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The hard drive is used to do BitTorrent with µTorrent. Recently uTorrent began to report there is a "I/O Device error". When I use HD Tune to test it, it turns out the transfer rate is only 16 MB/sec. At the same time, I have a similar hard drive tested, it rates as 120 MB/sec. They are both 7200 RPM desktop hard drives.

I used CHKDSK to fix it, but the rate didn't change.

Is this a symptom of hard drive failure? Should I backup the content on the disk ASAP or is there any other tool can fix it or diagnosis it?`

Those are screenshots, from the pictures, everything looks OK except transfer rate(?):

Alt text Alt text Alt text Alt text

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if you are having any problems with your hard drive, BACK UP! just in case! – studiohack Jan 18 '11 at 0:02
What does HD Tune say about the SMART params for the drive? – chris Jan 18 '11 at 0:02
Sata hard drive or PATA (IDE)?? – Moab Jan 18 '11 at 1:07

The information on the Health tab in HD Tune should tell you whether this is a sign of disk failure or not. Look at Raw Read Error Rate, Seek Error Rate, Write Error Rate, Reallocated Sector Count and Load Cycle Count in particular.

If the Load Cycle Count is very high (more than 600 000), it means your drive is worn out from aggressive power management and is likely to fail soon.

Unusually low transfer rates are often an indication of a problem with the disk, so I would start looking for a new drive.

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