View Full Version : Hard Drive Failure?

04-15-2007, 11:52 AM

I have a Dell Inspiron 600M, 2ghz PentiumM, 2 gb RAM, Windows XP Home.

Here's my problem. I was organizing files this morning when AVG antivirus started it's daily run. I sometimes cancel its scan and there's never been a problem. But today I canceled the scan and the computer froze up. I restarted the system, and it loaded the OS but it did so VERY slowly. Then I shut the computer down again, booted up into safe mode, and ran checkdisk. It wasn't able to complete the test. I forgot to write down why. Anyway, I started up the laptop again and ran Dell's DST Short Status Test and it gives me this:

Error Code: 1000-0142
msg: Unit 4: Drive self test
failed status Byte = 89

I then ran Dell's Diagnostic IDE Read Test, which verifies the ability of an IDE drive to read data. It came up with a bunch of the same errors. This is an example:

Error Code: 0F00:0244
msg. Block 9870020:Uncorrectable
data error or media is write protected

Now I checked online about the DST Short Status Test and found out that this indicates hard drive failure and that the drive should be replaced. Others, however, recommended using the Windows Recovery Console to fix the problem. The problem with this is that I supposedly need my original Windows XP disk which I don't have. But Dell did install a copy of Windows on a separate partition. Would reinstalling the OS from that partition solve my problems, or do I really need to get a new hard drive? Please tell me this can be solved without me getting a new hard drive, because then I would need to buy a new OS as well, since I lost my original Windows XP disk.

BTW, I'm using my laptop as I type in Safe Mode with Networking and it seems to be pretty well, although it's a little sluggish.

Any help would be appreciated.

Paul Komski
04-16-2007, 12:03 AM
You shouldn.t need to buy a new OS as long as you have the product key code. You can use any installation CD of the same version as is currently installed.

Backup up important data now and consider backing up the drivers into the bargain. Dell usually has them in a drivers folder on the C drive.

Don't trust a drive that shows any sign of failure. The restore partition could be imaged to DVD or CDs or to an external drive using BiNG. In fact all the partition s could be imaged in this way if you have enough space. The images can then be used to restore the system onto a new replacement drive.

Personally I would get a new drive in a usb enclosure and clone the current onto the new drive. Then swap the drives from enclosure to laptop and use the original drive as a backup device - for as long as it continues to function of course.

04-23-2007, 02:34 PM

Iím at Dell Headquarters in Austin, Texas and I wanted to add to the thread. It looks like the HDD is shot and I agree with Paul that the primary concern at this point should be trying to save your data. Often times when a HDD begins to go out like this you have a very limited amount of use left in it and you should not boot it up needlessly since each boot up may be the last it can handle. Once the data is safe then you can try a running a repair on it but I don't know if I would trust the drive any longer.

If the system is under contract I can send out a HDD and the OS CD. If not you'd have to buy the HDD yourself but we can still send out the OS CD at no cost. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

Dell, Inc.