Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Harddisk Failure - Due to fan issue maybe?

  1. #1

    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1

    Harddisk Failure - Due to fan issue maybe?

    So I've made this paranoid habit of checking the event log on my laptop every 3-4 days and I noticed that the Disk Error 11 kept coming up. It was for harddisk 0. I literally spent hrs online trying to figure out which exactly would be 0. Turns out it was apparently iso files on my laptop trying to work or something (Don't quote me on that because now I'm certain that its wrong).

    Anyways I got worried so I got some Harddisk Monitoring and scanning software, and ran scans on my harddisk and there were no errors at all in the SMART scan's and I used 2 different programs just to make sure.

    So while I was doing my work today I realized I felt like the CPU was running a bit higher than it should have and that may be due to the fact that I hadn't restarted in a few days and probably had some background stuff running that I wasn't even aware of. Instead of just using taskmanager to check I opted to restart.

    And when I did the blue screen appeared. And not the typical one with some error code but rather just a blank blue. After some goggling on the ipad i figured out it was due to a harddisk problem. Seeing as I couldn't do anything but access the bios and not even start in safe mode I opened up my laptop and took the harddisk out and (this is probably awful but if anyone grew up with the oldschool NES you blew on the game to make it work--force of habit, thats exactly what I did) Plugged it back in and restarted. This time it actually went to diagnosing than the blue screen that asks if I want to restart or go into advance options. I clicked restart and not one time since has the hard disk been detected again.

    Now one thing I did notice was that my fan is making a weird sound, so I'm going to open that open and clean it, but I'd just like some advice on what to do exactly. At the moment my harddisk is in a static free bag in my freezer, and I have this feeling this is due to a fan failure rather than actual harddisk issue seeing as I just ran the smart scan and other tools not even 3 days prior.

    Do I get the new harddisk? Could this be due the fan failing and my laptop trying to 'protect' me? And how do I know if this is a cable problem, harddisk issue, motherboard issue etc. Googling can be so so bad. =/

    Thank you and have a great day!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Austin TX metro area
    Posts : 640
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit [MS blue-disk set]

    Do you have recent OS and data partition backups? If not, maybe you can backup the HD just before it goes, if it goes.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1

    I do, just the money and time with a new HD is what is making me so crazy about it. But thankfully I did a backup last week partitions and all. =]

    I did look it up though, its showing up on the BIOS but not booting from it so I'm just booting from the 8.1 installation USB for a restore point. Crossing my fingers, if that doesn't work I'll probably just end up reinstalling the OS again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    It was for harddisk 0. I literally spent hrs online trying to figure out which exactly would be 0.
    It should be noted that in computer terms, the first device is almost always labeled as #0. So if you have 3 drives, for example, Disk 0 will be the first, Disk 1, the second, and Disk 2 the third.

    This is often how RAM slots are labeled too. If you have 4 slots, they often are labeled Slot 0, Slot 1, Slot 2, and Slot 3.

    So if you look in Disk Management, you will see your first disk listed will be Disk 0.

    The freezer trick is a really really old trick that rarely ever worked. And note it was to free up seized motor bearings - the idea being freezing caused the bearings to contract (shrink slightly in size) so they could become unseized, allowing the platter motor to spin up long enough to copy off critical files before the worn bearings heated up, expanded, and seized again.

    Freezing can actually cause more damage due to moisture consolidating and crystalizing inside especially if the drive was not thoroughly sealed before putting it inside the freezer. Contrary to a somewhat popular belief, hard drives are NOT hermitically sealed.

    I recommend you take the drive out of the freezer and put it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for a few hours, then to the coldest part of your house for a few more hours.. This will allow the drive to slowly return to room temperature hopefully without developing condensation on any critical parts.

    Once warmed up again, I recommend attaching that drive to another computer through an adapter or enclosure, or installed in another computer as a secondary (not boot) drive, then try to copy off any data you don't want to lose. But don't get your hopes up.

