Looks like hard drive is REALLY failing now - am I right?

Unlike the last time my hard drive started telling me it’s failing, I think this time it might really be. (I did run a full virus scan just in case, and it came up clean.)

This morning when I got up, there was a dialog open on my screen telling me “Windows has detected a hard disk problem.” Blech. I ran chkdsk, it found nothing. But the warning keeps coming up every 10-15 minutes or so. If I look in the System Event Log, I’m seeing warnings saying “The driver has detected that device \Device\Harddisk0\DR0 has predicted that it will fail. Immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent.”, Event ID 52.

Intel Rapid Storage tells me the same thing, and gives me the option to “reset” the drive. That doesn’t appear to do anything - it just goes back to an error state when I next get the dialog telling me the drive is going bad.

When I boot, the BIOS tells me “SATA Port 3 Device Error.”

So far, it’s still running, and I’m taking the opportunity to make a full backup. I have a backup from earlier this month, but after the virus I had, I’ve been researching backup options and hadn’t decided on any, so I’ve been a bit lax at doing it. Still, not much has changed locally between earlier this month and today, and (hopefully) I’ll get the whole thing backed up before the drive fails for good.

If it’s failing. So what do you smarties think? Should I be running out and buying a new drive, or is there something else to try?

Drives are cheap and you have a full backup. Or a mostly backup.

Don’t waste your time, replace it. If by some chance the errors are caused by data that is then replicated on your new drive you can return your new drive and then troubleshoot.

Yeah, that’s pretty much my plan, unless someone shows up here with a better plan. :smiley:

I agree with ZipperJJ. Go get yourself a new drive. Also, spend $20 and get a SATA to USB cable. That way you can still pull stuff off your drive once the new drive is installed (as long as there isn’t a mechanical failure).

ZipperJJ nailed it.
I’ll add that PCs, also, are cheap.
If your cash flow permits, this might be a good time to just replace the unit.

Finally, if you choose to do a full backup now, bear in mind that the back may:

  • fail
  • cause mechanical failure to occur sooner

Best wishes!

Not my PCs - I’m a developer and a gamer. This rig cost me more than $3.5K, and is not 2 years old. Hard drives are cheap; that’s the way I’ll go.

Are you saying that it could fail halfway through the backup? I know that’s an issue. I have 30 minute left in the backup now, so cross your fingers. And, as I said above, I do have a backup from about 3 weeks ago (on a separate drive than the one I’m backup up to now), so I think I’m covered.

Or are you saying that somehow restoring from a backup will cause a failure on the new drive? Assuming the backup is created correctly, I’m not seeing how that would happen.

  • Yes.
  • No.

There’s a small chance that you’ll be carrying damaged files over from the old system to the new, and that could theoretically cause problems if you’re doing a backup of the OS or installed binaries, but I wouldn’t sweat that.

From the Google Hard Drive study:

Backup your data and get a new drive.

Athena, did you not work on NetBackup for VERITAS? You should have lived and breathed this stuff.

Holy cripes, you must have a memory like an elephant.

I did work at VERITAS, but mostly on thir HSM product, not so much on Backup Exec. That said, at one point I did indeed know quite a bit about this stuff, but it’s been ten years, and I’ve either forgotten a lot of it or the technology has changed.

I do, however, remember enough to actually do backups, and pay attention when my computer tells me it has problems.

As an aside, boy oh boy do I wish I still had Backup Exec! I can’t seem to find a backup program I trust anywhere near as much as I trusted that one. Of course, things were a lot simpler in the non-web era where a large hard drive approached 100GB or so. My replacement drive I spent a whopping $200 on today is 3TB! It’s insane!

And that’s with the price spike from the Thai floodings taken into account, too. I just bought a 2TB WD 7200 rpm Caviar Black drive for $225. It was down to around $140 before the flooding. So that $200 is a good clip more than you would normally pay. Hard drives are cheap. I must have something like 20 TB worth of storage lying around the house. This amount of storage would have literally been inconceivable to me twenty years ago. Why the hell would I need that much? I also ran across an old compact flash card from my first digital point-and-shoot back in 2000/2001 (The Canon S10). I had an 8 megabyte CF card to go with it. Granted, it was small even by the standards of its day, but I chuckled. I couldn’t even get one RAW frame on that card in my cameras today.

