Possible HDD going bad-maybe?

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Sonik Wiz

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And a reminder to clean your heat sinks every few years if not more often. This is last year on my "upstairs/family" PC after running ~5 years with out cleaning:

2020-01-27 10.25.02.jpg


The power supply went bad so while I was working on it I figured I might check.... Cleaned up like brand new.
i7 920, 16 GB RAM, SSD for OS & apps, 3TB HDD for data. I clone the C drive about 2X a year. Not much changes on it except for Windows updates. Even my browser cache is moved to the data drive. Oh, and for those that use Firefox do look into to how easy (and important) it is too back up your profile info to a flash drive, what ever.
 

J. PUPSTER

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If any of you aren't already cloning your system drive to create a backup, start doing that today!

Grab a portable USB 2TB for $60.
Grab one of the cloning apps. Macrium as mentioned should work. I've been using Carbon Copy Cloner for years but I think it's still Mac only.

Clone your system drive.
Now boot off the clone. There's your identical cloned system booting and looking like it always does.
Now boot back off your primary drive. You're back!

Now you'll have gone through the motions and be prepared when actually swapping in a new drive after a failure. (Or simply an upgrade.)

Having extra copies of your system kicking around that boot is the way to be.
Computers tend to have two use modes: Computer and Paperweight
Backups are a good thing. You hopefully save some your files already. Start saving your OS installs. :)
How's this one look, figured I should just go ahead and do a full clone as suggested?
My C: drive on the Dell is only about 616GB right now.

Although I'm still on the fence about also keeping an old OS like Win. 7 for a newer SSD down the road with Win. 10.
(I seem to remember Jim's mainly a Mac guy though right?)

I'm just soooo comfortable with that old Win. 7 machine, the OS rarely gives me problems.
 

Sonik Wiz

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How's this one look, figured I should just go ahead and do a full clone as suggested?
My C: drive on the Dell is only about 616GB right now.

Although I'm still on the fence about also keeping an old OS like Win. 7 for a newer SSD down the road with Win. 10.
(I seem to remember Jim's mainly a Mac guy though right?)

I'm just soooo comfortable with that old Win. 7 machine, the OS rarely gives me problems.
No Sir. You do not want an external hard drive. You want to use a docking station like this:


along with an internal hard drive. The whole point being if your present HDD craps out you simply switch it out with a cloned replacement. Ya can not do that if the drive is in an enclosure.

I feel the same way about Win 7 also. Now AA 3 works fine on Win 10 but I so many little speciality audio/video apps on that machinethat I'm sure something I know & love will not work on Win 10.
 

jimfisheye

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How's this one look, figured I should just go ahead and do a full clone as suggested?
My C: drive on the Dell is only about 616GB right now.

Although I'm still on the fence about also keeping an old OS like Win. 7 for a newer SSD down the road with Win. 10.
(I seem to remember Jim's mainly a Mac guy though right?)

I'm just soooo comfortable with that old Win. 7 machine, the OS rarely gives me problems.
Yeah, like that one. :)

Tip: Always format new hard drives yourself. They usually come out of the box with a 'lowest common denominator' format. Sometimes they have garbage apps tagging along.

Mac guy here, yes. (And then looking to Linux as the Apple rots. But a little lazy and OSX still works and runs everything today.)

Digital data...
Less than two copies is considered zero copies. 3 is considered minimum for "being serious".

As far as keeping old systems on hand.
I have my laptop SSD partitioned into 3 volumes. (And then a 2TB data drive in the optical bay.)
Old 10.6.8 system
10.13.6
Whatever the new one is to evaluate.
My Mac Pro has 10.13.6 and 10.6.8 systems on separate SSDs. That's the "work" machine. Laptop is day to day and anything goes. And ultimate backup if disaster strikes the work machine.

Apple has their brick bug situation right now which is still unresolved. I'm camping in 10.13.6 until that changes. Who knows. Could be the very last stable MacOS. Kinda look that way right now.

When I archive a disk image file (instead of a live volume) to keep an old system, any data is always separate. The OS/apps/library install is usually anywhere from 20GB to 50GB. (That's with a lot of app files. To me anyway! I'm not a sample playing musician. Sample libraries can be 100's of GB for those guys.)

Note: That USB external is a fine choice for a spare backup volume. That's what I was suggesting.
If you're looking for a new internal drive to upgrade to, you'll obviously want just an internal drive. You'll need an adapter or docking station to facilitate connecting that while your internal bay is still occupied.

We're talking about SATA connecting drives in all this.
If you have a newer generation machine that uses the pci connecting NVME "blade" SSDs, take a GOOD look at the M.2 connector! There are about 25 variations on the M.2 connector at present.
 
