My Hard Drive Dying?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by LenC, Jul 16, 2011.

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  1. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I noticed recently that my laptop was feeling hot - the fan was racing nonstop.

    I ran the crystal disk utility, and got three yellow warnings:

    1) hard disk temperature is 51 degrees C (it is usually about 37 degrees)

    2) current pending sector count is 100 (threshold is 0)
    I don't understand this. It is flagged as a "caution". Yet, on my other laptop, the reading is 200, but there is no "caution".

    3) uncorrectable sector count is 100 (threshold is 0)
    Same issue here - it is flagged as a caution. Yet, the reading on my other laptop is 200, but there is no "caution".

    I've never replaced a hard drive before, but I'd like to try doing it myself. The computer is a 4 year old HP DV 9000. It has 2 160 gig drives - both are Seagate model ST9160821AS. The problem drive is the system drive.

    I'd like to replace it with a similar drive. The computer is used for pretty routine functions - email, internet, MS Office etc., so I don't want to replace it with a high performance drive that generates heat or other problems. Price is not an issue (within reason).

    Three questions...

    1) Do you think my hard drive is failing?

    2) Would these be compatible replacements?
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4815314&CatId=2681
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4779329&CatId=2682

    3) Do you have any other suggestions? Does a 7200rpm drive produce more heat? Does it improve performance?

    Thanks for your help!

    Len
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  3. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Brian -

    Not what I expected - drive passed both short and long SeaTools test. Computer ran hot throughout long test.

    Maybe it's a problem with the fan?
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Len,

    Laptops are notorious for getting dust and hair in the fan and heat sink. Can it be cleaned easily?
     
  5. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    On the current pending sector count and uncorrectable sector count, 200 is normal and when there is an error it counts down. 0 being toast.

    http://www.ntfs.com/disk-monitor-smart-attributes.htm

     
  6. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Thank you - that helps to understand how those readings work. But why then would the utility flag both readings as a warning?

    I don't think it's something I can do - might have to get it into a shop.
     
  7. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    You can do a smart scan with HDDscan. I use version 3.1 because 3.3 was buggy for me when doing the surface tests. It will show you what the drive considers normal and what your current count is. It would seem to me that both counts being 100 and if the drive uses 200 as normal that would be why both are marked as yellow if I understand the question correctly. I would watch it and see both of those reading drop over a short period of time.

    Hdtune Pro is also a nice utility to check a drives health. It has a 15 day trial and there is also a free version with reduced functionality.

    http://hddguru.com/software/2006.01.22-HDDScan/

    http://www.hdtune.com/hdtune.html

    http://www.top-windows-tutorials.com/hard-drive-test.html
     
  8. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I looked at the procedures for accessing the heat sink - not something I can do. Major deassembly - which I would certainly screw up.

    So I think I will bring it into a shop - I have used one in the past, which is very good (and very expensive). It seems like it might be dust - but I am baffled as to why the secondary drive is at normal temperature. I'll find out on Monday/Tuesday and let you know.

    Thank you very much to Brian and TGell - I would have lurched off in the wrong direction without your help.

    Len
     
  9. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    It was the motherboard - problem caused by a liquid spill. Thanks for all your help - not sure if I want to repair it or junk it. I have to think about it.
     
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