Hard Drive Failure Errors: Imminent Failure, Smart, BIOHD, HD535, etc
The information applies to HP Desktop PCs.
Most HP Desktop PCs have SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology System) capable hard drives. SMART is firmware that resides on the hard drive and continuously monitors drive parameters such as performance and error rates. SMART uses a technology known as predictive failure analysis to tell you when a hard drive failure is imminent.
Common SMART errors are:
- Hard disk failure is imminent.
- A hard drive in the system reports that it may fail.
- Smart failure imminent, back up your data
- Error 1720 Imminent Hard Drive Failure
- HP Hardware Diagnostic errors that start with HD521
The use of SMART does not prevent all hard drive failures, but it can give you the opportunity to back up your personal files and replace the hard drive before it fails.
Saving files before replacing a hard drive
Before replacing the hard drive, create a set of recovery discs, and then back up your personal files to an external storage device, such as a USB drive, recordable discs, or another hard drive. After installing a new hard drive and performing a system recovery, the new hard drive will only have the operating system loaded. Personal files can be restored to the new hard drive after completing a system recovery.
To create a set of recovery discs, see the document that matches the version of Windows installed on the computer:
To back up your files, see the document that matches the version of Windows installed on the computer:
Checking for hard drive updates
Common SMART errors indicate the hard drive might fail. Back up your data before it is lost. However, there might be certain conditions that cause a hard drive failure message to display when a problem does not exist (a false positive).
Fix false positive hard drive errors by updating the hard drive firmware. To check whether an update is available, see Get software and drivers . Type the model number of your computer, and then click the links that pertain to the computer configuration. On the software download page for the computer model, look for hard drive downloads, such as Seagate SATA Hard Disk Drive Utility or similar. If a hard drive update is available, install the update to prevent future false positive errors.
Testing the hard drive
If your computer has BIOS version 6 or less, you can run either the F9 Diagnostic Tools utility or the F10 Smart Support test to check for hard drive errors. For computers with BIOS version 7 or greater, run the HP Vision Hardware Diagnostics program, which includes a S.M.A.R.T. hard drive test.
If your computer was manufactured in 2008 or later, you might be able to run a hardware diagnostic test during the startup process. If the F9 Diagnostic Tools utility is not available, run the F10 SMART Support test.
If your computer was manufactured in 2008 or later, you might be able to run a hardware diagnostic test during the startup process. To do so, turn on the computer, and then press the F9 key during the boot screen with the either the HP or Compaq logo.
The Diagnostic Tools utility opens and performs a variety of hardware tests. Green checkmarks are displayed next to hardware items that pass the diagnostic test, and any problems found are reported.
NOTE:If any of the hard drive tests fail, back up your files, create recovery disks, and then replace the hard drive.
If the F9 Diagnostic Tools utility is not available, run the F10 SMART Support test by completing the following steps:
- Turn on the computer.
- Use one of the following methods to enter the BIOS Setup utility:
- If your computer was built in 2006 or later (Windows 7 or Vista), immediately press the F10 key. You might need to press the key repeatedly, about once every second, until a BIOS Setup utility screen opens.
- If your computer was built before 2006 (Windows XP or earlier), press the F1 key . You might need to press the key repeatedly, about once every second, until a BIOS Setup utility screen opens.
- Use the arrow keys to select a hard drive in the list, and then press the Enter key.
- Select SMART Support, and then press the Enter key.
- Select one of the following hard drive device tests:
- SMART Status Check: Checks the status of the hard drive SMART status. Displays whether SMART support is enabled or disabled.
- SMART Short Self-Test: Runs a short self-test on the hard drive.
- SMART Extended Self-Test: Runs an extended self-test on the hard drive. This may take some time.
- Press the Enter key to start the test.
- The test begins and the test status displays.
- Press the Esc key when the test is complete.NOTE:If the test fails, back up your files, create recovery disks, and then replace the hard drive.
Complete the following steps to run the HP Vision Hardware Diagnostics program, which includes a S.M.A.R.T. hard drive test:
- Turn off the computer.
- Use one of the following methods:
- Turn on the computer and immediately press the F2 key repeatedly, about once every second, until the HP Vision Hardware Diagnostics program opens.
- Wait while the diagnostic automatically runs the following tests:
- CPU test
- Hard Drive Connection test
- Boot test
- S.M.A.R.T. test (hard drive test)
- Memory test
- When the testing is complete, the results display on the screen. If the S.M.A.R.T. test fails, write down the error message and error code so you have the information when you contact HP Support.
- Press the R key to reboot the computer.
Defragmenting the hard drive
To keep using the drive, knowing that it could fail at any time, use Disk Defragmenter to consolidate files and move them to another section of the drive where errors are less likely to occur. For optimal hard drive performance, periodically run the Disk Defragmenter tool. In addition to using Disk Defragmenter, back up your personal files to external storage device on a regular basis.
Follow these steps to defragment the drive in Windows 8.
- Press the Windows key + W to open the Settings panel, then type optimize in the search field.
- Click Defragment and optimize drives in the list of settings that displays. The Optimize Drives window opens.
- In the Optimize Drives window, click the drive you want to defragment, usually the C: drive, then click Optimize.
- When the optimization is complete, click Close.
- Click Start, and then click My Computer.
- Right-click the icon for the hard drive to defragment, and then click Properties.
- Click the Tools tab, and then click Defragment Now.
- Click Defragment to start the process.
- Click Start, click Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
- Select the drive.
- Click Defragment to start the process.
NOTE:If the steps in this document failed to resolve the issue, the hard drive might have failed. If your computer was purchased after 2001, there likely is a software program provided by HP to test the hard drive. For more information, see the document that matches the version of Windows installed on the computer:
Replacing the hard drive
If the computer is in warranty, contact HP Customer Support for assistance in replacing the hard drive. After replacing the hard drive, use recovery discs to replace the software that came with the computer.
If the computer is out of warranty, most retail computer stores can help you select a replacement hard drive. Many computer stores can replace hard drives for a fee. Buy and install a hard drive with a storage capacity similar to or larger than the original hard drive.
If you want to install the hard drive yourself, follow the installation instructions that come with the new drive. You can also search HP Customer Care for hard drive replacement documents, or refer to the in-box documentation that came with the computer for information about opening the case and installing a hard drive.
After replacing the hard drive, use recovery discs to replace the software that came with the computer.
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