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howgwyn
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-29-2010
Location: US
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Imminent hard drive failure

For the past month my U350 has been having unpredictable lags that eventually lead to freezing and forced shut downs.  There are times when the computer is completely unusable yet times when it's completely normal so I don't know what to do.  Based on what I've read this sounds like a really bad virus or the beginning of hard drive failure of some sort but I was hoping to get a clearer answer before trying to send it in. 

 

The details:

I've gotten tons of error messages and "disk check" frequently runs and tells me that "windows replaced bad clusters in file -insert hundreds of file names here-'".  Initially I thought I had a virus so I ran lots of virus scans which turned up nothing.  This "corrupted sectors" issue kept occurring and eventually the computer started up with "startup repair" to "repair disk errors" yet the lagging only got worse.  Two days ago I decided to restore the computer to factory settings and for the first day it seemed like new and was back to normal.  But then last night the freezing and lagging came back again which of course led to a crash a disk check at startup that took 7+ hours to complete.   

 

Dilemma:

Currently I'm traveling in South America which is why I hesitate to simply send the computer to a service center in the US.  I'd really like to avoid traveling for the next couple of months with no way to store pictures or communicate.  Today I called the US tech line and the guy I spoke with was unable to give me any clear answers as to what could be wrong with the computer and what I should do.  On Monday I'm going to attempt contacting the service center here in Chile because the US tech support person I spoke with said they maybe able to help me (even though the Lenovo website says my computer is not eligible for international warranty support) to see if that's an option.  

 

I'm a little stressed out and any advice would be greatly appreciated:

1- does this sound like an imminent hard drive failure and 2- would waiting to send the laptop in for repairs make matters worse?

 

All of my important documents are backed up and the computer is running Win 7 Premium - 64 bit, Intel U4100 @ 1.30GHZ, 3GB and the "limited warranty" expires mid-Feb (I should be back in the US by early Jan at the latest).

XBrav
Posts: 532
Topics: 16
Kudos: 82
Blog Posts: 0
Solutions: 37
Registered: ‎07-13-2010
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Re: Imminent hard drive failure

Well, there is a way to verify it.

 

Go to www.wdc.com, find your hard drive model, and download the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic. This'll tell you the health of the drive.

 

If it says ANYTHING is wrong, then you'll need a new hard drive.

 

If you are under warranty, I would advise sending the laptop in for repair, however, it will come back in factory condition. Namely, all your data will be gone.

 

Back up whatever you can, but yeah, send it off for repair.

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IPnaSh
Posts: 2,403
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Registered: ‎06-05-2010
Location: Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
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Re: Imminent hard drive failure

Download Hiren's Boot CD from http://www.hirensbootcd.net/download.html and boot with it.

 

It will show a menu with some options. You can use "Hard disk tools" to test your hard disk. It's important to know which brand is yours, because every manufacturer has a "testing tool" for his hard disks.

IPnaSh
First Spanish Community Guru - Colaborador ad honorem

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howgwyn
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-29-2010
Location: US
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Re: Imminent hard drive failure

Thanks for the tip- downloaded WD's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows and ran the extended test and of course my drive failed the test and the program was unable to repair it.  Bleh so I guess I've got to get a new hard drive.