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Is this a sign of a dying hard drive?

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June 8, 2009 4:29:34 AM

Hello

So about a month ago our laptop started freezing randomly; sometimes when watching a youtube video and sometimes when clicking the start menu... This would happen frequently, almost every time the laptop was in use. So i got tired and ran Spinrite on level 2 and it didn't seem to find any bad sectors, all the boxes were blue and what not... However after running it the crashes seemed to stop happening, at least for a week : ( It's gotten so bad that i couldn't even reformat the drive...the yellow progress bar got stuck at 73 percent and i had to do a hard reboot. I also ran memtest86 for 1 pass and it found 0 errors. So what do you guys think is causing this? the Hard drive? heat? BOTH?!

Thanks for the help.

More about : sign dying hard drive

a b G Storage
June 8, 2009 4:49:30 AM

Have you run the drive manufacturers drive test tool to see if it finds any problems?
It's also worth running something like Speedfan to check the SMART header, it'll tell you what the temperature is and if things like sector relocation count is too high.

Is it a Sony Vaio by any chance?
June 8, 2009 5:17:55 AM

No, it's a Compaq/HP laptop model:nx6110

I am gonna try out that Speedfan program and tell you the results. Spinrite tells you the temperature too but i thought they weren't that high something, like 40 degrees Celsius, so i didn't write down the temperature...
Related resources
a b G Storage
June 8, 2009 5:41:01 AM

prime95
atitool
western digital diag tool
memtest
barts stuff test

download testing tools and start testing
June 8, 2009 3:17:32 PM

I can't even run those tests :(  It won't even let me install windows. This time it froze at Setup is starting Windows screen, the screen before the license agreement page where you have to hit F8 to proceed. I don't know what to do :( 
June 8, 2009 3:37:53 PM

You could get a Linux live cd and see how it runs on linux and do a few tests or try the ultimate boot cd which will have other diagnostic programs on it that will run from dos.
June 8, 2009 4:25:21 PM

Ok so i booted Ultimate Boot CD and ran SeaTools for DOS (Seagate/Maxtor) software. I pressed S to start the short test, but it showed a dialog saying Drive Has Been Overtempt --183, and it has given me the options to continue or abort... You think i can trust this tool with the temp warning?

BTW Spinrite reports the temp. at 35 degrees Celsius / 95 F
June 8, 2009 4:57:08 PM

I tried to install windows again and this time when trying to setup windows it shut itself down...you think this is a heating problem?
June 9, 2009 2:49:56 AM

With the Ultimate Boot CD, when asked, answer "Continue" and look if the test passes.

Also test your Ram with UBCD.

Shutting down can have many reasons.
June 9, 2009 4:55:26 AM

Have you tried to see if fdisk from dos will/can see the hdd,if it were overheating would you not feel it on the bottom or somewhere under the hdd..:) 
June 11, 2009 2:51:52 AM


I got similar problem and I am curious ... have you checked the event viewer for a warning 52 (predicted HD failure)?

My notebook, a HP Pavillion dv5000 also goes way hot, the fan is working like mad. I am starting to think that the heat is killing the HD, but the tests don't show any apparent damage, not even bad sectors!

Hope someone can help us both ;) 

Mon


har101 said:
Hello

So about a month ago our laptop started freezing randomly; sometimes when watching a youtube video and sometimes when clicking the start menu... This would happen frequently, almost every time the laptop was in use. So i got tired and ran Spinrite on level 2 and it didn't seem to find any bad sectors, all the boxes were blue and what not... However after running it the crashes seemed to stop happening, at least for a week : ( It's gotten so bad that i couldn't even reformat the drive...the yellow progress bar got stuck at 73 percent and i had to do a hard reboot. I also ran memtest86 for 1 pass and it found 0 errors. So what do you guys think is causing this? the Hard drive? heat? BOTH?!

Thanks for the help.

June 11, 2009 3:13:05 AM

Oh and I have run the speedfan test and showed the temperature of the core at 51 degrees celsius when the fan was not working. I think this is too hot, but I only have your value (40 C, har101) to compare with. Is this "normal" for HP Pavillion notebooks AMD Turion Tech ML-34?
a b D Laptop
a c 167 G Storage
June 11, 2009 3:25:01 AM

Memtest86+ runs from a cd or floppy and needs no OS. It will check your ram and cpu, not touching any hard drive.

June 11, 2009 3:53:25 PM

I've seen this a few times and typically it's solved by taking the computer apart and cleaning on the CPU heatsink.
June 13, 2009 9:24:18 PM

Ok guys, sorry for the late reply, i thought this post had died...

Well the problem was not the HDD and it was the heating. Random shutdown gave it away. I opened it up and sure enough a think layer of dust was blocking the venting. After cleaning all the dust everything was back to normal...
June 13, 2009 9:27:47 PM

Ughh, didn't allow me the edit my post..
I meant to say thick and not think :p 

!