Toshiba Tecra S1: Harddrive Destroying Entity?

By Route44 · 5 replies
Jan 15, 2010
  1. I’ll try to make this as short as possible. Two years ago my sister gave me a Toshiba Tecra S1 (yes, by today’s standards it is old) that her company was giving away because they were purchasing new models. It sat in her closet for a year.

    Because it was a company laptop I knew it had to have a lot of wear and tear. There were several accounts on it; I was really surprised that their tech department never upgraded to SP2.

    So I cleaned up the system by removing all accounts but my own. I upgraded the RAM from 512 megs of PC2100 to two gigs and I updated the XP Pro to SP2.

    I ran Seagate Tools for a hard drive diagnostics as a standard procedure on the original Hitachi 4200 rpm. It passed the S.M.A.R.T. and Short Self Diagnostic Test but failed the Long test every time.

    Also, when I analyzed the Hitachi for fragmentation I was prompted to drefrag because I was showing 12% defragmentation. Here is the thing: No mater how many times I defragged when I analyzed again it told me I needed to defrag. Even after immediately defragging I was prompted to defrag reporting 12% each and ever time.

    So fast forward; a number of people said with the repeated Long Test fails it was time that I replaced the Hitachi which I did with a brand new Seagate 54000 rpm a year ago. Everything went smoothly and the HD was immediately recognized.

    But here is the thing: The Windows defragmentation utility constantly reports 12% fragmentation Seagate even after defrag. And I am getting the same reads on this Seagate as I had with the Hitachi: Pass the S.M.A.R.T. and Short but fail the Long Test every time (I did the Short and Long Generic and I Passed them).

    One other thing. It now takes an average of 10 minutes for the Desktop to load all icons. I removed the HP Printer drivers and anything else that I thought might be slowing the load times. No change.

    I’ve always had Avast and Online Armor free versions so that can’t be it. There are no infections. I have noticed that updating to SP 3 had slowed down load times but nothing of this magnitude.

    *** Any ideas or advice would be most welcomed.
  2. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    You probably know this but I have to ask anyway...
    Is this 12% due to hidden or system files?
    Have you looked at the analysis report to see what is actually fragmented?
    You could also try running the Advanced System Care defrag utility (uncheck "skip files larger than 1GB" under the options menu). I find their utility to be faster and better than Windows defrag.
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 11,984   +72

    strategic, thanks for the reply. I and a friend read the report together and they are system files, 19 to be exact. So I utilized Advanced System Care as you suggested and it found 19 files and then fixed them. Then I went back to Windows defragger and sure enough the 19 show up again as fragmented.

    My friend went into Task Manager and shut down Explorer.exe and waited 10 minutes but nothing loaded. Then we rebooted and it loaded much faster than it has in a long while. Why? We really don't know.

    We also went back to SeaTools scanning logs and since April of 2009 the Long DST is Fail but the other Pass, just like the Hitachi. If it was just this harddrive then I would mark it as a relatively new drive hardly used dying. But since I got the same results with the Hitachi something is going on that I can't figure out.

    I do know that the BIOS supports the Seagate.

    I'll try Advance Care tomorrow and see if it gets the 19 files again.

    Thanks for your help.
  4. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    If those system files are ''hidden system files', ( I may be wrong ) but hidden or archived files don't get defragged. I'm curious to find out if your analysis shows green squares representing unmovable files.
    The fact that your computer booted quicker was because you ran the complete Advanced System Care which makes so much improvements to your computers performance (I run it at least once a week on all my computers). I assume you set up the new HDD using HDD imaging software like Acronis which would have created an exact replica.
    The fact that they both fail the long DST confuses me.
  5. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 11,984   +72

    It confuses me as well! I am wondering if the motherboard has issues but there is no way to tell. From what we read there were no hidden files. And, yes, it was imaging software like Acronis and it produced an exact replica.

    To be honest, I didn't run the full ASC, just the defragger because of time constraints but you are very correct in that it is much faster.

    Again, thanks for input.
  6. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Have you received any error codes at all when running Seatools?
    The chances are slim, but your Seagate drive could be defective. For the reviews I read, I'm not sure they're any better than Hitachi, although my Hitachi is pushing 6 years now and still running like new so I can't complain.
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