HDD Failure Predicted

  Chelonian 08:21 16 Mar 2010

A few days ago the following message appeared on the screen of my laptop as it booted:

"SMART Failure predicted on Hard Disk 0: Fujitsu MHS2040AT D-PM. WARNING: Immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent. Press F1 to continue."

The laptop continues to work just fine. The HDD isn't at all noisy. I back up my data frequently so I'm prepared if it does fall off its perch.

The message couldn't be clearer but how seriously should I take it? Is it in the same league as "fatal" error messages or those messages about "illegal" actions?

The laptop is about seven years old but it has only had about 100 hours use in that time.

Any advice will be much appreciated. Thanks!

  Strawballs 08:49 16 Mar 2010

I would make sure you have any important data,pictures etc backed up just in case. 7 yrs old it could well be getting near the end of it's life.

Hard drives don't always make a noise before they give up the ghost, my daughters did'nt she just complained that it was running slow just before it died.

  daveeb 10:43 16 Mar 2010

SMART monitors an array of parameters and will notify you when any are exceeded by way of the dire warning you mention. I've had drives fail even without any SMART warning so i'd be inclined to take notice and plan for the worst case scenario. You could install Speedfan which amongst other things will give you a detailed review of the health of your hard drive (and it's free !).

  Peter 12:50 16 Mar 2010


I would be inclined to get a replacement hard drive, a bigger one if that is what you want, a USB caddy for the drive and a copy of Acronis Disk Image or something similar. You need to check the type of hard drive, but at 7 years old it will most liely be an IDE (PATA) one.

Once you have all the bits you should CLONE your present drive to the new one in the caddy. Once cloned and checked you can swap over the drives and your problem should be solved. This needs to be done BEFORE the present hard drive fails.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:34 16 Mar 2010

click here.

replace the drive

  Chelonian 15:33 16 Mar 2010

Thanks for your advice everyone.

daveeb: Thanks for the tip about Speedfan. I ran its HDD analysis. It tells me that my HDD's attributes have normal values but that the Spin Retry Count once reached its threshold (but did not exceed it) causing it to fail SMART but that it's not failing now.

Fruit Bat /\0/\: Thanks for the link. It clarified the context. Cheers.

Anyway, I've backed up and I'll find myself a replacement HDD but I'm happier now that I know a bit more about it.

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