Failing Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by java dude, Mar 17, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. java dude

    java dude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Posts:
    75
    I'm concerned that my HDD may be failing. It's a Seagate ST9320421AS 2.5" that's over 3 years old. Lately (probably the last month and a half or 2 months) I've noticed it's been sluggish... programs take longer to open, AV/malware scans take 2-3 times as long as they normally would, for no apparent reason.

    At the beginning of Feb, I powered on my notebook to be greeted by the usual BIOS screen, and then... nothing. The system just froze, stuck on that screen. I couldn't access the BIOS or startup options, and I eventually gave up and powered the system off. I tried again about 15 minutes later and it booted up just fine, but I created a backup of everything important just in case. I read that this is typical with a failing HDD, but it hasn't happened since.

    It's been bothering me though, so I installed HD Tune and under the SMART tab I saw one warning:
    Code:
    Spin Retry Count    100    100    97    4    warning
    I googled for info on this, but nothing conclusive about it being a FP or not. However, SpeedFan and SeaTools both show a completely "ok" status, no warnings or anything.

    Does it sound like my HDD could be failing?
     
  2. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    I know very little about this stuff and since I know I know very little,,,,,, if I were in this situation I would contact Seagate and ask for guidance. They should be able to help you out with this issue if anyone can.

    Oh, and do regular backups of course, probably best to do images rather than just critical data so you can simply pop a new drive in (if nec) and restore the image.
     
  3. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Posts:
    6,956
    Location:
    Somethingshire
    also check event viewer for errors. you have a backup and that is excellent in any case.
     
  4. java dude

    java dude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Posts:
    75
    Thanks guys. My main concern is the age of the drive (3 years of 16 hrs/day 365 days/yr for an HDD is a long time), and the warning, but I'm wondering if it's a false positive from HD Tune.

    Which reminds me that I need to find a good automated backup solution! Manual backups are a pain and I admit that I don't always keep up with them.

    No errors that seem related to the drive. Also ran a chkdsk and the drive was clean.
     
  5. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Posts:
    1,582
    Location:
    European Union
    17000 hours for a HDD is not that much (as far as I know the mean time between failures MTBF for a HDD is somewhere around 30000 hours), but I would keep an eye on it just in case.

    As for the "Spin Retry Count", that could mean a mechanical problem with your HDD, but it's really hard to tell. It could be that your disk failed to start several times (4) for some various reasons (for instance an abnormal power on/power off cycle during which the disk was unable to spin up properly). If the number of retries increases without an apparent reason though, I would consider changing the hard disk.
     
  6. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Posts:
    5,828
    Location:
    Last Breath Farm
    Recommend you try SeaTools from Seagate.
    I've used it twice, once on a failing Seagate drive.
    It is a diagnostic tool but also performs some repair.
     
  7. The Shadow

    The Shadow Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Posts:
    814
    Location:
    USA
    Hi jd, I suggest running chkdsk /r - this may be all that's needed. ;)

    ...also, how full is your HDD?
     
  8. java dude

    java dude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Posts:
    75
    Thanks, I already ran the Seatools software and it says that everything is 'ok'. I also ran the diagnostic/test from SeaTools and it didn't find any issues.

    Already ran chkdsk, no errors were found on the disk (it was clean). I've used about 45% of my hdd space so far.

    I'm thinking it may be an HD Tune false positive, but I'm not sure if I want to take a chance here. I have all of my work on this hdd (papers, research, projects, pictures and other important files), and losing everything to a crash one day would be devastating. I do have backups, but only of critical files, and to be honest I'm not very good at keeping up with regular backups. I actually get a kick out of the yearly reformat and it gives me a chance to reevaluate my setup, but I'd be out of business for days waiting for a new drive to ship out, and then setting it up.
     
  9. BuzzStone

    BuzzStone Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Posts:
    163
    Although I have a desktop I experienced similar problems. It started at least eighteen months ago with stuttering audio out of the blue, not a big deal but annoying. I tried various things to no avail, so I lived with it. Then stuff over time began not loading properly all the time but would eventually work properly After awhile I started experiencing booting issues, again I tried various checks to no avail. I also googled everything under the sun, because now it is frustrating. I had a new hdd in my pc so I decided to install Win 7 on it. Same problems. I thought the motherboard must be shot (I updated the bios) so I thought I might have to get a new computer. It came to the point where it took many attempts just to get it to boot and I had to use the power button to shut it down. Anyway after continuing to google I came across an article about the CMOS battery that said it could make your computer act up, but the time was always correct and so was the date so I kind of discounted it. Finally I changed the battery and it fixed all problems instantly, I couldn't believe it! This may not be your problem but it might help someone. I really thought my computer was screwed.
    Buzz.
     
  10. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Posts:
    5,828
    Location:
    Last Breath Farm
    My apologies, java dude. I now see that your 1st post includes the fact that you ran SeaTools. :oops:

    Cudni's advice to look into Event Viewer errors sounds very good. Hope you get some resolution.
     
  11. underkirk

    underkirk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Posts:
    3
    Last January, I also experienced that kind of sluggish, programs take longer to open, hang, I first suspect it was the new installed AV which is Vipre which
    I am testing then I uninstalled it and installed EAM, then I still encounter the same problem.
    I'd just ignored it because I'm too busy that time. It was 28th of
    February when I woke up and start browsing my Laptop was still Ok, but when I came back after having breakfast with my wife, when I started to browse my laptop just freeze and I thought it only freeze caused by some programs but my mouse wont move and CTRL+DEL did'nt work so I forced restart it, and it did'nt boot anymore. I restarted again and its still the same, I checked it in the BIOS and it's not detected.
    Bought a 2.5" enclosure to see if will work but to no avail, and I heard some clicking sound so I guess my HDD just died, anyway its only 17 months old and its also a Seagate 500GB 7200rpm, I too don't backed up regularly so it's a big lesson for me, anyway going to RMA it next week.
    java dude, if you are in doubt then start backing up your files NOW.
    Better SAFE than SORRY!
     
  12. java dude

    java dude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Posts:
    75
    Thanks guys for all your comments!

    No worries. :p

    The event viewer contains a few errors/warnings, but nothing related to hardware, besides a bunch of these:

    Code:
    The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1\DR1.
    Which seems to reference my SD card - nothing related to my primary hdd.

    Honestly, I'm not even sure if there's a problem here, but I don't want to risk losing my data... not even a few days worth. So, I visited my favorite online electronics store (THE Egg) and bought a shiny new 180GB SSD. Pricey, yes, but I guess this is my excuse to grab one. I've been holding off on upgrading until the prices went down and the storage space went up, but I guess now's as good a time as any to jump in.

    I could always turn this drive into a backup drive, right? Maybe 2012 is the year I finally start backing my data up the right way!:eek:
     
  13. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    It most likely will be if you do wind up with a crash and lose your setup as well as all those non-critical files in 2012. Most folks become very good at shutting the barn door after the horse has gotten out the first time. If they don't, then they only have themselves to blame the 2nd time (but of course they were to blame the first time too).
     
  14. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Posts:
    3,189
    Location:
    USA
    Try DiskCheckup. Its a great diagnostic tool that I use all the time.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.