Is my storage hard drive dying?

mikeford

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Aug 6, 2006
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Just in the past 24 hours, I've had my laptop internal storage drive (D drive, so not the one it boots off of) start to hang on certain media files and then it will outright disappear from file explorer. Trying to run disc cleanup or defrag causes the same issue: hang and then disappearance and only reappearing upon a system reboot.

I suspect this means the drive is failing and I'm going to need to replace it. Fine, rather a $150 problem than a motherboard failure.

I guess my question is two-fold: am I right in assuming this drive has a short life left to live? and question 2: what are my odds of actually being able to rescue the data off this drive after I swap in the new one?
 

Dollar

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I went through something similar a couple years ago, and found that it would be pretty expensive to recover the data once the hard drive had failed. I'm now extra cautious in backing up my files/photos/etc in case it happens again. I don't know how much more life your hard drive has left in it, but I agree with the above comment that you should start trying to save the most important files just in case.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Until he can get a replacement drive, maybe even pull the failing drive to avoid having it spin up every time he uses his laptop?

And if that failing drive was added after market, check for the length of warranty and purchase date. I filed a warranty claim on a drive a week before the warranty expired, and the manufacturer wrote me a check for the original purchase price on five year old technology.
 

Harry Hooper

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Do you have a USB external hard drive or DVD-ROM device? You can copy and paste data from the internal hard drive over to the USB device, or you can make a full image of the internal hard drive and save it on the USB device. The free version of Macrium Reflect software to make images is here: https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree
 

mikeford

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Do you have a USB external hard drive or DVD-ROM device? You can copy and paste data from the internal hard drive over to the USB device, or you can make a full image of the internal hard drive and save it on the USB device. The free version of Macrium Reflect software to make images is here: https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree
I do have an external, problem is any time I try to move things D drive hangs and then disappears. I will try to make the full image though, maybe that'll work.

Thanks,
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Until he can get a replacement drive, maybe even pull the failing drive to avoid having it spin up every time he uses his laptop?

And if that failing drive was added after market, check for the length of warranty and purchase date. I filed a warranty claim on a drive a week before the warranty expired, and the manufacturer wrote me a check for the original purchase price on five year old technology.
Amazing. Until now, I had never heard of a successful warranty claim on a hard drive.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Amazing. Until now, I had never heard of a successful warranty claim on a hard drive.
It went bad early in year 5, but I mistakenly thought there was only a 4 year warranty so I tossed it into a drawer. I came across the correct warranty terms 8+ months later, and saw I had a week remaining on it. I figured at best that they'd replace it with a comparable drive which would have cost them 20-25% of the cost of the original drive. I plotzed when they offered to, and then sent me a check, for the full original purchase price.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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It went bad early in year 5, but I mistakenly thought there was only a 4 year warranty so I tossed it into a drawer. I came across the correct warranty terms 8+ months later, and saw I had a week remaining on it. I figured at best that they'd replace it with a comparable drive which would have cost them 20-25% of the cost of the original drive. I plotzed when they offered to, and then sent me a check, for the full original purchase price.
Cool. What brand?
 

gibdied

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I guess my question is two-fold: am I right in assuming this drive has a short life left to live? and question 2: what are my odds of actually being able to rescue the data off this drive after I swap in the new one?
It's pretty much been covered, but I want to emphasize that your drive is almost certainly failing. Omar is right, it's best to fully disconnect a failing drive until you are ready to try to pull the data; any needless wear and tear should be avoided because it's only going to get worse. Given the symptoms described, the problem is severe - perhaps the circuit board but more likely the read heads themselves - so you may not have many more opportunities to mount the drive. Honestly, I'm not confident you'll be able to recover all your data.

It's a longshot, but it may be worth changing the physical orientation of the drive. I once worked on a laptop that basically ground to a halt when used normally, but ran fine on its side. That can happen when the motor bearings are worn. I strongly doubt that's your issue, but changing the orientation of the drive is easy to try. Just do so when the laptop is off. Spinning drives don't like being moved too much.

Good luck!
 

Bergs

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I buy a new one every year (around Christmas, so it's a habit that sticks), copy everything off the old one, and throw the old one in a box. I also have cloud backup, but physical backups make me feel good.
 

