad
Manjunath Sullad earned 83 total points
ID: 39877237
You can check in GUI mode also,

Right click on drive --> Properties --> Go to Tools tab --> Click on Check now,

It will take some time and display the results.
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 166 total points
ID: 39877243
chkdsk only checks and fixes errors you might have on the file-system, but not the disk itself. To diagnose the disk you must use the disk manufacturer's diagnostic utility. You can download it from the manufacturer's site, or boot from the UBCD which includes most of them:

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 83 total points
ID: 39877244
Make sure SMART is enabled in your BIOS and then use a tool like HDTune to check the drive status - while NOT A GUARANTEE, it is a good indicator of probable failure.

Your drive may be otherwise fine and your windows install may be corrupt.
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Author Comment

by:APD_Toronto
ID: 39877257
Under event viewer, there is no chkdsk as source.

Also if I go under tools >error checking it can only do it at boot! but how can I get a report of that?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39877267
Don't run chkdsk before running the manufacturer's diagnostic. If you do, and the disk is bad, you can worsen things.
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Author Comment

by:APD_Toronto
ID: 39877280
The only way how I remembered about chk was because it ran automatically when my system crashed.
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Author Comment

by:APD_Toronto
ID: 39877310
Below are 4 pictures that I took. the first 3 are from when chkdsk ran by itself and the 4 is when I scheduled it oft the next boot as advised above.

It looks like the first time chkdsk fixed the issues, but I am skeptic. What do you think?
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffery Hayes
ID: 39877343
Looks like it's all good. Did you look into the event viewer to see what the Chkdsk fixed.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39877355
Chkdsk really only checks for file system issues and, if /r is specified, bad sectors.  There could be other issues with the disk that, if enabled, SMART can tell you.  Otherwise, the manufacturer diagnostics are the next best thing to use.  Lastly, you could try the disk diagnostics available on the Ultimate Boot CD (www.ultimatebootcd.com).  

Of course, I didn't catch if anyone asked - WHY do you think your hard drive is going bad... what are your symptoms?
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Author Comment

by:APD_Toronto
ID: 39877388
Well, when I was working, suddenly it froze, and chkdsk came on automatically as the pix above
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Author Comment

by:APD_Toronto
ID: 39877397
How do I use SMART to check?

Recently it kept freezing, so I did a factory reformat, and the chk came up when I was installing my printer
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39877411
Just run the manufacturer's diagnostic on it as I told you earlier. It also checks the SMART state of the disk, but besides SMART it does also does better tests.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39877453
How do I use SMART to check?

I posted earlier - use a program that can read SMART data like HD Tune.  When you run HDTune it should be pretty obvious.

If this is a Dell, SMART is TYPICALLY not enabled so you have to go into BIOS and enable it.  Not sure about HP or other brands.

And it's true, manufacturer diagnostic disks will look at SMART too... but HDTune is a tiny program that installs in and can be run from Windows - IF the drive is failing a SMART test (I believe SMART = Self Monitoring and Reporting Tests) that's the quickest way to know rather than to download an ISO, burn the image and boot to it.  Just my preference.

Given what you describe, I would say your concern is warranted - it MAY be fine, but the symptoms after a reload would be concerning... (COULD also be bad RAM).

While testing is an option, another is to simply replace the drive.  a 1 TB drive is about $60 and considering the amount of time you put into this, $60 may be a bargain.
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Author Comment

by:APD_Toronto
ID: 39877460
Also, which ultimateCD Version do I get?

For the time-being, I'd like to run it off of a USB, if easily possible?
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 166 total points
ID: 39877485
Just download the newest version (The download Links usually automatically get you the newest version). There is a utility within the iso from which you can also create a USB stick (in the \ubcd\tools\win32\ubcd2usb directory, the ubcd2usb.cmd script). The download link below directly downloads version 5.28:

http://ftp.cc.uoc.gr/mirrors/linux/ubcd/ubcd528.iso
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Author Comment

by:APD_Toronto
ID: 39877531
I downloaded HD Tune Pro, but which test do I run?
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Author Comment

by:APD_Toronto
ID: 39877554
Under Health, both drives show Airflow Temperature failed, and my C drive shows failure End to End error detection.
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