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Author Topic: Notebook hard drive about to kick the bucket?  (Read 1983 times)
Lucca
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« on: January 25, 2009, 04:22:27 AM »

Hey folks. I am horribly perplexed about my hard drive's ...actions as of the last few days and suspect a hard drive failure, but some things don't add up. Perhaps you can be of help.

Okay, so I own an almost 3 year old Toshiba Satellite M105 with a 100 gig HD. I THINK it's Hitachi, I'm not positive. Anyway I notice it's running a little slow! But the memory's half clogged and I was planning on doing a reformat because my aunt is gonna buy the computer off me, so I wasn't concerned!

Today I try to tweak some sound settings, and the computer tells me it can't find/can't access a driver. I'm like, "huh?" but the sound works fine. I forget about it and notice firefox is being wonky. It's like it lost half of it's history info, but I didn't tell it to. Unfortunately I get distracted and I forget about this.

Tonight I reboot the computer hoping to fix the firefox problem, when the dreaded chkdsk shows up, claiming I have a file inconsitancy. Instantly I think, "My hard drive has to be dying." since obviously chkdsk scans are NEVER good.

Here's what's confusing:

I chkdsk in windows as well (It's XP SP3, btw) and chkdsk fails at the end of phase two. Of course, I think, "Dying drive!" but then I check the smart info via speedfan and it looks totally fine. So I'm...befuddled to say the least! There's no clicking or rattling sounds from the drive, just some slowness and chkdsk showing up tonight.

I did install bitdefender, gametap, and speedupmypc 2009 within the past week. I would think it's probably speedupmypc that's the culprit if not a hard drive failure, but what I checked were mostly startup program tweaks. What I guess I'm getting at is:

Besides attempting to reboot the computer again and seeing if this shows up, can you tell me:

A: How much can I rely on smart info?
B: Does hitachi make a good diagnostics tool? Can you recommend anything to me?


Thanks. Lemme know if I have to add more info (I'm sure I do).

EDIT: Forgot to mention, before I rebooted and chkdsk came up, I  noticed that on the list of things to do (shut down, sleep, etc) hibernate was grayed out...something I've never seen the computer do before.

It came back when I rebooted and chkdsk was done.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 04:37:55 AM by Lucca » Logged



Angelo
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 01:28:57 PM »

Sometimes hardware diagnostics programs come with the computer -- on a disc, if not already installed.  Failing that, I would expect Toshiba's support site for that model to have something.

I'd rule out memory first.  memtest86 is good for smoking out memory flaws.

Also, if you usually plug into a battery backup or surge protector, try direct wall power and see if your issues go away.
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Lucca
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 12:59:23 PM »

Thanks Angelo. It's not the hard drive - I did multiple tests and they all came back okay. I undid all the changes with speedupmypc and low and behold, the problem went away.

It's still a touch slow, so I'll check the memory next. It probably needs an extra gig of memory, honestly, but since I'm going to reinstall the OS anyway, and the person inheriting the computer will just use this for email/surfing, there's probably not a huge need.

Thank you. :)
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