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Hardware Failure

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Hard drive failure

One day your PC boot pauses while booting in the BIOS with the message

S.M.A.R.T. drive status bad: backup and replace

Well firstly, don't panic, here are suggestions for what you should do

Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, or S.M.A.R.T., is a monitoring system for computer hard disks to detect and report on various indicators of reliability, in the hope of anticipating failures.

This means your disk is going to fail, you might have days, weeks, or months, don't chance it.

  • go out and buy another hard drive
  • back up the failing hard drive

If you know the manufacturer of your hard drive visit their website and download their SMART drive utility, eg Western digital's Data Lifeguard, or Seagate's Seatools[1]. Another useful (paid) utility is SpinRite. See also TestDisk

If your operating system is installed on the failing drive you have got a lot of work to do.

  • make a list of all software and its version you have installed
  • make a note of your network settings (IP address, DNS servers)
  • locate all your software registration keys
  • if you are running windows XP use the File and Transfer Settings Wizard [2] [3] or Vista the Easy Transfer companion.
  • backup configuration and settings files (eg Apache .conf files, your hosts file)
  • backup data stored by legacy software in the /Program Files/ directories
  • backup the full /Documents and Settings/ folder (you might like to use the Cleanup wizard to delete all temporary files first.

Don't wait till the drive fails completely before replacing it, you never know what you might have forgotten.

  • if you have an older PC it may not boot from a larger drive. The OS may happily install onto the larger hard drive, and will recognise it when booted. This is a BIOS issue and is resolved by partitioning the drive. Make the first partition the same size are your previous boot drive or volume, and install onto it.
  • before reinstalling an older version of Windows consider Slipstreaming it to the current released version.

File recovery

Monitor environments


See also

tahi Page last modified on 2014 Aug 29 23:15

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