Has my hard drive died?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by phoenix1234, Oct 12, 2011.

Oct 12, 2011

Has my hard drive died? by phoenix1234 at 2:00 PM (1,462 Views / 0 Likes) 20 replies

  1. phoenix1234
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    Newcomer phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    not sure if this is the forum to post this problem on, as its not really game related, but i do hope someone can point me in the right direction or even give me some insight to my plight....

    it all started 3 days ago, while browsing the net my laptop just froze completely, nothing would respond, so i had to do a forced shutdown (hold power button for 5 secs) i then proceeded to reboot and was greeted with KSOD (black screen of death).

    i did a lot of research into this and consequently decided to do a full re-install of windows (XP)

    my genuine copy of XP (multiload version) got to the part where it loads all the system files but wouldn't go any further, i then tried a bootleg copy of XP that i have for emergencies, this version got stopped to avoid damage to my hard drive and i was instructed to do a virus check etc, i then tried the Vista recovery disc i got with the laptop, this got to 98% and decided it didnt want to go any further.

    so some further research later and i discovered i could alter the AHCI setting in the BIOS to IDE, so this is what i did and proceeded with the install of my bootleg copy of XP (my genuine versions of XP and Vista still wasn't having any of it).

    so all went swimmingly XP loaded and ran, except it was running really really slow, and it sounded like the hard drive was really struggling to do what it's meant to (although its not making any strange noises, the noise it makes sounds just like normal, but slower) , for some reason i associated this with the fact i had changed the BIOS setting to IDE, so i went n changed it back, this is where i ran into more problems, i rebooted n found the working windows would now NOT work.

    so ALOT more research later and i found i had to re-install the AHCI sata controllers (easier said than done) but i managed it. i rebooted and windows found new hardware (hard drive, pci bus and disc drive) the problem now is because the system is running seriously slow, it seems its struggling to re-install the needed drivers. i also reflashed the BIOS to v1.22 or v2.22, cant remember which.

    so i ask once again, is it time for a new hard drive? or is there anything i can do that might resolve my problem?

    my system specs should you need them are:
    Brand: Fujitsu Siemens esprimo mobile V6535 Screen Size: 15.4 inches Processor Processor Brand: Intel Processor Type: Intel Celeron Processor Speed: 2.2 GHz Memory RAM Size: 1 GB Hard Drive Hard Drive Size: 160 GB Additional Specifications Operating System:
    Windows XP Pro & Vista business 32bit
     


  2. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    You might want to install another gig of RAM of you want to run Vista smoothly.

    As for your HDD.
    See if you have a spare 2.5" or borrow one from a friend.

    Reinstall XP and see if it helped.
     
  3. phoenix1234
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    Newcomer phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    i don't use the vista it came with for just that reason, i downgraded to XP many moons ago, i just thought i would try the vista disc again just to see if it would install, which it doesnt, i get a system32 error, i also dont have access to another HDD unfortunately
     
  4. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    You could hook up the HDD to another computer and wipe the whole HDD.
    Not just a quick format but let it overwrite a couple of times.

    Otherwise check if there is a firmware upgrade for the HDD (although very unlikely that that would solve the problem it's worth a shot)
     
  5. The_Dragons_Mast

    Member The_Dragons_Mast GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well this is weird . My father's old Fujitsu Siemens had the same symptoms about 3 years ago . We ended up sending it for repairs where they tried a different ram , hdd & even tried running the laptop with a strong cooler under it but it kept running in a horribly slow speed that they left the windows installer running for a few hours & didn't even reach 50% . They ended up saying it a Motherboard malfunctioning & we sold it .

    Hopefully yours is a different case but until you try another HDD you will never know if it is the cause or no .
     
  6. yusuo

    Member yusuo GBAtemp Addict

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    You've diagnosed the problem pretty well, from what you saying it sounds like the hard drive is on the way out, running slowly obviously means the disks aren't reading as fast as they should be you could try the freezer trick if you need to get any data but seeing as you've just re-installed windows that's unlikely (unless you partition the drive like I do.)

    I would get a new hard drive and destroy the old one, if you got the money and torrent alot this might be the time to invest in a 1tb drive or if you have an access to an external and are able to boot from usb you could run a version of windows off that, just don't expect it to be amazingly quick.

    Thinking about it grab a live copy of ubuntu, its free and comes with a hard drive analyzer Ubuntu runs off a cd or usb drive and its an operating system that runs off the media itself itstead of the hard drive.

    Its quite a detailed analyzer and should tell you what portion of the hard drive is failing, if it is at all, perfect little tool to have sometimes.
     
  7. phoenix1234
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    Newcomer phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    i have already checked for the latest updates for the drivers but ontop of all the other problems it won't recognise the MMC readers, even though the drivers for those are installed, btw the HDD is an Hitachi HTS543216L9A300

    Dragon master
    i am currently letting it run as we speak to see if it will eventually find and install the drivers it needs, approx 2hrs in n it seems stuck on searching for the D drive driver.
    and i have already considered the selling option, as i really dont believe its just a hard drive problem with the OS actually installing through the IDE route

    ok i like the sound of that, would you happen to have a link for that version of ubuntu please?
     
