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hard drive failure imminent

Jim Oaks

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It's been a bad couple of days for my computer and I.

Some times it runs slow, or a program stops responding. When I do a google search, the first Link I click on never takes me to the right site. Its always a redirect. Finally, it only runs in safe mode. When I try to run it in normal mode, it's almost completely unresponsive. I HAVE to export my messages in windows mail. It was doing it extremely slowly, and there is over 6000 messages. After 5100 messages I got an error that said something about disc 4 failure imminent, press f1.

So now I Think I'm fawked. I really don't want to have to try and come up with the $$ for a new laptop. More importantly, I don't know how to save all my messages. They won't export on safe mode.

My plan was to back up my files and do a restore on my laptop to clean it out, but the imminent hard disk failure message threw a curveball at me.

I was wondering if the message came because it was running so long trying to export my mail. Wondered if a virus was causing the error to get generated.

For now, I'm posting with my phone
 


shane96ranger

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Which OS are you running? I've had some XP machines with bad sectors I've fixed by using chkdsk, and then follow with the system file checker.

Sent while I should be doing something else
 
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nutpantz

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I don't know how computer savvy you are but you can get a replacement hddrive for your laptop.
and a USB case for your old one.
Boot off your old drive in USB mode and save everything you can to the new drive in your laptop.
If your laptop is older than 4 years just buy a USB drive to back up to(a 8 GB pendrive should be more than enough) and a new laptop.
Don't use your computer until you are ready to back up.the failure error should be accurate if you computer is less than 4-6 years old.

If you want to keep 4000+ emails either use gmail in the future or use a portable email client designed for usbsticks in the future. It's called portable but can still run from the hard drive and is easy to back up.
Unlike anything that ever came with any microsoft product.

good luck
 
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shane96ranger

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I would also suggest switching to gmail. Gmail has a program that will transfer windows mail emails to gmail. It took me almost 24 hours to move mine, but waaay worth the hassle.

Sent while I should be doing something else
 

Insanejughead

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I don't know how computer savvy you are but you can get a replacement hddrive for your laptop.
This is Jim Oaks we're talking about. He's the creator of this very site.

and a USB case for your old one.
Boot off your old drive in USB mode and save everything you can to the new drive in your laptop.
Some laptops won't boot from USB drives. Mine won't (and yes, I know about all of the steps to making one and changing the BIOS.)

If your laptop is older than 4 years just buy a USB drive to back up to(a 8 GB pendrive should be more than enough) and a new laptop.
Again, this is Jim Oaks. He may have WAY more stuff than an eight gigabyte flash drive can handle. I remember that he and his wife have another business to worry about, other than this one. He also stated that he's not wanting to get a new laptop.

Don't use your computer until you are ready to back up.the failure error should be accurate if you computer is less than 4-6 years old.
He's been backing it up as best he can, but the "Harddrive failure imminent" message just popped up and caused him to worry.


You're a new poster, so I don't blame you for what all you've said. I don't mean any disrespect, either.

Btw, Jim, look up a program called Testdisk (zip file, extracts to almost 5Mb) and see if it can help you out. There's a program within it that will also allow you to "take a photo" of anything on the harddrive that you want to save. I have found it useful as hell several times before.
 

Jim Oaks

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Acer aspire 6530 with Windows Vista 250 GB HDD
 

88_Eddie

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be an american and do the right thing, throw away the computer and buy another one. (after you've backed up all important files)
 

Jim Oaks

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This sucks. If I buy a new laptop, I'll have to abandon my vehicle projects for a while.
 

88_Eddie

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18 months no interest if you get a best buy card, wife and i bought our flat screen and laptop that way. we paid them off in 5 or 6 months though
 

shane96ranger

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Did you get an install disc? No need to replace the whole thing, the HDD is all you need. Either one should be a tax write off for you though.
 

budro

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was the immenent hard drive failure just a pop up window? if so you have malware and who knows what else on there. We have had a few of those at work here, staff clicked on the wrong website. Similar problems too that you can only boot into safe mode because the virus/malware is taking over your machine to do what it wants to do. usually windows doesnt give you any message about hard drive failure except like a blue screen or read or write failures. Or the blue scandisk when starting windows. I would just copy all your data you can off and format and reinstall windows. My guess is the hard drive is fine.

By the way my day job is a computer information specialist for K-State univ.

never mind i see you have this before windows hence the F1 button. you might look at a program called "BartPE" It will burn to a cd/dvd and let you boot off of a cd/dvd that gets created and allow you to copy your files from disk to disk if need be.
 
