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Is my harddrive close to dead?

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May 26, 2007 5:49:58 AM

For the last week or two, my PC has frequently been running CHKDSK on startup and every time, it finds 2-3 files that have been corrupted and deletes them. So far nothing vital has been corrupted and I haven't noticed anything missing, but I think it's only a matter of time before something bad happens. I've bought a new HDD and moved everything irreplaceable onto it.

What I want to know is if my old HDD is dead (it's about 5 years old now) and what might have caused it. I just bought my new HDD right before these issues crept up and I've got a lot of peripherals plugged in. Could lack of power be a cause? I have a 430W PSU and the HDD is NTFS with Win2K installed. I've also been leaving the PC on for days at a time while running file-sharing programs.

Any replies would be appreciated.

More about : harddrive close dead

May 26, 2007 3:58:16 PM

Go to the manufacturer's web site for the hard drive brand you have and download their diagnostic software. This is typically a file that will make a bootable floppy disk or an .iso file that you'll burn to a CD-ROM to make a bootable CD.

Run the diagnostic software and see if it finds errors on your hard drive. If so, it's dying and it's time to get another one.
May 26, 2007 7:56:23 PM

Well, I downloaded the Seagate diagnostics (HDD is a Seagate Barracuda) and ran the short and long generic tests, which it passed. It wouldn't let me run the self-test tests, I'm guessing because my drive is so old it doesn't have this built in? I did some more digging and came across the Winlogon event logs in the Even Viewer. Here is the result for the last one. Can anyone interpret it for me?




Event Type: Information
Event Source: Winlogon
Event Category: None
Event ID: 1001
Date: 5/25/2007
Time: 10:39:47 PM
User: N/A
Computer: <Removed>
Description:
Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is <Removed>.


One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You
may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly recommended
that you continue.
Windows will now check the disk.
The USA check value, 0x0, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x2c88.
The multi-sector header signature in file 0x95e is incorrect.
42 41 41 44 2a 00 03 00 6b 4f 66 12 1c 00 00 00 BAAD*...kOf.....
01 00 01 00 30 00 01 00 10 02 00 00 00 04 00 00 ....0...........
Deleting corrupt file record segment 2398.
The USA check value, 0x3d7, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x4531.
The multi-sector header signature in file 0x127e is incorrect.
42 41 41 44 2a 00 03 00 d4 14 6d 12 1c 00 00 00 BAAD*.....m.....
03 00 01 00 30 00 01 00 58 01 00 00 00 04 00 00 ....0...X.......
Deleting corrupt file record segment 4734.
The USA check value, 0x38f5, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x53a.
The USA check value, 0x12cc, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x25d.
The USA check value, 0x3d7, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x2fe.
The USA check value, 0x38f5, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x53a.
The USA check value, 0x12cc, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x25d.
The USA check value, 0x3d7, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x2fe.
Index entry routeext.dll of index $I30 in file 0x1a points to unused file 0x127e.Deleting index entry routeext.dll in index $I30 of file 26.
Index entry wshisn.dll of index $I30 in file 0x1a points to unused file 0x95e.Deleting index entry wshisn.dll in index $I30 of file 26.
Cleaning up minor inconsistencies on the drive.
The USA check value, 0x38f5, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x53a.
The USA check value, 0x12cc, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x25d.
The USA check value, 0x3d7, at block 0x3 is incorrect.
The expected value is 0x2fe.
Cleaning up 8 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 8 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 8 unused security descriptors.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.
Windows has made corrections to the file system.

78140128 KB total disk space.
49614524 KB in 148345 files.
59652 KB in 8541 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
243036 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
28222916 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
19535032 total allocation units on disk.
7055729 allocation units available on disk.

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.
Related resources
May 26, 2007 8:28:15 PM

When chkdsk gives errors, you should run it again until it shows no errors. Download a SMART monitor program which will read the SMART data on the drive and give a rating. Run Memtest86 or the Microsoft memory tester. Iffy memory can corrupt data being held in memory during normal operation (Disk Cache).


Mike.
May 26, 2007 11:52:15 PM

Your PSU should be fine. If it's 5 years old, hdd usually are warranted for 5 years, it's likely dying of old age.
May 27, 2007 12:50:03 AM

Thank g-paw, didn't know the life expectancy of harddrives. It's unfortunate, as my OS is on the old HDD and I lost my install CD (5 years of stability means you forget where such things are heh). Anyone know a place to get good deals on WinXP?

