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HD may be failing

My system is a Dell Optiplex GX200, 733mhz 20gig,128mb and running XP-Home Edition. During boot-upi usually get this error message "Dell Disk monitoring system has detected that drive "O" on the EIDE controller is operating outside of normal spec.Back data and replace HD" Now! (1)what is going on? (2)Is this HD failing? (3)If i copy this HD to new HD will the problem follow?
After this warning appears and you press F1 to continue, the system runs fine.
Thanks guys

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backup data - seriously!

In reply to: HD may be failing

1. System is probably, what, 5+ years old? Most new hard drives today have 1-5 year warranties. Optiplex is a business system--lots of read/writes, 9-5 plus workday, probably 70+ percent full. It's probably failing. Does it sound any different (mechanical failure)?

2. See #1

3. If the hard drive is indeed having a mechanical failure, the problem will not follow to the new hard drive.

You can run all sorts of diagnostics, repair tools, repartition and format it, and you might be able to fix it; however, I WOULD BACK UP ALL IMPORTANT DATA BEFORE DOING ANYTHING.

Scroll down alphabetially to the W's for your error msg:
Dell? OptiPlex? GX200 System User's Guide

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There really are methods to detect

In reply to: HD may be failing

incipient failures of hard drives. I have no idea how good Dell's software is, HOWEVER I would assume it is valid, back up everything necessary. Do you have the restore/recovery CD's. If not IMMEDIATELY check with the Dell website how to get them or burn them.

If you know the mfr of the drive, go to their site and download their diagnostic to run from a floppy and see if confirms what Dell says. Twouldn't be surprised to find that Dell's software is a copy or based on the smae diagnostics.

Any chance that the drive is still in warranty???

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