Problems with hard drive on Toshiba laptop.

Toshiba Satellite c655-s5082 laptop
October 30, 2011 at 10:50:56
Specs: Windows vista, p
Problems with hard drive on Toshiba laptop. Error reports say: read time of hard drive clusters less than 500ms, 8% of HDD space is unreadable, bad sectors on hard drive or damaged file, RAM memory usuage is critically high. RAM memory failure, Boot sector of the hard drive disk is damaged and Hard drive doesn't respond to system commands.

I have restored the laptop but this hasn't helped. I have done a windows security scanner and downloaded Norton and it still won't work. Any ideas of how i can fix these?

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October 30, 2011 at 12:14:58
I'd run the OEM hard drive diags. Find the exact brand of the hard drive from system information and then go to that site. For example a seagate hard drive would use seatools. It can more fully determine the issue. I suspect you will need to buy a drive but some tools can fix a number of issues.

An odd virus could also cause this.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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October 30, 2011 at 14:17:53
" RAM memory failure"

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

For a laptop, or netbook, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

For a brand name computer, see the Owner's or User's manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that - it may already be in your installed programs. If you can't get into Windows, it may be on a disk that came with the computer, or you can go online and look at it or download it - it's in the downloads for your specific model.

Then test your ram with ram diagnostics.

If your computer has 4 gb of ram or less...

If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).

If your computer has more than 4 gb of ram, use memtest86, or memtest86+,
- Both have bugs that can falsely report errors in up to two tests of the set of tests if your computer has an AMD cpu. For one of those the test finds one error after another in all of your ram, despite the fact no errors were found in previous tests. If that were valid the computer would not boot at all.
- Memtest86+ has bugs that produce false reports of errors on some computers unless you disable Legacy USB or USB Keyboard or similar in the bios Setup BEFORE you run the tests.

Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.

Do the long test.

The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.

It the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.

If the drive itself DOES NOT pass the tests

- If SeaTools finds more than 99 errors in the long test, the test quits, probably because Seagate knows the drive cannot be fixed by any software fix when it has more errors than that

- if the Seatools long test finds a small number of LBA errors, say, 10 or less, you can try using it's zero fill feature to repair the drive, but that wipes all existing data off of the drive.
If you have personal data on the drive you don't want to lose, try booting the computer from something such as a Linux CD that has an operating system that can read the files on the drive to see if you can copy your personal data to elsewhere, BEFORE you zero fill the drive.
I have successfully done that with two Seagate drives that had one error.

If the drive was not made by Seagate or Maxtor which Seagate supports
- if it does find a small number of errors you should use the hard drive brand's own diagnostics to test it, and if a small number of errors are still found, you may get a better result if you use that programs zero fill utility (some call it low level format but that's actually a zero fill utility, or similar).

- if it's still under warranty, if you want to make a claim, you often must use the hard drive brand's own diagnostics and run the diagnostics to generate a code, in order for it to qualify for their RMA (Return of Merchandise Authorization) procedure, and you must follow specific packaging instructions if you ship it to them - see the brand name's web site. How much you pay to ship your old drive is up to you. If they find your claim is valid, they ship the replacement drive back to you at no charge,

In some cases, e.g Seagate has this service - you can have the same model shipped to you a fast way, and you return your original drive in the same packaging within a short time period. That gives you the option of copying data from the old drive to the new one, however, don't copy entire partitions when your original drive is defective - the locations of bad sectors on the original drive will be falsely reported on the new drive and that's very difficult to fix, unless you delete the partition, except in Vista and Windows 7. You must provide valid credit card info for this service, and if there is nothing wrong found with your drive, or if they find the damage was caused by something not covered by the warranty, your credit card is charged for the cost of the replacement drive. In any case you must pay for their shipping the drive to you. How much you pay to ship your old drive is up to you, as long as it gets to them within the specified time period.,

The replacement drive is warrantied only for the remainder of the warranty period the original drive had, but the odds are very good it will work fine at least as long as the original warranty period.

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