Hard drive failing - what to do?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by meester, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. meester

    meester Member

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    My Samsung HD103UJ 1TB hard drive is apparently failing, as Windows periodically gives me the following message:

    http://thevistaforums.com/uplo...t-41685-1224809141.jpg

    The actual text is

    [Window Title]
    Microsoft Windows

    [Main Instruction]
    Windows detected a hard disk problem

    [Content]
    Back up your files immediately to prevent information loss, and then contact the computer manufacturer to determine if you need to repair or replace the disk.

    [^] Hide details [Start the backup process] [Ask me again later] [Don't ask me about this problem again (not recommended)] [Cancel]

    [Expanded Information]
    Immediate steps
    Because a disk failure will cause you to lose all programs, files and documents on the disk, you should back up your important information immediately. Try not to use your computer until you have repaired or replaced the hard disk.

    Which disk is failing?
    The following hard disks are reporting failure:
    Disk Name: SAMSUNG HD103UJ ATA Device
    Volume: C:\


    I'm not sure what's wrong, though I run several VMware VMs at once, and due to power cuts or whatever they tend to get corrupt over time, and I've had to rebuild a few.

    The PC is working fine it seems, just getting this message.

    What diagnostics utilities should I run/steps should I take?
     
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  3. meester

    meester Member

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    Also my Outlook .pst, which is about 3gb fails to copy to one of my other hard drives 'can not read from source file' is the message.

    If I use a tool like Ghost, will it mess up the destination drive?
     
  4. RebateMonger

    RebateMonger Elite Member

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    Your drive is failing. It should be replaced. There are likely more disk-related errors shown in the System Event Log.

    You can try Ghost. No, it won't mess up the destination drive. The problem is hardware errors on the hard drive. Ghost will do its best to make a successful copy of the data onto the destination disk. Hopefully, it'll be able to copy everything without excessive read errors.
     
  5. 0roo0roo

    0roo0roo No Lifer

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    yea don't drag your feet, its going to just die sooner or later. u live on borrowed time. and you are lucky to have this grace period at all. once it starts to fail never trust a drive again..copy it to a new one asap.

    ghost or whatever image program will not mess up a new drive. however corrupt data or unreadable data will remain corrupt. it doesn't get fixed.

    you can do it within windows using driveimage xml
    =free
    fancier programs with more imaging and bootdisc program capability..liike clonezilla also free
     
  6. meester

    meester Member

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    I checked the eventlog, there are 20878 The device, \Device\Harddisk1\DR1, has a bad block.
    messages, stretching back 8 months, and two "The driver has detected that device \Device\Harddisk1\DR1 has predicted that it will fail. Immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent.", from 1st and 27th July, messages.

    I think I need to find a bootable ghost-type tool, so I can do it when the OS is not running.
     
  7. 0roo0roo

    0roo0roo No Lifer

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    why? drive reads the same either way. xml does it free while windows is running.

    shadow copy allows it to copy system files that are in use if you were wondering about that bit.

    but for full imaging restoring using a boot disc yes using a clonezilla or ghost is easier unless you make a bart pe boot disc with an xml plugin. its possible but i've never botehred.
    but for a drive to drive copy xml works perfectly fine.
     
  8. meester

    meester Member

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    Clonezilla looked nice but it crapped out due to read errors from the hard drive. (they were 'cannot read from dev/hda' type errors - raw Linux errors).

    I tried a couple of windows programs but they aren't able to work, something to do with Volume Shadow Copy - it's enabled and the services are starting, but they are not working.

    I checked my drive with hdtune, the failure reason is from SMART, the Raw Read Error rate, worst was 16, current 97, threshold 51, result FAIL. Everything else is ok.

    The 97 is I think out of 100, so I think that's pretty positive, but a surface scan shows that there are bad blocks - this hard drive does need replacing, I just didn't really want to have to do a manual backup/reinstall again....

    I'm not sure if any drive image software will put up with the read errors TBH
     
  9. 0roo0roo

    0roo0roo No Lifer

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    well not much is going to get past total drive read failure. if clonezilla failed a read then most probably will. then again does clonezilla have an option to ignore read errors?
    that being said...i wouldn't want to clone a drive with read errors that way, nm an os drive. you might as well reinstall windows. theres spinrite which may try to recover your drive to the point where it can be cloned. but it costs as mucha s a new drive. whether you consider the tool to be worth buying is your choice.
     
  10. RebateMonger

    RebateMonger Elite Member

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    DO NOT waste valuable drive life doing surface scans of a failing hard drive!!!!!!

    Your first job is to get your important data off it. Start with the VERY MOST important data and work your way down. Don't be copying Windows screensavers when you haven't copied photos of your loved ones first. Once you get your files off it, you can play with it to your heart's content.

    Microsft's RoboCopy utility (free on MS's site) will copy entire directories and will SKIP files that are unreadable after a set number of tries. Other software (such as Windows Explorer) will give up and stop the entire copy operation if a single file can't be read. RoboCopy can also create a log file showing which files weren't readable, so you'll know what's been lost.
     
  11. meester

    meester Member

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    Well I downloaded this: http://www.hirensbootcd.net/

    Ghost did the trick, it did complain about read errors, but I told it to keep going. PC is now running off the cloned disc. Files that Windows couldn't copy, such as my email pst copied across fine (it seems), and are copyable from the cloned disk to a third disk without issue.

    So looks like I'm ok....