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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    Drive failing, or is it?

    My OS is Win 7 Pro 32 bit with SP1 and all updates installed.

    For the last 2 days Windows has popped up a message from time to time saying one of my internal drives is failing. I ran SeaTools long generic test on the drive, and it passed. I also ran chkdsk F: /r (my F drive is the one concerned) and no problems were found. (I have an up to date drive image).

    What would fellow loungers recommend?

    Advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks and regards,Roy

  2. #2
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    If you have not done so already you should make an image backup of the drive.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Roy, Since you have already made an Image, I would keep the Image up to date and see what happens. Are you sure you do not have any uninvited "guests" on the drive? I might also do some deep scans with your favorite AV and AM apps just to rule that out. You have already run the disk scans. I'm not sure if this will check anything else, but you could right click on the drive in question, Properties, Tools, Error Checking, click Check Now.
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  4. #4
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    If Seatools passes then it's highly unlikely that there is a real problem with the drive.

    You can also rule out a issue with Windows interpreting system errors as a disk problem: look in the System logs of the Event Viewer to check for Disk or NTFS errors. Click Start and enter "Event Viewer" in the Search programs and files text box. Click on Event Viewer in the menu above to launch it, then select Windows Logs>System. Next, filter the log to search for Disk or NTFS errors: click Filter Current Log in the Actions pane on the right hand side, in the pull down Filter Current Log menu check Disk and NTFS boxes and OK.

    If none are recorded around the time of the dialog box, then you can be fairly sure there is no drive problem, in which case I would definitely scan for malware. As Ted infers - it sounds like a scareware infection.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    You asked for opinions...
    If it were mine I would back it up and re-format the drive, if the error persisted I would replace it.
    Do you "Believe"? Do you vote? Please Read:
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  6. #6
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    If you received a pop-up about the drive failing, then it is most likely the SMART settings that indicate a problem. Though I have had Linux warn me about a bad drive and Windows never said a word. I have run the SeaTools long drive self-test (from a DOS session) on a bad drive and had that test pass. That drive was obviously suffering from the "click of death".

    Your first step should be to back up the drive. The second step is to run a low-level format on the drive using SeaTools for DOS (it's not called a low-level format, rather it is something like zero-fill the drive). Doing this forces the drive to automatically retire bad sectors and replace them with reserve sectors. This might fix the drive so that it is usable. You can then boot back into Windows, format the drive and use it. And make sure you backup often.

    BTW, if the drive is a Seagate drive, you can go online and find out if your drive is still under warranty (5 years). If it is, they will replace the drive for free, though I suggest getting the ~$20 replacement kit - they first ship you a new drive with overnight FedEx and they provide a pre-paid return sticker.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the helpful comments.

    I tried various things, including the Error Checking options mentioned by Ted Myers, and various AV scans ( avast Internet Security suite, my always on program, Exterminate It!, Malwarebytes, SUPERAntiSpyware, Sophos Anti Rootkit, Spybot Search & Destroy, TDSKiller, SpyDLL Remover and SpyBHO Remover) but no problems were found. I also tried booting with SeaTools for DOS versions 2.22 and 2.23, but could not get past the first screen because I could find no way to click the "I accept" the licence agreement button, either with the cursor, which I could not move, or the keyboard. SeaTools for DOS version 1.10 checked the drive but stopped at 72%. It listed the command to enter to view the log file, but when I entered the command it was not recognised.

    Event Viewer did list the drive problem.

    I then did a low level format of the drive, restarted the computer, and used Disk Management to format the drive, and mounted it as a simple volume with the same drive letter F as before. I copied the drive contents back from my Macrium Reflect backup image, but subsequently the Windows bad drive message reappeared. Having said that, that was yesterday and the message has not appeared today.

    I would add that I did not copy back the System Volume Information folder. Should I have done?

    Further comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks and regards, Roy

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I don't know Roy, this is one of those where I do not think I would place a lot of trust in that drive. I would not place anything critical on it. It surely sounds like it has a very intermittent problem. These problems have a nasty way of getting worse over time. It might be time to say good-bye to that drive. Perhaps someone has some more ideas, but it does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling at this point in time.
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  9. #9
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    After all your work, you still got an error as soon as you put data back on the drive. I do not trust the drive. I'd replace the drive ASAP.

    Joe

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