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Message that hard drive predicted to fail -- what to do?

Started 1326192087.1 in Electronics Talk | Last reply 1326592525.723 by phansee

My Toshiba laptop is giving me a message periodically that the hard drive is predicted to fail. Norton seems to confirm that message in the "PC tune-up area" but it is worded as: Toshiba message is that hard drive is predicted to fail. What should I do.

Also, the message suggests moving all data and operating systems to outside storage and taking the computer to have the hard drive fixed. This laptop (from Best Buy) shouldn't be failing so soon, in my opinion.

Is this a marketing ploy to get the consumer to purchase more on-line storage space from one of the companies being used? Or should I take the message seriously?

If it costs a bunch to fix, then its an Apple for me. I consider this piece of equipment new, having just set it up a year ago last fall. Suggestions will be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Loves ~ dancin' & prancin' ~ ♥ ♥ ♥

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glb6131326194387.68711079 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

There are several things to do. The first is to save your data if you haven't already. The fact you got a warning is unusual. Most of the time a hard drive simply fails. After saving your data, be sure you made a restore or recovery DVD set. If you didn't make one when the computer was new, get into the recovery manager and create a set. If you have time, download, install, run Belarc and print out the results. This program will list everything installed including the product key numbers. They are required to install a lot of saftware.

Once that is done, you can replace the hard drive. This is a "do it yourself" project. You can go to Toshiba.com and find the owner's manual for your computer or you can also try YouTube for a video. Open the compartment that contains the hard drive, remove the old hard drive, go to an electroinc store, buy a new one(take the old one with you to make sure you get the correct type), install the hard drive in your computer, replace the cover, put the installation DVD into the optical drive and reboot. The recovery DVD set will reinstall everything like it was out of the box.

This is not difficult. You need to make sure you don't have any static electricity when working on any computer. I always touch the outside case of the computer before proceeding. The only tool you need is a small Phillips scr*w driver. If you take it to Best Buy, they will charge you at least $100 to replace the hard drive.

Don't think having a Mac means no hard drive failure. It does happen.

jackthebear1326200443.5435884 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

get it fixed before it fails or you will loose everthing.

save your music and pictures

is there a local computer place, I'd start there rather than BB

glb6131326200660.0811079 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 1/10/2012 jackthebear said:

get it fixed before it fails or you will loose everthing.

save your music and pictures

is there a local computer place, I'd start there rather than BB

There is no fix for a failed or failing hard drive. A local computer place will do exactly what I posted to replace a drive then reinstall it back to the factory condition.

jackthebear1326202021.8675884 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

that is what I meant

gardenman1326203236.70317096 PostsRegistered 6/30/2005Southern New Jersey

As long as you're backing up your data and your computer is still working fine, I'd just go ahead and keep using it until the hard drive fails, then replace the drive. If you hang out at some of the tech sites you'll find people who have gotten that warning for months/years and the hard drive is still fine. One guy got a prediction that his hard drive would fail and it even predicted the date of the failure, sometime between 2327 and 2352, not surprisingly this didn't bother him all that much. Have your backups up to date and ready to go, have new recovery discs ready and you should be fine. As glb613 said, swapping a hard drive isn't very difficult and is a pretty good DIY project for most consumers. You can get name brand 320-500 gb hard drives at newegg for under $100.

Fly! Eagles! Fly!

tammarra1326231007.98143 PostsRegistered 9/9/2011

I saw that message a few years ago while poking around in some admin area on my old desktop. It was quite unnerving. The hard drive hasn't failed yet, although we don't use that computer much any more. You never know, though, and any HD could fail at any time, warning or not. It's just one of those things with computers and why you always hear to back up your files. I got a portable external HD and backed up everything. The external drives can fail too, of course, so you don't want to rely only on one of them either. Always have important things in two places.

It reminded me of HAL predicting the failure of the antenna {#emotions_dlg.laugh}

JewelryIsM­yPassion1326240077.95617 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Whenever I have gotten and error message I call Toshiba, and without question they send me a FedEx box to send it to their service depot. Call the Toshiba customer service line.

Whenever I have sent a laptop to Toshiba they replace the HDD even if the message didn't pertain to it at all, just seems they do it no matter what, as well as update the BIOS and tend to whatever the error message may have been.

