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  1. #1
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    HDD about to fail Warning

    For no apparent reason 2 days ago when I started computer (Dell Dimension 4300) after overnight shut down this message was displayed: "Warning Dells Disk Monitoring System has detected that drive 0 on the primary EIDE controller is operating outside of normal specifications. It is advisable to immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive by calling your support desk or Dell Computer Corp. F1 to continue F2 to run set up."

    F1 brought up welcome screen and desktop and everything worked though could hear hard drive making creaking sounds when working in programs e.g. MSN Word Picture it Publishing.

    Have been in contact with Dell support but only get automated replies & suggested fixes such as changing cables inside the machine and re writing master boot records...all way above me.

    I'm continuing to use the machine and the noises have disappeared... just the normal whirring sound... but if I turn off the computer the warning message appears when I next start up though F1 gets it operating. This only happens on shutting down not if I use stand by. I looked In Event Viewer and the attachment shows the screen shot of this. The only thing I did do prior to this was installed AOL 8 from cd over AOL 7. I didnt notice much difference apart from things seemed a bit slower, however I restored my computer to an earlier time i.e. before the aol 8 upgrade but still the warning message . Sorry to be so long winded about his but any help suggestions (not too technical) would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Read this page from Dell Dell
    From everything I have read on this you better start looking for another Hard Drive and you need to backup as soon as possible. I can't find anything saying it's just a little warning or Bogus, another words I wouldn't just blow it off. Your Hard Drive might be fine for long time or it just might take a dive in the next few minutes. Wish I could tell you something more positive but I'm afraid I couldn't find, out of all the articles on that warning that I read, anything Positive.

  3. #3
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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    I expect te drive is about ready to die.

    1. Back up everything.
    2. Download diagnostics from web site of hard drive manufacturer.
    3. If diagnostics report trouble, you need to talk to a warm body at Dell if drive is still under warranty.
    If not still under warranty, replace the drive soon.

  4. #4
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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Thanks for the link Cowboy, I couldnt find this when I tried, so lots of information there, still keeping going for the time being ... see my reply to Howard...

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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Thanks Howard, managed to talk to someone at Dell - whew! what a marathon to get a live voice! (are they all so dumb or is it just the UK?) Upshot is... they are sending a diagnostic cd which apparently I should already have??? Meanwhile "keep using your machine and if the hard disk fails you'll know it is at fault then contact us again" That really eases my mind! I've backed up my important stuff so just keep going and see what happens....

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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Don't wait for the Dell CD.

    Download diagnostics from the web site of the hard drive manufacturer.

    Also, try the Drive Fitness Test at http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm.

    Most vendors will agree that a drive has failed if such diagnostics report bad sectors.

    No competent tech support will tell you to wait until the drive fully fails. IN the interim all sorts of problems could occur that might be invisible and you'd not know until it
    was too late.

    If the Hitachi, or drive manufacturer, diagnostics report problems insist on a replacement from Dell, escalating if necessary within Dell.

  7. #7
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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    To anyone that might be interested in the progress of this.. The warning stopped as suddenly as it appeared and everything has been working ok as far as I can tell. Still waiting for Dell diagnostic disk, so went to Maxtor site (my HDD Maxtor 5TO60H6) followed instructions to make a diagnostic floppy diskette, ran the first two tests which all passed. Didn't go any further with the diags as it warned that the next tests were data destructive. So rightly or wrongly I am taking no further action at this time (I don't know what else to do).
    Could this be linked to AOL in some way as it all started when I installed AOL8 over AOL7 then did system restore (as this seemed to be the only thing that I altered on the computer), then last weekend I couldn't connect to AOL at all - everything just stopped when I tied to start AOL. Eventually sorted out by their phone support by deleting the Cache folder. As I say all seems ok at the present time. Spent ages trawling Dell & Maxtor KB's but cant find any info relating to this.

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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Based on your original comments, I'd guess that the drive should be replaced.

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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    This happened to a Dell Inspiron laptop we have in the office. I ordered a new drive and it took them over a week to ship after I ordered it! And they shipped it to the wrong place!

    The drive is going bad. Replace it as soon as practical.

    Jim

  10. #10
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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by cbaldrey on 24-Jul-03 16:32. URL tags added)</P>as this could be an ongoing problem found and joined in another forum : http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/bo...essage.id=50844 an interesting post from an ex Dell tech?

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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    If you are still getting beeps, something is very wrong.

    The possibilities are almost endless.

    But, the first thing you must do is do a FULL backup to backup media, be it tape or an external hard drive.
    Next, you must run the diagnostics from the drive manufacturer and, might as well, run the Drive Fitness Test from Htachi.

    You can easily replace everything, but if you suddently lose the drive, well, that's the ONLY thing you can protect yourself against, i.e., you can minimize the loss of info.

  12. #12
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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Right. got all my important stuff backed up in case the worst happens. Meanwhile have a friend who has experience working inside machines coming over this weekend and he will re-seat cables and memory modules first to check its not something as simple as that.

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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Howard thanks, sorry to keep on with this... now having run a Dell diagnostic which showed a FAIL on HDD and sending the report to Dell... they agree that they will replace the Hard drive (so you were right all along) under warranty and an engineer will call to do it. Thats fine but...thats all he will do replace the HDD and take the old one away. I assume that means I have to re install all the OS (XP Home) and drivers etc etc. Im not sure I know how, Ive saved all my important documents, photos, music, to CD R but I guess I lose everything else, is there a simple way of backing up this stuff. I remember reading about this on the Lounge somewhere maybe you could point me in the right direction? Also how do I make sure personal info doesnt get carried off in the bad HDD - credit card number, bank accounts and so forth?

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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Best you can do is do a complete backup of the drive to other media.
    However, if the drive is bad, you likely cannot recover everything.

    A good way to do this is to use an USB hard drive for badckup, I have the Maxtor 5000LE.
    I also use the Dantz Retrospect 6.5 software.

    An alternative, but you have let Dell know that you wish to do this, is to send the old drive to a data recovery sevice such as http://www.ontrack.com/.
    Note that you must find out which such dervices are authorized by DEll to maintain your warranty.
    Cost would be several hundred dollars, perhaps more.
    Such a service may be able to recover all, or only some, of the files you could not otherwise backup.
    Such services usually charge an evaluation fee.
    Give Ontrack a call.

  15. #15
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    Re: HDD about to fail Warning

    Thanks to you and everyone else for help with this. Heres hoping my machine will be back to normal pretty soon.

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