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Hard disk failure imminent - real or malware?


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#1 ProfSquirrel

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:36 PM

Hi,

I've been experiencing problems with my Dell XPS 15 laptop, running Windows 7, which conveniently came out of warranty in January :angry: About a month ago the connections on a separate external hard drive I use at work broke so I copied everything from it over onto my laptop using a SATA cable. At the time, McAfee stopped working and kept shutting down. I couldn't find a fix for it so changed to the free version of AVG and uninstalled everything from McAfee except Security Scanner. My computer kept freezing up and running slowly, so I guessed I may have copied an infection over from the external hard drive. Scans showed up a trojan which was removed successfully - trojan downloader ASX/Wimad.bp but from the description of this I don't think it can be what's been causing the problem. I've since changed from AVG to Microsoft Security Essentials (all other antivirus now uninstalled) but scans with this & malwarebytes don't show anything up. System restore has also been playing up, with restore points disappearing for no reason. When I looked into it Volume shadow copy service wasn't started and was set to manual. I changed this and set it to automatic and restore points stayed for a while but then disappeared again following the error described below. The service isn't starting despite still being set to automatic.

I'm now getting a hard drive failure warning for the internal hard drive in my laptop. I've seen screenshots of malware-related warnings and mine doesn't quite look the same - there's also no suggested links to click on or anything, i.e. it's not trying to get me to buy anything to fix the problem. Intel IAStorUI is also reporting that the hard drive is at risk. Is it possible for a virus etc to do this? I've backed up my files but don't know what to do next. I'm not sure whether I should be ordering a new hard drive or not??

The hard drive is a Samsung HM640JJ, 620GB. I've had the laptop since Jan 2011. I presume if this isn't a virus then transferring the files over has triggered a problem with the hard drive that perhaps might always have occurred once it had more stored on it. Or it's just an unfortunate coincidence...

Please help!

Shots of windows warning Attached File  image002.jpg   89.76KB   17 downloads & intel error Attached File  image002.jpg   64.55KB   14 downloads Attached File  image004.jpg   65.44KB   12 downloads info attached.

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 01:08 PM

Download the following: Samsung Drive Test and run it. You will need to burn it to a CD.

#3 ProfSquirrel

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:44 PM

I'll give it a go, thanks!

#4 coxchris

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:19 PM

if you see Windows telling you that its likely to be badly damage

I would perform a manufacture test
than perform a Windows backup and make system disc (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/backup-and-restore)

Dell likes to hide the recovery partition so if you get a new hard drive. That recovery partition will be gone but you can recover it by windows backup

I found a replacement for you http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136568&Tpk=640GB%20Sata%20drive this is the same drive only a different manufacture company. I like WD drives
if that come to the worst

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#5 rotor123

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:23 PM

I agree with coxchris that when windows tells you that the drive is bad it most likely is bad.

I would advise backing up the drive right away. Then When you turn on the Laptop and the Dell logo appears start pressing f12 to get to the boot device menu. From there choose the diagnostics partition and run the custom test for the hard drive.

Good Luck
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Edited by rotor123, 25 June 2012 - 12:24 PM.

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#6 ProfSquirrel

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:18 AM

Hi all,

Thanks very much for your suggestions & advice. I ran the Dell diagnostics & got several "IRQ did not set in time" errors. I'm not sure where a full report of the errors found might be stored on my system though as there was no final report in the diagnostics program. There was also no repair facility & I couldn't get SeaTools for DOS to load (Opcode errors) so can't use the repair facility that comes with that either. I think I'm basically at the point of replacing it & starting over - does that seem wise or a waste of money without trying any further avenues?

coxchris - thanks for the replacement drive info. I want to replace it like for like as it's a 7200rpm drive and I'm in the UK so I've been looking at UK suppliers; how do I make sure the drive is compatible? I think you're right about going with Western Digital, but I'm not sure what the difference is between Scorpio/Caviar, blue/black etc. Any info you can give would be gratefully received! Dell's own replacements are around 2-3 times the cost so I definitely want to find and order a replacement without going through them!

I've made recovery discs for Windows but I'm concerned they might not work - is there any way of checking them before I change the hard drive to make sure they were created successfully?

Thanks again :thumbsup:

#7 coxchris

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:51 PM

I found you a hard drive in UK http://www.ebuyer.com/252715-wd-750gb-2-5-sata-ii-scorpio-black-hard-drive-7200rpm-16mb-cache-wd7500bpkt this is the same thing as what I link earthier but wrong side of the world Sorry about that. this hard drive has a little bit more space 740GB and shipping is free.

Hard drive have the same standards in the UK or in US. The only specific thing that you requested was RPM and SATA 3.0 interface and I found that drive that had both for you

The only differences in(PC) is we use 120AC to operate our pcs and you use 240AC for power your computers

I just switch outlets store to UK.

There just Models name nothing important here is my drive: http://www.ebay.com/itm/WESTERN-DIGITAL-WD5000AAKS-00WWPA0-500GB-DCM-DHNNNTJAHN-/170828332725.

yes you can Boot up the computer using the first disc that you made if that works you are good.

Dell is often expensive but they make good computers. With the disasters in Asia hard drives are not very cheap right now. So 2-3 times the cost would be the shipping cost from the factory to you but I found you a good buy on ebuyer.com with free shiping

Hopes that helps

Edited by coxchris, 01 July 2012 - 12:51 PM.

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#8 ProfSquirrel

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 02:59 PM

Replacement hard drive ordered and hopefully on it's way. Thank you so much for taking the time to look up a replacement etc for me, I really appreciate it. I was looking at the same one on Amazon & it was 15 more so you've not only found me a replacement much more quickly than I could have but you've also saved me money. Brilliant! Thanks again :)




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