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SMART Hard Drive Messages warn of impending disk failure


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#1 ddibowski

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 12:03 PM

I have a Dell Inspiron that was purchased 4/2011.  I am running Windows 7.  It has a Samsung F3 1TB 7200 3.5" SATA2 HDD in it.  Model HD103SJ.  We recently started getting the following message when I boot up or restart:

See attachment boot_up_message.jpg. 

 

Hitting F2 starts the BIOS screen which I just get out of.  When the desktop appears I get the following message:

Dell hard drive parameter has exceeded its normal operating range

Samsung HD103SJ ATA device Parameter out of normal operating range

 

It gives me the choice to Backup the data, Ignore for now or Do not give the message anymore.

 

I have backed up the system.  I am now trying to fix this drive if possible before I decide to get another drive. 

 

Researching the message I have learned these are messages from the SMART diagnostics predicting the drive’s impending failure.  We can click Ignore for Now and the system works fine, occasionally giving us the message while the system is up and I choose Ignore again.  I realize the drive could go anytime and I am ready for that.

 

I ran chkdsk /f /r but still had the problem. 

Checking file system on C: The type of the file system is NTFS. Volume label is OS.

A disk check has been scheduled. Windows will now check the disk.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...

Cleaning up instance tags for file 0x305dc.

214784 file records processed. File verification completed.

1011 large file records processed.

0 bad file records processed.

0 EA records processed.

43 reparse records processed.

CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...

278854 index entries processed. Index verification completed.

0 unindexed files scanned.

0 unindexed files recovered.

CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...

214784 file SDs/SIDs processed.

Cleaning up 4899 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.

Cleaning up 4899 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.

Cleaning up 4899 unused security descriptors.

Security descriptor verification completed.

32036 data files processed.

CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...

35204144 USN bytes processed.

Usn Journal verification completed.

CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...

214768 files processed. File data verification completed.

CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...

225333242 free clusters processed. Free space verification is complete.

CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the master file table (MFT) bitmap.

CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.

Windows has made corrections to the file system.

962238463 KB total disk space.

60430144 KB in 174924 files.

125784 KB in 32037 indexes.

0 KB in bad sectors.

349563 KB in use by the system.

65536 KB occupied by the log file.

901332972 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.

240559615 total allocation units on disk.

225333243 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info: 00 47 03 00 7d 28 03 00 75 d7 05 00 00 00 00 00 .G..}(..u....... aa 88 00 00 2b 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ....+........... 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................ Windows has finished checking your disk. Please wait while your computer restarts.

 

I found Seagate now supports Samsung drives.  I ran SeaTools for Windows.  This is what it indicated:

 

SMART Check

--------------- SeaTools for Windows v1.2.0.10 ---------------

2/20/2014 3:43:28 PM

Model: HD103SJ

Serial Number: S26BJ9FZC07149

Firmware Revision: 1AJ10001

SMART - FAIL 2/20/2014 3:43:28 PM

SeaTools Test Code: 6C9AC2A4

SMART - FAIL 2/26/2014 10:06:27 AM

SeaTools Test Code: 6C9AC2A4

 

SMART Drive Self Test

Now is a good time to make sure you have a current backup of your important data.

 

Unfortunately, your Seagate product has failed an important diagnostic test, possibly caused by problem sectors which are difficult to read.  Seagate recommends that you run SeaTools for DOS, which has the ability to repair most problem sectors.  SeaTools for DOS may be able to save you from the inconvenience and down time of exchanging the drive.  For more information on this subject see our online FAQ:

 

So at that point I tried SeaTools for DOS.  I was not able to print the results so I took a picture of the screen.  It is attached. 

 

See attachments SMART_DOS_1.jpg and SMART_DOS_2.jpg.

 

I saw on the Dell Support website there is an “urgent” update for the firmware for the disk drive.  I have attempted to create a bootable CD with the firmware on it but have not had any success at that.  I have seen warnings not to update the firmware unless it is necessary. 

 

Nothing I have done so far has made any change to the drive.  I still have the problem I started with.  What advice can you give me based on your experience when these warnings start? 

Do you think loading the firmware is going to fix my problem? 

 

If so, can you give me directions to create a bootable CD to that would install it.  I don’t have a Windows 7 installation disk.  All I have is a disk labeled Dell Data Safe backup as Delivered if that would help.  I created this disk when the PC was new.  I am able to boot the PC from this backup. 

 

These are the instructions from Dell Support site for installing the firmware:

Custom Instructions for F3_Patch.zip:

This firmware download utility runs in DOS.

  1. Unzip the file F3_Patch.zip to your bootable USB key.
    2. Run the F3_Patch.exe file form your bootable key.
    3. You will notice that the current FW is 1AJ10001, after flash it will become 1AJ10002 (but this can only be done after reboot and re-run step 2).
    4. Reboot the system after flashed.
    5. Please take note the PC will halted sometimes as the BIOS is trying to detect the HDD, force reboot again if you see this situation.
    6. Once reboot successful, you will be able to go into Windows, Windows will detect your new HDD again.
    7. Last reboot from the Windows after detection completed, restart and FW is now 002 version.

Or is there anything else I could try?

 

As I was putting this case together I noticed in the SMART Windows test there was a SeaTools Test Code: 6C9AC2A4 which indicates Serial number not detected, SeaTools did fail the drive on the Seagate site

 

I'll continue to research that message but wanted to get this case posted.

 

Sorry the attachments are kind of blury.  How you can enlarge and read them.

 

Thanks for your help

Don 

Attached Files



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#2 dicke

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:59 PM

Hi,

If the SMART software says that the drive is suspect it's time to replace the drive. If it's still under warranty, go that route, if not, then it's time to hit the search button and find a drive you like and get it in place soon.

