Hard Drive Testing
Posted 11 April 2008 - 05:15 PM
Posted 12 April 2008 - 05:13 AM
'chkdsk' by itself doesn't tell you whether a hard disk is healthy or failing. It only detects and corrects data errors on the disk. in other words, it can only check the data on the disc, not the physical condition of the disk itself. Obviously if the XP 'error checking tool' keeps finding data errors then that is an indication that it's failing. But the diagnostic utilities from the disk manufacturers are designed to check and report the disk's physical condition irrespective of the data that's on it.
The warning about backing up your data before running the test is a normal warning which applies to any process like this. 9 times out of 10 no data will be lost, but you could be the unlucky 10th where it does happen. If you have a 'clone' of the disk contents (as I do) you can ignore the warning, but if you don't have one you'd be foolish to ignore it.
The constant 'noise' coming from the disk is most likely caused by Windows having to compensate for insufficient RAM (192MB is not enough to run XP smoothly. 256MB is the bare minimum, with 512MB recommended) Windows compensates by using some of your free hard disk space as "virtual memory" then constantly "swapping" data back and forth between RAM and hard disk (that's the noise you hear). Since a hard disk is much slower than RAM, Windows runs slower than it would if you had more RAM. It also means in your current situation the disk is working hard most of the time, which in turn means it will wear out and fail more quickly.
Edited by pip22, 12 April 2008 - 05:17 AM.
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