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System Reports Hard Drive May Fail

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by H&K 4 LIFE, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. H&K 4 LIFE

    H&K 4 LIFE Leonum A Ignis

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    Well, I booted my laptop this morning (Gateway MX8 series running Windows Vista) and I am greeted with a message that the hard drive may fail. :steamed:

    There is now an icon in the system tray reporting a "S.M.A.R.T" event.

    The computer is working fine (for now) and I have backed-up all my useful information onto CD's.

    Does anyone have any idea what causes this or if it is anything to worry about? Having read the Gateway FAQ's replacing the hard drive seems straightforward enough, if I in fact need to do it.

    Any comments from the experts appreciated.

    Thanks. :wavey:
     
  2. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

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    Laptop hard drives don't last as long as desktop drives. Seagate might be the best choice of hard drive with Western Digital a close second.
     

  3. JimmyN

    JimmyN

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    It may or may not mean it's about to fail. What it does mean is that some threshold has been exceeded, which could indicate it is approaching failure.

    The drive allows for a certain level of read errors, bad sector relocation, temperature rise and a lot of other indicators depending on the manufacturer. If the allowed threshold for any of these things is exceeded then you get a SMART alert.

    I think it usually writes to a log when it provides an alert, listing what item or items exceeded the threshold limit. But I have no idea where you'd look for that log. Do a search on your system for the word "smart" in a file name and see if you can find anything.
     
  4. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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    S.M.A.R.T. is designed to detect upcoming failures in the hard drive, if your laptop is still covered under warranty you should contact the manufacture. I have a client that called me when he got the same warning, I couldn't find any problems with the drive. I advised him to keep his backup updated ... that was over two years ago and his laptop still works. Unfortunately for him there was/is no way to disable the warning, apparently it's embedded in the BIOS and the manufacture was no help.



    .
     
  5. C.Lee

    C.Lee

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    Depending on how old your system is, the hard drive could still be under warranty. Most HD's have warranties in the 3-5 year range while computer manufacturers only warranty for up to 1 year.

    The S.M.A.R.T. system monitoring can usually be turned off in the system BIOS if it is annoying you.

    You can go to the Hard Drive manufacturers website and download there test tools to test the drives condition and see if it really is going to poop the bed.

    I have had 2 HD's throw that warning, 1 died within a week and the other is still running (as a junk/test drive) after 6 years.
     
  6. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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    It's been my experience that OEM parts are warranted by the system manufacture and not by the parts manufacture. The hard drive manufacture will tell you to contact the system manufacture because the drive is a OEM, so if the computer is out of warranty so is the hard drive.

    .
     
  7. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    i love smart technology. lol to the OP, back up your data just in case!
     
  8. H&K 4 LIFE

    H&K 4 LIFE Leonum A Ignis

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    I am thinking I will pop off the access panel and get the model number off the hard drive, then call Gateway to order a new one.

    I have the original sales receipt filed somewhere, just have to dig it out. The laptop is only about 4 years old (I'm guessing, until I look at the receipt).

    Do you think it would still be warrantied even if I didn't pay extra for a warranty? Will I have to send it back for them to install it, or do you think they'd send me the drive to install myself?
     
  9. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    usually the warranty is 1 year. Although it differs from company to comapny. I just bought a new dell laptop for the lady friend. It comes with a 1 year warranty. At work we buy HP computers, those come with a 3 year warranty..parts and labor. If yours is 4 years old, it might already be expired. I'm sure it's worth a phone call though. Good luck man.

    edit: does gateway have some sort of unique ID for each computer they sell? I know Dell does that. You could give them that number which will make it real easy to find out if it is under warranty or not.

    also, back up your data just in case!
     
  10. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

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    After 4 years they won't give you a new hard drive. That's a pretty good (long) life for a laptop hard drive and it sounds like it is time for a new one. laptop hard drives are pretty standard these days at 2.5 inches. There are IDE and SATA versions and that's what you'll have match to your laptop. There are some variations in widths of the laptop hard drives. It usually doesn't cause a fitting problem though. Staying with the same brand will usually get you the exact same width but a slight difference shouldn't matter. Some of the odd brand hard drives can cause compatibility issues but major brands should work fine.
     
  11. H&K 4 LIFE

    H&K 4 LIFE Leonum A Ignis

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    Okay, I've found the receipt and I bought it in Feb. of '07 which makes it almost 3 years old.

    Now my other issue is that I have been all over the Gateway website and cannot find a phone number. The number listed on the bottom of the computer is apparently no longer in service. Seriously aggravating. :steamed:

    Does anyone have a phone number for these people (Gateway)?

    Already did. :)
     
  12. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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  13. glock19_fan

    glock19_fan ... --- ...

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    Replace the hard drive with a bigger / cheaper drive now. Cheap insurance.

    Use that hard drive as a spare USB drive for non-essential data. You can thank me later.

    Install the hard drive yourself. It's a 2 minute job that any monkey can do. You'll waste time & money sending the laptop to Gateway or anyone else online to do it. If you don't feel comfortable, take the laptop to a Geek Squad or something (and yeesh I hate Geek Squad but hey at least it's a local option).

    PS - why waste your time contacting Gateway? The laptop clearly is not under warranty any more. You'll just waste time talking to 1st or 2nd level support that will either give you the same info as here, or worse - no information. Just do what we suggest and you'll be much better off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  14. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    good work
     
  15. H&K 4 LIFE

    H&K 4 LIFE Leonum A Ignis

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    Well after emailing Gateway I now know that the computer is out of warranty, and they are of no help. I really don't care about getting a new hard drive for free, but it seems they don't even want to sell me a drive.

    Man, computer companies sure are different then gun companies. If only every company stood behind their product like S&W. :supergrin:

    So I am looking at installing a new hard drive myself. Having looked at a few of them online, I probably need a standard size 2.5" drive in 9.5mm height... correct?

    I have the restore disk that came with the notebook. So install new drive, restore, upload backed up data... anything I am missing?

    Thanks. :wavey:
     
  16. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    The only piece of important info I don't see in your post is whether the drive is IDE or SATA and since they are physically different connections knowing which you need is going to be an important part of the replacement process.

    Other than that, you're right. Pop the compartment lid, take out the old one, put in the new one, boot up to restore disk, install OS and restore your backed up data. And Robert's your father's brother.
     
  17. H&K 4 LIFE

    H&K 4 LIFE Leonum A Ignis

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    SATA= Serial ATA?

    If so, then that's gotta be it.

    Thanks. :wavey:
     
  18. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    Yes, SATA is Serial ATA ....

    This is my professional recommendation unless you require more hard drive space on your laptop:

    ETA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148446 is a better deal 320Gb 7200 RPM SATA laptop hard drive 70 dollars, shipped.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  19. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

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    You need to know if it's an IDE (sometimes called ATA) or an SATA drive.
     
  20. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

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    The 7200 RPM drives are only slightly faster than high quality 5400 RPM laptop drives but 7200 RPM drives really use up the battery faster.