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  1. #1
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    hard drive failing passes then fails tests

    So I've been having hard drive issues last few weeks. Every now and then it would freeze my laptop for a minute then it would go back to normal. I'm assuming some sort of read error? I ran memory and cpu tests in case and they came back fine. So I tried to do some hard drive tests. Every time I ran short tests it would fail and long tests would go through and tell me to run it in DOS to fix it better. I tried DOS and it wouldn't even detect my Hard drive. After a few weeks I decide to finally format the drive and run seatools again. I found out that I had to change ahci to ata in bios in order for it to detect the drive. This time I did a full erase and it finished after a few hours with the result 'passed'. Then I ran a long test and it went through and it found errors which I guess it fixed, then it did a short one and it said 'passed' then i did another long one and it went through and said failed, then a popup came up asking me what I wanted to do with the errors so I clicked on repair all and it fixed all of them then said long 'passed after repair'. Then it ran a short one after the long one and now it says failed!!! :S What is going on? Why does it fail sometimes then pass other times? I'm now running a program my buddy gave me called SpinRite. I'm not quite sure what it does, but he said it should find bad sectors and try to fix them. It says 15 hours remaining :/ Either way, anyone have experience with SeaTools or diagnostic tools and get the results I got earlier?

    Edit: Also S.M.A.R.T shows no problems at all and passes each time !

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Lounge.

    How old is this drive? It might very well be failing and should be replaced. I would not trust a drive that is acting as yours is acting.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    I would run CHKDSK x: /F /V /R (where x is the assigned drive letter for the drive) in a Command Prompt window. It may take a long time - longer still if there are still disk errors.

    Carefully inspect the output at the end for bad blocks. As Medico says, there's no point keeping a known faulty drive unless you have very good and frequent backups of important data. And probably not even then!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    SpinRite will take a few hours, but it will fix issues that you may have, most likely. As Medico wrote, I am not sure I would trust the disk, nonetheless, but let it run for a while after SpinRite and you can have an idea how it will behave. If it has problems, it's almost certain they will show up again, so if you want to use it, be sure to backup the data frequently, unless you don't mind losing it.
    Rui
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  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    I started SpinRite last night and it has 4 hours left (for a total of 16 hours). Everything seems to be good so far. The drive is only 2 years old. I bought this laptop new in april 2011. In my 20 years of owning a computer I have yet to have a drive that has failed so this is all new to me. Heck I'm on a laptop from 2005 and the HD I'm on right now is 8 years old. Ya like I don't normally keep important things on my computer so I guess I'll use it after SpinRite is done and I'll see how it goes. I'll eventually buy a new HD I guess if the other one starts acting up again.

    I forgot to mention that over the last few weeks I did run check disk a few times on start up and it would do its 5 or 6 step process. Sometimes it would locate a bad sector and fix it and it would have no errors. The last time I tried to run it, my laptop restarted and it just said 'volume is clean' or something and didn't even run. That's when I decided to just format and start all these other tools.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    As all things electronic and mechanical, there is no way to predict the time between failure for a particular component. Yes, 2 years seems short, but you could have gotten the rotten apple of the bunch. Who knows. Just be very leery of that drive. As others have said, back it up, often. If you load an OS, create an Image initially and after each change that takes place. This could very well save your bacon with this drive when it fails completely.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by secsiboy View Post
    The drive is only 2 years old. I bought this laptop new in april 2011. In my 20 years of owning a computer I have yet to have a drive that has failed
    Sounds somewhat like what the farmer said when his 2yo donkey died.

    Hard disks have a rating that is commonly referred to as MTBF - Mean Time Before Failure. In the long term, they all fail. Some fail sooner than others, that's why it's a 'mean' time rating. Someone might be lucky and get a disk with a MTBF rating equivalent to 11.5 years (100,000hrs) that lasts for 20 years (if they can be bothered keeping what'll be by then a dinosaur running that long), while someone else (like you) gets one that lasts only two years.
    Cheers,

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  8. #8
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    Lol at donkey reference. So SpinRite has now been running 18 hours 26 mins with 22 minutes left. It was going pretty quickly until the last few hours it has extended it's time by a few hours. Once SpinRite is done, what should I do? In terms of, is it ok to put an OS on it now after I partition ? Should I quick format it one more time? Will any of these affect all the work spinrite did?

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I might consider not partitioning the drive. Why take the chance on complicating an already questionable drive. As I said previously if you do load an OS, be sure to Image that drive, often. Otherwise, use it as you would any other drive.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by secsiboy View Post
    Once SpinRite is done, what should I do?
    IMHO, replace the disk.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  11. #11
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    These are 3 pics I took of when SpinRite finished. I do plan on buying a new HD eventually once I get enough cash...as cheap as they are I'm on a tight budget :<

    I don't understand any of the results from SpinRite. Do you guys?

    IMG_20130519_205634-1.jpgIMG_20130519_205645-1.jpgIMG_20130519_205752-1.jpg

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    The screens show SpinRite found 36 bad sectors, from which it could not recover the data.
    Rui
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    The screens show SpinRite found 36 bad sectors, from which it could not recover the data.
    Ah I see. Thanks. That's why it shows 78/114. Isn't 36 sectors being bad pretty small considering there are like 900 mill + sectors? Or did I read that wrong? Also what does the 114 mean? Is that the number of bad sectors allowed until complete fail?

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    The problem is these problems all started occurring in the "last few weeks". If Spin Rite found 36 sectors bad and non-repairable this time, how many will it find in a week? You are playing with fire with this disk. Tight budget or not, you are asking for problems if you depend on this drive for anything more than as a paper weight.

    I am not exactly sure how to interpret the results. In the lower right corner of screen shot 2 it shows 1 - 63 sectors. If this means 36 sectors are non-repairable, you are in serious trouble with this disk. Modern disk have sectors that contain up to 4 Kb of data each. I'm guessing that there are 63 sectors per track on this disk. This discussion is starting to get past my knowledge base, so we are all learning a little here.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by secsiboy View Post
    Ah I see. Thanks. That's why it shows 78/114. Isn't 36 sectors being bad pretty small considering there are like 900 mill + sectors? Or did I read that wrong? Also what does the 114 mean? Is that the number of bad sectors allowed until complete fail?
    It is a small number now, but that doesn't really inspire any trust for the future. I don't have a huge experience with failing drives, but the few I have seen before causing OS troubles had just a few bad sectors (the last one had a single sector and that made the OS unable to boot).
    Rui
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