1. #1
    Cloudchase's Avatar
    Cloudchase is offline Windows Enthusiast
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    Default I had a hard drive failure. Possible cause?

    Windows 7 user.

    Late Saturday night, my system started acting strange with no warning and I was having trouble staying connected via remote connection. After several reconnects, I got a message saying that the hard drive may be about to fail.

    I started Syncback running. The remote connection quit and never returned before that could complete, but thanx to regularly Syncback, I didn't lose anything other than most recently saved images and bookmarks.

    When I got home Sunday morning, my worst fear was confirmed. A message on the screen said that the hard drive was not working. I held the power button down to shut everything off, waited a few moments and restarted.

    I quickly got a message saying there was a problem with the hard drive and that a test should be run on the hard drive. I got to the menu to do that and every time I'd try to run the test, I'd instantly get "failure"

    My question is hardware failure or could it have been a virus? At the time of the failure, I had not installed any new programs for some time. I did try using the BarTab add-on for Firefox for awhile, but I doubt that had a virus in it. Windows Firewall was turned on and both Avast Antivirus and Windows Defender are set to automatically update as well as running weekly scans. The hard drive also did not make any unusual sounds as I attempted to run a test on it.

    Thankfully, my system is still under warranty, so Compaq is sending me a replacement hard drive (there's even a chance I may end up with one that spins faster than the 5400 it came with) and a disc to reinstall my system. I even still have my slower but perfectly operational WinXP system to use until that's done.

    But still, I wonder how the hell does the hard drive in a 4.5 month old system fail when it's still so new and could I have done anything to prevent it?

    I also wonder why nothing like that ever happens to the computers in workplaces owned by owners to cheap to keep their systems updated resulting in the employees having to put up with old equipment that just barely works good enough that the owner doesn't want to replace it (we've all worked in places like that)

  2. #2
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    roraniel is offline Gold Member
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    It's called a Infant Mortality Failure and is not uncommon with electronics which is why there is a industry term for it. You just got a hard drive with some kind of manufacturing problem. This is no different than getting a car with many issues which everyone refers to as a lemon. So as the late Dale Carnegie once said "when life gives you lemons, make lemon aid". Meaning be thankful you had everything backed up, had a backup computer, and may get a better replacement unit.

  3. #3
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    Thanx for your reply :-) That helps confirm my hope that it wasn't a virus.

    Something I forgot to mention in my OP. One concern. I'll have to send the old hard drive back to them for recycling. I believe them that no data will be compromised, but I want to be sure. Being as the problem is a hardware failure (at least that's what I suspect) I can't create a shred disk CD to overwrite that old hard drive before sending it back.

    Hard drive plus magnets equals bad, right? I do have some rare earth magnets that I could use to try and at least make data more difficult to recover.

  4. #4
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    If you are RMAing the drive directly to the Manufacturer (Seagate, Maxtor, etc.), You can Safely do so... The HD Manufacturers will NOT examine, nor allow *ANY* Personal information on an RMA'd drive to be disclosed to ANYONE... the Platters on the subject HD will either be Totally Erased, or Destroyed. They understand the ramifications of not doing so.

    However, *IF* you are RMAing the drive directly to a Retailer instead (Best Buy, Dell, Gateway), then there is *NO* guarantee of any Personal Data confidentiality.

    http://redtape.msnbc.com/2006/06/one_year_ago_ha.html

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    If I remember correctly off the top of my head, it is a Seagate. It'll be getting shipped back to HP. Yeah, I have heard of cases like the one you link to. I think I'll call HP and ask them what their warranty terms would allow me to do to make sure nobody 'll get their paws on my data

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    First go to the Seagate website. I believe the warranty is from them anyway. When I had one replaced (in a Dell laptop) I went directly to the hard drive manufacturers website and filled out a form online (open your computer to get the serial number of the hard drive first) and the sent me an email stating they were sending a new one with a return label for the old one.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by roraniel View Post
    First go to the Seagate website. I believe the warranty is from them anyway. When I had one replaced (in a Dell laptop) I went directly to the hard drive manufacturers website and filled out a form online (open your computer to get the serial number of the hard drive first) and the sent me an email stating they were sending a new one with a return label for the old one.
    Thanx for the tip :-) I'll remember that the next time I have a hard drive failure.

    So far so good on getting the new HD/system up and running. The system recovery went smoothly, now I'm just waiting for everything to copy from my backup to the new HD/system then I can start reinstalling programs

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    Glad to here it!!!!

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