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Is my hard drive failing??

By alexandriaz ยท 14 replies
Oct 30, 2007
  1. Need help quick! Since August 17 Ive been getting BSOD, first stop error message was 0x00000077A then I was told it was because I didnt have enough memory to run everything, only had 256mb, also said that using AOL was really bad, big resource hog. So I removed the 256mb ram stick and had two new 512mb ram sticks installed.

    Now havent had any more 0x00000077A but have had two blue screens saying 0x000000F4 somethng about a crucial thread? my hard drive is 2 yrs old, short tests say its ok but it makes this random ticking noise for about 1 minute then goes away. Im assuming its the HHD. but my DVD ROM had a disc stuck in it and now every once in awhile I get a little copy of a CD on my mouse pointer like its trying to load up, maybe that? I ran a hard drive diagnostics using Speed Fan and HD Tune and this is what it said.

    NOTE: not all warnings are reflected on fitness and performance overall values as relevancy is based upon the settings from the hard disk manufacturer who is the best entity deputed to define such relationships.

    NOTE : your hard disk has 384 reallocated sectors (this value is very large and your hard disk should be replaced). Hard disks do have spare sectors (usually from 256 up to 1024) used to replace bad ones. This remapping operation is transparent to the end user. Anyway, this can lead to degradated performances (because remapped sectors are in different places of the disk than the original ones and the head needs additional moving). If reallocated sectors grow over time, you might encounter some serious troubles. A backup of the most important data is suggested anyway.

    NOTE : your hard disk has 1 pending sectors. Those are sectors that couldn't be properly read and that the hard disk logic is waiting for a write operation to try to remap to a spare sector (if available). According to the Reallocated Sector Count attribute, your hard disk seems to have available spare sectors. A simple disk surface scan won't be enough to force the remap operation. You need a read/write surface scan to remap the sector. The best option should be a tool that knows about what should be read from that sector so that it has some option to apply the best fix to the missing data.

    NOTE : your hard disk Spin Retry Count attribute current value (248) is below the normal range (252 - 253) reported for your specific hard disk model. This means that your hard disk was unable to start the motor at the first attempt and that additional retries were needed. This is not a good sign and you should keep an eye on your hard disk.

    The overall fitness for this drive is 22%.
    The overall performance for this drive is 86%.

    Ok do you think this is the cuase of my BSOD? if not what else can I do to find out whats causing this? seems like it only happens when my PC sits idle, not when its being used. My HHD temp is running around 41c, manufacturer says it should normally be about 36c. Can anyone help!
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    That doesn't look good, esp with the 'ticking' sound. I'd run one of the tools found in this thread and see what they say, it is a little better test for failure than drive fitness. If you manage to pass that then I'd run some RAM tests. Only reason I'm suggesting that is because in my expierence if a HD is going to cause a BSOD or a system hang, you'll be able to tell by listening and or looking at the HDD activity light. Maybe you just haven't noticed because you didn't know what to look for, now you do :)
  3. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Yep you have classical symptoms of impending drive failure. Clicking, BSOD and bad sectors all together make a bad drive. I'd buy a new drive asap and transfer normal operation to the new drive as soon as possible and while the old drive still works and copying the contents is still possible.
  4. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    Yeah, I Know This Generalizing But, Go Ahead And Replace The Hardisk. Sometimes It's Best To Do Component Replacement And Bite The Bullet.
  5. vbrauner

    vbrauner TS Rookie

    Rule of thumb in the data recovery field - ticking noises could be the read/write heads creating errors on the platters. When this drive is still in operational state take a back up of all critical data!

    Here is a FAQ page http://www.sydneydatarecovery.com.au/faq.html
  6. alexandriaz

    alexandriaz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The ticking noise only happens ever so often, sometimes not for a few days and then maybe once during the time its on., Ive checked the diagnostic lights located in the back of my PC and they all stay green. I have a Dell Dimension 4500 Windows XP Home ED. Service pak2. I dont hear anything weird, my drive temp is staying around 41c has gone up to 44c. How can I back my hard drive up without having to go buy something else to back it up on? I tried running chkdsk/f/r but it says it cant be found? I know it ran once when this first started happening but cant find it now. and when I try to boot up my Resource CD that came with my PC, it wont run. just some weird things are going on! I also tried making a copy of memtest86 and some other memory test but I cant seem to burn the image to the CD, I have Roxio and when I click start recording it says, please put in a CD that has more space or is for the right media. I have Sony CD-R discs. and my floppy disc drive never worked from day one, so how can I burn the image to my disc using Roxio? and how can I back my HHD without buying more hardware?

