Hard Drive Problems/SMART warnings

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Question
QUESTION: Hi, I just went through a bunch of hassle with this laptop hard drive, I believe it has some phyiscal damage but after fighting for several days, I did manage to do a sucessfull recovery and its behaving normally.  But when I start up I get the S.M.A.R.T. warning making me press F1 to continue and start windows.  I want to shut the warning off. I am fully aware that the HD could fail at any time, no big deal because everything is backed up.
I've seen many forums on this and everyone who answers keeps saying to just buy a new HD, and dont shut of SMART monitoring. Thats not what I need to hear. I'm completely aware that it could fail. I just want the warning to stop.  I've looked in the BIOS at every single setting and there is nothing at all to disable the smart warning.
Model: Asus K54C
Bios vendor: American Megatrends
SMBIOS version: K54C.204

Thanks.

ANSWER: Hi Dave!

Well, the best thing is to replace the drive.  Can I ask why you don't want to?

Not all systems have the ability to shut off SMART.  IF it does, it would be either under the general SATA settings, or under the drive settings for that specific drive.  The manual does not mention the ability to turn it off, so I would assume that your system does not have that ability, or if it does, it is not documented.  You could try updating the BIOS to see if that option was added to a more recent version (210 is the latest), but it is probably unlikely.

http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/K54C/E6591_eManual_K54L_K54LY_Z106.pdf

It would appear that you have a choice:  replace the drive to get rid of the F1, or keep the drive and press F1.

Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi. Well like I said, its working fine now. I'm using it to send you this.
If it fails completely in a month or next week, fine. I dont want either of those choices - I dont want to waste the money on a hard drive I may not need, and I dont want to have top press F1 every time, thats why I asked how to shut it off. Sometimes I turn the computer on then go off and do other things while its booting up. Having to press f1 slows me down.
Before asking you the question I did check the Asus site for a bios update but of course they made it complicated and I dont know which one I should have been using, they all had names that didnt seem to apply.

Answer
"like I said, its working fine now. I'm using it to send you this. If it fails completely in a month or next week, fine"

And it may continue working for years like that, but probably not.  The most common reason for SMART tripping is bad sectors.  Every drive has extra sectors and it keeps a list of all sectors that are bad.  When a sector goes bad, the drive marks it has unusable and attempts to re-map the data to another location.  Once the drive has exceeded the number of extra sectors, it reports itself as unhealthy and that failure is imminent, although it will continue attempting to re-map bad sectors.  There is usually a maximum number of tries it will make before giving up on a re-map, and occasionally it fails, and eventually.  Depending on the rate those sectors are going bad, it may be hours or it may be months - or even years.

"I dont want either of those choices - I dont want to waste the money on a hard drive I may not need, and I dont want to have top press F1 every time, thats why I asked how to shut it off"

I'm sorry that you don't like the reality of those choices.  ASUS simply did not give you the option to disable it.  Most Dell computers have that option in the BIOS, as do many HP computers, and while I can't say for ASUS in general (I don't use them), this model at least does not have the option.  If you are feeling adventurous and are tech-minded enough, you could use a disk editor to edit the settings of the drive to disable SMART, but this is a very advanced operation and isn't likely to be worth your time to attempt.  It may even require an adapter/controller other than your system.  There is the chance of bricking your disk too, if done incorrectly.

"I did check the Asus site for a bios update but of course they made it complicated and I dont know which one I should have been using, they all had names that didnt seem to apply"

It appears that you need the BIOS Flash utility, then the update file.  210 is the latest version of the BIOS - if you update the BIOS, you should use that version.

Flash Utility:

Win 8x86: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/Apps_for_Win8/WinFlash/WinFlash_Win8_32_Z241
Win 8x64: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/Apps_for_Win8/WinFlash/WinFlash_Win8_64_Z241
Win 7x64: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/Apps/WinFlash/WinFlash_Win7_64_Z2411.zip
Win 7x86: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/Apps/WinFlash/WinFlash_Win7_32_Z2310.zip

210 BIOS Update File:
http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/K54C/K54CAS210.zip

(All ZIP's need to be extracted before use.)  You probably just run/install the utility, then point it to the .210 file when performing the update.  ASUS' community forums would probably be more help on the actual process than myself.

They do not seem to have published release notes so that one might know what fixes and enhancements the updates contain, so there is no guarantee it will add the functionality you are looking for.

"I dont want to waste the money on a hard drive I may not need"

You can always re-use the drive in another system.  If you purchase a Solid State Drive (SSD), by far the best performance upgrade you can add to a system today, you would have a ready upgrade for your next system, without having to pay the premium OEM's charge for factory-installed SSD's.  

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I can answer questions about server hardware RAID and general storage for servers and PC's - hard drive issues, troubleshooting, advice, specs, and information. While some apparent drive/RAID array failures can be recovered, I can only provide advice/recommendations in the event of catastrophic data loss. I don't assist in actually recovering from this type of data loss on this forum.

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