Hard Drive detects imminent failure on boot – what to do?

When booting a computer or laptop, some users may encounter messages like: SMART Failure Predicted on Hard Disk indicating the drive, SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure, SMART Status Bad and others: the specific text of the message will depend on the BIOS / UEFI of the motherboard.

This guide will tell you what to do if you encounter SMART error messages while loading and if you can fix the situation.

First Actions for SMART Failure, SMART Status Bad and Similar Errors

Many instructions on the topic in question suggest performing a disk check using chkdsk, Victoria and other tools for checking hard drives and SSDs, however, this cannot be called the most reasonable option if there is important data on the disk.

All the above messages indicate that the self-diagnosis (SMART) of the HDD or SSD reports the imminent failure of the drive. Moreover, the message usually suggests to create a backup copy of the data and replace the drive (Backup and replace). And that’s exactly what you should do in the first place – back up important data to a disk that is in good condition, in the cloud or on an external drive.

If, before copying important data, Victoria starts to scan the disk, there is a chance to find herself without access to the data on the disk: if its state is really critical, additional operations on the drive performed by the verification programs can lead to the fact that the state “SMART Failure Predicted” ( predicted failure), the drive will transition to an actual failure.

What to do after saving important data to HDD or SSD

After the important files have been saved, you can try to do something, although for the situation under consideration this is not always possible and in most cases the optimal solution is to replace the disk .

  1. Rarely, but for some SSDs, an error can be caused by a firmware error: check if there is a new firmware for your disk on the manufacturer’s website (or better, in the proprietary software for an SSD disk) and if installing it changes the situation.
  2. Check which SMART attributes are above the threshold (for example, in the CrystalDiskInfo program) and study what they are responsible for. In the case of SSD, you can also use the analysis of the state of the disk in the proprietary utility (official utilities can give a more accurate forecast), for more details – programs for SSD drives .
  3. Sometimes in BIOS / UEFI you can turn off the SMART Self Test (SMART Self Test) – in this case you will not receive SMART error messages when you turn on the computer, but the problem itself will not disappear from this, and with a high probability, sooner or later, the disk will fail.
  4. For HDD, you can try to check / fix in Victoria, but there is no guarantee that this will not make the situation worse. For SSDs, this scan is not worth doing.
  5. According to some reports, cleaning the disk pads, fixing power problems if any, testing the disk on another computer can help.
by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment