Hard Disk

Hard disk failures are the most common computer hardware problems. And laptop hard disks fail more often than desktop HDs. If you knock hard or drop your laptop even a few inches while it’s working, you may damage the HD.


  • The laptop starts as usual but when Windows starts to load it goes to blue screen with either “UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME”, “hal.dll is missing or corrupt” or “WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM” (or similar) is missing or corrupt. All these error messages indicate a filesystem problem. Sometimes it can be fixed by just scanning the HD for errors. However in over 50% of the cases these errors indicate that the HD is starting to go bad and is probably developing bad sectors.
  • The laptop starts as usual but Windows freezes on the initial “Windows XP” screen, although the blue bar continues to move, and you can hear feint but continuous clicking. Hard disk have to be replaced.
  • As soon as the laptop is started there are loud clicks or grinding sounds and Windows doesn’t load. Hard disk have to be replaced.
  • Shortly after starting the laptop a message appears (usually on a black screen) “SMART test failed. Backup your data immediately and replace the hard disk” or similar. Well, that says it all. S.M.A.R.T. is a self-test that is build into the hard disk.

In almost all cases the laptop can be started from a “live” bootable CD and everything works normal. In rare cases the HDs PCB (printed circuit board) may short or even burn. Then the laptop wouldn’t start unless the HD is removed.


The first case from above (corrupted filesystem) is by far the most common. There are several ways of diagnosing and fixing the corrupted/missing files. If this was just a software problem, the hard disk will continue to work properly. However keep in mind that this may also be a signs of deterioration and backup daily!

Also the hard disk will need some preventive maintenance. Check it for errors every few days or at least every week. To do that you must be logged in an admin account, then right-click the “C” drive in “My Computer”, select “Properties”, then “Tools”, then click on the “Check Now” button. Select both boxes and click on “Start”. Windows will tell you that the hard disk cannot be checked now but you can schedule a check for the next restart. Click “OK” and restart the laptop. The check will take from about 30-40 min. to over 2 hours, so do it when you’re not planning to use the laptop for some time.


  • #77 by Yani September 14, 2014 at: 8:29 pm

    Please help.
    I want to reformat the toshiba Satellite L40 model PSL40L 032003 into licensed windows XP OS. First, I enter F2 to go to BIOS and gone to Boot section and first boot the cd/dvd. Then, save the changes and turn off the power. When I turn on the power, it appears to insert the cd/dvd so I did. Then it appears the hardware configuration. BUT the next thing is .. it leaves black screen only.
    How will I make it to the reformat choices? pls help..
    Thank you so much

  • #76 by srujana August 31, 2014 at: 5:09 am

    my laptop(windows7 32bit) is at risk it shows by USB scanning. it shows the virus path like this C:\\Windows\System32\ChgService.exe then what i have to do for that? please suggest me………..

  • #75 by elvis July 9, 2014 at: 1:51 am

    i have a hp pavilion dv6-6105si the laptop hangs when i play movies from the internal hardisk bt when i use an external one it plays fine. what might be the problem?

  • #74 by best May 28, 2014 at: 2:24 pm

    I’m using Lenovo laptop. Can’t logon because the keyboard is not working. How do I fix it

  • #73 by Larry February 13, 2014 at: 4:59 am

    I have just purchased a Lenovo laptop from PC world.

    The laptop comes with windows 8 and I decided to wipe it off and install windows 7 instead.

    To achieve this I change the Boot option to legacy.

    The installation was successful, but the machine refuse to boot up after I applied windows update to it.

    I took it back to the PC World, for advice.

    They said that the windows 7 installation has damage the laptop hard drive. I really found it difficult to believe the story.

    I am just wondering if anyone has experience same issue before.

  • #72 by Manish December 24, 2013 at: 6:36 pm

    After installation win-7 on my HCL Me series 54 Laptop it doesn’t boot and at booting time a blank screen appears and only cursor is blinking and noting else…

  • #71 by Koi Norum November 24, 2013 at: 5:29 pm

    hi my name is koi norum…all the way from Papua New Guinea…can any1 help me…..i have a laptop that powers on and then asks me to insert a windows bootable disk…what should i do and what is the problem..??

  • #70 by amber November 9, 2013 at: 3:27 pm

    I have a hp notebook pc 2000 windows 8 model #2b89wm it says my hard all my test have past but when i went shut down and restart it said i have driver powe start failure i haven’t had it very long and don’t use internet on it but it won’t start up like it should

  • #69 by mam October 3, 2013 at: 7:04 am

    hi can any body help me I have Toshiba laptop model a6 it sends a message hard disk failure i installed windows8 but it can’t trableshoot the failure message

  • #68 by Gursharanjit September 18, 2013 at: 11:49 pm

    I have sony vaio laptop of E-series(VPEC25),
    it is arising a problem in responding,
    i click on any file/folder etc..but it takes a lot of time to respond…i have installed my new window/os 3 times but there is no chagne in the problem,
    i am sure about that there is no problem in software..please tell me the other issue related to this problem and also tell me the solution for this as soon as possible for you..
    thanking you and looking forward in the seek of your reply