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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:12 pm   

Dying hard disk
Ack! In the middle of posting to the forums I am now suddenly getting SMART error warnings on my hard disk!

That is bad. I guess I need to go buy a new disk and waste time doing a partition mirror to see if I can fix it. I'm assuming that SMART errors really are real and bad? I wonder how much time I have before it actually fails?

Sigh. Not what I wanted to spend time on today.

Also, why is it that my computer hardware ALWAYS DIES IN FEBRUARY???? I mean many years in a row is this? It's just getting ridiculous. I don't know ANYBODY else with these kind of computer problems.
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:21 am   
Looks like I actually got lucky to detect this in time.

At lunch time (when I wrote the above message), I shut down my computer and drove to Best Buy. Bought a new disk (Western Digital Cavier Black 1TB, same size as the failing disk). Came home and installed the disk and then ran the Acronis Disk Director 11 program to clone the existing drive.

One annoyance is that it specifically says: "Before restarting your computer, remove one of the drives or else Windows will boot the old drive and cause the new drive to be un-bootable". OK... Well, I went away for a while to let it clone the disk. When I came back, Windows was already booted!! It never paused or shutdown to give me a chance to pull out the old drive. Idiots.

So I did a shutdown and pulled out the old drive. But then the computer would not boot. Gee, just like it said...Windows screwed up the boot loader. Sigh.

I put the old drive back in and tried to boot it. After all, when I came in it was showing the Windows login prompt. But now it got partway through the boot and gave a blue-screen error. When I tried to boot it again, the BIOS refused, saying the SMART system had detected the drive was bad. I disabled the SMART check and it still wouldn't boot.

Great, now I had a system that didn't boot.

I pulled out the old drive for good. Then I got out my Windows 7 DVD and booted it. It detected a problem on my new disk and asked to fix it. I told it OK, and tried to reboot. Still nothing. So I loaded Windows 7 DVD again and went into the recovery console. I used the:


commands. Then I rebooted. And yes, that worked.

Now I am back in operation again. It seems like the disk clone was successful, although I don't really have any way to tell. I don't see any log files from the clone operation anywhere, and since I didn't sit for 3 hours and watch it, I have no idea if it encountered any problems or not.

But at least Windows booted without trouble and everything I have tried so far seems to work. I'm just glad I got the new disk and did the copy when I did before the drive actually failed.

So sad to just throw out a 1TB hard disk, but I haven't read about any easy way to fix a disk that fails the SMART check. This old disk came as part of this ASUS computer, which is only ONE YEAR old. In that year, the battery on the motherboard already failed and needed to be replaced. And now the disk fails. So much for quality ASUS components. Probably the last time I buy an ASUS computer. Chiara's eMachine has been more reliable than this (and was cheaper).
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Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 459
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:11 am   
However, getting everything fixed before it completely exploded is much better than par for your normal computer issues.
Ichthus on SWmud:
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Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 99
Location: Seattle, Wa

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:51 pm   
Wow 1 year...under warranty?

Chiara's eMachine has been more reliable than this (and was cheaper).

I don't think Asus would like to see that review floating around hehe

Gratz on being able to save everything. if it was truly in jeopardy.
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:27 pm   
I got it from Best Buy, so it might have been under warranty. But does anybody really take their computer to Geek Squad and let them work on it? Not only would they have taken days to fix it, but I'm pretty sure that they would have just replaced the hard disk and then reintalled the original OS. I doubt I would have gotten my data back. That's why I don't buy extended warranties...I don't trust the service.

Nothing was really "in jeopardy" as I also have off-site backups of everything. I'm just glad the easy clone disk worked and I didn't have to spend days and days trying to get everything back from the offsite service.
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Joined: 11 Jul 2002
Posts: 1265
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:01 pm   
The hard disk itself should still be under warranty though. I'd look up the serial number on the manufacturer's website and see if I could send it in for a new one.
Arminas, The Invisible horseman
Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
AMD 64 X2 2.51 Dual Core, 2 GB of Ram
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Joined: 18 Oct 2000
Posts: 2733
Location: Atlanta, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:56 pm   
Tech gear is becoming such a crap shoot these days. I just bought a 2 TB drive and even though I've copied the stuff over, I haven't deleted the original in case the drive fails. I've been looking for a router for months and still haven't decided. The last one I bought the WRT120N has been a major disappointment (on several levels).
Asati di tempari!
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