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3 Signs of a Failing Hard Drive?


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#1 SkyNet_3000

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 02:59 PM

Hi Bleeping Computer Community,

Was wondering if you can please help me tell what the problem and solution might be here, as I am not the most tech savvy. 

I have encountered the following issues before, which went away for some time after restoring computer to factory settings but they have re-merged.

Issue #1: My Internet will stop connecting to the router randomly (sometimes when working in Gmail). It will keep attempting to connect non-stop but to no avail. A temporary fix that seems to work is to restart the router and restart my computer and the issue. This issue can return quickly (within 20 minutes) or wait a while (weeks to a month). My room mate's computer and my phone does not lose connection, so issue not with router.

Previously, before I wiped my computer, this issue became increasingly worse to the point where could not connect to Internet. It seems a few people have noted this issue with my laptop but no real solution found:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/samsung/713016-wireless...
https://www.facebook.com/notes/samsung-notebook/samsung...

Issue #2: USB Ports sporadically stop working. Unplugging it and replugging device into different port works for the time being.

I recall this issue too getting worse over time to the point before the hard drive wipe.

Issue #3 - Disappearing Pictures in Pictures folder?

I recall photo albums not appearing in the "Pictures library", but doing a search in the search bar would be able to recover the photos where I could copy and repaste in the "Pictures" library where they could be found. A friend pointed out the "Pictures library" is different from the "Pictures folder" and asked me which one I was searching (I don't fully remember). It seems though if the Pictures "library" should be accurate cause doesn't it draw from the "Pictures folder"? 

I ran an HDDScan from http://hddscan.com/ and it gave me a yellow caution sign in these 3 areas (not-red which is more serious):

Reallocation Sector Count. Value: 095. Threshold: 010. Raw (hex): 0000000000-0360
Reallocation Event Count. Value: 095. Threshold 000. Raw (hex): 0000000000-0360
UltraDMA CRC Errors. Value: 100. Threshold 000. Raw (hex): 0000000000-0001

I also ran Seagate Tools for Windows, in which the hard drive failed all their tests (below). Ironiccaly, Seagate for DOS, which is supposed to be far more accurate tool, reported no problems.

S.M.A.R.T Check FAIL
Short Drive Self Test FAIL
Short Generic FAIL
Long Generic FAIL

One of my more comptur savvy friends said hard drive always have some failure, so he didn't necessary think it was my hard drive causing the problem but I am not so sure. 

Is my hard drive slowing dying? Should I replace it? I replaced my wifi card and it did not fix the wireless issue. 

I ran some fancy virus scan software from both zone alarm, ESET, and Malware Malbytes which did not find issue.

Calling Samsung IT people offer limited help.

My laptop is a 3 year-old Samsung model number: np700z5b-s01ub
Laptop's hard drive Model: ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB

Thank you for your time and advice in helping me out!
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#2 Sintharius

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 03:08 PM

Based on the SMART and SeaTools for Windows test, I think it's safe to assume that your HDD is indeed dying.

I recommend that you replace your HDD as soon as possible, as there is no telling when it will fail and taking your data with it.

#3 SkyNet_3000

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:47 AM

Thanks for your response! I got this answer from someone which I think may be correct:

"CRC errors on the drive often indicate cabling or port issue, not drive. Usb ports disappearing and your wireless problems not being corrected by replacing the wireless card also indicates a more extensive problem with the motherboard. Power circuitry is also integrated onto the motherboard. So it sounds to me like the motherboard is the most likely culprit. Given that you already have put money into it only to not find your problem resolved, and given that motherboard replacement can be spendy and is not a simple matter, I'm not sure I would try to fix it."

Sucks for a $1000 laptop to die in 2.5 years, but what can you do?



#4 Sintharius

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:50 AM

You can try connecting your HDD to another machine and test it with SeaTools. If the problem is still the same, then it's the HDD having problems.

#5 zingo156

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:40 AM

Your drive is definitely having issues, reallocations mean you have had bad blocks which can cause issues. It does not mean 100% that this is why your wireless is disconnecting but it could be related.

 

Hard drives have spinning/moving mechanical parts, they fail over time, generally 1-2 years is a decent life span for a laptop hard drive. Laptops get moved and bumped and this often can cause problems for mechanical drives. The platter that stores your data is spinning at ~5400-7200rpms (that's pretty fast!), then the head that reads the data is floating on air just above the platter, the head itself is tiny, (nano meters), if the drive takes a hard bump or fall of even a few inches, that head can slam into the platter which is spinning, this can cause scratches in the platter which would potentially destroy data stored in those blocks, or worse, it might damage the head. Hard drives are going to fail eventually even if they are never bumped, anything mechanical that moves is destined to fail.

 

As mentioned, I would replace the drive, if you wait to do this, make sure you back up your data frequently. A drive that has reallocations is 6 times more likely to fail than a drive with none. You can read about SMART here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.


Edited by zingo156, 27 January 2015 - 08:42 AM.

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