  8. The_Dragons_Mast

    Member The_Dragons_Mast GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Okay good luck . Here is the link for ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download . Use the try option to boot from the cd or usb drive.
     
  9. phoenix1234
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    Newcomer phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    thanx, i'll keep you informed
     
  10. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    What others said (laptop drives are pretty unreliable in the long term) but do make sure you do not have a boot sector virus- apparently they are back in fashion (certainly I have pulled more from machines in the last year or so than I have since the early 90s).
     
  11. Nimbus

    Member Nimbus sudo /usr/bin make-me-a-coffee --nosugar --cream=1

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    Even though you said your HDD isn't making any unusual sounds, I'd keep on guard. HDD may sound fine one minute when they're dying and may all of a sudden start making such awful noises

    Either way, if the Ubuntu disk's checking utilities report alot of bad sectors, replace it ASAP. I also hope you have one or more working backups of this machine.

    In fact, here's a video of different "Sounds of Death" from hard drives. It may help. Keep in mind it may also make you cringe, as it does to me.

     
  12. phoenix1234
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    Newcomer phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    ok i decided to install ubuntu onto the HDD and immediately noticed improved performance, the drive utility is still self testing so am not sure as to the state of the HDD at this stage,

    could this all have been a windows issue? ie a registry issue?
     
  13. Nimbus

    Member Nimbus sudo /usr/bin make-me-a-coffee --nosugar --cream=1

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    It might have been, and it might not have been. Ubuntu is generally less resource heavy than even XP is at this point, expecially with lightweight Desktop Environments and Window Managers

    Since you literally dropped a train on Windows, we haven't any clue at this point, nor will anyone be able to really figure it out.

    Now, if the HDD fails the test, you'll know.
     
  14. phoenix1234
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    Newcomer phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    ok i seem to have hit a bit of a brick wall, below is the screen shot for the disc utility:

    [​IMG]

    looking at the top right loading bar, it seemed to get stuck there for several hours, i'm guessing this was because of the bad sectors... but looking at the results as they stand would you guys say it was the HDD that was at fault?
     
  15. Nimbus

    Member Nimbus sudo /usr/bin make-me-a-coffee --nosugar --cream=1

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    Yeah, I'd say thats a fair number of bad sectors. Enough to warrent replacing the drive if you ask me.

    More than 5-10 Bad sectors on a HDD is considered "Dying" in my books, but that's just me, others might have other views/ideas on that matter.

    The fact that it says it passed right now is entirely moot. It might actually change that little green icon in the corner to yellow or red if it did finish.

    I'd say, save what you can using another storage device, and replace that drive ASAP!
     
  16. phoenix1234
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    Newcomer phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    ok i hear ya,

    the 11 mins that it shows was the 2nd time i ran it on the quick setting, the 1st time it was running for approx. 7 hours on the extended setting, and for around 3 of those hours the loading bar was stuck at that very same point.

    is there anything i could do to repair those bad sectors? or is that just not possible?
     
  17. Fishaman P

    Member Fishaman P Speedrunner

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    I would say 46 bad sectors means the hard drive is going. But with that weak laptop, I would just get a new laptop altogether. Wait a little while for Intel's Ivy Bridge, though.

    By the way, the next version of Ubuntu (on a 6-month release cycle) comes out TOMORROW, so see if that makes any difference with the hard drive.

    And no, you cannot repair bad sectors; they are something physically wrong with the disk.
     
  18. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Think of bad sectors as parts of the HDD platter that got scratched by the header due to heat/vibration/eratic movement. Just like scratches on a CD/DVD, those sectors become unreadable. With CD/DVDs, there's a protective layer that you can use special products to try and hide the scratches to let the laser read it, but with high-density media like HDDs, no such protection exists. HDDs normally have a means to detect bad sectors and remap data around them, however as more bad sectors accumulate, the functionality of the HDD declines. As mentioned, that many bad sectors is a sign that the HDD is dying. Time to get a new one.

    My recommendation, if you're going to buy a new HDD, get one from Samsung or Western Digital. I don't know many people whose Seagate drives are still working, where as hardly any Samsung or WD drives have died - at least in the computers I've worked on.
     
  19. phoenix1234
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    Newcomer phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    thanx for putting that in plain English :-)

    I have run the drive utility again, this time for around 18 hours and it is still stuck at the same part, so i'm guessing it just cant read any further.

    so i have taken everything on board that everybody has said and i would like to thank everyone for their contribution to my problem, it has been MUCH appreciated.

    now to look for a new HDD.

    THANX AGAIN EVERYBODY :-)
     
  20. Nimbus

    Member Nimbus sudo /usr/bin make-me-a-coffee --nosugar --cream=1

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    No problem, that's what we're here for, right?

    HDD's die, plain and simple. It's not a matter of "if" as it is of "when"
     

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