Resolved Question

Possible hard drive failure

So i have an alienware m11x r3 and right now im not 100% sure if the hard drive is bad, the motherboard is bad or if there is a loose cable. I ran diagnostics from the boot menu and everything passed intial tests but when i ran additional tests it came up with a failure code 2000-0142. said hard drive self test failed. When i ran the diagnostics tool on the dell website for the hard drive it stopped at targeted read test and said diagnostics tried to open a program but failed. Also everything runs fine except games when i attempt to run world of warcraft i get the bsod attempt to reset display driver and recover from timeout failed code 0000116 and all my drivers are up to date. I am running windows 7.

Discussion is locked
mike0244888 has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
Reply to: Possible hard drive failure
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Possible hard drive failure
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Best Answer

- Collapse -
if you are not worried about data loss...

Ok so heres a handy trick that I found NORMALLY repairs corrupt or damaged hard drives, unless there is physical damage. If you are fairly competent with computers I highly recommend this as it's worked for me hundreds of times with many different HDD problems. First thing to check is if the laptops BIOS recognises the hard drive. It may not recognise it as a master or slave drive for some reason so hunting around in there may be advisable. If it is not in there at all the MBR (master boot record) is probably corrupt, but you will be erasing that anyway after a while. The next step is to get hold of a linux bootable cd. If you have a second computer (which judging by the fact that you are posting on here I guess you do have) go to the ubuntu website and download an iso, just get 32bit even though you have a 64bit processor because 32bit will run smoother. Now once you have downloaded that, burn it to a CD or DVD, or you can even install it to a usb drive which is always handy and your laptop is fairly new so it will support booting from a usb device. Once you have done all this, pop the CD/DVD/USB into your laptop, power on and enter the one-time boot menu (normally by hitting F11 or F12, may be different so observe the inital loading screen or if this is no help, google is your friend Happy ). Now you dont want to install linux, you want to run it live so DO NOT install it. Once Ubuntu has loaded run Gparted, you may need to install it I use older versions of linux where this was already installed but (if my memory serves well) it is not included in newer versions. If you need to install it go to the ubuntu software center and type Gparted and it will appear on a list, dont use KDE its rubbish! Well, maybe not rubbish but it wont help fix your problem. Now open it. If your drive appears, HAPPY DAYS! If not you may need to unplug and replug the HDD then refresh the list. When your drive appears, delete ALL partitions. And I mean, ALL partitions. I have noticed that where a Windows install cd will pick up the normal partitions, and a system reserved partition, linux seems to notice one or 2 more. If you are asked if you want to erase the MBR, do it! When you reinstall windows if your hard drive does not have an MBR windows will write its own, but if your hdd does have an MBR windows will only add onto it to allow you to boot into windows. Once your hard drive is completely erased, you can reboot your laptop, and proceed to reinstall windows. I hope this helps, let me know if you try this and run into problems.

- Collapse -

Ty both for the help but I actually just heard from alienware and they said because of all the problems its had in the last year they are going to send me out an m14x which I was informed by the VP of alien ware that they should have done that after the 3rd hard drive failure. But thank you again for the help and I'll definately keep that information in mind I I have another hard drive failure down the road

- Collapse -
If the drive was bad

You would not be able to boot up. So let's go with it's possible failing. But first, this is a GAMING LAPTOP which requires you get out the CANNED AIR every month.

Did the owner keep up with the cleaning?

- Collapse -
cleaning the computer

I bought it last year in July brand new off the website and have cleaned it about 10 times since then but its been probably a month since its been cleaned and now it won't boot up and doesn't detect the hard drive.

- Collapse -
cleaning the computer(cont)

I just cleaned it and the hard drive is still not detected.

- Collapse -
More details please.

If the hard drive is not detected, how would you be able to boot Windows?

"Also everything runs fine except games when i attempt to run world of warcraft "

I haven't seen this model with more than one HDD.

- Collapse -
boot up

The computer won't boot up windows anymore just sits at a black screen on start up and when I open the setup screen it says no hard drive detected

- Collapse -
boot up (cont)

When I start it up it sits at a black screen and so I press f12 for the boot manager and when it pops up the only options are network diagnostics and enter setup. When I open diagnostics it sits at a black screen and won't even run diagnostics now.

- Collapse -
That's another sign of a wonky HDD.

The bios/diag/windows can delay or never come back.

But the acid test I use is pretty simple. I unplug the HDD and try again with no HDD.

HDD's are dirt cheap compared to a visit to a shop counter. Try one.

PS. Sorry but all I have are your words about the issue. Your top post shared a scenario where Windows worked but the diag didn't so I was asking for more clues or clarification which you've done.

- Collapse -

I apologize if I didn't give enough details I don't know anything on troubleshooting a laptop. I've tried reinstalling windows checked the cabling inside the laptop but when I bought the laptop it came with a bad mother board and alien ware support replaced 4 hard drives in it before they figured out the motherboard was bad but imma try replacing the hard drive and if it works then great if not I'm probably gonna look at a different laptop. Ty for the help and sorry again about the lack of details

- Collapse -
There was detail but

You can read where I couldn't tell if WIndows didn't load.

Given the price of a HDD, we always pop one of those in first. At the shop they lay around just for such tests.

CNET Forums