Old laptop causing HDDs to fail!?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by x86, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. x86

    x86 MDL Addicted

    Jul 8, 2011
    806
    199
    30
    Hi Guys, been a long time!

    Got a bit of a problem with an old laptop (Toshiba A45 S120) and in particular with its HDD. Thing is it had a 40GB/4200rpm which after a closer examination, it turned out it was loaded with bad sectors. I ve used HDD Regenerator, which couldn't do much fixing (regenerating) those, as the drive was full of them and also with areas marked as 'D' (delays) which are essentially areas of the disk about to get 'bad'...

    So I gave up trying to repair an already dead HDD and grabbed a 2nd hand one, just 10GB (but a faster 5400rpm), replaced the old one and fresh-installed XP on that one. Before I did so, I did a full scan with HDD Regenerator and the 10GB HDD was 100% healthy - no bads, not even delays. The scan took less than 5mins to complete, with not slow-downs/hiccups whatsoever. Just for reference, the old HDD scan took 2+ days to complete! All seemed well at first and the laptop was even faster due to the 4200->5400, EIDE transition. And to clarify, I know that the laptop is crap, but its not mine and all I need to say is that 10GB is enough for what I need for that particular machine - so let's focus on the real problem;)

    And the real problem is that, now, after approx 2months, the laptop started BSOD / freezing again, just like it did before and after a scan, my fears were confirmed. The 10GB drive started showing bad sectors. HDD Regenerator identified 75 baddies - which luckily were all recovered/regenerated - as well as a few 'troubled areas' i.e. delays.

    Now what? I know for sure that this will get worse and eventually the 10GB will too die. Unless I figure out what's causing this. I don't believe its coincidental (i.e. that the drive was about to die anyway). I think this is a hardware-related issue that's causing the HDD slowly to fail. First thing I thought was overheating. But there are no signs of that really, as temp seems OK and both fans seem to be working properly.

    What else could possibly be causing something like that? The motherboard, HDD controller / cabling ... or what? Any thoughts anyone? I will open up the laptop if I find some free time within the week, in order to look for any obvious signs of hardware-related failure. But it would be good if I had a hint on something to focus.
     
  2. gabris[LT]

    gabris[LT] MDL Senior Member

    Nov 6, 2010
    434
    243
    10
    #2 gabris[LT], Feb 28, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
    1. Don't use HDD regenerator, its bullsh*t :) and it can cause hard drive failures, but not this time, I had few motherboards(with intel chipsets) that were causing hdd's to fail. You sure that you haven't dropped laptop? :D about cause I already have written somewhere, it was quite a long story :D

    UPDATE: seems almost 1:1 problems.
    now I'm using software called HDAT :D
    reflow of bridges should help, but haven't tried on my mobo :)
     
  3. x86

    x86 MDL Addicted

    Jul 8, 2011
    806
    199
    30
    Laptop has been dropped as you already guessed. That was my assumption that misled me into thinking that it was the cause for the bad sectors on the first HDD. Well, it may well be as well, but did also the drop damaged the mobo / controller? Btw, what do you mean by 'reflow' :confused:

    Also, all drivers I used - are the latest from the Toshiba (legacy) support site. Could try the latest Intel chipset INF bundle perhaps...
     
  4. gabris[LT]

    gabris[LT] MDL Senior Member

    Nov 6, 2010
    434
    243
    10
    drop shouldn't damage controller :) but sometimes(depends on structure of housing case) it can. Reflow can be done using tool called hot air soldering station. :) drivers can't affect HDD that even bad sectors occur. :) if there are few bad sectors on the hard disk and are in totally different locations it can be just exhaustion of hardware. :) and these sectors can be remaped(not using HDD regenerator), it they are in one line and there's 20-100 of them then it's been dropped :) I thought that it wasn't dropped so was looking to the hardware directly. :) use better software, not HDD regenerator, I had read analysis of HDD regenerator program code that has been made using backdoor programing, and it's awful, hdd regenerator is only capable to efectively restore bad sectors on FDDs and not HDDs. :)