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Windows 7: Is my hard drive dying, or am I paranoid?


26 Dec 2012   #1
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Is my hard drive dying, or am I paranoid?

Earlier today I was playing the GZDoom port of Doom, with MapleStory minimized in the background(to run my in-game shop). GZDoom froze up(I was playing a rather resource-heavy map) which required a restart as I couldn't kill it in Task Manager(I have had this issue with GZDoom before).

On restart I come back to the PC and see it's running CHKDSK. This really concerned me, though all it found were a few misplaced file tables, and some orphaned JPG files, which it moved and I restarted. I eventually ran CHKDSK again and it found nothing misplaced, and downloaded and ran WD's HDD diagnostic. SMART test passed with no errors. I didn't run the sector check(it'll take about 4 hours to run).

So am I paranoid in thinking there may be a potential drive failure here? I'm not sure but I guess the problem could be just some misplaced files(I had some issues with uTorrent recently- this check didn't run on my last reboot) and other checks are showing no issues but I also don't want this drive to die all of a sudden without going out and buying a replacement drive first- but those cost money and I'm not overloaded so I'd have to sell a few things off. Things I'd prefer to keep if possible... and I just got done paying a $500 doctor's bill off o I don't need yet another emergency expense.

In anyone's opinion, is this drive facing possible failure or errors, or is this just a minor issue?

One thing I'll note... lately I've had an issue with Staring MapleStory- I would get a popup to the effect of "no disk in the drive", but clicking continue on this 3 times(would pop up the same error again, on the 3rd click the game would start). I had this issue some months back and so did other people and wrote it off to the game's usual bugs. After this restart and all that though, the game loaded fine with no issues. I suspect it might be related.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #2
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Just personal opinion and others may disagree, but I don't think you're facing imminent hard drive failure. Chances are the chkdisk or WD diagnostic test would have alerted you to a problem. Having said that, I also believe that every hard drive will some day fail. It's not a question of if it will fail, but when it will fail. For that reason, and because most of us have hard to replace data on our drives, it's more important than ever to have backups and system images saved to another external hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #3
bassfisher6522

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
Just personal opinion and others may disagree, but I don't think you're facing imminent hard drive failure. Chances are the chkdisk or WD diagnostic test would have alerted you to a problem. Having said that, I also believe that every hard drive will some day fail. It's not a question of if it will fail, but when it will fail. For that reason, and because most of us have hard to replace data on our drives, it's more important than ever to have backups and system images saved to another external hard drive.

Couldn't agree more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #4
bassfisher6522

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I think its a couple of things...an under powered system and/or your GPU is under powered. With out your system specifications it's hard to determine. Make and model of your system. Also what are the minimum specs for your game(s)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Your disk got a clean bill of health - twice. What more can you expect. Paranoia is a serious desease, LOL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #6
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bassfisher6522 View Post
I think its a couple of things...an under powered system and/or your GPU is under powered. With out your system specifications it's hard to determine. Make and model of your system. Also what are the minimum specs for your game(s)?
Gateway DX4822-01, model Aspire M5802/M3802 with the basic Intel G45/G43 onboard chipset. It's not a superb video card but I can run Elder Scrolls Oblivion on acceptable settings. I suppose with Maplestory runing minimized, and the Doom user map I was playing being so resource-heavy(detailed map, lots of sectors) and GZDoom being coded somewhat poorly it probably choked the RAM. As to why CHKDSK had to run, I guess some files got jumbled during shutdown? It was all JPG files so they probably weren't important.


When it comes to my computer and keeping it running I tend to play very safe now. I got hit with Alureon.A a year after I got this PC, necessitating ordering recovery software from Gateway and a new hard drive. Then in March of this year a power flicker/surge fried that drive one day, luckily the old infected drive I still had on hand and a local PC shop was able to get rid of the infection for $10. I had to put off buying a new HDD as the tsunami in Japan caused prices to go up for some time. next month though I should buy at least one, perhaps two. One for storage, and another to keep put away in case my main drive were to fail.

I do make backups onto DVD media and flash memory though I don't have much stored on my PC that would be hard to replace. I got an MP3 player that uses flash memory sticks so much of my music collection can be backed up. However, I use my PC and the internet for business so getting cut off is a hindrance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2012   #7
King Arthur

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I have experienced an NTFS file system corruption and failure once while I was playing Maplestory, though I've come to guess with knowledge I've acquired since that time that the failure might've just been with the way I had organized my files (don't keep 1000+ files/directories in a root directory!).

Anyway, SMART and WD diagnostics both gave your HDD a green light so I wouldn't be immediately concerned about an HDD failure; do however keep regular backups if it is possible though, you never know when it will fail!

You also mentioned that you rebooted the computer after it had frozen. A small trick that I use to mitigate file system corruption from "unexpected" power shutdowns is to disable the cache on all my HDDs. It entails a minor but possibly noticable performance hit, but I'd rather not risk my data for a smidgen of speed and you might want to consider this option if you really want to keep your data safe.
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 Is my hard drive dying, or am I paranoid?




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