Disaster averted…. For now…

So I come home today from work, turned on the monitors on my computer… (Yes I said monitors as in plural, 4 to be exact) and noticed a windows notification saying I need to restart the computer to repair some issue with the Hard Drive. Uh Oh… Sounds like the Hard Drive is failing. The drive in question is a 640GB Western Digital Caviar Black I purchased back at around May 2010 when I purchased my new computer. So it’s got some 2-3 years running 24/7. So I proceeded to obeying Windows’s suggestion and restarted the computer. This is where the issue started getting worse, the computer would run it’s scan, finish and restart like normal. Then out of no where instead of going into Windows it went into Preparing for self repair mode. Went through the diagnostics and then ended up saying it was unable to repair the issue. Okay. lets forget about it and get back into Windows and just use it for the time being until I can replace the hard drive tomorrow when I get the chance since the computer stores were closed or closing at the time.

So, I shut down the computer and powered it on again. It showed the message “Press any key to stop the computer from checking the C drive.” At this exact moment, it decides to disconnect me keyboard therefore won’t allow any input and re-enable the keyboard right after the counter hit 0. The weird thing is the warning only gave me 1 second to interrupt it. Windows XP at least gave the user 3 whole seconds to press any key to stop the scan from starting. Windows 8 decided to decrease that warning to 1 second. :S

At this moment I realized the computer would no longer go back into Windows -.- It would either go into check disk mode or go into a “repair” mode where it will ultimately fail. Turned off the computer and started using my media center. Then I decided to give one more thing a try. I remember I had a bootable USB key with Windows on it. and the Advanced Boot option did allow me to reset windows. So I did that method and it worked. Though all my applications were uninstalled in the process. That I don’t mind thanks to Acronis, I created an image of the computer in the state right after I had installed a fresh copy of Windows 8, drives and all the necessary applications. They’d just need to updated as soon as I got back on. Restored it to that image and everything was up and running again.

This seems to be the second time this has happened though both had different symptoms and different error messages. I don’t remember what happened the first time around. I just hope this will last a little longer so I can afford 2 240GB+ SSDs and set up a RAID 1 mode so this kind of issue doesn’t really happen. RAID 1 is mirrored drive so drive 2 would contain the same files as drive 1. Therefore if 1 drive dies it will use the second on and all I’d have to do is replaced the defective drive and the RAID will rebuild the image. During which the computer would most likely slow down until the rebuild is done, but at lease I won’t have to go through the trouble of reimaging the computer over and over every time this happens.

luckily I only use this computer for surfing the net and pc gaming. my multimedia i stored on my media server which I should probably back up the media on another drive in case those decide to fail in the future.

Going to have to start shopping around for a good reliable SSD. Samsung 840 looks nice. but who knows which one I will end up with. As long as it’s big enough for my current image + WOW and maybe a few other games.

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