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Is my Hard Drive failing? Or is it something else?


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#1 coenfused

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 07:18 AM

2 days ago my computer out of sudden refused to boot up. The power light turns on and then shuts off immediately.
I opened up the cabinet and disconnected my Graphics Card cause it usually created problem for me earlier as well. Used my integrated graphics and then my PC turned on. Unfortunately it couldn't reach to the loading screen, instead Windows opened its diagnostic page where we are supposed to press buttons from F1-F9.
When I tried to boot up in safe mode the windows crashes after small loading showing blue screen error which reported occasional missing of registry or kernel files.
 
The next day it even refused to power up. In the end I tried to disconnect all the hardware (HDD, Video Card etc) and turned on my computer with RAM removed. I was just checking if my motherboard is working or not. The long beeping sound confirmed it is working.
And after multiple failed startups the windows boots up normally (Very slowly) with some error repairing in C drive.
 
Researching in multiple forums online suggested me testing the HDD as well.
 
I'm using this HDD WDC WD20EZRX-00SPEB0 and it used to work perfectly.After running diagnostics on my various hardware components. I learned that my hard drive is having some problem.
 
Observations:
- Drastic speed loss in booting up.
- Multiple crashes and blue screen errors which stated missing kernel files.
 
I ran DLDIAG test, CrystalDiskTest, Seagate SeaTools, DiskScanner, DiskCheckup (windows) and chkdsk utility.
 
Results
 
DLDIAG
Test: QuickTest
SMART status: PASS
Result: PASS
Test: ExtendedTest
SMART status: PASS
Result: FAIL
ErrorCode: 08-Unable to repair bad sectors
Yesterday the SMART drive information showed warning sign  on 'CURRENT PENDING SECTOR COUNT' but its green today.
 
CrystalDiskTest
Caution [C5] Current Pending Sector Count: 2
Current:200
Worst:200
Threshold:0
RawValue:00000000002
 
Seagate SeaTools
SMART-Pass
Short DST-Fail at 10% (It passes earlier today)
ShortGeneric-Pass
LongGeneric-FAIL
 
AriolicDiskScanner
Showed 3 read errors in drive partition :C
Windows is installed in this drive
 
WindowsDiskCheckup
Windows succesfully scanned the drive. No errors were found.
 
CHKDSK
chkdsk/c
Stage3:
56969 data files processed
41800744 USN bytes processed
USN journal verification completed.
The volume bitmap is incorrect.
Windows has checked the file system and found problems.
 
chkdsk/f
It asks for checkup during next startup cause the drive is in use but I don't see it checking whenever I restart my PC.
 
chkdsk/scan
Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
No further action is required.
 
My PC specifications
OS: W10 Pro 64bit (build 15063)
Motherboard: Gigabyte H61M-D2H
CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 @3.30GHz (4 CPU)
 
I'm nowhere near hardware or software specialist but what I conclude is that due to possible bad sectors (IDK logical bad sectors or physical bad sectors) in Windows installation drive the system is struggling to boot up properly. Whenever the system couldn't read from that bad sector which possibly contains integral file of the system it shows the BSOD.
My HDD is out of warranty now I just want to know if this is a soft bad sector or hard one? (IDK if this is even a term, I just read it about on the internet). If it is either of these, what are the possible ways which can help me get throughout this mess? Will low-level formatting the drive help?
 
My computer works in a humid warm environment so I guess is this due to overheating? Cause this drive is just over 2 years old.
I've also asked my friend for help to give me some space to take backup of my data.
 
Please Help I would be very thankful to everyone.


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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 08:25 AM

Some suggestions:

> Try to boot into Safe Mode. If you can and can run the unit successfully, one of the loading components or drivers is causing the problem.

> Test the HDD using the Western Digital tester utility (since your drive is WD). However, it must be installed first on Windows. If you cannot boot into Windows or cannot install anything, then use Seatools For DOS (which boots virtual from your optical drive, but you must burn a disc first). Or you can use the Seatools Bootable utility from a flash drive.