@ Mike, I doubt it's faulty memory, the damaged files are seemingly random and not files I've used in a very long time.
May 27, 2007 12:58:05 AM

newegg has XP OEM, same as retail, for about $90. If your computer runs long enough, you could try to Clone the drive and copy it to a new one using something like Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost. Did it once with True Image and worked like a charm but again the computer would have to run long enough to do this. Don't remember how long it took, maybe 15 minutes to a half hour for everything but this is an off the wall guess based on the fact as I remember it, it was painless to do. :D 
May 27, 2007 9:50:45 AM

what if there's already data on the second hardrive, will it still work despite a different drive letter?
May 27, 2007 11:27:20 AM

Man i have two HDD's :
1) WD 250 GB SATA (3 4 months old
2) WD 40 GB IDE (three years old)

My OS is on the SATA one and I had the same problem you are having. Everytime I ran my PC windows ran CHKDSK on my F drive(on SATA) and my OS is on C drive...I thought my HDD died and I was going to call the customer care but then i downloaded the s/w from WD's site and ran it. Guess what!!It showed my 40 GB HDD as 750 GB SATA...man.. :roll:

one fine day i just changed the cable connecting hard drive to the mobo and everything has worked fine since then(1 month now)...
so my guess is that its just the faulty cable............(And i hope its only the cable :)  )......
May 27, 2007 12:09:35 PM

Quote:
what if there's already data on the second hardrive, will it still work despite a different drive letter?


If you Clone the drive, the data should be accessible. Regardless of whether you do a clean install or Clone, you should only have the new drive when in the computer when you first start it up. Given it's been 5 years a clean install of XP would likely be best. Once the new drive is up and running, you could put the old drive in as the 2nd drive and copy your data to the new drive. Even if hellraiser06 is right and it's your cable, I think it still would be a good idea to get a new drive given it's at its life expectancy. You could always format the old drive and use it for backup storage until it dies.
June 1, 2007 6:35:02 AM

Update on the situation:

Firefox must have been the problem, somehow. I stopped using it after I noticed a pattern. I would have it running in the background while gaming so I could alt-tab, and I would always have problems with my game not closing properly and CHKDSK would usually run on next startup, not to mention reduced stability of the OS after long use. My problems started after I started using firefox (which was recently). Since switching back to IE, the problems have ended and CHKDSK no longer runs on startup and my system is nice and stable again.

I have no idea why firefox would be a problem though, I mean, it's just a browser, why would it be messing up my hardrive?
June 1, 2007 12:47:55 PM

Quote:
Update on the situation:

Firefox must have been the problem, somehow. I stopped using it after I noticed a pattern. I would have it running in the background while gaming so I could alt-tab, and I would always have problems with my game not closing properly and CHKDSK would usually run on next startup, not to mention reduced stability of the OS after long use. My problems started after I started using firefox (which was recently). Since switching back to IE, the problems have ended and CHKDSK no longer runs on startup and my system is nice and stable again.

I have no idea why firefox would be a problem though, I mean, it's just a browser, why would it be messing up my hardrive?


That is strange, been using Firefox for years and never had a problem. Were you running the latest version, 2. something? Were you running an Firefox add ons? Have you offered any sacrifices to the computer gods lately? Massive quantities of beer seems to work for me :D 
June 1, 2007 8:37:13 PM

I've got Firefox 2.0.0.3

I just started using it recently, so I figured getting the latest version would be best? It sounds like that's not the case?
June 1, 2007 10:57:33 PM

Quote:
I've got Firefox 2.0.0.3

I just started using it recently, so I figured getting the latest version would be best? It sounds like that's not the case?


They just came out with 2.0.0.4, just installed it. Too bad you're having this problem, Firefox is a really nice browser.
June 2, 2007 4:27:08 AM

Yeah, I like firefox, it's so smooth. The tab=browsing is so well done in firefox, compared to IE's clunky imitation. That's why I'm really sad that I get these problems with it. I'll get 2.0.0.4 but I probably won't be using it much. I just don't want to lose anymore files.
June 2, 2007 5:23:36 AM

Quote:
It's unfortunate, as my OS is on the old HDD and I lost my install CD (5 years of stability means you forget where such things are heh). Anyone know a place to get good deals on WinXP?


Go here to download a program which will tell you your Windows registration key.

Use your favorite file sharing program to obtain a new Windows disc. Since you own it legitimately and will be using a legit key, there is nothing unethical about this.
June 2, 2007 7:01:59 AM

I have 7 computers and all but one has 4 drive in them.
I have had drives become corrupt but I always fix them with SpinRite 6.0 and never lost any data.

Some of these drives are 7 years old but SpinRite keeps them going and it even makes bad sectors able to read/write!

http://www.grc.com for the program.
June 3, 2007 4:51:29 AM

Thank you much, to both of you.

Now I can safely reformat! :D 

Also, happy to see spinrite supports NTFS now! 8)
!