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Hard drive Failing? How to tell?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by spudy12, Jan 18, 2011.

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  1. spudy12

    spudy12 Thread Starter

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    I have a computer with 3 harddrives in, one of them started making a lot of noise recently and yesterday it got very loud. i have identified which one it is (the one with the OS on, lucky me! )

    I assuming that as it is making a lot of noise this is a bad sign and it is most likely to die on me any time soon.
    Also as i have unplugged the other 2 drives (one which had the pagefile on) it has since got ALOT slower since the page file has moved back.

    Is there away i can judge the health of this harddrive and how long it will last?

    I have a new one ordered and on its way, and everything important backed up.

    Thanks

    Spud
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    If your hard drive has Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) built in, you could run a utility to check the S.M.A.R.T. status. One such utility can be found here: http://www.ntfs.com/disk-monitor.htm. It might be a bad idea to run any kind of tests that actually read and/or write data on the drive as that may accelerate any impending failure.

    You may want to start backing up files on the drive that can not be easily replaced.
     
  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Connect one of your other drives and boot with the acronis true image boot CD. Make an image of your system drive.; store on good drive. When your new drive arrives, install it and remove old drive [do not attempt to partition or format] Now again boot with the acronis true image CD and restore the image. Done. No need to reinstall, install drivers, updates, etc.

    Note if your new drive is larger than the old one, you will need to extend the partition into the unallocated area [very simple with either vista or win7]
     
  4. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Using Acronis .. You can specify the new (recovered) partition size .. No need to resize afterwards.
    Works with any System XP > W7
     
  5. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    That is only if you clone correct? When you restore an image it restores to the same size as the original with unallocated space left over.
     
  6. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Just last week .. I played with a manual Clone in Acronis 2011 and I was able to specify the size of each of two partitions to a larger HDD for W7 ... In one clone operation
    It was confusing .. Took some time to set it up ... But it worked.
    If you Automatically clone to a larger or smaller HDD .. You'll have the choice ... sized as is ... or choose to adjust the Partitions accordingly.

    Recovering from an Acronis Image, one partition at a time .. I've always been able to specify the recovered Partition size.
    That's how I usually partition all my HDDS.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I know when you clone in advanced mode you can specify the size of the partitions on the new drive.

    When restoring from an image, I have always just made a single image of the complete disk. When you image/restore, you do separate partitions?
     
  8. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    YES .. I have way too much Data to include it in the C System partition.
    I only Image the small C system partition.
    Disc 6 was Cloned last week to a larger HDD from a smaller one.
    It's system is a little different (fresher) than the other discs the same size.
    I used Cloning because it's much faster than trying to Copy > Paste the Data Partitions.

    I could have used Imaging to build the system .. But I thought I'd try cloning and sizing it all in one operation.
    It was much faster than I expected.
    The drive was connected internally when I did this at SATA speeds.
     

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  9. spudy12

    spudy12 Thread Starter

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    thankyou for the replys everybody.
    I have ordered 2 new drives (thought i would take the opertunity :p) and have ordered a 600gb 10000rpm western digital for the operating system to go on and a 2tb 7200rpm for storing media ect on.

    I'm undecided as to weather i want a fresh install or not, but if i do keep the current one i wil take your advice and clone it, so thankyou for that! :)

    One last question, when i first tried to install win7 on this computer i had to install it the harddrive with vista on, as on the install it would not let me choose any of the others saying something about a boot sector?
    i couldn't figure it out at the time so went a head and did a dual boot on that drive, anyone know why i couldnt install on the different disk? Will i get this problem again if i try to do a fresh install?

    Thanks

    Spud
     
  10. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Just have the drive you intend to install win7 on connected when you do the install. When done, connect your other drive. Note you can install the drive and connect the data cable; just leave the pw connector OFF until you finish the install.

    I would highly encourage you to make an image of the system drive after you get drivers installed and win7 is activated. If you need a clean install at a later time, it takes all of 5min to restore the image. Done.
     
  11. spudy12

    spudy12 Thread Starter

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    Yes i have done an image just in case :) but fresh install won't be to much of a problem for me as the drivers are real easy to come across. 9only need the nvidia ones, rest seem to install from the disc last time i did it)

    Can you explain what you meant by have the drives connected but without power? which drive do i do this for?

    Many thanks, Spud

    EDIT: Also, looking at disk management, what is the OEM partition? is this why i couldn't install to a different drive?
    attached is a screen shot.

    Second circle is the win 7 partition.
    Sorry for being such a novice!
     

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  12. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    When recovering from an Image .. It's best to only have one drive connected .. (The one you're recovering)
    Also .. performing a fresh install ... especially if it's W7.
    Less of a chance that you'll make a fatal mistake.
    You can pull the Power or SATA cable to the other Drive(s) ..But to be safe, I disconnect both.

    A good place to make a Backup Image is after you perform a clean (fresh) install ..
    get it updated and configured the way you like it.
    This fresh install can take several hours ...
    But you can recover to this configuration from the Image in probably less time than you can read one of the Recovery DVDs.
     
  13. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    What is in the OS (E) partition ????
    Are you dual booting to another System ???

    I doubt that a fresh install of W7 will have this partition.
     
  14. spudy12

    spudy12 Thread Starter

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    in OS (E:) is the install of vista, as when i got win 7 i did not want to remove as some programs only work with it,
    i'm not bothered about keeping that though with the new harddrive.
    I am currently dual booting but won't be when the new harddrives arrive.

    But do you know what the 55mb OEM partition is at the beginning of the disc and what it does?
     
  15. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    NO ... It is something new in W7 .. And has something to do with the Booting.
    It has messed me up when recovering from an Image ... The Repair CD is Needed.
    I have removed it .. to solve that problem.

    Who Made your computer ??? ... Dell, HP ..etc .. ???
     

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