Laptop Hard Drive Failure?

  Dumfy 19:59 28 Sep 2005

Hi everyone,

What would be the best way to confirm if a hard drive is failing? Even after a fresh install of XP Home and with minimal software loaded, it takes an age to boot and load up. However, it does it eventually and once into XP it behaves quite well, although some progrmas take a while to load (like Word/Excel etc).

I don't want to go a spend cash on a new HDD if the problem is elsewhere. Can these things run, albeit slowly? How can I tell if it's CPU/Mobo etc? Also I've noticed that if I shutdown and immediately boot back up it all seems fine, but if I leave it, say, overnight, it struggles at next boot....and no jokes about being bad in the mornings like the rest of us please!

Many thanks


  MAJ 20:31 28 Sep 2005

"What would be the best way to confirm if a hard drive is failing?"

There will be a utility on the drive's manufacturer's website that will let you run tests on the drive. Download that utility and see what it reports.

  Dumfy 00:28 29 Sep 2005


  DieSse 00:45 29 Sep 2005

Have you run the test yet? - or need help finding one?

  Dumfy 10:11 29 Sep 2005

I haven't run the test yet as I couldn't find one DieSe. I looked on the Sony Vaio site but no luck.

Still having problems so all help greatfully received.



  DieSse 22:21 29 Sep 2005

You need to look on the site of the hard drive manufacturer, not the Sohy site.

If you're unsure who that is, you can download Everest (free) click here which will tell you loads about your system, normally including the hard drive details. If you look under the SMART status for the drive, it might also inform you if there are too many errors from the drive - which would slow it down.

  woodchip 22:54 29 Sep 2005

If this is a Laptop, That's why it's slow loading the drives fitted are only 4200rpm speed. you could also check MSCONFIG from run look at the startup tab top see how many programs are starting at boot, Stop all MS Office starting at boot like "findfast" by removing the ticks this program is one of the worst for slowing a computer down at boot. It does not need to start at boot.

  Dumfy 00:02 30 Sep 2005


I'm sorry, but I should have understood what you meant first time round regarding the HDD manufacturer - doh! I do have a copy of Aida32 which I guess is the same as Everest in that it shoud tell me details of the whole laptop as well as the hard drive - so I'll give it a go. Used it on a PC once, but never on a laptop. Should be the same though.

Woodchip...thanks for the tips, but it seems the problem with the laptop isn't restricted to boot. It takes an age (5 mins) to load even if it's on Standby or hibernate. Just logging on to this web site took a while...the HDD LED came on and stayed on for ages while loading. Once o]loaded though, it appears to behave normally IE not slow.

Crazy as it seems, once it's up and running, behaviour is what I would call normal.



  nick_j007 09:33 30 Sep 2005

...Made awful crunching and cracking noises before it gave up the ghost. This sound is quite common I gather.
I referred to the Dell laptop forum for my machine which was pretty useful. If you have a Sony laptop, is there a users forum there? Often find similar issues with same machines.



  Dumfy 12:56 02 Oct 2005

Just for the record and to make the post complete, the good news is that the laptop is now working fine.

Seems like the hard drive was starting to fail after all - though there were no strange noises and it behaved "normally" but slow.

So thanks to the tip from Maj, above, I down loaded the Drive Fitness Tests from the Hitachi website and it confirmed a component failure during the test. Fitted new hard drive, restored the image back on to it and up and running in no time. I used Aida 32 to tell me the full spec of my system and in turn discovered that the HDD was a Hitachi Travelstar.

Thanks to everyone for their inputs. I'll tick this as resolved later in case anybody would like to read it. I think a lot of people in the forums skip over messages that have been ticked as resolved.

Best Reagrds


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