Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My computer has started to act strangely. Well, I wont kid myself, its probably broken. But just to confirm - using tool called "HD Tune" I have done diagnostics. It has returned damaged blocks (0,1%) and S.M.A.R.T. readings with codes 0x0A and 0xB8 at 100. I just want to know, how bad is it. I have seen that some software supposedly can repair bad sectors. Can this issue be fixed this way or do I need to abandon all hope of saving the HDD? More info on severity of S.M.A.R.T. readings would be greatly appreciated.

Also, SeaTools for DOS cant find my HDD at all. Could it be something other than HDD then?

More info:

2.5" SATA II, 500 GB hard drive on a laptop.

OS: Windows 8, 64 bits

RAM 4 GB, CPU - i5

By acting strangely I mean, that yesterday it couldn't load its OS (was stuck at loading screen, but not frozen) or Ubuntu live cd, today its working flawlessly.

share|improve this question
The Ubuntu live CD shouldn't care about the state of the hard disk (at least beyond trying to detect partitions). Without a more specific error than "the computer was stuck at loading screen, but not frozen", it's very hard to say what might be wrong, but I somewhat doubt the hard disk is at fault. – Michael Kjörling Jul 5 '13 at 13:21
Try use chkdsk c: /r/f. – quark8 Jul 5 '13 at 13:24
About Ubuntu - a friend gave me that CD and I didn't manage to save the error details. Some diagnostics tools had problems with recognizing the file system and some damaged sectors are in boot region. About windows 8 - it was more or less stuck in this screen, spinning endlessly. – TheBW Jul 5 '13 at 13:26
up vote 1 down vote accepted

According to the S.M.A.R.T. article on Wikipedia:

10 / 0x0A: Spin Retry Count: Count of retry of spin start attempts. This attribute stores a total count of the spin start attempts to reach the fully operational speed (under the condition that the first attempt was unsuccessful). An increase of this attribute value is a sign of problems in the hard disk mechanical subsystem.

184 / 0xB8: End-to-End error / IOEDC: This attribute is a part of Hewlett-Packard's SMART IV technology, as well as part of other vendors' IO Error Detection and Correction schemas, and it contains a count of parity errors which occur in the data path to the media via the drive's cache RAM.

Both are marked as "potential indicators of imminent electromechanical failure" in the article.

I would certainly give up on the disk. Backup what you can, and get a new. Those symptoms are a sign of hardware failure that software cannot fix.

My experience with SeaTools for DOS is that it often does not recognize Seagate disks at all. I actually never managed to get it working. The Windows version of SeaTools is so-so, but serves well as an authoritative declaration of disk death.

share|improve this answer
Did just that few days back. Short fixes didn't help, and I started to find bad sectors. Well a know what that means, so I changed HDD my self. Turns out the HDD wasn't screwed on to the rest of the laptop. And I opened it for the first time... – TheBW Jul 15 '13 at 12:06

Ubuntu should not be having issues booting if it is running from a thumbdrive or CD. Make sure you are giving it a few minutes to boot (which I'm sure you are) because sometimes booting from a CD isn't instant. You could try having that fried put the ISO to a thumbdrive just to try another option and to have handy. If there is an issue with HD then Ubuntu will usually pop up something saying imminent drive failure once the OS is loaded.

When checking a HD, it is always good to run chkdsk /f /r /x from the command prompt as Administrator (right click on CMD and select run as administrator) like @Tiago said. I've cleaned up multiple HD issues with that. Make sure it is plugged in and you have free time because it will take a little while to complete. Sometimes you cannot get to the regular start up with splash screen to complete like in your case, so use Safe Mode to get there by tapping F8 while the computer is booting. You do not need networking or command prompt, just use regular safe mode.

I did have a computer that failed to load even in Safe Mode and threw the BSOD at me constantly, but by using Hiren's Boot CD (great tool) which will load a DOS screen and booting to MiniXP which has a GUI you can run chkdsk /f /r /x on the main HD C:. Obviously you will need a friend to create that boot CD for you if you have to go that route.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .