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Is my hard disk failing?


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#1 Turaiel

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:52 PM

I believe my laptop's hard disk may be failing, but I'm getting conflicting answers from the several programs I've used to test it. Here's what I've gotten:

BIOS SMART Short/Long test - Passed
SMART:
  • Reallocated Sector Count: Raw - 248, Normalized: 99 , Threshold: 0
  • Reallocated Event Count: Raw - 13, Normalized: 100, Threshold: 0
Disk Health:
  • Hard Disk Sentinel: 22%
  • HDD Health: 99%
  • SpeedFan: 46%
All HP would do for me is send recovery CDs to "get rid of the error messages," which shows how helpful they are. So can anyone help me to determine whether my disk is failing or not? If it matters, it's less than a year old. Any help is appreciated.

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

Please perform the following, so that we can get the exact specs of your computer. This will better assist us in helping you more.

Publish a Snapshot using Speccy

The below is for those who cannot get online

Please take caution when attaching a text file to your post if you cannot copy/paste the link to your post, you will need to edit it to make sure that your Windows Key is not present.

#3 Turaiel

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:10 PM

Here's your Speccy link: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/3CVdHpuRNhalhdZrX8FaVxN

#4 dpunisher

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:19 PM

Why do you believe it is failing? Are you getting warnings from your SMART monitor?

The "Reallocated sector Count" can be misleading as even new hard drives in "perfect" condition have reallocated sectors. You will always have reallocated sectors. Pay attention if you have a sudden jump in this number though, but as a RAW value, it's meaningless (to a point) unless you know what the number was the day you plugged in the drive.

Stuff I pay attention to:

1)Current Pending Sector Count
2)Uncorrectable Sector Count

Generally, unless I get a SMART warning, I usually let a hard drive alone, of course I backup religiously (been through my share of hard drive deaths). If you are looking at this SMART output, and worried about losing irreplacable data, you're doing it wrong. :)

Oh, and spin retry count- can be a sign of a bad motor/controller. Things can go bad fast when this hits.

Edited by dpunisher, 26 May 2012 - 08:21 PM.

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#5 Turaiel

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:25 PM

I was worried about it because the utilities I used warned that the drive is unhealthy. 248 seems like an awfully high number of reallocated sectors for a new drive. Accordinng to my roommate (who previously owned the laptop), there were around 104 reallocated sectors just a few months ago.

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:47 PM

Since Toshiba, does not make diagnostic software for you drive, can you please run Seatools for DOS and post the results.

Also are you experiencing any slowness or other issues that may indicate hard drive failure?

#7 Turaiel

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:41 PM

Unfortunately, I couldn't get Seatools to start on the machine, possibly because of the switchable graphics (just got a black screen after it started up). I tried both downloading the ISO from the site and using the copy bundled with Ultimate Boot CD.

I'm honestly not sure about the slowness thing. I do know that games are unplayable because of lag, but I think that's a graphics driver issue. Earlier today I was having an issue with all of my applications locking up, but I don't know whether that was because it was too close to boot time or something else. Since I got the laptop nearly a year after it was purchased, I don't have anything to compare the performance to.

#8 cryptodan

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:57 PM

What do you mean by switchable graphics?

#9 Turaiel

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:09 PM

The laptop has both an Intel integrated GPU and a standalone AMD card. Sometimes some applications or operating systems will fail to boot because they select the wrong GPU and output never gets displayed.

#10 cryptodan

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:17 PM

That doesn't make sense, because according to my knowledge the Intel Graphics is the default one until a more demanding application needs more video power then it switches. This in no shape way or form affects booting from a CD to test hardware.

#11 Turaiel

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:33 PM

Afraid not. The machine starts in AMD, but some OSes detect the Intel first and bind to it, even though the AMD card is the one that's operating at the time. While Windows is running, it defaults to AMD until the machine is unplugged, then it switches to Intel (or manually if I want it to).

#12 cryptodan

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:39 PM

You may want to check the BIOS out to see if you can change it to use the Intel graphics as primary.

#13 Turaiel

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:42 PM

The BIOS is quite limited in options. There's nothing in there that lets you select which GPU to use. Either way, that's not quite on topic anymore. Do you have any other ideas for diagnosing that HDD?

#14 cryptodan

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:57 PM

Without being able to load any form of diagnostic software prior to loading windows there is no accurate way of diagnosing the hard drive.

However, I would remove the virtual drive as that could cause issues with gaming and what not.

#15 Turaiel

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:00 PM

Some software will load alright, but some will not. It really depends on the software for some reason.

As for the virtual drive... I thought I had disabled that. Huh.




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