Hard drive is failing and need some advice.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DubLogic19, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. DubLogic19 macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2011
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    South Carolina
    #1
    Well guys, the first MAJOR issue I've ever found on my mid-2011 MBP, and I know this is something everybody will most likely encounter at some point. I went to upgrade to Yosemite, and it told me S.M.A.R.T. had encountered problems and was failing, or however the message goes. I checked my disk utilities and lo and behold, my drive is failing. I downloaded the trial version of SMART Utility and got a more detailed report, I have a bad sector. I do not know if the damage to my sector is soft or hard, fixable or not. Disk Utility says the problem cannot be fixed. What steps should I take in attempting to fix it? and if indeed it cannot be fixed, can you please help in picking out a new harddrive? I'm not sure if I'm still covered under warrant at this point, I did have Apple do one fix a year ago under warranty. I do have somebody skilled enough to do the repair if I just bought a new drive. Thank you all very much. :apple:
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #2
    Those use a standard SATA laptop drive like this one.

    If you have your drive backed up, you can try erasing the drive and restoring from backup. There are also aftermarket tools like Disk Warrior you can try, but they cost money (often more than a new drive).
     
  3. DubLogic19 thread starter macrumors member

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    South Carolina
    #3
    My drive is indeed backed up, only recently however. I do have one backup on another external drive from a few months back, I'd likely lose a good bit of data.
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #4
    You still have apple care??

    Well you could get apple to fix it again and they'll recover your data. To be honest though swap to an SSD it'll be like having a brand new computer. You should be able to clone your current drive if it'll still run in mavericks and keep all your data. The replace with and SSD and update to yosemite.
     
  5. DubLogic19 thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    I'm running Mavericks and the Mac is still running fine, I do currently have Time Machine running, everyday. When you say clone my current drive do you just mean with TM ?
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Yep

    Yeah you can just install an ssd and then reboot from the TM backup, then do the Yosemite update.
    Or you can clone the drive using a USB enclosure and a new drive and just pop it in the mac.
    Or create a Yosemite USB bootable stick, install the new drive do a fresh install of Yosemite and Migrate your data back accross from your TM backup or the original drive in a USB enclosure.

    As you can see there are a fair few options.

    I do suggest an SSD if you currently aren't using one, the difference is night and day for booting, app opening, web surfing and everyday use; they really do make your machine fly
     
  7. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    Hamilton, Ontario
    #7
    funny I just started to notice this on my 2nd drive in the optical bay, it says failing, I obviously back it up often

    is there any chance its just getting that message due to it being in the optical bay?
     
  8. rigormortis, Nov 4, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #8
    backup to time machine
    buy new hard drive

    once an operating system reports a S.M.A.R.T. error the drive is SHOT and no utility will fix it.
    if you have any errors on the hard disk and the s.m.a.r.t. has not been blown then its possible to use programs like hdd regenrator, spinrite, disk warrior to get the drive going.


    explanation:

    hard drives used to come with a bad sector table. you formatted the drive and entered various tracks and sectors to lock out the sectors. and you formatted the drive and if you found a new bad sector you had to mark it. and that was it

    new hard drives cannot be made with no errors what so ever. they automatically fix errors on the fly and its these errors that are invisible to the operating system. when a hard disk detects an error or a weak part of the disk, it will automatically move its data to a spare sector. hard drives come with a certain number of spare sectors, and once these sectors are gone, no more error correction can be made.

    the smart sensor is a fuse. and it blows like a fuse. once your smart sensor has popped thats it. the drive should be thrown out and replaced. as long as the smart sensor has not been tripped , the hard disk can have errors on it but all those errors are invisible to the operating system because the hard disk's error correction mechanism is working and fully functional. a blown smart sensor means that the error correction mechanism is no longer functional and the drive has gone bad


    if you bought a "retail" drive one that came in a "retail" box it may have a 3 to 5 year warranty. if the hard disk came as a "part" then its up to the manufacturer of the computer to replace your hard disk.

    consider changing your topic of this thread to "my hard drive HAS FAILED" a blown smart sensor indicates it HAS FAILED.
     
