• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

When Windows says your hard drive is failing

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
My notebook hard disk seemed a bit slow, but i figured that was due to the accumulated gunk and software residue left on it. Then Windows displayed a few error messages saying the drive was failing and to back up files.

Luckily, I am traveling with a clone of the drive, just in case of this very situation, something I highly recommend you do if you are travelling for long periods of time in parts of the world where computer parts are exorbitant.

TIP: Before you leave clone your entire drive with Acronis.

I copied the few recent files and emails to a USB key and then ran disk check on the drive to see if that would fix it. No errors found, which made me wonder how Windows determines that a drive is failing.... Read-write speed? Something else? Anyway, after a while it got so slow I just pulled the drive out of the notebook and stuck the cloned drive in and I am back.

I think my old Thinkpad X60 is reaching the point of retirement. Perhaps I will pick up the latest version of it when I get back to Canada, the Thinkpad X1 Ultrabook Laptop Computer | ThinkPad X Series | X1 | Lenovo | (CA)

All this salt air running through the fan for the last 6 years - I bet my current notebook is rusty inside.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Just upgrade to an SSD in the new laptop and use mechanical drives with it only in external USB connections or network NAS so that your computer won't have that thing with all the moving parts to worry about. You actually don't need a ton of storage but a 256gb or 512gb SSD is not as expensive as it once was and worth every penny IMO

And ya it will be significantly snappier as you use it!
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Just upgrade to an SSD in the new laptop and use mechanical drives with it only in external USB connections or network NAS so that your computer won't have that thing with all the moving parts to worry about. You actually don't need a ton of storage but a 256gb or 512gb SSD is not as expensive as it once was and worth every penny IMO

And ya it will be significantly snappier as you use it!
Don't SSDs lose their read and write ability after a while or have they resolved those issues?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Dude the lifespan is way longer than mechanical disks - they all have mitigation strategies now to extend life like large portions of spare area they dynamically make availableas sectors are lost and some other tricks...;

better suited to a portable pc anyway to not have moving parts IMO, kinda like how ipod/iphone and all mobile phones use flash - less to worry about breaking from all the movement
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Disk check will scan for errors in the partition table and for bad sectors. What windows is reporting is the anticipatory drive error tool called SMART.

S.M.A.R.T. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Usually upon first warning its a good time to migrate off this disk. The disk could last another year, it could last another 3 days.

SSD lifespans are measured in write cycles. Write cycles being the number of times a cell of storage has been overwritten. The usual lifespan is 10k+ cycles. Since the entire SSD is addressable in equal time SSD's don't attempt to overwrite a single cell until the entire SSD has been written to. Most people won't even fill up an SSD in it's lifetime so the lifespan of an SSD is indeed much longer than most consumers will ever need.

Even in the enterprise where we turn over data by the terabyte, our 3 year old SSDs aren't even through a fifth of their lifespans.
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders
Top