General discussion

Hard drive error checking will take days (literally)

So last night my laptop was just sitting there, downloading a film but not being used otherwise, when it made a small noise and went to a blue screen telling me that there was no hard drive recognised. I restarted it and it seemed to be fixed but I wanted to know what caused this and try and fix it so it wouldn't happen again or get worse.

I started an error check on my hard drive (Right click it, properties, error check, tick both boxes, restart so it will work) and it has been going for hours. I started it last night at around 10 PM and 6:30 PM the next day it is still going.

It is currently on stage 5 of 5, 63 percent complete and it says "CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)... 63% complete. (26350811 of 44921117 free clusters processed)". It seems to move the amount of clusters processed up in a few hundred thousands and the past 2 changes in this number have taken about 20 minutes each.

Above this it says that it replaced bad clusters in a file, this was part of stage 4. The laptop also seems to make a small clicking noise (similar to that of a clock hand ticking) every 2-4 seconds with every other click followed by a small beeping noise.

The process seems to be going at an incredibly slow rate so I am wondering whether to leave it or stop it and do something else?

P.S. It's Dell Insipiron 1545 laptop, Windows 7

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The slow speed is typical for a failing drive.

The only way I've speed that up is to install a new drive, use the restore media and in a few hours the machine is running again ready for us to restore our stuff from backup.

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Unsure of what to do

Do you mean I have to stop the disk checking it is currently doing and reinstall the OS from CD? Or did you mean something else?

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Sorry if I was unclear.

I thought I wrote to put in a new hard drive. Sorry but I re-read my post and maybe I could rewrite it?

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Can't really do that

Ah right I get it now.

Well with this being a relatively new laptop and money being rather tight I really don't want to buy a new hard drive.

What would really happen if I were to just turn off the computer? Would it cause any harm/cause more problems? Or do I really have to just let this go for a few days?

P.S. My friend said that the ticking noise could mean the hard drive finding an error or something and causing it to rewind to try and reread it. Are there any solutions to this?

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My answers try to give

I try to give the answer that will fix the issues rather than workarounds that usually don't hold up for long. It sounds like a bum drive and if you don't CANCEL and instead pull the plug sometimes but not always the drive fails to boot or there are corrupt files.

It will NOT harm the drive. Just the files or OS on the drive. Some think that it would harm the drive.

If the machine is in warranty, ask for a drive.

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In my experience....

1. Take Mr. Proffits suggestions to heart.
2. Your hard drive is gone, or nearly so.
The clicking you hear (IMHO) is because
the drive cannot even read the header of
the sector, so it "seeks home" - track 0,
sector 0, cylinder 0. (It wants to verify it
knows where it's at.) Then it re-attempts
the read of the requested sector. Internal
software within the drive determines how many
times it re-tries this before reporting an
error back to the system. (Chime in here, Bob,
but back in the day this is how OUR drives worked..)

3. Your drive is toast, and you may, via another
persons computer, be able to download the
drive diagnostics directly from the drive maker.
Usually you can get this formatted to a floppy or
a bootable CD. Download and run this - the drive
maker may require the error codes/description to
provide a warranty replacement.

Hope this has helped..........

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Your hd is going south

Exit/cancel out of the test.


Warranty?.......Call Dell.

Be aware.....Dell will not accept 3rd party tools as justification to replace a hd.....unless you want to fight with them.

What they will accept is a failure in the Dell diags.

These diags are located on the Dell partition or on media that came with the machine.

Load the diags......navigate to the hd test section.

Here you will find quick test and long test.....or something to that the quick.....if it fails your Dell.

If it does not fail run the long test.....multi-hrs.....if it fails call Dell.

If the quick test runs but the long test fails DO NOT let Dell just run the quick test and tell you the hd is OK.

Get your DUCKS-IN-A-ROW before you call.

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Thank you

I finally did cancel it earlier, it seems to be running fine.

But thank you very much and I will definitely go through that list to make sure I get everything sorted.

Thanks again.

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