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Is my Internal Hard Drive dying?

Last response: in Storage
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October 8, 2012 6:44:05 PM

For several weeks now, when I turn my computer on, it will often (3/5 or so) run a "disk check" on start up. The computer states that there was an issue with the hard drive that prevented windows from starting up. It will then optimize the disk, trying to fix the problem, and eventually start up windows normally (or sometimes give me the option to repair). With this being a reoccurring problem, is this a sign that the hard drive is slowly dying? I've completely tried reformatting the drive all together, and starting fresh - this did not help. Clearly, the optimizations/windows repairs aren't helping either. The hard drive is relatively new (<1 year), and I never had any problems until recently. If I am going to make replacements, I want to make sure I am replacing the correct part. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Edit: Should of also mentioned that even after Windows runs the optimization, it doesn't necessarily always start up. Now and again it will load up to the Windows Logo, and just get stuck there...kind of like it doesn't know where to go from there. Doesn't freeze, as I can still see the logo flashing, but also doesn't move on (kind of like it is lost? lol).
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October 8, 2012 9:51:28 PM

Hmmm. Doesn't seem to have found any errors. I am now currently running the "Verify" test. I'll post current results below.


Read Results:


S.M.A.R.T Results:


If it isn't the Hard Drive that is causing the start-up problem, what else could it be? My second uneducated guess would be the Power Supply? The reason I assume this is because there are also times that when powering the system up, it will begin to start up, shut down completely, try to start up again, then shut down again. Eventually it will either start up and completely load, or I will have to manually power it back up with the power button. There are also times that this happens after waking the computer from "Sleep Mode".
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October 8, 2012 10:45:52 PM

It could very well be the PSU. You might be able to see something in the BIOS Hardware Monitor menu, if it exists. However, that won't always be conclusive.

I recently repaired my own PSU after it crashed the machine every few hours or so. After replacing the leaky and swollen capacitors, it has been stable ever since.

See the examples at http://www.badcaps.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=32
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October 9, 2012 1:12:06 AM

fzabkar said:
It could very well be the PSU. You might be able to see something in the BIOS Hardware Monitor menu, if it exists. However, that won't always be conclusive.

I recently repaired my own PSU after it crashed the machine every few hours or so. After replacing the leaky and swollen capacitors, it has been stable ever since.

See the examples at http://www.badcaps.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=32


I don't take it that there is an easy way to test the power supply (like the hard drive)? I'm not very educated/experienced in this area of the computer, so if it is the true problem here, I'd be better off just replacing it rather than making the situation worse. lol
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October 9, 2012 7:46:17 AM

You could easily measure the PSU voltages using a multimeter (approx. US$5 at Harbor Freight). However, this won't tell you how the supply behaves under load, nor will it show you the ripple on the outputs.

If you remove the cover, any swollen capacitors would be easy to spot.
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October 9, 2012 9:25:01 AM

hardware monitor will show your voltage of the ps in windows. also run memtest to se you you have a bad dimm.
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October 9, 2012 12:33:51 PM

I ordered a Power Supply Tester. Should be in within a few days...I'll definitely open up the Power Supply and see if I notice anything out of the ordinary.
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October 9, 2012 2:41:09 PM

Jyces said:
For several weeks now, when I turn my computer on, it will often (3/5 or so) run a "disk check" on start up. The computer states that there was an issue with the hard drive that prevented windows from starting up. It will then optimize the disk, trying to fix the problem, and eventually start up windows normally (or sometimes give me the option to repair). With this being a reoccurring problem, is this a sign that the hard drive is slowly dying? I've completely tried reformatting the drive all together, and starting fresh - this did not help. Clearly, the optimizations/windows repairs aren't helping either. The hard drive is relatively new (<1 year), and I never had any problems until recently. If I am going to make replacements, I want to make sure I am replacing the correct part. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Edit: Should of also mentioned that even after Windows runs the optimization, it doesn't necessarily always start up. Now and again it will load up to the Windows Logo, and just get stuck there...kind of like it doesn't know where to go from there. Doesn't freeze, as I can still see the logo flashing, but also doesn't move on (kind of like it is lost? lol).

had a similar problem with my system , ran a disc check , all kinds of bad sectors , lost tons
of data , replaced drive all is well now .
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October 9, 2012 8:37:31 PM

IMHO, the typical Power Supply Tester is a gimmick. A digital multimeter costing $5 is far more useful and universal.

AFAICT, a typical stand-alone Power Supply Tester doesn't really load up your supply to any appreciable extent, so it wouldn't show up the kind of problem that you are experiencing. Otherwise, if the tester can be installed on a working PC, then hopefully it will have a memory, and some way of logging surges and sags, especially when a HDD spins up and down, and when the CPU or GPU load changes abruptly. Moreover, if it is powered from the same supply that is being tested, then its utility would be questionable.