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English is my 4th language.

PinkyPetun­ia1326317081.674558 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004NJ

I had a computer years ago (windows 98, HP Pavillion) that was giving messages that the hard drive woud likely fail soon. It never did. We upgraded to a better computer for our main use but continued to use the windows 98 as a secondary computer. It was still working when I junked it.

CouponQueen1326460425.0934471 PostsRegistered 10/21/2010

I had that message and come to find out it was a virus.

StylishWom­an1326460722.03765 PostsRegistered 11/25/2009SW FL

Yup. Time for a MAC.

gardenman1326461301.87717096 PostsRegistered 6/30/2005Southern New Jersey
On 1/13/2012 StylishWoman said:

Yup. Time for a MAC.

Just understand that Macs also use hard drives (typically Seagate drives) and that buying a Mac doesn't mean you'll never have another hard drive fail. Hard drives of all brands are typically very reliable, but from time to time one will fail. There's not a huge difference in reliability from brand to brand. Like I said before, I'd just keep backing up your data, and see what happens. Chances are the hard drive will last quite a while despite the warning.

Fly! Eagles! Fly!

az8n1326466337.247160 PostsRegistered 8/6/2006

If you really have to send the drive in for recovery, there is a place in Novato, CA - DriveSavers Data Recovery that does that job. There should be a few others elsewhere.

It can be expensive. ~$1k, depending upon how much work they need to do to get all of your stuff out. They will give you a quote to recover just documents and another price to recover docs and photos. And the sooner you bring it in the better. Refrain from accessing it, if you can help it.

phansee1326486409.287124 PostsRegistered 4/21/2007
This morning I woke up to a similar message from Microsoft Windows support. My laptop is just a little over a year old also. It is an HP DV7 I bought from QVC in November 2010. HP had a Bios update yesterday. Not sure of the impact of that. Also, I am currently on my 3rd replacement AC adapter since Nov. '11 - only 2 months! My last 3 computers have all had major problems within 2 years. First, an HP, then a Sony, now another HP problem! Getting tired of it. What happened to the quality and reliability of computers? I have been using computers forever. I still have my first, a Texas Instruments TI3?, I believe. So I do know what I'm doing. Not a newbie messing up. My old dinosaur Dell desktop CPU is still going but monitor went on it. It must be at least 9 or 10 years old. Also, my Asus netbook has been OK albeit slow. I have all docs, etc. backed up online so I guess I'll take a wait and see attitude. This HP had some problems all along. Had to set back to factory settings last fall. I also use Norton. Will be running tests today to see if I get a confirmation of HDD problems. Have not backed up entire system or made recovery disks due to all the problems I've had. Don't want to take a chance on reinstalling a problem if you know what I mean. If I have to I will buy a new hard drive and reinstall from purchased recovery disks. Anyone else having problems with their dv7-4177nr?

Nightowlz1326487944.5779706 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 1/13/2012 phansee said: This morning I woke up to a similar message from Microsoft Windows support. My laptop is just a little over a year old also. It is an HP DV7 I bought from QVC in November 2010. HP had a Bios update yesterday. Not sure of the impact of that. Also, I am currently on my 3rd replacement AC adapter since Nov. '11 - only 2 months! My last 3 computers have all had major problems within 2 years. First, an HP, then a Sony, now another HP problem! Getting tired of it. What happened to the quality and reliability of computers? I have been using computers forever. I still have my first, a Texas Instruments TI3?, I believe. So I do know what I'm doing. Not a newbie messing up. My old dinosaur Dell desktop CPU is still going but monitor went on it. It must be at least 9 or 10 years old. Also, my Asus netbook has been OK albeit slow. I have all docs, etc. backed up online so I guess I'll take a wait and see attitude. This HP had some problems all along. Had to set back to factory settings last fall. I also use Norton. Will be running tests today to see if I get a confirmation of HDD problems. Have not backed up entire system or made recovery disks due to all the problems I've had. Don't want to take a chance on reinstalling a problem if you know what I mean. If I have to I will buy a new hard drive and reinstall from purchased recovery disks. Anyone else having problems with their dv7-4177nr?

