Hard drive Failure

  Ritchbee 22:40 20 Nov 2006

Good evening.

Could I get some advice on the following please.

Error Message

On switching on at the first screen I get the warning :-

SMART Failure predicted on Primary Master
Hard drive failure may be imminent.

I believe this is the message my sister in law has had on her computer in the last few days.

She also had a message about System32.

She has since had an engineer out who has said that her HDD has failed and he cannot re-format it.

Correct - Yes/No

Is there anything else that can be checked to confirm his findings. The HDD is just over 2 years old.

He has said a new one will cost her £130 for an 80G even I know that is total rubbish !!.

Unfortunately, she has not backed anything up so am I right that she would have lost everything.

What about re-loading XP Home, Panda Anti-virus.

Again this engineer is saying that she will have to buy new ones. He said it would be cheaper to buy a complete new base unit......Also that her current keyboard would not fit a new one.....Yes/No

  Scouter 22:46 20 Nov 2006

He is tight regarding the hard disk failure - the drive is telling you it is in danger of inniment failure. backup al lyou data from that drive and get a new on. I paid 69 for a 250 gigabyte drive.

You should be able to replace the hd on her system why buy a new systemm if that is all that is wrong.

  User-312386 22:47 20 Nov 2006

1 Yes (As long as diagnosis is correct)

2 Yes Put the Hard drive in a working system and set to slave and see if windows recognises it

3 We dont know the system config (ie do you have a windows XP disc or just a restore to factory disc?)

  citadel 22:52 20 Nov 2006

keyboards and mice work on any pc. if the drive has not failed yet you can get a retail boxed hard drive that will have software to copy everything over from the old drive onto the new drive. seagate drives have good instructions and software. I think I paid £60 for a 160.

  Ritchbee 23:03 20 Nov 2006


I believe she has a Windows XP disc that came with.

Its the same make as mine.....Shepley

If I were to install her HDD intpo my computer and Windows does recognises it would I be able to copy whats on it for her.

  Simsy 23:04 20 Nov 2006

The whole story here...

Yes, the engineer is correct about probable\possible imminent disc failure.

With regard to £130 for an 80Gig HD, on the face of it that does seem a lot... however it depends on what the £130 is for...

If it's being replaced on site there is the following to consider;

Is it a desktop or laptop?

A call out charge.

An hourly rate.

Nothing backed up... I guess the engineer would attempt this.

Cost of new drive.

If drive really is in that bad a state then it's quite likely\possible that it wount be possible to just clone onto the new one so a new re-install might be necessary. That takes time.

I don't know exactly what the £130 is supposed to cover, but if it's for what I've suggested then £130 don't seem to much of a bad deal... if VAT is included then it's only £110 + VAT.

If there is no Windows CD to install from then WIndows may have to be bought and paid for as well...

ALl of a sudden we're in the range where the suggestion of buying a new base unit perhaps starts to make financial sense.

The only thing that is a little surprising is the mention that current keyboard will not fit a new one...

However... again we don't know it all... You said the HDD was only 2 years old. How old is the system? If it's of an age where the keyboard/mouse were not ps2 connectors, then it's old and a new keyboard would be needed with a new system... The new system is certainly a better approach if this is the case!

I repeat that I don't know... but I think it's wrong to jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts.

Good luck,



  Ritchbee 23:22 20 Nov 2006

I'll get more info from the S-in Law

She was quoted a £130 just for the HDD alone so his time is on top of that.

It's a desktop and is just over 2 years old.

  User-312386 23:48 20 Nov 2006

put the HDD in your machine, set it to slave and see if your computer can see the drive. If it can, copy the contenets of her data and then pop it back in her machine and the go into BIOS, set it to boot from CD-ROM and see if windows will re-install

  Ritchbee 23:58 20 Nov 2006

Thanks MadBoy33

I will try that.......although she lives 50 miles away.

The HDD might be under warranty ?.

If what you suggest doesn't work is there anyway of recovering her data without going through one of these recovery services.

Can I assume that thngs like XP, Anti virus would all have to be re-installed.

I'll be buying her an external HDD for xmas !!.

Thanks again

  Strawballs 01:10 21 Nov 2006
  Ritchbee 11:15 21 Nov 2006

Thanks Strawballs

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