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October 10, 2012 6:57:26 PM

jerry6 said:
had a similar problem with my system , ran a disc check , all kinds of bad sectors , lost tons
of data , replaced drive all is well now .


I think it is safe to say that, in my case, it is not the Hard Drive. After running Disk Check, and several other testing programs, it came out with 0 errors or problems.
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October 10, 2012 7:06:53 PM

fzabkar said:
IMHO, the typical Power Supply Tester is a gimmick. A digital multimeter costing $5 is far more useful and universal.

AFAICT, a typical stand-alone Power Supply Tester doesn't really load up your supply to any appreciable extent, so it wouldn't show up the kind of problem that you are experiencing. Otherwise, if the tester can be installed on a working PC, then hopefully it will have a memory, and some way of logging surges and sags, especially when a HDD spins up and down, and when the CPU or GPU load changes abruptly. Moreover, if it is powered from the same supply that is being tested, then its utility would be questionable.


Damn. Lol. It is already on its way and apparently going to be here tomorrow. For some reason, I am not completely convinced it is the Power Supply now. I believe the problem could possibly be a fan. Does that sound completely crazy? After the original 200mm stock fan started buzzing, I decided it was time to replace it as it was getting annoying. I decided to get the 200mm COOLER MASTER Megaflow LED fan (Product link: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683... ). That was a few months back...and now that I think of it, kind of around the same time (give or take) that I started experiencing problems. Could a fan actually cause this much of a problem? The only reason the fan came to mind is because unfortunately, this fan has also started the dreaded buzzing sound and I am told that it has to due with a loose bearing? I am currently testing this theory by keeping the fan unplugged/unconnected to the motherboard. Overheating/computer temperature won't be an issue, as I have 3 other fans. So far, I have not had a problem when turning on computer. If the fan was the problem, why would that be? Is it too much for my computer to handle? I'll keep you updated on the progress.
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October 10, 2012 7:13:11 PM

It could if the PSU and MB combo can't handle all the fans , or there is some defect in the MB
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October 10, 2012 7:24:49 PM

jerry6 said:
It could if the PSU and MB combo can't handle all the fans , or there is some defect in the MB


Oh god. I am hoping it is not something as serious as the motherboard! What a hassle that would be.
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October 10, 2012 8:47:07 PM

What MB ? Sometimes it's a cheap easy fix . Or just to much draw from the fans for the circuit that powers them . If it works without the new fan don't sweat it
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October 11, 2012 11:41:27 AM

jerry6 said:
What MB ? Sometimes it's a cheap easy fix . Or just to much draw from the fans for the circuit that powers them . If it works without the new fan don't sweat it


ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 Intel Z68 LGA1155 is my current Motherboard. I also found out that the fan that I unplugged (CoolerMaster 200mm LED fan) is not the fan that was causing the buzzing/ticking sound. The CPU fan is the one making the sound. I tried cleaning it out, but sound is still there. I still have the one fan unplugged, as I haven't experienced a double boot since its been unplugged. I'm not sure the problems lies within the fan, as much as the Power Supply. My current Power Supply is 650 WATT, which should be able to handle my specs without a problem (unless it is actually dying).
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October 11, 2012 10:49:34 PM

Ultra Power Supply Tester arrived in mail today. The instructions stated to plug the PSU 20/24 Motherboard connector into tester - if power output is working, the LED lights will turn green and you will hear a beep. I heard the beep and green lights went off. This is considered a pass. I am not really sure where to go from here. Still haven't had a problem turning on computer since the CoolerMaster LED 200mm fan has been unplugged/unconnected from Motherboard - although, I would only consider this a temporary work around as I would like to have this fan active.

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October 11, 2012 11:16:28 PM

As I thought, your gadget is essentially just a gimmick. You could have obtained much better information, at no cost, from your BIOS hardware monitor, or from an equivalent software application, eg SpeedFan.
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October 11, 2012 11:44:55 PM

fzabkar said:
As I thought, your gadget is essentially just a gimmick. You could have obtained much better information, at no cost, from your BIOS hardware monitor, or from an equivalent software application, eg SpeedFan.


I bought this item based on many reviews praising its effectiveness. Clearly you do not share the same opinion as those who have used the device. I seen it as a device that could easily tell me the condition of my Power Supply, without any hassle. I went into BIOS several times, but that was practically another language for me as I'm not all that educated in this category.
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October 12, 2012 12:45:52 AM

I say that it is useless because it does not tell you the actual voltage levels, only that they are "OK". Moreover, it does not appear to have a latching function, so there is no way for you to tell if the PSU has dropped out and reset itself. Therefore, if the PC has rebooted in your absence, you will have no indication of whether the PSU was to blame, or whether it was a memory fault, or something else.

I suspect that inside your gadget you will find a single comparator IC that mimics the function of an equivalent Power Good IC inside the PSU. And if I'm being really cynical, I expect that the IC's markings will have been ground off to frustrate people like me who would like to know how it works.
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