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Windows 7: smart failure options - low level format?

19 Jan 2012   #1

windows 7 ultimate
smart failure options - low level format?

I did a clean install of windows 7 ultimate after my laptop (g60-120us) got infected with a virus.

I kept having problems with the laptop not restarting on it's own when that option is selected in the shutdown menu or after an update, so I have done numerous clean installs in trying to solve the problem.

When this problem occurs, I have to manually power down the laptop and press the power button again to restart it as it just gets hung up endlessly...I've had this problem ever since I've purchased this laptop.

It occurred first when I tried to upgrade the graphics driver from the nvidia site, and then again when installing windows updates.

The only way I've been able to solve the problem has been to do another clean install.

Because of this problem and numerous update failures, I've probably done 6 or 7 clean installs over several days to try to solve the problem, but after the updates, the problem returns.

It was suggested that I install the updates one at a time to isolate which update is doing this, but this is not a reasonable suggestion as there are over 80 individual updates not to mention sp1 when doing a clean install.

During one of the many clean installs, the laptop went into a check disk procedure where it repaired some files and attempted to recover bad sectors.

Now when I boot up, I get the smart failure message saying imminent hd failure and press f1 to continue.

I've heard you can disable the message in the bios, but I cannot find that option or if it's even available to me.

Here's my question:

Should I attempt to do another clean install and reformat with a low level format?

Will low level format repair or get rid of the smart failure message?

Is it too much of a risk to do another clean install...I'm afraid, it'll completely fry the hd.

system specs: HP g60-120us 250gb 3gb ram AMD dual core 2.0 Windows 7 Ultimate hdd toshiba mk2552gsx

I don't know if this makes a difference, but I do have a new motherboard I got from HP after my old one fried, and it misidentifies the model of the laptop as a compaq instead of a HP.

Also, results from hdtune tester:
health- warning
reallocated sector count - in red failed
3 other yellow warnings

error scan produces .1% damaged - 2 red squares

Is hdd regenerator an option...anyone try this?

I understand I need to get a new hd, but I've had it with this laptop and if the hd fails, I'm just going to buy a new one, and Hp is at the bottom of the list.

Having said all this, the laptop seems to be running fine and boots up quickly after the smart failure message.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

you can install updates let's say 10 each time. check if restart work fine. If you find the 10 possible problem patches, can do a system restore prior to installing thos 10 patches. Then install just 5 of them and test again. etc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2012   #3


I think I'd have a pop at using the HDD manufacturers diagnostic software on the drive.

Either that or give it the once over with SpinRite from GRC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

I think the SMART warning will never go away unless you rewrite the firmware on the drive and i strongly recommend you don't try. As for the bad sectors, just use a software like Spinrite, HDAT, HDD Regenerator, etc. Most bads can be repaired, if it can't or locks up in the process don't insist too many times that means there bad scratch on the disk itself so it may ruin the drive heads. In that case just partition it beyond the area with the bad sectors and you should be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #5

windows 7 ultimate

I tried some of the hd utility tools, but none of them seem to detect my hd.

I tried HDAT2, UBCD and those apps won't recognize my drive.

Am I using the wrong version?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

If its coming up S.M.A.R.T failure iminent, Press F1 to resume then you need a new HDD. Nothing you do to it will get that working properly! Thats the HDD itself telling the BIOS its failed and since you have a SMART enabled motherboard it will give you the message.

Time for a new Hard Drive!! :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Might be configured as AHCI in bios. That is why no detect in programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2012   #8

windows 7 ultimate

Can I install the os on an external hd and use that when the laptop hd dies?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 smart failure options - low level format?

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