Question Hard Drive Failure Imminent?

FPS Scotland

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Jul 17, 2013
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So, I got the ol faithful hard drive failure imminent error message for one of my hard drives after my PC shat itself and froze and I rebooted it.

Unlike seemingly every other person on the planet, mine didn't have the option to ignore it and continue anyway. My only option was F2 for setup, which put me into the BIOS, and upon exiting just went back to the error screen. The only solution was to completely unplug the hard drive.

The drive itself is just a massive 3TB storage drive for games, so I don't really care about recovering anything on it, as it's nothing important. However, is the drive basically dead? Is there any way I could save it, even if it involved wiping it? I can't actually test the drive, because even if I disable the SATA port in the BIOS it still throws up the error. The only way is to physically unplug it.
This is the drive in question. It's only just under 3 years old, and I've got other HDDs coming up on 10 years and still going faithful, so I think it's safe to say this wasn't the best purchase.
 

FPS Scotland

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Jul 17, 2013
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Well, I use one chain SATA power cable for all of my hard drives, and it was first in the chain, and the other 2 drives are still working perfectly using the same cable. Wouldn't that rule out the cable?

As for the SATA port or the data cable, I'll need to test that one. I didn't realise that was possible.
 

falcon291

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Jul 17, 2019
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Try it with a new or different SATA cable using a different port. I don't think it would make a difference, there is but a very small chance, but yes your HD is dead. Are you sure you bought it 3 years ago? Please check it because it can be very much within its guarantee period.
 

FPS Scotland

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Jul 17, 2013
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I bought it on Amazon, so I can see the exact date. It would be 3 years come May.

I can't really find any information from Amazon regarding warranty. Would manufacturer warranty still apply?

EDIT: Scratch that, I found the manufacturer's website, and the warranty is only 2 years for this model, so it's passed.
 

falcon291

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Jul 17, 2019
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I bought it on Amazon, so I can see the exact date. It would be 3 years come May.

I can't really find any information from Amazon regarding warranty. Would manufacturer warranty still apply?

EDIT: Scratch that, I found the manufacturer's website, and the warranty is only 2 years for this model, so it's passed.
Yes I saw that too. It is better to buy disks with more guarantee. WD Blacks for example comes with 5 years of guarantee or Toshiba N300 that I bought that September has 3 years of guarantee. The guarantee periods are that longer, because they are better drives. Of course their prices are higher, but I have a WD Black 1 TB, I bought 13 years ago, still working with total working time of nearly 75000 hours. This is almost 8.5 years running time.
 

bryanc723

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Jan 1, 2015
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It is probably possible to fix, but if you don't know what you're doing, it won't help. And at this point, it would be cheaper to buy a new one than have a professional try to fix it. You could hit it or GENTLY tap it against a hard surface as sometimes something is just stuck. But that also means it will fail again sooner rather than later, so if it fixes the issue, retrieve your data and scrap the drive.
Since you're not concerned with the data on it, it doesn't hurt to try anything, although it might still be a waste of time.
 
Yes I saw that too. It is better to buy disks with more guarantee. WD Blacks for example comes with 5 years of guarantee or Toshiba N300 that I bought that September has 3 years of guarantee. The guarantee periods are that longer, because they are better drives. Of course their prices are higher, but I have a WD Black 1 TB, I bought 13 years ago, still working with total working time of nearly 75000 hours. This is almost 8.5 years running time.
That's not necessarily because it's a WD Black though. I similarly have a 7200 RPM WD Blue from over a decade ago with nearly 8 years of power-on hours and over 4500 power cycles that's still going strong with daily use. It did have a 3-year warranty though.

The biggest problem I see with WD Blacks now is that they're getting a bit too close to the price of SSDs, which are substantially faster. For bulk data storage, the biggest thing hard drives still have going for them is their lower cost compared to SSDs, making it a bit hard to justify the markup of a WD Black, which doesn't perform that much better than any other mechanical hard drive. For something like game storage, unless one really wants to keep multiple terabytes of games installed at once, it might be better to just get a 1TB SSD for $100 and leave the hard drives for bulk data and backups.
 

falcon291

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Jul 17, 2019
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That's not necessarily because it's a WD Black though. I similarly have a 7200 RPM WD Blue from over a decade ago with nearly 8 years of power-on hours and over 4500 power cycles that's still going strong with daily use. It did have a 3-year warranty though.

The biggest problem I see with WD Blacks now is that they're getting a bit too close to the price of SSDs, which are substantially faster. For bulk data storage, the biggest thing hard drives still have going for them is their lower cost compared to SSDs, making it a bit hard to justify the markup of a WD Black, which doesn't perform that much better than any other mechanical hard drive. For something like game storage, unless one really wants to keep multiple terabytes of games installed at once, it might be better to just get a 1TB SSD for $100 and leave the hard drives for bulk data and backups.
My experience with WD Blue's are not that good. One failed right after its guarantee period, another one was bad on arrival a 4 TB one, so I returned it back to get 2 1 TB Blacks.

You are right about pricing though. I bought a Toshiba N300 6 TB, 3 months ago. I think it would be the last mechanical drive I bought.
 

RolandJS

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Mar 10, 2017
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Long long ago, I used GRC's Spinrite version 6 [I think that is the latest one], on HDDs, are you ready for this?!?, 20MB to 100 MB. I suspect if you tried Spinrite on your 3TB, your grandkids' kids will be around to see it finish.
 

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