I have a feeling they’re trying to sell me something. What is a good way to diagnose a possible hard disk fail?
Personally I would not trust Intel. Go for Hard Disk Sentinel which is a pioneer software in hard disk analyzing. It monitors your hard disk status, temperature and health, thereby leading to early prediction of hard disk failures and preventing data loss.
Give a shot to their trial version below, and get correct status of ur HDD.
They also have a portable version
Why other software displays different health? Which is correct?
I would recommend HDD Sentinel as well. The trial/limited functionality version maintains most of its' functionality. The program will explain to you why it gets the rating that it gives it.
The Intel storage manager is using SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) to assess the health of your hard drive(s). SMART is a technology that is embedded into the firmware of the hard drive itself to monitor its performance characteristics. What is monitored varies among drive manufacturers and what is seen by the host system depends on the drive itself, the drive controller, the operating system used (by default, all versions of Windows apparently ignore all SMART data), if the drive is configured as part of a hardware RAID array, and the capabilities of any userspace tools used for monitoring.The drive sends signals to the system indicating if any of its monitored parameters exceed a manufacturer specified threshold value. It may be the operating temperature, number of total read failures, bad sectors encountered (even if they were able to be remapped), and many other possibilites. When these threshold values are exceeded, it is considered more likely that the drive will fail. In most cases, the thresholds are set to a level that will allow the user to prepare for the failure of the device, such as acquiring a replacement drive, making sure there is a complete backup of the device prior to its "imminent" failure, etc. Yet you should still keep in mind that just because a threshold has been exceeded, it does not necessarily mean that the drive will fail within the next few days or weeks. I have had drives alert several days in a row and continue to run without issue for YEARS afterwards. I have also had drives fail without a single warning at all.What does all of this boil down to? If you are currently doing regular backups, just make them more frequent and if you have the means to do so, have a spare drive readily accessible (or the funds to buy one) for when your current drive does fail in order to minimize downtime.
I don't think Intel is doing this just for extra money. Newer computers (past 10 years or so) have built in hard drive diagnostic software to try to warn the user of data loss or hard drive failure. Before running any test, I would backup any data and create recovery DVDs just in case of hard drive failure. Imaging your hard drive would be even better as it would create an exact copy of your hard drive so you can place it on a new hard drive without losing any information or install anything that you had previously on your computer. If you don't feel comfortable doing any of this, take it to a repair shop as it may cost more and you would lose any data that was on your hard drive unless using very costly data recovery services (around $1000 or more).
To check for hard drive health, go here and read up on the different software recommended for scanning and monitoring. http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-disk-health-monitoring-utility.htm There are many other tools and other ways for checking, but for ease of use, I would recommend any of the ones they suggest, especially HDDScan, Crystal Disk, or HDTune
I downloaded the 15 day free trial of HDTune. Health showed the test for reallocation failed. That doesn't sound good.
I'm going to take PC to the doctor tomorrow.
I appreciate your quick response and giving me some links to refer to.
I do use Carbonite for my back up, but don't have the version that will allow for imaging. There was something I read that even if I bought the upgraded level it wouldn't support RAID/ I think that's something on my PC.
Thanks again! This has helped.
I would definitely take it in for them to fix the problem. Usually they will do the imaging process for you so you have a new hard drive with everything on it that you had on your old hard drive, including the recovery partition. You will most likely not notice much of any difference, as everything will be essentially the same, just a different hard drive. Carbonite cloud backup is very good to have just in case of hard drive failure and virus infection. In case anything goes wrong, at least you have your personally important files handy for you.