Author Topic: "your hard drive is failing"  (Read 1752 times)

"your hard drive is failing"
« on: 17 May, 2021, 03:56:47 pm »
Dell Supportassist: Pop-up notification "your hard drive is failing" "a recent health scan shows..."  on daughter's PC (at Uni).

It looks like a real event.  Presumably it has picked up certain errors.  I've told her to back-up everything needed on her external-HDD.  She describes her laptop as 'slow and glitchy'; it's an win10/8Gb/ i5 /5400rpm 1Tb HD.

Best course of action?  Time a large SSD?  Her HD may not last that long, or might for another few yrs...
"Perhaps we cannot raise the winds. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it." EF.S

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #1 on: 17 May, 2021, 04:13:28 pm »
Assume it will be completely dead tomorrow and proceed accordingly.

You can buy 1TB SSDs for reasonable money, and if she doesn't need that much space smaller ones for buttons.

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #2 on: 17 May, 2021, 04:18:05 pm »
I would buy a Samsung evo of the same size and type to replace it and a cable to allow you to connect the drive to an external USB port.  Simply use the Samsung Magician software to cline the drive and then swap them over.  I have done this before and it worked very well.  My experience is no guarantee of course.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #3 on: 17 May, 2021, 09:30:52 pm »
I used Macrium Reflect the other day to clone a laptop HDD onto SSD the other day.

Mostly painless once I'd discovered how to clone to image and then clone image to disc.
I've only got the 1 SATA to USB adapter see.
- it's the only time I've ever used it because there's not enough powah! to run any of my orphaned HDDs that sit on a shelf waiting to be plugged in to check for interesting stuffs before destruction.

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #4 on: 18 May, 2021, 12:12:51 am »
Thanks all.  SSD seems like way to go.  I've installed a Crucial SSD on my laptop using their Acronis cloning software, and have the connection cable.  Hoping her laptop will last the rest term ~4wks, so that I can do it here.  I suppose there's a chance the cloning may not be great if there's a problem with the disk.
"Perhaps we cannot raise the winds. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it." EF.S

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #5 on: 18 May, 2021, 12:18:19 am »
When I got the HDD warning message, I ignored it a few days... then the laptop wouldn't boot.

Your mileage may vary.

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #6 on: 18 May, 2021, 07:46:07 am »
Thanks all.  SSD seems like way to go.  I've installed a Crucial SSD on my laptop using their Acronis cloning software, and have the connection cable.  Hoping her laptop will last the rest term ~4wks, so that I can do it here.  I suppose there's a chance the cloning may not be great if there's a problem with the disk.

Cloning will be fine until the disk will no longer read.  Once the machine doesn't boot you are potentially in data recovery territory which can get expensive so ensuring that backups are done whilst it is still working will lessen the pain.

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #7 on: 20 May, 2021, 01:02:26 pm »
Thanks all.  SSD seems like way to go.  I've installed a Crucial SSD on my laptop using their Acronis cloning software, and have the connection cable.  Hoping her laptop will last the rest term ~4wks, so that I can do it here.  I suppose there's a chance the cloning may not be great if there's a problem with the disk.

I've cloned disks using both Samsung EVO SSDs, and my own Acronis, and also on the laptop using a Crucial SSD (A NvME type thingy) and the included Acronis.  It worked both times, but I had to jibble the partition on the laptop using software recommended by Mr Larrington OTP. 

I'd be inclined to copy everything important to an external disk right this minute, and hope it survives till she gets home.  If cloning fails, then its the "joy" of a fresh install (what fun).
Wombat

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #8 on: 11 June, 2021, 03:55:51 pm »
If your daughter manages to recover her data, then if she hasn't done so already, setup OneDrive/Google DriveSync etc.. so that in the event of something prior to dissertation deadline, she doesn't lose all her work.

Hosted NextCloud could also be an option, if like me you harbour a deep distrust of the big tech.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #9 on: 11 June, 2021, 05:42:42 pm »
yes remote backup and often is the way to go.

Like others I have had disk that the OS says is bad, last a long time or a short time after first error. Sometimes a full format have fixed the issue and the drive have last until the size wasn't enough anymore.

Even Win10 backup feature to a USB is great, if you remember to plug said drive in mind
Current mood: AARRRGGGGHHHHH !!! #bollockstobrexit

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #10 on: 20 June, 2021, 03:28:37 pm »
Update.