Couperin47

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1. Assuming you're running some version of Windows do a cold boot and run chkdsk d: from an Adminsitrator's command prompt in Safe Mode. If it hangs up or fails, yeah you have a dying hard drive. 2. If it's reasonably accessible, remove the drive and try what worked for me just last month: take the drive and seal in a thick sealable plastic bag (the mylar lined bags sugar substitutes are sold in these days is perfect) and place in the coldest part of your freezer for 3-5 hours, then remove and quickly reinstall and trying copying files off the drive to anywhere else.. If this works you may need to repeat as the drive will start to fail again as it warms up.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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1. Assuming you're running some version of Windows do a cold boot and run chkdsk d: from an Adminsitrator's command prompt in Safe Mode. If it hangs up or fails, yeah you have a dying hard drive. 2. If it's reasonably accessible, remove the drive and try what worked for me just last month: take the drive and seal in a thick sealable plastic bag (the mylar lined bags sugar substitutes are sold in these days is perfect) and place in the coldest part of your freezer for 3-5 hours, then remove and quickly reinstall and trying copying files off the drive to anywhere else.. If this works you may need to repeat as the drive will start to fail again as it warms up.
cold storage
 

mikeford

woolwich!
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Aug 6, 2006
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Toronto, ON
1. Assuming you're running some version of Windows do a cold boot and run chkdsk d: from an Adminsitrator's command prompt in Safe Mode. If it hangs up or fails, yeah you have a dying hard drive. 2. If it's reasonably accessible, remove the drive and try what worked for me just last month: take the drive and seal in a thick sealable plastic bag (the mylar lined bags sugar substitutes are sold in these days is perfect) and place in the coldest part of your freezer for 3-5 hours, then remove and quickly reinstall and trying copying files off the drive to anywhere else.. If this works you may need to repeat as the drive will start to fail again as it warms up.
Thanks for the assistance.

Checking file system on D: The type of the file system is NTFS. This service cannot be started in Safe Mode Volume label is DATA. WARNING! /F parameter not specified. Running CHKDSK in read-only mode. Stage 1: Examining basic file system structure ... 171264 file records processed. File verification completed. Phase duration (File record verification): 3.53 seconds. 2655 large file records processed. Phase duration (Orphan file record recovery): 0.00 milliseconds. 0 bad file records processed. Phase duration (Bad file record checking): 0.23 milliseconds. Stage 2: Examining file name linkage ... 708 reparse records processed. The multi-sector header signature for VCN 0x0 of index $I30 in file 0x4511 is incorrect. 73 45 44 55 00 00 00 00 ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? sEDU............ Error detected in index $I30 for file 4511. The index bitmap $I30 in file 0x4511 is incorrect. Error detected in index $I30 for file 4511. The multi-sector header signature for VCN 0x0 of index $I30 in file 0x902f is incorrect. 73 45 44 55 00 00 00 00 ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? sEDU............ Error detected in index $I30 for file 902F. The index bitmap $I30 in file 0x902f is incorrect. Error detected in index $I30 for file 902F. 182486 index entries processed. Index verification completed. Phase duration (Index verification): 1.64 minutes. Errors found. CHKDSK cannot continue in read-only mode.


009D0200CE8A0200CA8A02000000000024010000A00100000000000000000000
Sure seems like I'm boned!

Thanks for all the help SoSHers. Gonna have to buy a new storage drive and then figure out what's salvageable off this one. Fortunately all this stuff is just pirated movies/games/music and not like... important shit so if it cant be recovered it can just be downloaded again
 

Couperin47

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Since this is in a laptop and not the boot drive, the odds are high it's a slow 2.5" drive. The most popular in the last half decade have been Toshiba 4200 rpm drives which give better battery life than 5400 rpm drives, but are well, very slow. These days when stuff like that die, as long as the laptop is not really old and has decent cpu power (at least a dual core i5) what I recommend is go solid state. The WD Blue drives can be had for under $69 for the 500 Gb on sale almost every week, the 1 Tb is $109 or a few bucks less. Their 2 Tb remains stubbornly more expensive around $220 though I found a sale at WD's own site for $179 with free shipping a few months ago.
 

mikeford

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Aug 6, 2006
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Toronto, ON
I'll have to check that out cuz I was looking at replacing it with a bigger version of what just died which is a Seagate Firecuda 1TB thats a "hybrid" (generous notion, i think like 8GB is SSD and the rest old fashioned) but I would much rather have a pure SSD
 

Couperin47

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I'll have to check that out cuz I was looking at replacing it with a bigger version of what just died which is a Seagate Firecuda 1TB thats a "hybrid" (generous notion, i think like 8GB is SSD and the rest old fashioned) but I would much rather have a pure SSD
The Seagate hybrids have not been copied by anyone else because in all real world tests they are only slightly faster with very small files, for things like movies they are actually lousy performers.
 

mikeford

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Aug 6, 2006
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Toronto, ON
The Seagate hybrids have not been copied by anyone else because in all real world tests they are only slightly faster with very small files, for things like movies they are actually lousy performers.
yeah i've come to discover that over the course of the last 2 years but figured it would be simpler for me as a complete hardware novice to swap out like HD for like HD. the WD 1TB SSD is like 109 bucks CAD on Amazon so I think I'm just gonna do that. I would like the more capacity 2 TB but cant really justify the price point on what is essentially just a gaming rig.