  9. DubLogic19 thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Can you find an SSD with atleast 1 TB?
    Also, if I use my most recent back up, one which was saved while having a failing hard drive, will that be a problem when I use it to restore my data on a brand new hard drive?
     
  10. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

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    #10
    I bought one frome crucial a year ago, it was the best upgrade I ever bought.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    It's probably inadvisable to spend the $$$ for a 1tb SSD.

    I'd recommend 480-512gb if you don't mind spending the money (which will probably be about $200+/-).

    The drive swap itself is easy, but BE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB (shouting intentional).

    Also, I'd recommend that you "prep" the drive BEFORE you "do the swap". I'd suggest buying a USB3/SATA docking station for about $24 or so. It will make this task -easy- and you can do a test boot from the dock to be sure the new drive is running properly before you do computer surgery.

    Also, once you get the old drive out, you can put it into the dock and get what you need from it.
     
  12. rigormortis, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #12
    if the smart sensor has blown and you are able to actually get anything off of it, you have won the lottery.

    that guy who wrote that smart utility program is a genius. a smart error means throw the drive way you cannot fix it. so he tells you the specific reason for throwing it away and then charges for it. which is something the hard drive companies do for free, with programs like SEATOOLS and Hitachi DST

    the computers bios checks the smart sensor at every boot up. that is something you do not have to pay for.
    heck, apple diagnostics probably reads the smart sensor, and every mac comes with it for free.

    once the smart has blown there is nothing you can do except salvage your data and throw your drive out
    what do you get if you actually pay for that program? what could it possibly do that is worth paying money for? maybe it calls seagate with your serial # and sees if your drive is under warranty and prints out a shipping label?

    a smart error cannot be undone.

    once the smart has blown there is nothing you can do to fix the drive. and you have to throw it out. if the bios / disk utility detects a smart error, save your money, don't pay for any utilities that claim to give you a detailed smart report. save that money for a new hard disk

    the term "soft error" or "hard error" when it comes with bad sectors is meaningless.

    your hard disk came with bad sectors. it also came with spare sectors. if the hard disk's intelligence detects a bad sector over its operational life , it is reallocated to a spare sector, without the computer even knowing. once the computer finds out about a bad sector, it means your drive has failed. and you throw away the drive

    smart sensor blown means "hard",it means there is a irrecoverable physical hardware error to the drive and the drive can't fix it and it has failed, and no paid utility will be able to do anything.

    if your hard drive is under warranty, they will ask you for an error code from their free testing program , like sea tools before they replace it. they won't give you an RMA if you tell them i paid for another program


    if the smart sensor wasn't blown then its possible to use hdd regenerator to look for potential weak spots and to revive them
     
  13. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #13
    if you go to a computer repair store or an apple store, or geek squad and you tell them , "my hard drive's smart sensor has blown" and they tell you that it just means you need to Low Level Format the drive, RUN AWAY

    Thats one of my pet peeves about hard disks. people still think you can low level format a hard drive. something that has been impossible since 1986. that is why i am so mad about s.m.a.r.t. utility saying it has some functionality that its worth registering it. that program has no practical use what so ever.

    paying $5 for usps flat rate priority mail to send your drive back to seagate will produce more results then any hard drive utility can do, when the smart fuse has blown
     
  14. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2009
    #14
    Apple don't do data recovery. If the drive fails, you're SOL or you pay for a data recovery place.

    If the drive is still working, buy an SSD and a 2.5" enclosure.

    You can clone your drive, or start from scratch.

    Personally I'd start from scratch and pull only the data from the HDD. It'll put less stress on it.
     
  15. DubLogic19 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2011
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    South Carolina
    #15
    UPDATE: I came home from work this morning to a dead Mac (I normally leave it asleep) try to boot it up and it doesn't make it past the start screen, I will be going with a SSD and possibly doing the repair myself. Anything I should know before I try to do it myself, besides what has already been said? I'll probably end up trying to find some good YouTube videos to help me through the process. Thanks for everybodies input so far.
     
  16. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #16
    Use a magnet to keep your screws together (they're small and easy to lose), and make a note of which length screw goes where.

    Disconnect the battery once you've taken the bottom cover off, and don't forget to reconnect the battery just before you put the bottom cover back on.
     

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