IT’S GEEK FOR ME: Heed material warnings


Question: I tried to submit this before, but if you answered I didn’t see it, then do it again. I passed my old computer on to my wife, who uses it in our home office primarily for playing games and occasionally checking Facebook. Several years ago, every time we booted up his computer, we got the blue screen of death to tell us that his hard drive was facing impending failure. We then have to press “Enter” to continue and F1 to start. We started leaving the computer on, and now this only happens when it needs to restart during an update.

The question is whether there is a way to disable this warning to allow the computer to start normally since the failure certainly was not imminent. Then we can keep trying our luck until it really fails.

– Fred M.

Niceville, Florida

Reply: There are several ways you could have verified an answer to your question, Fred. The most obvious would be to browse or search my column archive online at (not .com). As The Geek, and author of this column, I have other tools at my disposal. I have used them all and I assure you this is the first time that I have received a question from you, this one or another.

So let’s get to your question. This is all hitting me pretty hard in the ear, so I’m going to tell you what I get out of it, and I want you to think it over carefully and see what you think about it: you have an older system, and it started warning you that the hard drive will fail soon. Your response to this is not to replace the failed drive, but to boot the machine only when necessary to keep it running continuously, effectively avoiding the warning message, but in return forcing the hard drive to shut down. spinning his platters even more than he used to signal he was about to fail. Did I understand well ?

I don’t want to shed light on the situation, or your response, but I don’t think your hard drive is throwing these messages just for fun. There is a feature built into modern hard drives called SMART, or Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, the primary purpose of which is to detect various indicators of a drive’s reliability and report when a drive failure. disc is “imminent”.

Whether imminence is a critical concern depends on how you define the word in that context. The harsh truth is that the reader has detected an anomaly in the functioning of its internal components. For example, it may heat up more than usual or use more energy than it is supposed to. The warning message is intended to give you ample time to take positive action to resolve the issue. So if the warning message came an hour or even a day or a week before the drive failed, it probably wouldn’t give someone enough time to acquire a replacement drive and then clone the existing drive to the drive. new. Keep in mind that all of this must be done while the failed drive still has the ability to read and serve any data that has been stored on it over time.

In all fairness to you, it seems like you were expecting failure and it doesn’t really bother you. I think this is a rare position for a computer owner. I certainly hope that there is nothing on this drive that you cannot afford to lose, because when the drive finally fails, everything in it will most likely become unrecoverable.

Whether or not your system is able to suppress this message depends on the version of Windows installed. Anything lower on the totem pole than “Professional” or “Business” most likely doesn’t have what you need. You will know right away when you try the following: from your keyboard, press the combination [WinKey]+ R. In the Run… box, type gpedit.msc and click OK. If you get a message similar to “Windows cannot find ‘gpedit.msc’, make sure you typed the name correctly, then try again”, then the tool you need to disable the message is not available on your PC. If, on the other hand, it succeeds, you will find yourself in front of a window titled “Local Group Policy Editor”. In the navigation tree on the left, navigate to Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> System> Troubleshooting and Diagnostics> Disk Diagnostics. There are two entries in the window. For each of them in turn, double-click to open it, change the main selection to “Disabled”, then click “OK”. Be warned that this will permanently disable all future SMART messages! I strongly advise against doing this, but the P in PC stands for Personal, so the choice is yours. Good luck!

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