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nutpantz

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Another option if you have desktop computer with sata drive controller.(should be what you have in your laptop).you can buy a new hard drive instal both into the desktop and clone your old drive over to the new drive. (software to clone can be found for free for Ubuntu or windows, search google)
Then install the new drive in your laptop and use it. It will be exactly how your computer was before.most of your problems could be because your drive is failing.the laptop it self may be fine.a hard drive can be had new for $100 or less.
Any serious errors will not be fixed, but by cloning you can save as much as you can, short of paying for the drive to be disassembled and the drive read by other means.
Unless you have something too save to there is no point exporting your mail to your bad drive.
Unless your mail is full of pictures 8GB is plenty, 8gb would hold the text of library of Congress and if it is not buy a bigger pen drive.

Your drive should be smart and checks itself for error rates when reading and writing.modren operating systems (newer than XP) have support for smart drives built in. If it is telling you your drive is failing there is no need to test it more.just stop using it and find a way to back up before it gives out completely.
 

Psychopete

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More importantly, I don't know how to save all my messages. They won't export on safe mode.

My plan was to back up my files and do a restore on my laptop to clean it out, but the imminent hard disk failure message threw a curveball at me.

I was wondering if the message came because it was running so long trying to export my mail. Wondered if a virus was causing the error to get generated.
Is the issue that your emails are being stored in Outlook locally as opposed to residing on the email server?

Then this should help:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/287070

You can import the .pst file from your old drive into the Outlook on the new install. Do a clean install if your links are being redirected, either virus/malware or your DNS settings are hijacked, or both. Or pay someone to clean it up...

I agree that the drive integrity needs checked before proceeding, but I would definitely back up before doing the drive check !!
 

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No need to buy a new laptop.

Sounds like a virus, to me. A hard disk drive failure is almost always silent and immediate. No warnings. It suddenly fails, and catastrophically. I'm a professional geek, and I've had many HDD crashes, and NONE warned me beforehand.

The jumping links in your browser has NOTHING to do with a hard drive, just a virus. Same for the slow machine, which is NOT caused by HDD failure. You need to clean up crap installed on your machine (see below). A HDD usually lasts 3-4 yrs, then they start going bad.

IMPORTANT: To prevent data loss on your hard-drive, STOP using it. Then do the following.

FIRST STEP: For safety, let's assume your HDD is failing, and let's save it. Do NOT use your laptop until after you buy a new (bare) hard disk drive (HDD), insert it into a cheap ($5) external enclosure and plug that into USB. Then use that manufacturer's software to clone your existing HDD to the new drive. That will make an exact copy with LEAST stress on your old HDD, so offers the best success rate. Afterwards, you can replace your old HDD with the new one. Bonus: best to buy a new HDD with more capacity than the old HDD.

For example, Western Digital offers their freebie "Acronis" software to clone a HDD. Maxtor has its own freebie "MaxBlast" software for that. These programs will verify that you have a WD or Maxtor HDD attached anywhere (even via USB), or else they will refuse to work. Both are excellent at cloning a HDD of any make & model.

Test general health of a HDD (whenever):

To test the health of your physical hard drive, download freebie Hitachi "Drive Fitness Test" (DFT), burn it to CD, then boot to that CD, and let it thoroughly test your hard drive for errors. It does testing offline (self-boot) and not while that HDD is in use by Windows). https://www1.hgst.com/hdd/technolo/dft/dftnew.htm
FYI, Microsoft's built-in CHKDSK only looks for software integrity of your file-system; Chkdsk doesn't look for failing hard drives.

Virus cleanup:

To clean viruses, use a DIFFERENT (virus-free) computer to download both RKILL and MALWAREBYTES, and put those onto a USB thumb drive. Both are free. Then boot your misbehaving computer into Windows Safe-Mode (press F8 during bootup). Then run RKILL to kill any malware that happens to be already running. Then install and run MALWAREBYTES to do a FULL scan. RKILL is needed first, because many viruses will also PREVENT you from installing/running a virus scanner/remover tool.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/rkill/
http://www.malwarebytes.org/

Good luck.
 
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Mark_88

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I had used to use some computers at a place I worked and they gave similar error messages...blah, blah, blah...it was definitely a virus and it was hijacking the computer to their website for virus removal...for a small fee, of course...but they were actually scamming credit cards...

I'd try the virus removal steps above as cvar stated first...

And I've never had a hdd warn me of a crash...they get sluggish and/or simply stop working...
 

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