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Hard drive suddenly dead but no previous signs?


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#1 cornflakes2

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 11:30 PM

I realize that anything can just die/stop working suddenly without any signs or warnings, but

if I'm not mistaken, isn't it unusual or abnormal for hard drives that were working perfectly

and showing no signs of hard drive failure, to just suddenly die and stop working the next day?

 

Usually when hard drives are getting old and about to die, it becomes very sluggish for

many days and other problems arise before it finally croaks.  My notebook is a pretty old one

but I had the hdd replaced a few years ago.  It was working fine, perfectly even...very smooth,

no lag, no issues, but I had to get replacement AC adapter (power cord) because the original

was dying.  The replacement AC adapter is not the manufacturer's original ac adapter. I had to get one 

off a computer technician who told me it was the same one (meaning, the specs of the adapter 

works with or matches with that of my notebook model).

 

I plugged it in and the notebook was working fine for about 2 days.  Now it suddenly died

and diagnostics says DST short failure and no hard drive detected.  So I'm assuming that means

my hard drive just died suddenly after having no signs of it.  Could it be the new adapter?  

 

Now I have a dilemma because I don't know if the hard drive just died on it's own (suddenly) or

if the new ac adapter may have slightly different specs and was killing my HDD until it finally died only

3 days later?

 

In your opinion, which do you think is the most likely cause?

 

 



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#2 Platypus

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 02:01 AM

The drive failing the Short DST (Drive Self Test) would indicate it has suffered a sudden failure. When the BIOS doesn't detect the drive, there has usually been a failure of the drive electronics, which is quite likely to happen suddenly, since electronic circuits mostly either work or they don't.

It seems unlikely for the problem to be provoked by an adapter, because the HDD is not powered directly from the adapter. There is more than one circuit within the laptop converting voltage between the higher voltage of the adapter and battery, and the lower voltages operating devices like the hard drive.

Edited by Platypus, 11 April 2017 - 02:02 AM.

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#3 britechguy

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 09:06 AM

Yep.  This is "the problem" with failures of electronics versus other sorts of failures (be they mechanical or otherwise).  Electronic components are much like a light switch, they're either on and working or off and dead.  All it takes is one pivotal bit in the electronic "bucket brigade" to die and it's all dead.

 

I see this a lot with automotive electronics.  The difference being that you sometimes get at least some warning during the "dying but not yet dead" period where a given component is intermittently functioning then not.  I'm not talking about things as complex as electronic control units (i.e., your engine control module) but small bits like amplifiers and the like.  In the more complex stuff the experience is far more like what you've had here:  dead as a doornail without warning.

 

I feel for you as this is the most frustrating type of failure.  This also points out the need to regularly make backups, including system image backups plus ongoing user data backups between each system image being taken.   I have suffered through one drive failure like the one you describe and the only way to really come back from it, absent paying obscene amounts of money for data recovery by professionals, is to get another HDD and then use your system image to restore your system and user data backup to get the files you've created since the system image was taken.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

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#4 cornflakes2

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:39 PM

Thanks britech and platypus.  Those were very good and clear answers.  I appreciate the responses!



#5 britechguy

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 10:15 PM

A quick P.S.:   If you happen to be lucky enough to be running Windows 10 you will be able to reinstall Windows 10 on a replacement drive at no cost.  The license key for Windows 10 is noted in your Microsoft Account and is linked to the motherboard in the computer in question.  Once a given computer is licensed for Windows 10 once, it remains licensed in perpetuity for as many reinstalls as might be needed.

 

You can download the Windows 10 ISO, either directly to a bootable USB or the ISO file, which would then have to be burned to DVD to use, and then reinstall once you have a new drive.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#6 DataMedic

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 02:01 PM

 

Usually when hard drives are getting old and about to die, it becomes very sluggish for

many days and other problems arise before it finally croaks.  

 

 

 

In newer hard drives this is no longer the case.  Many, if not most, newer drives now fail with zero warning.  To increase density HDD manufacturers are having to make things like the read/write heads smaller and smaller.  They are also far more sensitive than older drives were.  The result is read/write heads which are extremely delicate and can immediately fail with no warning.  Older drives would usually begin to develop bad sectors for a while (thus the sluggish behavior) before eventually failing.  The new ones rarely last long enough for the media (platters) to actually become the issue.


Edited by DataMedic, 13 April 2017 - 02:02 PM.





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