The longer you wait and the harder you test that drive the more likely it is to fail.

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#3 Kilroy

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:44 PM

I'm with dicke.  Whenever I start seeing SMART errors I backup the data and replace the drive.  It isn't a question if the drive is going to fail, it is a question of when.  You can try SpinRite, but it isn't free.  I've had SpinRite repair a drive that previously failed the manufacturer's test to the point that it would pass.  That said, I'll never trust a drive that is giving SMART errors with my data.



#4 larryhyman

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 03:07 PM

You can also try Victoria which is a Freeware alternative to Spinrite (and I have used it to repair many old faulty drives

 

http://hardware-today.com/articles/hdds/victoria_performance_evaluation_testing_and_minor_hdd_repairs



#5 dicke

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 03:13 PM

Hi,

IF you can afford to lose the data between the last backup and the next failure try one of the suggested repair programs. If not then backup and replace soonest.

your choice as always

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#6 ddibowski

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 05:44 PM

Thank you for your responses.

 

This PC is primarily used for email and internet.  It is used for taxes but at the first sign of trouble I backed it up making sure I had two copies of the documents directory where all our documents are stored.  I still have copies of the tax software installed to create the tax returns.

 

I am sure I am going to be faced with replacing the drive anyway but I enjoy learning as much as I can about PC’s so I hope you don’t mind me poking at this drive, with your help, to see if I can get it to work.

 

I read the Victoria link.  Correct me if anything I say is incorrect. 

 

It appears if I make no changes to the defaults, it is just a reporting tool. 

 

I don’t have any interest in changing the sound so I would probably skip that. 

 

The SMART tab would just report results.  I would expect mine get some non green or yellow in the health column, probably red. 

 

In the Next Step – Interface section:

 

Choose from the drop down list a test and click "Begin". If you want to stop the test press "Abort". So we are done with another tab and can go to the next one - "Tests".

 

I have not yet downloaded the software so I can’t see the tests available.  Do I just run the “Off-line Data Collect” test?  I assume the results show in the left pane.  Are there other tests I should run?

 

In the Scanning section – I don’t understand what is meant by “Most important ones are the first three above.”  I assume this refers to the gray blocks with 3, 12, and 30 to the left of them.  What makes these the most important?  I assume after the scan, the zeros to the right of the colored blocks will change to a count for that category. 

 

The “to log:” check boxes are used to log some results from each category.  Where can I find the log?

 

I can’t get to the PC until at least Tuesday.   I will download this software though and see what it tells me.

 

I noticed no one commented on the firmware.  Is that just not pertinent to my situation?

 

Thanks for your help on this. 

Don



#7 dicke

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 06:47 PM

Hi Don,

Can't comment on Victoria because I haven't used it.

The failure causing the SMART error message will not be corrected by updating the firmware - if there is a firmware update available

If you're going to play you might want to go to the HDD maker's site and see if they have any diagnostic / repair tools / utilities available. If so you might run them and see what happens. My guess is that you might get a better idea of what is failing but no help in preventing the failure

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#8 ddibowski

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 05:37 PM

Dicke - I did get the Seagate for Windows and DOS from the Seagate site.  These are the tools that I ran and reported on when I first opened the case.  But I did go back out to the site to see if I had missed something.  I didn't see anymore tools but did come across a Forum that I am going to explore after I finish this posting. 

 

I prepared a document with a lot of screen prints in it but it was too large to send – even when I zipped it.  So this is the condensed version.  If there is a way to beat the 65k (?) size limit let me know. 

 

Both downloads from the Victoria link, the VCR42.exe and VCR446Free.exe, gave me what could be a new install window with a bunch of question marks on it.  Nothing made sense.  A button at the bottom was a button highlighted in blue.  I clicked on that.

 

I got a window with a choice that indicated the program may not have been installed correctly or I could pick it was installed correctly.  Since the files I was expecting were created, I took the choice it was installed correctly.  I attempted to run it.  I got the message: “Driver file not found.  Please manually copy to your system32/driver directory”

 

When I clicked ok to the above message I got the message: “Error! Can’t install PortTalk driver!  Available only API access.  So that this message did not appear – replace a line in an ini-file: [Setup] AutoInstallDriver=0 (1-install driver; 0-don’t install) “  (There English not mine.)

 

I copied porttalk.sys to the system32/driver folder manually and tried again.  I got the message: “Unknown error or driver not exist”

 

Followed by: “PORTTALK Error.  Invalid driver handle”

 

Followed by: “PortTalk driver not installed!  Available only API access”

 

I clicked ok and Victoria started.  “API access enabled” appeared in the log at the bottom.  It looked like the screen in the sample screen in the link.  So I clicked on Samsung HD103SJ in the right pane and clicked Get SMART.

 

The result in the log was “SMART status = BAD”.  The only line with Health a red dot was “Raw read error rate” with Value = 1, Worst=1, Threshold= 51 and RAW= 48047.   

 

I don’t really understand what the numbers are telling me except my drive is bad. 

 

On the Tests tab I clicked Start and got the message “Privileged Instruction”.  It just sat there – I don’t think it did any scanning.  I didn’t get anything in the display after letting it sit there for a while. 

 

This is really better if I could show you the screen shots.  Let me know if there is a way to get them to you. 

 

So given this explanation of what I did,  I would appreciate any comments or reaction that anyone has. 

 

Thanks for your help

Don

 

 

 



#9 hamluis

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:01 PM

As has been stated...receiving SMART warnings of failure during normal system operation...well, it's self-explanatory, IMO.

 

You might also remember...the more that you play with a failing drive, the closer you move it to its destiny.

 

Louis



#10 dicke

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 08:56 PM

Amen


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E





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