If one of these virtual utilities will run successfully then most likely your mainboard is good. If they crash or you get error messages, your mainboard may have failed but that would require more testing.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 08:29 AM

Seagate SeaTools
SMART-Pass
Short DST-Fail at 10% (It passes earlier today) DST is the Drive Self Test.
ShortGeneric-Pass
LongGeneric-FAIL
 
I would say your drive is failing but I would agree with ranchhand to use WDs own tool. A hard drive can fail at any time. 
 
If an OEM computer I would back up your activation files with Advanced Tokens Manager. This would let you restore your activation to a new hard drive. Make a note of the key it finds for your reinstall.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikOykme9UkE

https://gsmartcontrol.sourceforge.io/home/



#4 SleepyDude

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 08:51 AM

...
Results
 
DLDIAG
Test: QuickTest
SMART status: PASS
Result: PASS
Test: ExtendedTest
SMART status: PASS
Result: FAIL
ErrorCode: 08-Unable to repair bad sectors
Yesterday the SMART drive information showed warning sign  on 'CURRENT PENDING SECTOR COUNT' but its green today.

 

DLDIAG is the Western Digital tool.

 

If the tools reported bad sectors and now the HDD passes the test its because the drive had some spare sectors and used them to "replace" the detected bad sectors.

 

It's difficult to say if this problem will stop or if the drive will develop more bad sectors with the use. The best recommendation is to backup the data ASAP and consider replacing the drive because its impossible to predict when it will fail.


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• Posts in the Malware section that are not replied to within 4 days will be closed. PM me or a moderator to reactivate.
• Please post your final results, good or bad. We like to know! Thank you!

 
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#5 MadmanRB

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 09:05 AM

Indeed sounds like a dying hard disk so better replace it, but it also sounds like your power supply may be going too.

Work on replacing the hard drive first as its the easiest to do and if the problems persist it may also be a power supply issue.

Its more than possible that both the PSU and the hard disk are going at the same time, a bit of bad luck there if that is the case.


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#6 ranchhand_

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 02:24 PM

I agree that the HDD is suspect. But even if the hard drive is failing, he should at least be able to get into the BIOS screen. At this point it appears that he cannot even get to POST.

You can try tapping the Delete key on boot, maybe that may allow you to access the BIOS screen.

Try disconnecting the HDD (leave all the other components in place) and boot. At the very least you should get a BIOS message to "insert a bootable disk and try again".

At this point I would not give the mainboard a clean bill of health yet.


Edited by ranchhand_, 27 July 2018 - 02:39 PM.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 03:26 PM

I agree that the HDD is suspect. But even if the hard drive is failing, he should at least be able to get into the BIOS screen. At this point it appears that he cannot even get to POST.

You can try tapping the Delete key on boot, maybe that may allow you to access the BIOS screen.

Try disconnecting the HDD (leave all the other components in place) and boot. At the very least you should get a BIOS message to "insert a bootable disk and try again".

At this point I would not give the mainboard a clean bill of health yet.

 

Well thats why I am thinking its a PSU issue as well, I mean its guesswork but at least the hard drive is a place to start and we can give suggestion if that doesnt work.


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#8 coenfused

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 12:09 AM

I'm sorry if you guys got a bit confused by this thread. English isn't my first language so I have a hard time explaining stuff.

Anyway, I'm telling everything again with proper timestamps. And thanks for helping me out, it really means a lot :)

 

25/Jul/18

My computer got stuck in a startup boot cycle (system keeps restarting itself after windows loading) and BIOS screen took way too long time to load. Sometimes the windows loading icon also froze.

In the Windows boot screen, it usually showed me Starting Repair or Opening Up diagnostic page. Which later showed me a notification that Windows can't boot up properly and showed options to press buttons between F1 to F9 (maybe more).

