Tuesday 26 August 2008

Some signs that we have a hard drive problem

Whether we are talking about a server, a workstation, or particularly a laptop, there are a number of surefire indications that we are at the beginning stages of a hard drive problem:

  • The OS takes an inordinately long time to boot up.
  • A particular application like Office or a Line of Business App takes a long time to fire up.
  • Random lock ups with no respite but a reset.
  • Seemingly mysterious data corruption.
    • More likely on a RAID array member degrading.
  • Mysterious RAID 1 mirror breaks.
  • Server: Event ID 55s.
The clincher, in about 95% of the cases we come across is the boot time for the OS. Occasionally we get a call because of a missing file like NTLDR.sys or the like. But, those occasions come few and far between.

One thing to keep in mind: The user may never clue into the long boot times until they are asked during an on-site visit if anything peculiar is up ... or if the OS finally throws an error and they no longer have a workstation/laptop to work on.

One of the benefits to our clients that we provide bi-weekly backup rotations for is our regular visits. In some cases, we now expect to spend anywhere from an hour or more answering the various questions users have gathered up over the previous couple of weeks.

That in-person presence is really valued by our clients.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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