SMART Hard Drive Errors

Dear Computer Lady,

Windows xp purchased in 2002 cybertron from tiger direct. Been having slow start up problems always get started but not easy latest problem computor said pri master hard drive disk s.m.a.r.t. status bad backup and replace. Also lots of error messages says program not responding.once said system has recovered from a serious error.


Dear Wayne,

It sounds like the hard drive on your 8 year old computer is starting to fail.
There are several things in your description that lead me to this conclusion, and I will explain them to you.

1. Slow start up problems. One of the classic signs of impending hard drive failure is a drastic slow down in computer operations. Often a computer that used to take two or three minutes to start up when you turn it on, will take 20 minutes or more.

2. The SMART (which stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is not working. This is software on the drive itself that monitors the drive for you and can give you advance warning of impending failure.

3. The age of your computer. The average computer today gets replaced every 5 years. Most computers experience some sort of failure between 5 and 10 years, and it is a rare few that continue to operate beyond 10 years of age.

What should you do? The first thing is to make sure your important files are all backed up. Don’t turn the computer on again until you are ready to back these files up.

Once you have saved your important files, you can look at your options. You can replace the hard drive. Did the manufacturer ship the computer with system recovery disks? Since any recovery files that were located on the hard drive are lost with the drive failure, you would need to reinstall from CDs or DVDs. If you have disks, you can probably get a replacement drive for under a hundred dollars, and run the recovery disk. This MIGHT give you a few more years of operation, but it won’t guarantee that other parts in the system won’t begin to fail.

If the system did not ship with any recovery CDs, you might have to contact the manufacturer and see if they will provide you with a set. Most companies keep masters on hand for a few years, but usually not 8 years.


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