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Help! Windows detected a hard disk problem.

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August 27, 2012 3:06:21 PM

I don't know what to do next.

Last night, my pc displayed a message that "Windows detected a hard disk problem." and that I should do a back up. But there were no weird noises coming from my HD and it's still functioning right now though I backed up important files on my external hard disk.

I tried to boot my pc on the Last Known Good Configuration but the message still popped up. I downloaded Seagate diagnostic tool and performed a test. It failed on the S.M.A.R.T test but it passed on the short generic test, both drive C and drive D. I downloaded HDD Regenerator and performed a test, it said that it has a bad sector. I haven't tried repairing the bad sector using the tool because someone told me that it might be damaged more.

I haven't tried defragging it. I'm thinking of reformating my pc, but I'm busy on my thesis now and I have no time to reformat it. I don't even know if it will help.

What will I do next? Should I defrag it? Reformat it? Or should I buy a new hard disk? It wasn't that old. It's only 1 year.

Thanks! :) 

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a c 362 G Storage
August 27, 2012 8:45:53 PM

The SMART system on an HDD monitors several things with the intent of detecting likely future failures and warning you before they happen and ruin some data. For example, all modern HDD's have their own internal and almost-invisible way of detecting sectors with weak signals and substituting spare good sectors for them. But of course, eventually the stock of spare good sectors is reduced, and ultimately it will run out and not be able to do this for you. The SMART system monitors this process (that's one of its functions) and warns you when too many substitutions have happened, so that the spare stock is getting low.

Replacing your HDD with a new one when the SMART system warns you of likely future failure is a VERY good idea. It is VERY likely that you will be able to copy ALL your software and data to the new drive BEFORE any is lost on the old one. You do this, usually, with CLONING software, which often is supplied as a free downloadable utility from the website of the maker of your new HDD. For example, Seagate has Disk Wizard if you buy a Seagate HDD; WD has Acronis True Image WD Edition if you buy one of their drives. Cloning means you copy absolutely everything from old to new, including the OS, and ensuring that critical files that must go into special locations do get put there. The end result is a new drive that completely takes over in place of the old one (you can remove the old one completely when done) with all your data and software intact. I had to do this a few months ago with an older HDD that failed the SMART tests, and it worked perfectly. The tests actually told me the old drive had several bad sectors, but the cloned copy on the replacement drive works just fine. It seems any "bad sectors" on the failing drive were not actually part of any important files, so cloning right away saved me from any losses.
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August 28, 2012 6:22:04 AM

Paperdoc said:
The SMART system on an HDD monitors several things with the intent of detecting likely future failures and warning you before they happen and ruin some data. For example, all modern HDD's have their own internal and almost-invisible way of detecting sectors with weak signals and substituting spare good sectors for them. But of course, eventually the stock of spare good sectors is reduced, and ultimately it will run out and not be able to do this for you. The SMART system monitors this process (that's one of its functions) and warns you when too many substitutions have happened, so that the spare stock is getting low.

Replacing your HDD with a new one when the SMART system warns you of likely future failure is a VERY good idea. It is VERY likely that you will be able to copy ALL your software and data to the new drive BEFORE any is lost on the old one. You do this, usually, with CLONING software, which often is supplied as a free downloadable utility from the website of the maker of your new HDD. For example, Seagate has Disk Wizard if you buy a Seagate HDD; WD has Acronis True Image WD Edition if you buy one of their drives. Cloning means you copy absolutely everything from old to new, including the OS, and ensuring that critical files that must go into special locations do get put there. The end result is a new drive that completely takes over in place of the old one (you can remove the old one completely when done) with all your data and software intact. I had to do this a few months ago with an older HDD that failed the SMART tests, and it worked perfectly. The tests actually told me the old drive had several bad sectors, but the cloned copy on the replacement drive works just fine. It seems any "bad sectors" on the failing drive were not actually part of any important files, so cloning right away saved me from any losses.



I went to where I bought my PC a while ago, they said they can replace it because it's still under warranty. I don't think I can work with this HDD because any time it can fail, and I can't afford that. Thanks for your answer! :) 
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August 28, 2012 6:22:20 AM

Best answer selected by silvertooth07.
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a c 362 G Storage
August 28, 2012 3:31:13 PM

Just to be sure, did they also say that they will clone or transfer ALL of your old stuff from the failing unit to the replacement for you?

Thanks for the BA.
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