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
Answer this Question

Answers

3 total
GaryC
Vote Up (33)

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.

lsmall
Vote Up (33)

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

jimlynch
Vote Up (28)

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."

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Intel is shipping its fastest PC processor to date and its first with eight cores.
Tablet shipments worldwide will continue to grow this year, but not as quickly as previously expected, according to a forecast released Friday.
Although forecasts for PC shipments have brightened, much of the improvement stems from bets that Chromebooks and Macs will make up a larger part of this year's market.
Leap Motion may have a new lease on life thanks to inexpensive virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift.
While SAP has made a big push into mobile software and device management with the acquisition of Sybase and a series of apps, it hasn't made overt moves into the devices market. But this could change down the road, judging from a recently published patent application submitted by SAP.
You've got a Mac, an iPhone, maybe an iPad or two in your household, and you have a problem. Maybe one of them's got a cracked screen, and you want to find out if it's still under warranty (and what that warranty covers). Maybe one of them won't start up, and you want to find out what to do. Maybe you just have a question that requires an Apple expert. Turns out you can find out all that and more in one place--a place that a lot of Apple users have never heard of.
The PC market is still a bleak place to be, but not as bleak as expected, according to new figures released Wednesday.
The Internet of Things may have been the talk of the tech industry for months now, but communications chip maker Broadcom thinks it's just getting started.
Samsung has started producing 64GB DRAM modules for servers based on emerging DDR4 (double-data rate 4) memory using 3D "through silicon via" (TSV) package technology.
Server shipments and revenue grew for the first time since 2011 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, a trend likely to continue in the second half of the year, according Gartner.
randomness