    How do I transfer normal operation to the new drive? is it hard to install a new hard drive? I downloaded MaxBLaster from this site, it can be used to help install a new hard drive? do I leave my this HDD installed while the new is being installed or do I remove the one in now? or should i just take it in and have some one else do it? I could do it this weekend. if it last that long, its been doing these BSOD since Auguat 17th, the ticking noise just started about a week ago. hasnt ticked since i turned it on this morning at 8:30am its been an hour! is that good? I am afraid its my hard drive, my first one crashed without backing anything up and I still havent backed anything up but some pictures on Xdrive. dont know what to use to back my HHD up.
    thanks for all your help!
  7. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Ok installing a new drive is easy. You buy the drive and then download and burn the transfer software to a CD or write it to a floppy As you seem to have no floppy and a limited use version of Roxio we may have a problem.

    The transfer software is located on the drive manufactures web site. I know that a retail copy of Nero will burn the software to CD, but I'm not sure the test drive version will but we are gonna try anyway. You can download Nero at www.nero.com.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I'm sure your drive is toast now.

    But since it appears to run at least a little, then with a new hard drive you can clone your old one over if you are lucky. I'm not sure if it was MaxBlast or PowerMax that I used in the past, but those don't exist anymore since the Seagate takeover. I'm sure that tool still exists though, just under a different name. You would do this by having both drives connected, but the dying drive as Slave I believe - new drive as Master (unless its sata then it doesn't matter).

    In the meantime, I'd run that computer at little as possible, the more hours you put on a failing drive the sooner it is going to give up completely.

    As for burning the iso file, you can't drag and drop and burn it like a normal data file, it has to be burned as a disk image. In Roxio I don't know how you do this. Currently though I wouldn't be concerned about that since it appears it is your hard drive rather than RAM.

    As for why things aren't running well (Roxio's errors, and not booting off a cd properly) I have no idea. That shouldn't have anything to do with your hard drive. The "diagnostic lights" on the back of your computer aren't going to tell you anything about your hard drive, it may tell you about the status of your network and whether the computer has power, but that is it. I was speaking of the hard drive activity light which is usually the amber colored light on the front of the computer, by the power light. I would expect with a dying hard drive, whenever you are having problems the light would be on abnormally long. You would also hear clicking noises around the time(s) things start screwing up. So if you aren't seeing the light lit up an abnormal amount of time, or hearing clicking during the booting off cd that is failing, then you may have more serious problems than just a dying hard drive. But I think right now you need to take care of the hard drive before anything else.

    Well maybe not before anything else... Is this an IDE drive? Is it on the same cable as the CD/DVD drive? Because if that cable is bad or loose, that could explain why you can't successfully boot off a cd, and why you get the symptoms of a bad hd. So check that. Then deal with your hard drive.

    After you run the diagnostic tools, and it fails, you will get an RMA code (your drive should be under warranty for 3 years, bummer if its only 1). If you can return it, you can sometimes opt for them to send you the replacement before you send the dead drive, this will allow you to run that tool I mentioned above to clone your dying drive to the new drive.
  9. alexandriaz

    alexandriaz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    why are you so sure my HHD is toast now? was it something I said about whats going on? My son is home schooled and has to use the computer to log onto his classroom so he uses it most of the day. Its been on all day and hasnt turned blue but once, right after I first booted it up after being off all night, hasnt made any ticking noises yet, but it when the blue error screen came on it said:

    Follow these steps to solve the problem with a device driver

    You received this message because a device driver installed on your computer caused the Windows operating system to stop unexpectedly. This type of error is referred to as a "stop error." A stop error requires you to restart your computer.

    Troubleshooting is available that might help you solve the problem

    Then it listed what I could do, I ran the test drive on Windows and it came back no errors found.

    Do you think maybe it has something to do with a bad driver? Thats been mentioned to me as being a reason for the KERNEL_INPAGE_DATA_ERROR, BSOD? OK so now I downloaded NERO but where do I go when in Nero to burn an image to the CD so I can test the memory? is this my 512MB or is there some other kind of memory? cause my memory sticks are brand new so it cant be them causing this BSOD and what would be causing the change of stop messages? shouldnt they stay the same?

    dont mean to make this long, but want to make sure I cover everything, I downloaded the diagnostic tool from Seagate and Maxtor Maxblast5, I ran the test on my HDD and it came back normal but it was only the short test, the long one said it could take four hours so I'll do that tonight. Now about this HDD light, theres only one light on the front of my Dell and its blinking green, theres no other light except the four in the back, couldnt find anymore. Is my HDD temp to high? running at 41c? I believe it is a IDE drive, and yes I believe it is connected to the same cable but I will have to take my PC apart to check it again, cant remember for sure. as for when the ticking noise comes on, it only seems to come on when that little CD comes on my mouse pointer as if its trying to either load or eject a CD , my DVD player is stuck , cant open it and my son said there was a DVD inside so that could be the culprit of the ticking noise?? maybe? I wish! but I havent heard the ticking all day. Can you please explain this statement for me:

    "After you run the diagnostic tools, and it fails, you will get an RMA code"

    which diagnostic tools? and where will this RMA code come from? how can I find out if my HDD has a one year warranty or 3 year warranty?
    I dont mean to ask so many questions but when you're clueless about whats happening to your own computer it makes you want to know everything possible!! thanks so much for your help and assistance.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I don't really want to go at this any further for fear of making the problem even more complex in my head than it already seems. I'm confident everything I've said above still applies.

