Is my hard drive failing?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 by 2of3 | Discussion: Personal Computing

I've had a problem off and on with my laptop crashing/BSOD when playing flash based content (like youtube videos).

 

It's been good for about 6 months now so I was surprised when it again happened today. I restarted the computer and was confronted with another bluescreen. After several tries at rebooting and system repairs (failed......."windows could not repair"), I decided to reinstall the OS......clean slate, ya know.

All was fine after everything was installed (drivers, etc) but the computer crashed again when I tried to do the windows rating index (no bsod, just a sudden dump). I tried it twice to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

 

Did a windows update and the thing crapped out again after the reboot to install. I managed to get the lappy to start again and scheduled a chkdsk. Rebooted.

Waiting for CHKDSK to finish.....

 

Earlier, I have only had crashes when playing flash based video and I've read online about problems with adobe flash and ATI cards. But this seems different to me.

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StevenRLynchAbundanceThatIAM
Reply #1 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 8:18 AM

Get all the stuff you need from it to another hard disk as soon as you can, so you don't lose it.  Other than that, it does sound like there's a serious problem with your system.

JcRabbit
Reply #2 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 8:32 AM

I see nothing in that description that points to a failing hard drive. Hardware problem yes, but not necessarily the hard drive.

Check the temperature of the CPU (with CoreTemp, for instance): dust could have build up on your laptop during all this time, which is now blocking the vents and causing your CPU to overheat when pushed and crash.

Jafo
Reply #3 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 9:48 AM

JcRabbit
dust could have build up on your laptop during all this time, which is now blocking the vents and causing your CPU to overheat when pushed and crash.

Was gonna post the same thing...

Oh....look.... I have....

DrJBHL
Reply #4 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 10:03 AM

You might have a look at this: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-hd-health-monitoring-and-diagnostic-programs.htm

although like Jorge, I think there could be another problem at fault...

Hope your birthday present doesn't have to be a new hard drive, Tim.

Hope you have an external (very recent) backup of your data, etc.

BoobzTwo
Reply #5 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 10:11 AM

2 of 3: What OS are you running? The MFG of the drive (or laptop) should have some diagnostic programs that may help.  I know WD has them... My experience is that most HDD failures are pretty obvious ... as in no boot up. Backing up ALL personal data first is definitely a must and unless you have two discreet hard drives, I would recommend an external drive such as one of the many different and economical books available. What did the CHKDSK reveal? Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful. I usually take advantage of such maladies to convince myself what I really need is a bigger and better replacement, hahaha, the easy way out.

Lantec
Reply #6 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 10:26 AM

Here's hoping you get a can of compressed air for your birthday

DaveRI
Reply #7 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 10:30 AM

Graphics chipset could also be overheating, if you can check that separately. I don't think they have their own fans in a laptop, so most likely that would come back to the same dirty fan/vents possibility.

 

Wizard1956
Reply #8 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:03 PM

If this is the same laptop Jim and I discussed, during my research of the earlier problem, I ran across many reports of poorly applied/below par thermal paste on the CPU/GPU. I suggested reapplying Arctic Silver or similar. Getting the laptop apart is the hard part, the rest is easy following the same instructions for disassembly. 

If this was not done. I would do so now. I doubt if dirt/dust is the culprit again so soon. If you still have any temp monitoring apps installed, take a look at your temps at idle and under load.

2of3
Reply #9 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:07 PM

I gave the whole thing a blow out with compressed air last month.

Wizard1956
I doubt if dirt/dust is the culprtit again so soon.

agreed.

2of3
Reply #10 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:11 PM

This is an ASUS N71jq notebook running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.

LightStar
Reply #11 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:12 PM

I had that same problem for a while on my desktop Tim, so I uninstalled Flash and re-installed the prior version and the problem went away. Then when the next version of Flash came out above the version I had the problem with I installed it and all was well.  Are you using the latest version of flash?

Wizard1956
Reply #12 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:21 PM

ASUS N71jq notebook
Google it for overheating problems, It's the same one I looked up earlier. I didn't save any of the links but you'll find a few unhappy owners.

JcRabbit
Reply #13 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:22 PM

I gave the whole thing a blow out with compressed air last month.

Laptops are notoriously difficult to take apart *and* clean properly (in fact, I would not recommend that you take it apart yourself, you might end up not being able to put it back together).

2of3, before assuming anything, download CoreTemp (it's free) and check your CPU core temperatures, then report back. As DaveRI pointed out, it could also be a problem with the graphics chipset overheating, in which case GPU-Z (also free) will help diagnose that too.

If it's not the temperatures, then we can start looking elsewhere.

2of3
Reply #14 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:22 PM

LightStar
Are you using the latest version of flash?

Looks like I don't have any flash installed ATM? This is a fresh install of W7 right now after the reformat (I have only installed FF since then)

 

Went to youtube and it wanted me to install Adobe flash 11.1.102.62......

 

 

2of3
Reply #15 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:27 PM

JcRabbit
Laptops are notoriously difficult to take apart *and* clean properly (in fact, I would not recommend that you take it apart yourself, you might end up not being able to put it back together).

I've had it apart 3 times since I bought it. Twice to clean the fans with air and once to replace the top case assy.

I did have a problem with it running hot and had CoreTemp installed but the temp was just fine after the last time I cleaned it (last month)

I'll reinstall CoreTemp.

2of3
Reply #16 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:31 PM

Ok.....it IS running at 205 F.......seems hot to me

2of3
Reply #17 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:38 PM

JcRabbit
it could also be a problem with the graphics chipset overheating, in which case GPU-Z (also free) will help diagnose that too.

how hot it too hot for a GPU?

Lantec
Reply #18 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:47 PM

I'm with Jorge. Temps first then memory.

I have an ASUS F8V I upgraded to W7x64. Probably the best laptop I've ever had and I've had a few....3 Sonys, 2 Dells, 1 HP & 1 Toshiba

The most common issue I've run across is fan failure (except that big ass 17" Sony....it went thru 3 mbs) I've replaced fans on 3 different laptops from 3 manufacturers. One is a Sony Vaio PCG FRV26 I bought 10 years ago and is still running today.

Lantec
Reply #19 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:51 PM

GPU over 100C and I'd worry.....most of the time mine hover between 60-80C depending on load

CPU over 100C is probably toast....mine idle around 36C-40C

 

edit: 205F! can your hear your fan running or feel it blowing air?

Wizard1956
Reply #20 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 12:51 PM

For a CPU that is very HOT.

Just my opinion, but $1.00 worth of Arctic Silver could save you all lot of money down the road. If it is still overheating after a cleanout, that is the most likley reason. Hardware failure/defects would be another. according to my research.

GPU temps vary, my old 8800GT cooks right along at 65c, 100c under load. If you are anywhere near that with a modern GPU though, you've got trouble.

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