Is my harddisk
drive (HDD) brick
Dead or Sick or?
If any of this is confusing? then find a tech, and ask him/her to fix it, they know all these ropes!
See my Linux HDD testing.
All HDD fail, not one lasts say a decade (be rare if used daily)
HDD have many single points of failure, as does the whole PC.
Symptoms, no boot or gross windows errors even BSOD crashes, or windows flat telling you the HDD has read errors. (well, windows did not lie to you, it may say SMART ERRORS)
If we think the HDD seems alive we then test it. (it's not hard do this)
The best way to test any drive is moving it to the non failing system. (means not be booted to it, to the bad drive under test) We use and external eSata case (with power pack) to do this magic.
It is for sure too late to clone your drive now.(be that windows scrambled or HDD bad or virus infected)
It many not be to late to backkup , then try to backup your private data now
See all tests below:
A hard disk works like this, an electric motor, a media platter, a set of heads, and a head servo actuator and a SATA comm chip. (any of these can fail).
You are here because MS WINDOWs fails to boot, and you found your BOOT USB sticks all work, but HDD 0 does not.
See photo of BIOS HDD test
If you get this far, what next?
Next is always SMART tests;.
Run the SMART APPlication program.. (learn rule one, Windows can BSOD from corrupted HDD fails and with Windows 10 its worse turn off fast boot.)
If windows is dead Jump to here.( run linux tests, run smart and the full linux DISK tests)
If the drive kinda works great, but windows complains, and S.M.A.R.T Tells you it's out of SPARE sectors, then it's time for a new SSD or HDD. Believe it. the HDD is DEAD.
After then New HDD is installed, reload the OS.
If windows is corrupted (I will not cover that here). there are cures via A/V scanners, and the SFC /scannow command, and full fresh installs.(F11 recovery HP methods)
With a good HDD,windows can do many bad acts, endless, infinite.
back to HDD checks:
Seagate has answers here.
Always fun this first, if system boots.Crystal Disk Info.
Do know that a full blown HDD test programs may take all day to finish. (some have short test, medium and long tests) Don't expect the 1TB drive to test fast and easy. It is huge.
Know too that some do destructive tests, and ends with a blank, HDD ! (read the instructions on your HDD Test APP )
The HDD can be tested all these ways, let me recap all ways: (when I mention STICK below that means "USB flash memory stick, a.k.a. Thumbdrive, flash key, etc)
HDD school: (As simple as I can make it...)!
The HDD its called a rotating memory on disk with flying heads, it has platters and R/W heads and a SMART BRAIN, on mount Everest the heads can not fly with no air, so CRASH. (same on the moon too.)
If you bump any HDD hard enough running the heads can crash. (with power off, bumps are mostly harmless below 2 foot drop) running is a whole other matter. (a 3 foot drop is 100G's so.... out of spec that is)
The drives smart brain inside knows all HDD made grow bad sectors its whole normal life span, so the designer puts in spare clusters (usually in the form of spare cylinders you can not reach deep inside)
A drive can run for 10 years, and not run out of spares cylinders. (for sure kept cool and not bumped/dropped , ever)
As bad sectors grow, the HDD brain immediately and logically swaps in new sectors for the old bad and is cured now. The OS sees no errors now. (in and instant) But you will see Parameter 05(hex) increase from 0.
SSD's do similar self healing and also spread the wear. (SSD are more rubust and have longer life spans, seems to me)
When the spares run out , you hit the brick wall of death soon. See Parameter ID 5 this is the max spares allowed, as does parameter C6 =0 is good not zero is bad.
In this drive is 140. (x4096 = 573,440 bytes. or 1/2 megabyte.) Think 1/2 a floppy for spare space.
A Blast From The Past, in the olden days we'd unpacked our "Winchester drive" mid to late 70s and grab the bad sector map sheet, from the box it came.( the young kids go.. gee it's bad new?,,, sigh...)
Then we CONFIGURED (a ROM monitor in the HDD controller MFM) what sectors were bad. Then formatted it and then installed some OS.
Later HDD drives now had brains inside (uP), and cured there own bad sectors for the life of the drive, unseen by anyone, ! (that is you not using SMART app, to see them !)
end crash course HDD.
Factoid: Our first IBM PC HDD cost us $5000 , few buyers could afford one then. (that be 50,000 bucks in inflated dollars now)
We sold S100 bus CPM Z80, , tests systems to Intel and all other top SEMI chip makers..with said drive in place and booted.
Some had this.(or the HP 85 ,circa 1979) HP had PC's before IBM, but cost more. but I digressed.
WINDOWS IS DEAD ! or F11 dead or F9 key shows no drive there? (those are HP power on hot keys)
If not backed up it's maybe too late (if lucky) move HDD to another PC as 2nd drive and backup your data, if you can't, your data is a goner.
BTW: by the way Windows 7/8/10 all tell you in clear warnings, live words from the OS screens (popups) when the bad HDD runs into bad sectors, (warning it will get worse fast!) or it BSOD's
Installing any OS to a bad HDD is just pure endless pain, wasted of time, and grief, don't do that and be more happy... (IMO) The cure (prevention) is next.
If windows 10 goes dead, turn off (and F8 on) fast boot. Now it might boot, and you can do tests.
I run this LINUX CD/DVC/STICK. and run DISK TEST and SMART tests that why.
HOW TO TEST THE HDD WITH THE LIVE BOOT LINUX OS is here.
The below is running on a sick PC, the windows is acting up, slow or whatever, but this Crystal Disk Info , program shows, the HDD is TOAST C6(hex) , not 0 is toasted, and bad. 118 is horrible bad.
05 and C6 are wrong.!
This drive is allowed to run, will go far far worse... and is HOPELESS to try.
As you can see windows runs here now, and smart runs, in all cases if windows is dead, you can't get here. So run LINUX LIVE BOOT instead.(above)
Note too ,it is not overheating.
version #6 9-16-2017 (above page does not cover how to restore corrupted windows.) (moved linux to seperate page and added more tests)