    I really don't want to do any more speculating until you can run a memtest. If your drive was bad as I and others thought, it 'should' have shown up in the short test, but there I go speculating again. I have seen drives (I had one) pass tests before and still be bad.

    So really the only way to rule it out is for you to check your connections and run memtest. Unfortunately for you, memtest will be something you want to run overnight too.

    So first, run the long test on your hard drive, if that comes up clean, then the next night, run the memtest. I'd recommend shutting down and pulling the power from your hard drive before running memtest just incase it still is your hard drive. Because you don't want that thing spinning any more than it has to.
  11. alexandriaz

    alexandriaz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I understand what you mean by making this more complex, its driving me insane! I have come to the conclusion that I will replace my hard drive, hate to if I dont have to but shouldnt replacing the HDD and reinstalling Windows XP get rid of whatever the problem is? unless of course its something else in my hardware, like motherboard or some other PC gadget. Ok I ran Seatools short test again, it passed, I ran benchmark test it says Im using 89% PC usage, burst rate of 3.0mb, maxium 3.1mb, seek time was 14.1mb, shows the UDMA isunabled but I checked it and it is, another new thing is my reallocated sectors have gone from 364 a week ago to 416 today. My question is this? are we pretty sure its the HDD? Do I stll need to run a memtest if I put in new memory sticks? I did, last weekend or does a memtest have nothing to do with memory sticks? I had 1 256md stick in and removed and installed 2 512ram sticks. I will run this test overnight tonight but I cant seem to burn the image to a disc in Nero or Roxio, I downloaded free version of Nero to do this but I dont know where to go in the software to burn the file to an image, can you tell me how to do this? I am getting ready to run the long HHD test now, hopefully it will be done by tonight and I can run the memtest. Should I just install the new HHD and forget it?
    thanks for all your help, reading my forever long posts.
    thanks :)

  12. alexandriaz

    alexandriaz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    what do you mean by this? I understand shutting down but pulling ppwer?

    I'd recommend shutting down and pulling the power from your hard drive before running memtest just incase it still is your hard drive

    is that if I shut down its refreshes the HDD per se?
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    No, its because you don't want a hard drive running that is potentially dying. If your drive really is dying, every second that thing is on is potentially the last second you will ever access data on it again. I've had this happen, it isn't fun. If you don't have everything backed up on that drive that you think you'll ever want to access again then you need to.

    You really need to run memtest which tests your RAM sticks not your hard drive. If that passes, then I still blame your hard drive. If it isn't your hard drive or your ram then either your power supply is sending out bad voltages occationally or your motherboard is having problems or you have a bad Windows install.

    Things are pointing to your hard drive, but I can't say for sure until you run memtest. This is really all I can do to help you though.
  14. alexandriaz

    alexandriaz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Its my HDD, for sure, I ran the long diagnostic test from SeaTools for this HDD and guess what???? it FAILED!!!!! so now we have no doubts at all, like we thought!! ok so now, I need to know how in the world do I burn my pictures burned to a CD? I have Roxio and Nero 8, all I can find on here about burning my pictures to a CD is something called Super Video CD but thats turning your pictures into a video and I dont want that. is it the same as buring an image to a disk? Ive already transferred all my important data to a CD using Nero 8 and now all I have left is my pictures.

    I bought a Maxtor Basics ATA/100 300GB, the one that crashed was a Maxtor Diamond plus 6Y200, Ultra ATA/133, now is the new HDD better than the failed one? the guy at the store said it would be faster or better than the ATA/133? do you know if this is true? also, I was thinking about installing this myself once I transferred my data I want to save, Ive read thru the instructions, seems pretty simple, I have three ways I can download it, not sure which one to use and then Im not sure once I reinstall Windows XP is there anything special I need to do besides putting in the CD and following on screen instructions? any special configurations I have to do? thats what IM worried about the most?

    Can you help me with that????
    thanks for everything!!!
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Burn the Pictures just like you did the rest of your data. If you go trying to create any fancy pictures disk you are likely to get yourself confused and/or a disk that you have a hard time getting them back off of.

    That ATA133 drive isn't going to be faster than the ATA100 because of that 133, they never utilize the full potential of the interface anyway. But it may be faster just because it is a newer technology drive.

    Maxtor should have a tool that allows you to clone your existing disk provided it can read from it, I would use that.

    If you can't figure that out, and are confident you have everything backed up I would pull out the existing drive, put in the new one, install XP (it will see it even unpartitioned and prompt you for what to do, its easy). Once XP is installed, change the jumper on the old one to slave (the new one should be set to master), then boot up. Your old drive will show up and you'll have another shot at getting anything you didn't get backed up to cd.

    After that I'd check to see if you are still under warranty for the dead drive, if so send it back, if not then just throw the drive away. If you want a fun little project open up the old drive and take out the magnets in it, they are very strong.
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