Whatever option I chose, whether it is the safe mode or Disabling driver signature. The windows crashed before the login screen with multiple error codes. Here are the few which I remember now:

 

- winload.exe is missing or corrupt

- The operating system couldn't be loaded because the kernel is missing or contains errors.

- IRQL: NOT LESS OR EQUAL

- ntoskrnl.exe missing or corrupt error

- SYSTEM_PTE_MISUSE Blue Screen Error

- unexpected kernel mode trap

 

Windows also tried to run multiple DiskScan during bootup but crashed as usual. No avail.

 

I just assumed that my OS got corrupted and I need to reinstall it. Just for testing purposes, I disconnected my Graphics Card (It's very old and crashed a few times before due to heating).

Surprisingly enough, the OS boots up successfully and I was able to access the desktop. Later I reconnected my Graphics Card and windows didn't show any issue after that.

 

26/Jul/18

 

This morning I tried to start my PC again but this time even the CPU refused to start up. I opened up the cabinet to see that the CPU fan runs for 1-2 seconds and then turning off again. No beeping sound. The computer got stuck in a startup cycle, The power button lights up - then turns off - then lights up again. Endlessly.

This was the time when my computer screen isn't showing anything. BLANK.

 

- I tried disconnecting all the hardware and directly connecting the CPU to the mains supply instead of UPS but still no avail.

- I removed the motherboard battery for a minute and then after putting it back. The system still didn't turn on.

- Throughout this time I kept my Graphics Card disconnected.

- I tried disconnecting the HDD as well but still the same result.

As someone suggested to me earlier. Removing the RAM and trying to boot the system up will pretty much tell if your motherboard is working or not. Fortunately, the system boots up (fans and CPU ran successfully) this time with a long beep.

I reconnected my RAM and bingo.

The windows loaded successfully and I could access the desktop.

 

Now since I got access to the computer. I ran all loads of test on my HDD which were suggested to me by other forums online. The detailed test results are given in the previous thread.

The list of tests I ran on my HDD are:

 

DLGDIAG (sorry for abbreviation, it is Data Lifeguard Diagnostics. Its a WD tool)

- The SMART data reported a warning sign against Pending Sector Count on the first day. But now it's showing a green tick against it.

- HDD failed at extended test

 

SeaGate SeaTools for Windows

- Occasional fail at Short Drive Self Test (Short DST test)

- HDD failed in Long Generic Test

 

Windows Disk Scanner

- Found one error with this one, According to windows, it is repaired now. Retesting the same doesn't show any error now

 

Ariolic Disk Scanner

- Reported 3 errors (Reading Sector Error) in my C drive partition (windows installed here) and then the next day it reported only 1 error in the same partition.

 

Crystal Disk Scanner

Caution (C5) Pending sector count: 2

 

CHKDSK Scans

 
chkdsk/c
Stage3:
56969 data files processed
41800744 USN bytes processed
USN journal verification completed.
The volume bitmap is incorrect.
Windows has checked the file system and found problems.
 
chkdsk/f
It asks for checkup during next startup cause the drive is in use but I don't see it checking whenever I restart my PC.
 
chkdsk/scan
Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
No further action is required.
 
Side Notes:
- My PSU is around 6 years old and now due to dust accumulation, its fan doesn't operate anymore. I also suspect it is having problems.
- My motherboard is also 6 years old and I visually inspected it thoroughly for leaking capacitors or any other abnormal stuff.
- My Graphics Card is also 6 years old and has a history of crashing a few times before due to overheating.
- My HDD is just 2 years and 6 months old.
- I keep my CPU cabinet dust free by weekly cleaning. But yeah cooling is still a big problem for me
- I took backup of my data and possibly I'll order a new HDD in the upcoming week.
- This HDD is out of warranty now.
- My computer is running right now. I have kept it running because I'm afraid it won't boot up again after It shuts down. So if you guys want me to do some more tests or want some more info then I could possibly provide it to you.
 