I don't know when Q started their return policy for Christmas or when it ends this month but if it was purchased during that time frame & you can still return it that's what I would do.

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers

Nightowlz1326488489.5539706 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

ITA with glb613. I also agree with gardenman about using it until it does quit. We have an external hard drive we keep our computer backup on.

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers

phansee1326501184.347124 PostsRegistered 4/21/2007
lovestoteach, The message was correct. My hard drive failed completely after I restarted my laptop. Hope yours lasts longer than mine. Hopefully all of your docs, photos, etc are backed up. I'm OK with my online backup. Last one was the 11th so wasn't backed up last night. Knew what files weren't backed up so copied those to netbook over home network. Called HP and they will be sending me a new hard drive at a cost of $140 total plus I have to send my old one back. My warranty expired Dec. 22, 2011. Twenty- two days out of warranty plus I'm on my 3rd AC adapter in 3 months! More than disgusted. Asked why I had to send my old hard drive back since it was paid for by initial purchase and was no longer under warranty. They said I was getting a discount and that if I didn't send it back I would be charged additional $ for it. At least $100. Does this make sense to anyone?

Nightowlz1326502127.7939706 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 1/13/2012 phansee said: lovestoteach, The message was correct. My hard drive failed completely after I restarted my laptop. Hope yours lasts longer than mine. Hopefully all of your docs, photos, etc are backed up. I'm OK with my online backup. Last one was the 11th so wasn't backed up last night. Knew what files weren't backed up so copied those to netbook over home network. Called HP and they will be sending me a new hard drive at a cost of $140 total plus I have to send my old one back. My warranty expired Dec. 22, 2011. Twenty- two days out of warranty plus I'm on my 3rd AC adapter in 3 months! More than disgusted. Asked why I had to send my old hard drive back since it was paid for by initial purchase and was no longer under warranty. They said I was getting a discount and that if I didn't send it back I would be charged additional $ for it. At least $100. Does this make sense to anyone?


They want to refurbish it & resell it. You could check online to see how much the hard drive for your laptop actually sells for.

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers

glb6131326536711.0811079 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Ther is no way a hard drive costs $140. Too bad you didn't come here first. I would NEVER send a hard drive to anyone even if it is under warranty and that includes HP. You can buy a new notebook hard drive for under $100. Here is a sample of what they cost:

Notebook hard drives

lovestotea­ch1326537434.6414889 PostsRegistered 1/2/2009DFW Metroplex, Tx
On 1/10/2012 gardenman said:

As long as you're backing up your data and your computer is still working fine, I'd just go ahead and keep using it until the hard drive fails, then replace the drive. If you hang out at some of the tech sites you'll find people who have gotten that warning for months/years and the hard drive is still fine. One guy got a prediction that his hard drive would fail and it even predicted the date of the failure, sometime between 2327 and 2352, not surprisingly this didn't bother him all that much. Have your backups up to date and ready to go, have new recovery discs ready and you should be fine. As glb613 said, swapping a hard drive isn't very difficult and is a pretty good DIY project for most consumers. You can get name brand 320-500 gb hard drives at newegg for under $100.

I'm going with gardenman's advice and using the computer -- this weekend we are going to buy an external hard drive to back everything up. Everything is already backed up anyway -- its just in different locations. The hassle of a hard drive failure, IMO, is resetting the computer and various settings to my preference.

It is interesting to note here that up reboot I got a black screen with an option that stated " There are 512 errors in your computer. Press F12 to fix these." I pressed F12 FAST! The laptop is working much better now. And yes, I am wondering if a virus got through. sigh!