OK, another setback. I’m hoping one o’ you smarties can help.

The backup is finished and fine, but apparently setting up a 3TB drive as a boot drive in Windows 7 requires some magic. I formatted it as GPT, but Acronis (the backup software I’m using) is telling me it can’t restore the MBT to a GPT drive (and thus making it bootable… right?).

So, can I partition this thing in a way to make it bootable? I think if I can get a <2TB partition, Acronis will play nice.

Second, if the above is correct, what’s the easiest way to get it formatted? Remember, my boot drive is gone. I need to boot off a CD or something to do that. I have several other computers around, so downloading stuff/creating CDs is easy to do. For the record, Acronis’s boot CD has a formatter, but it appears to be buggy when it comes to >2TB drives. At least, I can’t get the damn thing to do anything, and their tech support guy told me he’d never had anyone call with that big of a drive before. :rolleyes:

Third, if all the above is wrong or a bad idea, what should I do? The only reason I got a 3TB drive is that I live in a tiny town, and my local stores didn’t carry 1.5 or 2TB drives - only 1TB and 3TB, so I went for the 3. Did I screw up?

Windows 7 Ultimate 64K, let me know what else I need to tell all you smart people.

This is an educated best guess.

I would use whatever format tool you have handy to completely scrub the drive.
After that, I’d have Acronis try to restore your backup to the unformatted drive.
It’ll probably give you a mostly empty drive with a partition the size of your old drive and a bunch of blank space.
That’ll get you up and running. Once that’s done, you can try converting to the partitioning scheme of your choice and expanding your partition as needed with standard tools.

Turn your computer off. Take it to your local trusted computer repair person and tell him/her that you suspect a bad hardrive and want a new one with the old data on it. ASAP. Hard drives are a lot cheaper than data recovery.

If I had a “trusted repair person” in my small town, I’d be there in a second. Given that this computer is my livelihood and the only commercial place in town is the Geek Squad, that’s not happening. I’m hardly a novice, but I am not up on the current state of this kind of stuff. Thus this thread.

I think I have read enough to teach me that a 3TB drive isn’t going to be bootable without a new BIOS, so I think it’s back to the store tomorrow for a smaller drive. Sheesh!

Just a fluke. Your name resonates with that activity because it was the name of the release archive server I previously used.

Good luck with your restore. I have not had the pleasure of dealing with UEFI/GPT problems with large drives yet, and am curious how it gets resolved.

You guys are making remember my first HD - an external kludge for a Mac 512 - that set me back $1200 for 30MB of storage. But it was like a religious experience then. BTW my first 4MB or RAM for my next computer (a Mac II) was $1500. I don’t miss those days at all.

Oh yes, about signs of failing HD’s - backup, backup, backup and buy a new one or two. Maybe even a RAID duplicate array.

Where can you return an opened hard disk? The return/exchange policy at every electronics store I’ve been to says you can only exchange for the same item, and only in the case of a hardware malfunction. Once you take a HDD out of its packaging, you’re stuck with it. They won’t even give store credit. Shop carefully and be very sure of what you want before you plonk down that cash, because nobody takes hardware components back unless they’re broken (and you’ll just get another copy of the same one, so don’t get crafty and break it on purpose).

I imagine it’s to prevent a scenario like this: a guy with a hardware issue he can’t pinpoint hops down to Best Buy and gets one of every component. He swaps each piece of hardware out of the computer, one at a time, to pinpoint the issue. Then he returns all but the one piece he needs. Depending on the shape of the packaging, BB now has to sell all the unneeded parts as previously-opened or refurbished.

Best Buy’s Return & Exchange policy does not specifically exclude hard drives, or any other components so…Best Buy is a place where you can return an opened hard disk.

Yup, they’ll happily take it back. Of course, noplace in town has a <2TB drive that has a decent spindle rate, and I just can’t get excited about these “Green” drives, so gotta order a replacement.

Grrr, small towns!