Windows says my hard drive is failing but SMART tests are normal

Hi guys this is my first time posting here so bear with me.

When I woke up this morning and got on my laptop, I was greeted by a message from Windows saying that it has detected a hard disk problem and that my C drive was about to fail. I immediately backed up all my important files and decided to run a few tests before deciding what to do. Unexpectedly though, the SMART test results were normal according to HGST's diagnostic software for their hard drives as well as Seagate's SeaTools's Short Drive Self Test. At this point I'm not sure what to do. Should I run a longer test in SeaTools or use a different program? Is my hard drive really in imminent danger of failing? I just bought this thing 5 months ago so it is still covered by the warranty but I would rather avoid having to wipe all the data on my laptop and send it in for repairs just in case.

Some specs of my laptop:
Asus R500VJ-MH71 15.6"
Windows 8 64bit
1TB Hard Drive manufactured by HGST

And other possible relevant information:
The hard drive has occasionally made some louder than expected noises ever since I bought the laptop but it didn't sound like anything dangerous. When I first got the laptop, it froze and blue screened twice while I was installing updates and I ultimately restored it twice before successfully installing all the updates, which also seems to have solved the freezing and blue screening. I attributed this to problems with Windows 8.

PS - I will be at work after this post so I won't be on to respond for the next 6 hours or so.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about windows hard drive failing smart tests normal
  1. As long as you keep your HDD backed up nothing catastrophic can happen however I would ask ASUS what they recommend.
  2. Windows message is important. Try to physically touch the drive, and see if you feel any bump. A good HDD will not make strange noises, it will run smooth. I would RMA the drive.
  3. I have experienced with 1000's of laptop drives with probably a couple hundred failures and I can tell you this.... rarely does the SMART or Windows tell you the drive is bad before/after it is bad. If either are telling you they are bad, then they are pretty dang bad.

    First off, makes sure it is an actual windows message and not malware.

    A bad drive will do 3 things: 1.) The light will be on a lot more than it should be. 2.) They will be slow because of 3.) They will get to bad spots on the drive and will keep trying to read the block eventually doing so and then moving on to the next block. If you listen to the drive it will make repeating sounds where as a normal drive will be a little more random in its sounds.

    I personally would recommend 1.) Never move a laptop while the machine is up and running 2.) Avoid using sleep mode to transport the machine. I have no hard facts to back this up beyond years of experience but I can honestly say that I see more issues with user drives whom use sleep mode than those that don't.
  4. Best answer
    Windows might use a different way of telling a user when a hard drive is going bad. It could have been high temps or it could just be that the hard drive works but is slightly erratic. It could be nothing or it could be something, check for malware using the Windows 8 guide in the tomshardware W8 forum. Always back up any info but considering you have had problems in the beginning it sounds like your hard drive could have some defects in it. If it's under warranty just have ASUS check it out and follow Skippy27's advice! They are common causes of laptop hard drive failure along with excessive heat. Use a program to check your hard drive temps.
  5. Ok thanks everyone! I haven't seen any signs of imminent failure like a slow down or repeating sounds yet. Temps seem to be normal too, as CPUID gives the same temperature reading for the internal hard drive as the external hard drives I've connected. For now I'll do a thorough scan for malware and run a longer test with SeaTools and keep anything important backed up or off of the laptop, and then contact ASUS to see if they will do anything about it even if the results come back negative.

    And thanks for the advice about sleep mode. I often keep my laptop in sleep mode when going to classes, which sometimes involves a somewhat bumpy car ride thanks to potholes and speedbumps everywhere.
  6. The manufacturer's SMART diagnostics don't report the raw values of each SMART attribute. They only tell you whether the attribute value is above the threshold. You need a more comprehensive tool such as HD Sentinel or CrystalDiskInfo.
  7. If you really want to keep the drive or at least want a good way to make sure it's not having problems or will in the future get SpinRite: it's $89 but you sound like you want to try to keep the drive instead of having to replace it so that's your best option.
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