Need help determining if Hard Disk Drive is dying. Samsung Spinpoint M8 HDD 1 TB (HN-M101MBB)

Hi guys, first time posting but long time lurker. My laptop is having some issues and I suspect its the hard drive but I need some confirmation from the experts here before spending the money to replace it.

First of all my laptop is a Series 7 CHRONOS 700Z5CH running 64-bit Windows 8.1. The specs can be found here.

And the hard disk drive in question is a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint M8.

I have spent sometime trying to toubleshoot the problem myself so I will try to describe what I have done so far so the issue can be narrowed down.

I began experience lag spikes when using my laptop a few months ago. The lag would last for seconds at time and once its over the laptop would continue acting as per normal. It happens mostly when I am gaming where the game would hang for a few seconds and then skips or "fast forwards" to the present for online games, for offline games it would pick up where it left off. I ignored it at first thinking its the typical lag and attributing to too many programs running and what not but the frequency of the issue and tests with nothing but 1 game running made it obvious something was wrong.

I looked into task manager and realized that the lag spikes always correspond to high disk activity. Sometimes its a 100% disk activity flatline but mostly its crazy spikes at 100%. I then did some research and read that the pagefile might be the issue. True enough most of the time during these spikes the pagefile is either being written or read. Since then I have tried several remedies.

1. Reducing pagefile to 1 gb as recommended by various forums.
2. Setting pagefile to a factor of my ram as recommended by other forums.
3. Disabling pagefile (system would eventually warn me that Im running out of memory so not an option).
4. Running chkdsk /r /f.
5. Running scf /scannow.

None of these solutions worked. And in the end I decided to bite the bullet and reinstalled windows using the reset function and choosing the full reset which I read would check the disk for errors. I updated windows back to 8.1, installed Diablo 3 and again the problem resurfaced. There is only Diable 3 installed so the disk is no where near full capacity. Then I decided to run some tests. Here is where I need some help interpreting what the results mean.


Looks good so far.


Again, a clean bill of health.

HD Tune Pro


Don't know what it means but it looks bad.


Again bad. I Googled this warning and apparently it means the disk head had to re-calibrate due to not failing the first try of finding something. I looked around and some seem to think that HD Tune is not always very accurate, that their numbers can be off and that Calibration Retry Counts do not really indicate a dying Hard Disk. But the thing that worries me is that others asking similar questions have their Calibration Retry Count at single digits while mine is well over 400.

Error Scan

All good.


People suggested that a manufacturer diagnostic tool would be more accurate and it seems SeaGate acquired Samsung's Hard Disk division so I was directed to this tool.

First time I tired it, my disk failed everything but the SMART test. However in the most recent runs it passes the SMART and short DST. I Googled the error code and it says that it means "Serial number not detected, SeaTools did fail the drive". Is it because its a Samsung drive? I'm confused at this point.

But this other guy passed everything using the exact same drive. But his entry for serial number is blank(?)


Sorry for such a long entry but I know its hard to help when given too little information. But mostly I just need confirmation that my Hard Disk is dying and should be replaced. I have read elsewhere that Calibration Retry Counts can be attributed to the Power Supply and other stuff. I do not want to change the Hard Disk only for the same problem to resurface.

So in other words, is my Hard Disk the problem or could it be something else?

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