    It is not like the fan caused this problem. While certainly heat is always a problem in notebooks, if your fan was failing, it is more likely the computer would have become unstable due to the CPU or other sensitive devices overheating before damaging the drive due to excess heat.

    And of course, hindsight is 20/20 but a primary reason for having current backups is drive failures.

    As for replacing the drive, can you boot into BIOS Setup Menu and navigate around okay? If so, then your computer itself may still be okay and a new drive may give it a couple more years of life. If you cannot even boot into and navigate the BIOS Setup Menu (all of which is BEFORE the boot drive is even touched) then the computer itself is having problems.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1

    I know I know, I just couldn't figure out what 0 actually meant, I'd like to chalk up my blonde moment to not being an actual blonde but just having a moment that would make you question why I couldn't figure out what Disk 0 was.

    The freezer thing was desperation. I have a 300GB folder on this laptop with just textbooks and video's for studying and with my exam coming up not having a working laptop was a cause for desperation and sticking my harddrive in the freezer. Looking back at it now I keep face palming... But as soon as I saw your message that day I did actually take your advice right away.

    And thank you for that response by the way, reading the last paragraph made me a little less panicky.

    I was wondering though, what the reason for my harddrive failing would be. Before giving it in and massive amounts of googling it seemed I would have to reinstall the OS. I really didn't want it to come to that because honestly its just a really big pain, so I gave to my laptop fixer people so see if they could do anything that I missed and if I needed to have the harddrive replaced. I had tried booting windows from the USB and running repairs, but not a single thing would work and basically the only option I saw was reinstalling it.

    Obviously I don't want this to happen again, but the failure seemed to be out of nowhere. And the dude who 'fixed' my laptop charged me $80 for installing Windows 8 on to it again, he didn't even bother to at least upgrade to 8.1 and wasn't able to tell me why it failed but just that I didn't need a new harddisk. (I'm sorry, I may be venting a bit, for a student with loads of debt thats a lot of money I don't have, for someone who just ran the installation for windows 8 and had to press yes a few times). Anyways, I've gotten a bit paranoid, so if you've got any ideas for why it may have failed I'm all ears.

    And again, thank you so much Itaregid, I was legit having the biggest defeated moment till your response. Much appreciated!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    I know I know, I just couldn't figure out what 0 actually meant, I'd like to chalk up my blonde moment to not being an actual blonde but just having a moment that would make you question why I couldn't figure out what Disk 0 was.
    Nah! You are being too hard on yourself here. "Zero-based numbering" came out of the programming world and just is not intuitive when most other counting methods start with 1.

    While hard drive technologies are actually very old, they are very complex electro-mechanical devices with many points for potential for failure. There's the motor to spin the platters (disks) at just the right speed. A "stepping" motor to move the read/write arm to the [hopefully] precise location over the stored data. And there is all the electronics to control those movements and manage the data.

    ALL drives WILL fail - eventually. This is why keeping current backups is so important. The mechanical side is subject to plain old wear and tear. And electronic devices actually age too - as the electrons flowing through them have mass and create friction as they bang around too. And finally, until Man (or Woman! ) can create perfection 100% of the time, there will always be samples that don't quite meet specifications and fail prematurely.

    And there are other reasons for drive failures not associated with component failure - to include data corruption due to power failures, malware, or just bad luck.

    It is fairly easy to determine if a drive works, or not. But because of the complexity and shear numbers of potential causes for failure, it would be very difficult (and expensive!) to determine the exact cause of a disk drive failure. Unless there was something visibly obvious (physical damage), the drive would have to be disassembled and each circuit and component tested. And that would be very time consuming (and again, expensive).

    I understand the frustration at not wanting to spend money you don't need to. And yes $80 is a lot as installing Windows is not really that hard - but it does take a lot of time (though admittedly, not constant baby-sitting during that time).

    Hopefully your disk is not on a downhill spiral. Since W8 was able to be installed on it, it sounds like it is doing okay. But you still need to perform regular backups of any data you don't want to lose.

    Now hit the books!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Harddisk Failure - Due to fan issue maybe?
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