Well in the end we waited untill the laptop came home.  Have just installed a new Crucial SSD using the Acronis cloning software.  Some HD sectors had a problem and couldn't be copied, so just clicked ignore all*, and all seems good.  Used Dell service manual to install - no apparent probs.   

Windows boot time (according to Glary Util) is now just 24 secs, from a previous 4min24s  with failing spinny drive.   :thumbsup:

* on the basis that the laptop was 'functioning' despite these bad sectors, and all the key files had been backed-up.
"Perhaps we cannot raise the winds. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it." EF.S

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #11 on: 21 June, 2021, 11:33:07 am »
I haven't done any measurements, but when I got my ssd-equipped desktop the difference in start up speed over its spinning HD predecessor was rather startling. Start-up speed for software was also conspicuously faster. Things I was used to waiting for were immediate.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #12 on: 21 June, 2021, 11:41:48 am »
I always back up to a couple of spinning disks – cost-wise, it's more effective than SSD since you can get a couple of capacious spinning drives for the cost of a modest external SSD, and it likelihood of both backups failing at the same time is very low. Important stuff goes online too on account houses burn down/get burgled.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #13 on: 21 June, 2021, 12:23:56 pm »
I haven't done any measurements, but when I got my ssd-equipped desktop the difference in start up speed over its spinning HD predecessor was rather startling. Start-up speed for software was also conspicuously faster. Things I was used to waiting for were immediate.

Performance varies, of course, but where SSDs massively win is lots of small reads from random places, as you tend to get when an OS boots.  With a physical disk it would have to wait for the head to get into place and the right bit of platter to arrive under it each time, whereas the SSD can immediately get on with reading the data at whatever speed it's capable of.  All that not waiting around adds up.

Performance gains are more modest for large continuous reads, though still a few times faster than spinning rust.  Write performance can be underwhelming, as it takes longer to write bits to flash memory than to read them.  I have an early SSD somewhere that's actually slower at writing than a contemporary hard drive.  But write performance has less of an impact on desktop usability - the OS can cache things and write in the background.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #14 on: 21 June, 2021, 12:48:45 pm »
Putting an SSD into my clockwork laptop did not turn it from a carthorse into a racehorse, sadly.  The best way to boost its mediocre performance was to disable all services pertaining to Windows Updates*, which also meant the machine wouldn’t mess up your Automatic Diary production schedule by trying to download and install untold zigabytes of Stuffs over a piece of motel-supplied wet string while you'd nipped out for a pizza.

* Back in the days before W10 allowed you to defer them at the click of a rodent.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #15 on: 21 June, 2021, 01:08:19 pm »
Putting one in a 2009 Mac Mini was awesome at the time, and even now it's still a pretty fast machine.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #16 on: 23 June, 2021, 10:15:31 am »
Most common SSD failure mode IME is that they just stop working and become bricks*. So where as HDDs tend to give some indication of failure before they completely fail, SSDs tend not to.

So backups (which you should have anyway) become even more important.

*Some have just 'gone slow', which I think is a case of the fast SLC/TLC NAND cache getting worn out, and others have managed bit flips (seen twice, both times coinciding with SMART data to the effect of disk is well used and probably should be replaced).
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #17 on: 23 June, 2021, 10:55:57 am »
Most common SSD failure mode IME is that they just stop working and become bricks*. So where as HDDs tend to give some indication of failure before they completely fail, SSDs tend not to.

I find hard disks are perfectly capable of that sort of thing too.  Typically when they've been running continuously then powered down, they just don't come back.  And if you're powering down something that's been running continuously for ages, you're probably already having a bad day...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: "your hard drive is failing"
« Reply #18 on: 25 June, 2021, 11:18:02 pm »
I remember an office I worked in, back in a previous millennium, where there was an old (1980s) electronic device in a corner with stuff stuck over the power switch, tape holding the plug in its socket, the switch on the socket taped in the on position, & bits of paper stuck on the device & above the wall socket saying "DO NOT SWITCH OFF OR UNPLUG!", in large & unfriendly writing.

Its predecessor had failed to switch on again after it had been switched. There was no spare. They hadn't been made for years. And senior management seemed to find the idea of a minor obsolete device doing an essential job so puzzling that they didn't take seriously the frequent requests for money to replace it with something new, or buy software to install on devices we already owned so they could do what it did. Either of these would have been rather cheap, the sort of sum the directors might have spent on a good dinner. But it wasn't quite a small enough sum to be signed off by any of the people who understood the necessity.

There was no technical difficulty in replacing its function. I can't remember precisely what it was (some sort of specialised router?), except that hardware doing important stuff used it.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897