Is my HDD really dying?

thevictor390

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I came back to my computer after using it earlier tonight, and I was presenting with a nice "OPERATING SYSTEM NOT FOUND" error. Just a bit of text in the corner of a black screen, and of course it didn't respond to any input. I left the computer on but it's possible it rebooted due to a Windows update.

I press the restart button and miraculously, Windows was found safe and sound. Here I am typing this post. But this is not something I would consider a "normal hiccup." It reeks of something bigger.

Some other things to consider, I've recently had some issues with the entire PC freezing for 30 seconds to a minute with the HDD light on solid and the HDD itself rattling away (the normal noises, just constant). Until now I had thought I had narrowed it down to some problem with Flash, since it only seemed to occur when watching Youtube video.

I also purchased a game on Impulse, and though it downloaded fine, the extraction would fail every time after consuming most of my CPU and HDD for hours. I switched the download and install to my secondary drive, and it worked fine.

The HDD in question is an older 250 GB Western Digital something, came in the PC so don't know exactly. Windows calls it a *deep breath* "WDC WD2500AAJS-22VTA0 ATA Device". General system performance has not degraded at all. A simple "chkdsk /F" yielded no errors or bad sectors. The drive is defragged weekly and I am only using 66 of the 250 GB (SSDs are expensive, narf). Most (but not all) of my games and larger programs are on a second drive, 500 GB Hitachi Deathstar ironically enough.

Are there any other tests I can run to make sure the drive is healthy? Is it normal for an "operating system not found" error to just go away? I consider myself technologically inclined but hardware is my weak point...

Depending on the outcome of this thread, there me be sequels about cloning a drive and whether SSDs are worth it yet :p

Thanks!
 

Dr_Grip

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Could just be a hiccup - could be your HDD on the way out. Better backup all important data right now.
 

Komeuppance

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Back up and get your data out now while you can!! Haha...

It sounds as if the BIOS didn't recognize the drive on a system failure/restart. Not common, but "normal" I'd say. The cause could be a fluke, or the drive not booting properly. If it was rectified by a proper restart, then you're most likely in the clear. Just take it as a warning that hard drives have a very limited lifespan and not to put too much trust in them.

-Robert
 

thevictor390

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Thanks everyone! The drive is.... 3 years old? Not ancient by any means, and I've never had a hard drive fail before year 6.

I really don't have anything important stored locally on the PC, but there's a lot of stuff I could back up for convenience so I'd better get cracking.... just need a place to put it. I guess for now I'll just throw my documents on the other drive and run it until it gets worse or dies, worst case scenario it goes kaput and I am forced to use my Linux install for a few days while I seek out a replacement.
 
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