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Does my hard drive have problems?

Last response: in Storage
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February 12, 2012 4:39:27 PM

Hey guys,

I've visited this website on multiple occasions and barely understood half of what was being said so please take it easy on me if I don't post the right details.

Problem: Computer will hang while a program is running (Mozilla Firefox, WMP/RealPlayer) and the computer will either restart on its own or require a manual power down.

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History: Recently, I've had problems with running a variety of programs. For example, I will be watching a video on WMP/RealPlayer and the screen will slow down to a grinding halt and my computer will restart on its own. When it restarts it says "no boot disk available". I believe this was my first indication that my hard drive was corrupted/dying.

Secondly, there will be times when a program will stop responding (such as Mozilla Firefox) and a message box stating "I/O error status of 0xc0000185". I did some Googling and saw that the majority of "experts" were saying that it was a hardware problem with a drive.

So, I have reason to believe that my hard drive has some issues.

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Hard Drive Information:

Drive C:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 683.57 GB (733,973,835,776 bytes)
Free Space 328.73 GB (352,975,060,992 bytes)
Volume Name OS

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Additional System Information:

OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model Studio 540
System Type X86-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz, 2336 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. 1.1.3, 8/25/2009
SMBIOS Version 2.5

The OS is 32 bit.

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If you need me to post any more specific details about my hard drive or any other kinds of information, please tell me how I can obtain it and I will reply ASAP. Thanks in advance! :) 

More about : hard drive problems

a c 119 G Storage
February 12, 2012 4:57:20 PM

I would tell you to reinstall the OS but with a Dell computer that is hard to do unless they have changed things since I had one. One thing that you can do is to go into disk management and see wehat it says for the hdd , it will tell you if it is healthy or not. You can also download HD TUNE PRO and have it check out your hdd for errors , it's a free download. Since you feel that the hdd is failing and in that case you will have to put in a new one you will have to save any files that you want to keep. Burn them to a dvd or if you have another hdd save them to that or a usb stick , if you have one big enough. Once you have saved your files you can format the hard drive and reload the OS to see if it is the hdd that is failing or you just need to reload the OS.
a b G Storage
February 12, 2012 5:06:28 PM

if you have not done so already back it up immediately. if you have a drive big enough you can clone it or make a complete image using easeus Todo backup. otherwise just get the important stuff off.

then open the startmenu and in search type cmd and hit enter. a command window will open. (you may have to open it as administrator) then type chkdsk /r. you will have to reboot.

after the reboot go to event viewer Event Viewer > Windows Logs > Application > chkdsk. to see the results of the scan. of primary interest is the "bad sector" count. if its finding bad sectors generally the drive will be dead soon. If that's the case and you haven't gotten your data off shut it off and leave it off if at all possible until you have a drive to backup or clone to. if the drive is failing using the computer will just cause more damage and possible data loss
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February 12, 2012 5:32:39 PM

Thanks for the quick replies!

Disk Management: I went there and it said that both partitions (OS and Recovery) were "Healthy".

HD Tune Pro: Currently running, will update.

Chkdsk: I ran it before and restarted the computer, but I'm not finding the chkdsk section under Application. When I click on Application, it shows a list with the columns: "level, date and time, source, event ID, and task category".

I have been steadily backing up all of the important files to my external HD and netbook because I was worried about my hard drive dying.

In the event that my HD dies, are there any recommendations or warnings that you guys could provide for a new internal hard drive? My budget is less than $200 for a HD that is ~1 TB.

Thanks again for all the help! :) 
February 12, 2012 8:04:02 PM

Update:

HD Tune Pro: I ran it twice; everytime it got to around spot 428685 to 428689, every program I had running slowed down and eventually the computer restarted. When the computer restarted, the hard drive wasn't recognized as being there until I manually restarted it again.

At spot 428685 to 428689 there were >100 damaged/error markers. I'm thinking that this area might be the source of my problem. :( 

On another note: Do you guys know how I can check to see if my motherboard or chipset (or whatever it is) is compatible with SATA 2/3?
a c 119 G Storage
February 13, 2012 3:10:35 PM

A sata 3 hard drive will work in any of the sata ports because they are backwards compatable , the WD Caviar Black with a 64 mb cache is a great hard drive and gives you good performance. You can pick a 1 tb up for under $100.
!