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I have a Dell XPS 420, about 4 years old, out of warranty. Drive C: (and smaller partition as D:) is a Western Digital WD5000AAKS-75YGA0 ATA drive.

Seems to be running well, but the Dell predictive diagnostics say the drive failed a Targeted Read Test and a SMART Short Self Test, but passed all the other Dell tests.

It has done this a couple of months in a row (the tests run monthly...), but the fact that the main hard drive of my PC has these items has me concerned.

What are the "Targeted Red Test" and the "SMART Short Self Test"?
Would these outcomes be addressed by a simple chkdsk /f?

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SMART = Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology

SMART errors are the drive detecting errors within itself, regardless of the operating system.

Consider the drive on it's way out, and treat it as such. I.e.: you can keep using it, but don't be surprised when, one day, it's dead. :)

Since it's a Western Digital drive, hit WD's software page and grab their diagnostics software (Data LifeGuard Diagnostics, A.K.A. "WDDiag").

If you can make a bootable CD or USB or floppy, use the DOS version and perform an Extended Test (it's a read-only test).

If you can't make a bootable device try the Windows version, but the DOS version tends to find and correct more issues.

WDDiag will either repair the problem or tell you the drive needs replacing (or tell you nothing's wrong with it). I would expect the extended test to take about an hour to complete on a 500GB drive.

Hope that helps...

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chkdsk checks the integrity of the file system, not the hard drive sectors.

a chkdsk /r will do a surface scan of the entire disk and attempt to repair or repair bad sectors it finds, if any.

If you are seeing SMART failures, I would back up your important data and prepare for a hard disk replacement.

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