Thanks to all of you for all of your valuable information.
{#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

Loves ~ dancin' & prancin' ~ ♥ ♥ ♥

glb6131326540655.33711079 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

You do have a virus. The best thing to do is backup your data and start over.

phansee1326564444.393124 PostsRegistered 4/21/2007
glb613, I may just refuse delivery on the drive. I should have returned to QVC the first time I had to reset to factory settings but it may have been out of the return period any ways. The only reason I purchased hard drive with them was so I could purchase an extended warranty. Have to use their replacement parts to get it. Have been having AC adapter problems too. Am on my 3rd one in 2 months. This computer is only 13 months old! I'm going to request to speak to an administrator about returning the hard drive. Just seems fishy to me. Not sure what to do since it's fairly new but continues to have problems. That's why I was going to get their extended warranty but was required to purchase their parts to do this. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Hate to keep sinking $ into a so called new computer and am very discouraged by all manufacturers at this point. Don't even know what brand to go with any more. Have had Dell, Sony, HP, Asus and so far my old Dell and 3 year old Asus have been the most reliable.

cjmcp1326566092.8331587 PostsRegistered 12/23/2004Texas

My husband bought a Toshiba laptop May 31st last year. He's been getting a hard drive error message for a couple of months now. Since it's still under warranty he called Toshiba and they walked him through some stuff that didn't work so he'll be sending it in for repair.

Just an FYI: I was in Staples a couple of weeks ago and a lady was looking at laptops and asked the salesman what brands he preferred. He said he used to recommend Toshiba but not anymore as they are having lots of problems with them.

glb6131326567972.14311079 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 1/14/2012 phansee said: glb613, I may just refuse delivery on the drive. I should have returned to QVC the first time I had to reset to factory settings but it may have been out of the return period any ways. The only reason I purchased hard drive with them was so I could purchase an extended warranty. Have to use their replacement parts to get it. Have been having AC adapter problems too. Am on my 3rd one in 2 months. This computer is only 13 months old! I'm going to request to speak to an administrator about returning the hard drive. Just seems fishy to me. Not sure what to do since it's fairly new but continues to have problems. That's why I was going to get their extended warranty but was required to purchase their parts to do this. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Hate to keep sinking $ into a so called new computer and am very discouraged by all manufacturers at this point. Don't even know what brand to go with any more. Have had Dell, Sony, HP, Asus and so far my old Dell and 3 year old Asus have been the most reliable.

I never buy extended warranties because they cost too much. Most of the time, a product will have problems during the manufacturer's 1 year warranty. You can buy a new hard drive, install it yourself then use the recovery DVD set to reinstall everything. If you haven't made the recovery DVD set, do it now.

I currently own 2 HP computers and haven't had any problems. As soon as this is posted, someone will reply with a horror story about HP. Every manufacturer has "lemons". My advice would be to look for reviews on a particular model/brand and go from there. When I shop for a computer, I compare the hardware installed and the price.

phansee1326589176.72124 PostsRegistered 4/21/2007
Glb613 That's the way I've always shopped for computers. I research, read reviews and evaluate all aspects of the computers I'm considering. Specs are always the main way I choose. All of my computers except for the 2 HP's have been customized by me. I've only recently delved into the Ready to Ship ones. Think maybe that may be the problem especially when they are under the gun to manufacture so quickly to be sent out in mass. As I mentioned before, my very first was a Texas Instruments TI3. I have had numerous computers over the years and actually was an SLP/ATC before I retired. I evaluated handicapped students for Assistive Technology devices including very complex computer systems for the physically disabled. I had to purchase, setup, maintain, and repair the systems as well as train the students. I learned about voice recognition software long before the general public even thought something like that could exist. Setup Braille systems to work with computers, etc.. So believe me I have had more experience with every brand name computer that's ever existed since the 70's. Have spoken with more support personnel than you can imagine. Very close with all IT people over the years. Have never had the problems in the last 40 years that I've had in the last 2 years. Quality is definitely not there anymore. I remember spending $3000 for a computer at one time. At least it lasted a while. Got my money's worth for sure. Not anymore though. And no, I am not putting down HP. I have had some very good customized systems from them in the past. I'm just disgusted with the luck of the draw I've had lately. Thanks for your input though. It is appreciated.

phansee1326592525.723124 PostsRegistered 4/21/2007
lovestoteach, good luck this weekend with getting everything backed up in one place. I know exactly what you mean about re-setting everything the way you prefer it. It's definitely a time consuming endeavor. I apologize for the extent of my replies in your thread. I was just feeling irritated and mostly disgusted as I'm sure you were. Just hope yours will be OK now. Keep your eyes open for those small tell tale signs though. I knew it wouldn't be long before mine went.

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