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Guy Robinson

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When I build a new system every so often too. Goes without saying to keep your old/current ones though. And retired systems are saved as a disk image (just the OS/apps/libraries). Why would you throw something out you spent time building, right?
When I build a new computer (I rarely buy one already built), I like to choose the best parts within reason price wise. I usually get rid of the old computer after removing any drives in it. Then I reformat those drives and use them somewhere else as long as they are large enough. I know I will never use the old computer again so why keep it.
 

HomerJAU

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I still have my previous PC with its c: drive (ssd) still in. I only keep it because my new one won’t run the DTS HD Encoder (I’ve only used the encoder once in last two years or so... Maybe it’s time for it to go after all)
 

jimfisheye

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When I build a new computer (I rarely buy one already built), I like to choose the best parts within reason price wise. I usually get rid of the old computer after removing any drives in it. Then I reformat those drives and use them somewhere else as long as they are large enough. I know I will never use the old computer again so why keep it.
I mean "building" the OS/app install.

Booted into my old 10.6.8 install just the other week to author a DVDA disk image with DiskWelder. That lives in my 10.6.8 install. It was a short lived and Windows only app and my 10.6.8 has the Wine install to just run Windows apps in OSX.

Can't remember the last time before that recently though. :D

I keep the major systems I've built. I let the "in between" ones go.
I've decided that's 10.6.8, 10.13.6, and then... can't really predict!
 

ar surround

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Apple has their brick bug situation right now which is still unresolved. I'm camping in 10.13.6 until that changes. Who knows. Could be the very last stable MacOS. Kinda look that way right now.
What is a brick bug? I recently got a new Mac desktop...21" with 3.6GHz Intel processor, 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD. Catalina OS 10.15.5. Lighting fast...when it's behaving itself. But everything I did on the old Mac seems like reinventing the wheel on this new machine. And sometimes the internet speed for the whole household goes to pot until I reboot my Mac to restore the speed.

Then today I plugged my Seagate drives into this new Mac and it tells me that I have "read only" permission. Yet I have "read-write" permission on the old Mac. So I have to copy files from the new Mac onto a thumb drive, then from the thumb drive onto the old Mac, then onto the Seagate drives. Everything I've tried to change permissions on the Seagate drives using the old Mac or new Mac hasn't worked. So this is supposed to be progress? Keep your old computers as long as possible.
 

Madman Riley

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Pupster,

All the advice you've been offered has some merit.

Yet the simplest option of all hasn't been mentioned:
Leave everything just as it is -- physically -- and run the greatest single software program ever designed to fix HDD problems.

That would be SpinRite. GRC | SpinRite 6.0 Experiences and Testimonials

Extremely efficient, it's written in machine language by computer guru Steve Gibson and is so good, so well-respected, so long-lived, that it's his main source of income.

No, it is NOT 'free' but then again what's your time worth?
Or an estimated additional 20,000 hours worth of use of your system as it is right now since you've tried so many other things already?

And how much time would the many benevolent recommendations take you -- assuming they didn't overly challenge your expertise?

OF COURSE defrags, virus-checks, diagnostic utilities, backups, drive images, cloned drives, SSD replacements. O.S. re-installations etc all have value, that's indisputable.
Yet far less time-consuming to fire-up SpinRite and let it run over night.
(That should be enough time for your <700mb HDD.)

Let me quote just one 'testimonial' from the GRC website:

"... I contacted the manufacturer tech support and while on the phone it passed their built in drive diagnostic, Windows WMI SMART check, as well as Crystal Disk listed the drive as "good"... Usually when SpinRite recovers sectors for a machine that won't boot it will fail any subsequent SMART checks."

SpinRite fixes what other software doesn't even SEE!

Now in version 6.0 release, I've been using SpinRite for over 30 years during which time it has fixed/restored and made usable again all of the following storage media:
- 20 or more "unreadable/unbootable" HDDs (I've a big collection!)
- Several USB thumb drives ("Reformat"? Nope, fixed by SpinRite)
- Numerous floppy discs(!) of both 3.5" & 5.25" size
Though I haven't used it on an SSD yet it does work on them as well..

-----

All your comments in bold below resonate with me. Keep what you have that works for you and remember some maintenance has to 'go deep.'

Or, as I told my late father when he insisted on it being "time to go out and buy a new computer."
"Dad would you buy a new car because you had a flat tire -- or the gas tank ran dry?"

I've got an old Dell desktop computer (~12-13 years old); and in the last couple of weeks been having an issue of it hanging up. It's Windows 7 Pro and has been a very solid machine.
...
I've ran a couple of virus checkers and Defrag checks also, and didn't find anything unusual. I've also done some research online, but of course that stuff's all over the place.
...
I've really enjoyed Win. 7 and hate to lose it
...
This is an important machine for me, as I listen to my surround titles (5.1) from it as my work station.
-----

Also of note, Steve Gibson is a computer security expert.

