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Is my HDD dying?

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Hello!

 

Yesterday I was using O&O Defrag to defrag my D: drive where all my games, including FSX, are.

 

Both C: (system) and D: are partitions on a Western Digital Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200RPM drive (NTFS file system).

 

During the defrag a power outage occured. When the power came back, I restarted my PC noticed that apparently there was nothing wrong with it and started a new "complete/name" defrag on D: drive which completed this time. 

 

Today restarted my PC and felt like playing a bit of "War Thunder". That's when I noticed something was wrong. During the file check "War Thunder" does at start, I got a "Disk read/write error".

At the same time an alert message popped on the taskbar (please check screenshot).

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/63xjhsoqztpqzys/Error_2015.07.27.jpg?dl=0

 

I wonder if this was caused by the power outage during defrag or if it was just a coincidence and my HDD is dying. I tried all the other games on that drive and had no issues with any of them, just WT.

 

I'm afraid to start Chkdsk with /f /r commands and create a bigger problem than I already have.

There's probably some bad sectors that if fixed may cause loss of data, right?

Is the problem with D:\$mft fixable?

Will this issue also affect the other partition on that drive?

 

What should I do now?

 

Any help more than welcome.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

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Q1) What make and model is the hard drive?

Q2) How old is the hard drive?

Q3) Do you have a S.M.A.R.T. test utility for your hard drive?

Q4) Any unusual sounds e.g. clicking when the hard drive is powered on?

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Needless to say.. make sure you have your backups current, just in case something goes wrong.. <_<

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Yes, get a disk error run chkdsk or defrag and during that the drive died, I have heard that before. Would have been better to "test it" by copying the lot off, could be the last time it is possible to read across the entire surface. First, maybe plug it into another PC with networking or get another disk and copy it, since they can snowball from what starts as only a slight error. Maybe get a USB backup drive, often have 1-2TB or more capacity. Bear in mind that partitioning HDDs can sometimes present a reliability problem for them. Even though they don't physically partition the drive surface area they can lead to more head travel in the end. Also, a sure way to stress the drive is to defrag it or run chkdsk. Generally, the way the drives, and Windows, caches files, means that fragmentation doesn't present much of a problem, however bad it might look. Running a defrag might get it to move files around a bit but probably won't accomplish very much. These drives shuffle data around anyway, avoiding poor surface quality, bad sectors and so on, after backup, try installing the faulty game again. :BigGrin:

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Thank you for your help and suggestions guys. I appreciate it.

 

@ Djang0

 

1) Western Digital Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200RPM drive

2) The HD is almost 4 years

3) No. Where do I get it? At WD?

4) No unusual sounds as far as I can tell...

 

A couple of questions if I may.

 

I use Acronis True Image to create backups on WD external 1TB drive.

 

I always backup C: and D: separately so that if I have to restore one of the partitions it won't mess with the other.

 

In this case, I can still backup both that way, right?

This is probably a stupid question but won't the backup contain the same file issues I have now?

 

Thanks again.

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OK I can't give much advise re backups but I imagine that if there has been a hardware failure then data could have been corrupted but I doubt in  a way that would recreate the same behaviour on another fully functional drive.

Q) I assume the drive is out of warranty?

 

Anyway for your WD Black drive you need to install the utility (scroll down for the download button):

WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows

The utility includes various self tests including S.M.A.R.T. I suggest running the short test first and if that is passed run the full test. It should detect hardware failure of the drive and can warn of pending failure. *Remember to run it as an Administrator*.

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You have a corrupt NTFS Master File Table, and the most likely reason is the power outage during the defrag.

 

Cheers!

Luke

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@ Django

 

Yes, it's out of waranty... no luck there.

 

Thanks, I'll have a look at the link you provided. Maybe that utility will help. But I'm probably going to backup the entire contents of the HD before using it, in case something goes wrong.

 

@ Luke

 

Thank you for your help. I also think the MFT was corrupted by the power outage. Do you know if it is possible to recover the MFT? Will Chkdsk be able to fix it?

 

Thanks again.

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Hello,

 

Don't panic, more likely than not, there is no hardware damage to your drive, just a corrupt mft. 9 out of 10 the stock chkdsk should be able to solve, FIRST: backup all of your vital data / files, then proceed with the repair. Restart and press F8 to get into safe mode, run cmd from an elevated privilege (i.e. run as administrator) and run chkdsk /f. Let it do its work. Even the message image you post suggests to you to use chkdsk.

 

Alternately you can right click on "My Computer" icon on desktop and select manage, then on the leftt pane select "Disk Management" and on the right hand side, right click on your troubled drive, select properties and then tools then error checking and press the check now button. It will schedule a chkdsk for the next bootup. Just restart and let nature take its course.

 

I know how wary one can be of the possibility of making things worse but you can't live with a corrupt mft. Hence my suggestion to backup first. There are tons of third party utilities that may help in the unlikely event that chdsks fails, but I really cannot be of any help in this field. Maybe you need to research that yourself.

 

If all fails I always perform a full format, including deletion of all partition(s) and recreating from zilch, and then a fresh installation of Windows, but that is a lot of man-hours, sweat and blood, lets hope you won't need that and chkdsk sorts you out.

 

Good luck.

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Thank you for your input, kalizzi.

 

I will do as you suggest.

 

I haven't done so yet because now my WD 1TB external drive is acting up too...

It takes around 5 minutes for Windows to detect it when I connect it to my PC and seems very slow accessing it's contents.

I use Acronis True Image to create backups. A D: drive backup used to take no more than 3 or 4 hours now True Image estimates 30 hours...

Better buy a new external drive too, I guess...

 

Thanks again.

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Funny you mention that about your 1TB WD, but slow access -if unjustified- could be bad news. Just one thing to check, is your suddenly-turned-slow-WD your boot drive? if so, please ensure that at least one quarter of its size/capacity is empty, e.g. 250GB or so free on a 1TB drive, or something in that region. Filling up your drive to the rim makes it slow, and leaves no leg room for swap files and other Windows' below-the-surface operations that need ample free space. I personally consider two thirds of any drive as the upper limit, especially if it is a boot device. Now with price per GB or TB so low, it is a non-issue, buy larger and expand. Maybe if you are on the verge of a major makeover, it may be prime time for you to introduce an ssd for a boot device, and here again don't try to economize, go for 256GB minimum, this should just about seat your Windows and its lot, and FSX with a fair deal of add-ons.

 

Best wishes.

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@ Djang0

 

Thank you for your suggestion but I hope I don't have to fiddle with any of that because that might be a bit too much for me to understand how to do.

I think I would rather format the HD and restore a backup but it's always good to know there are other ways to do things.

 

@ kalizzi

 

Fortunately the 1TB WD drive I'm having issues with regarding the slow access is my external drive, the one I use for my backups. This 1TB drive has around 600GB free space.

A new 1TB external drive is still around €90 where I live and that's money I can´t spend right now...

I´ve been on the verge of a major makeover for a while but the money has always gone somewhere else... but yes, it´s in my plans.

When that happens I will definitely go the SSD way.

Thank you for your help and suggestions.

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If things go "belly up" with the hard drive partitions or boot sector you'll find the GParted live OS really straight forward to use. It is a self contained OS that runs in memory and doesn't need to be installed to your system:

1) Download the GParted Windows ISO file.

2) Burn the ISO file to CD or DVD (or use the stand alone utility UNetbootin to create a bootable USB key).

3) Boot your PC into GParted from the CD or DVD (or USB key).

4) Now you have full access to your disks and can manage partitions, boot sectors, choose from a full range of formatting options, error checking.

 

Don't be afraid of those hard drives - show them who's boss!!!

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Thanks again for your help and patience Djang0. I really appreciate it.

 

Your thorough explanation makes it a lot easier. 

 

Loved your comment about showing them who the boss is...  :lol:

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