Is my hard drive failing?

sspade

My laptop says my hard drive is failing a smart check, but it still boots. Is my hard drive ok or do I need a new one?

Topic: Hardware
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3 total
lsmall
Vote Up (30)

The S.M.A.R.T. check is a way for the hard drive's controller to report problems to your computer so that you can be warned when there's an issue. Since it's a hardware problem, you'll want to replace your laptop's hard drive - but make sure you backup your files ASAP so that you do not lose data

GaryC
Vote Up (29)

A SMART check is a warning that more serious trouble is likely soon to come. The drive may be able to function normally for a while, but it has internally detected some set of parameters out of range that its designers have determined to be an indication of likely imminent failure. A typical scenario is when the drive has remapped to many bad sectors and is running out of spare sectors. It may still boot today, but maybe not the next time. As Lsmall states, you should back up your system and especially any cherished data ASAP, i.e., immediately. If you made a "rescue disk" CD/DVD  when you first bought the system, now would be a good time to find it. If not, make one while you stil can. If you're geek-inclined, you might be able to swap out the drive and restore the system and the backups yourself, but if you're unsure, or the stuff on the system is too valuable to chance, shut the system down and seek knowledgable assistance.

jimlynch
Vote Up (23)

Hi sspade,

It looks like you may be having problems. You should immediately backup your data and then get your laptop checked by your service professionals. It's far better to be safe than sorry where your important data is concerned.

Here's a good background article about SMART:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.

Snippet:

"S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology; often written as SMART) is a monitoring system for computer hard disk drives to detect and report on various indicators of reliability, in the hope of anticipating failures.

When a failure is anticipated by S.M.A.R.T., the user may choose to replace the drive to avoid unexpected outage and data loss. The manufacturer may be able to use the S.M.A.R.T. data to discover where faults lie and prevent them from recurring in future drive designs."

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