Conclusion: This is just what I think.
Due to bad sectors reported in windows installation drive and possibly important files stored in that sector. the windows fail to boot sometimes. And due to probably malfunctioning PSU the system fails to even power up. Am I thinking right?
Also if you guys could estimate what were the causes of this HDD problem so that I could prevent them from happening in future and possible repairs (low-level format or writing zeroes) if I could do to extend the life of this HDD.
 
Thank You


#9 ranchhand_

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 07:47 AM

 

PSU is around 6 years old and now... its fan doesn't operate anymore

If you are saying that the ventilation fan on the power supply is not working, that is a major breakdown. I am surprised that the computer even powers on. Do not run that unit any more until you either replace the PS or replace the vent fan in it. The PS is overheating, and eventually it will short out. At this point it may have caused other damage that we won't know about until you get that taken care of. I assume that you do not have a PS tester, so it will be difficult to ascertain if the unit is damaged or not. But...that definitely is one of the problems.

By the way...do not open up the PS until you research it; replacing a PS fan is not difficult, but the capacitors hold a serious charge for hours/days and you can get hurt if you touch the wrong thing.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#10 RjMaan

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 11:28 PM

One simple thing i wanted to add here in this discussion is that whenever your computer shows blue screen error during starting, it indicates that it is the issue of any hardware. If you are thinking that it is hard disk then you should unplug it and clean all of its connecting ports then plug it in again. This will remove the dust particles that may causes the connection lost between hard disk and motherboard. Some days ago i was facing the same problem and i thought i should purchase the new hard disk but after cleaning its connection port, the hard disk was fully operational.



#11 coenfused

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 12:54 PM

Thanks for the help till now.

I was unable to respond to this thread due to internet connectivity problems lately and since it was taking me a long time to take the backup. I was making sure to do everything possible before turning up to this thread again.

.

Before posting to this thread I also tried to get some help from WD support.

The reply I received from them was:

 

As per your mail, we understand that you are getting 'bad sectors detected’ error while testing the drive using 'Data Lifeguard Diagnostics' tool. 
We would like to inform you that there are two types of bad sectors: one resulting from physical damage that can’t be repaired, and one resulting from software errors that can be fixed. 
We would request you to take back up of data using any 'Data Recovery' software and perform erase (data destructive) using 'Data Lifeguard Diagnostics' tool. You may refer mentioned link for more information: 
https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?ID=940 
Note: If data in the drive is important. Please back up data using data recovery software then erase the drive. 
Once after the 
erase process, kindly initialize and format the disk from 'Disk Management'. You may refer mentioned links for more information: 

1. How to initialize or write a signature to a secondary hard drive or Solid State drive in Windows:
http://support.wdc.com/KnowledgeBase/answer.aspx?ID=1018 

2. How to partition and format a WD drive on Windows:
http://support.wdc.com/KnowledgeBase/answer.aspx?ID=3865 

Note: Formatting the drive will erase all data on the drive and is not recoverable. 
If you face any issue in the above troubleshooting steps, kindly help us with the screenshots of the error.

 

I tried the exact thing they have asked me to do so and now after a fresh install of windows (Full cleaning my PC, took around 10 hours resetting the drive), I tried opening up the CrystalDiskInfo.

The C5 error is solved now but a new C6 error came up

 

C6 Uncorrectable Sector Count: 2

 

Now what? what should I conclude from this?

 

Also, as suggested by others.

I got my PSU cleaned and it's operating properly now. I cleaned up my PC cabinet thoroughly with all the wires and connections properly cleaned as well.

Everything is working fine now. At least for a while.

So should I order a new HDD or is there any chances of this one can be recovered.

 

I'm also attaching a Screenshot for the same.

Thank You

Attached Files


Edited by coenfused, 31 July 2018 - 12:57 PM.





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