The nasty internet intrusions he finds scare the hell out of me often enough that I avoid listening to his weekly podcasts more than once a month.
Transcripts of his podcasts at GRC | Security Now! Episode Archive

After devouring episode #808 "CNAME Collusion" from March 2nd this year I realized that with all my cookie-cleaning, tracker-blocking, VPN-using, ATTEMPTS to protect my privacy...
The invasive 'data brokers' had leaped ahead of me once again.

If you're curious, pull up the show notes for that episode and do a find on the character string
C-R-I-T-E-O
Start reading and prepare to be as shocked as I was.
 
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jimfisheye

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What is a brick bug? I recently got a new Mac desktop...21" with 3.6GHz Intel processor, 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD. Catalina OS 10.15.5. Lighting fast...when it's behaving itself. But everything I did on the old Mac seems like reinventing the wheel on this new machine. And sometimes the internet speed for the whole household goes to pot until I reboot my Mac to restore the speed.

Then today I plugged my Seagate drives into this new Mac and it tells me that I have "read only" permission. Yet I have "read-write" permission on the old Mac. So I have to copy files from the new Mac onto a thumb drive, then from the thumb drive onto the old Mac, then onto the Seagate drives. Everything I've tried to change permissions on the Seagate drives using the old Mac or new Mac hasn't worked. So this is supposed to be progress? Keep your old computers as long as possible.
Most reports point to OSX 10.15.7 as the start but there have been reports of any version of 10.15 and a claim of trouble with 10.14. It continues into the OS XI introduction as well. There's some bug that can actually corrupt the EFI firmware. It bricks the logic board. I'm camped in 10.13.6 at present and I refuse to install anything past that for any customers until I see a fix confirmed. (I do refurbs.) Affects all models and all years. Apple really isn't Apple anymore.

It's not just install that version = instant death. I'm not sure of the exact scenarios and not willing to sacrifice any more logic boards to experiment. Once the errant write to firmware happens, next reboot is black screen bricked. I'm looking to get setup to reprogram the firmware chips. I feel like I'm going to be seeing a lot of these on Ebay pretty soon!

The Seagate drive sounds like an account permissions thing. OSX is setup to allow multiple accounts on the same machine. That leads to account permissions. Transparent when logged in but requiring that account password anywhere else. Might seem like a PITA but like with your bank account, you kind of want that.
 
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Sonik Wiz

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How's this one look, figured I should just go ahead and do a full clone as suggested?
My C: drive on the Dell is only about 616GB right now.

Although I'm still on the fence about also keeping an old OS like Win. 7 for a newer SSD down the road with Win. 10.
(I seem to remember Jim's mainly a Mac guy though right?)

I'm just soooo comfortable with that old Win. 7 machine, the OS rarely gives me problems.
So Mr. Pupster...
Did you ever find the culprit slowing down your PC? Any advances on cloning?
 

J. PUPSTER

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So Mr. Pupster...
Did you ever find the culprit slowing down your PC? Any advances on cloning?
Still looking into it, but did make a fresh SSD back up of my data. Since I unloaded some old unused software and cut out some unnecessary start up programs, it has been behaving itself. Although I've been running it with Kid gloves and not pushing it, so far very quiet. 🤞
 

jimfisheye

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Something must have heard me open my mouth...

Just had a 2TB spinner abruptly die the other day. A WD Black and I think it's only 3 or so years old. (Haven't looked up the warranty yet.) Keep on top of your backups everyone!

A note for the weirdos being paranoid about SSDs "because they fail instantly!" This enterprise model spinner failed instantly. One minute it was a hard drive. The next it was a paper weight that goes "wrrr ch ch ch wrrr ch ch ch wrrr ch ch ch". If your "backup plan" is relying on a telltale of a pending failure that comes on gradually and gives you time to react, you're gonna have a bad time.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Well, don't rest on the laurel and replace the drive ASAP.
Something must have heard me open my mouth...

Just had a 2TB spinner abruptly die the other day. A WD Black and I think it's only 3 or so years old. (Haven't looked up the warranty yet.) Keep on top of your backups everyone!

A note for the weirdos being paranoid about SSDs "because they fail instantly!" This enterprise model spinner failed instantly. One minute it was a hard drive. The next it was a paper weight that goes "wrrr ch ch ch wrrr ch ch ch wrrr ch ch ch". If your "backup plan" is relying on a telltale of a pending failure that comes on gradually and gives you time to react, you're gonna have a bad time.
💪 I like it - tough love 😄

Andddd... Jeez I thought a WD Black was supposed to be a premium drive- just shows, when it comes to electronics/mech. you never know!
 
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atrocity

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A note for the weirdos being paranoid about SSDs "because they fail instantly!" This enterprise model spinner failed instantly.
I've had multiple cheap WD NAS boxes fail suddenly and dramatically because I obediently gave in to their pleas to update the firmware.

In two cases, the internal hard drives were fine. One did wind up having bad sectors, but that count hasn't changed since sticking it in a USB enclosure and making it part of a mirror on a TrueNAS server.
 
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