R.I.P. 500 GB Western Digital HDD

Sep 16, 2011

So I was in the middle of something on wednesday, when all of a sudden my computer starts acting up. Opening a new tab takes ages, reloading tabs doesn’t seem to work, and at one point my desktop wallpaper turns lighter, the way application windows do when the application stops responding. And in the midst of all this, I can see my hard-disk-activity LED blinking like mad. So I think that maybe there are some bad sectors on my hd, which is causing disk reads to fail.

Being the well-educated internet user that I am, I decide to google for “windows 7 disk read error”. And am greeted with a bunch of results where the user’s computer refuses to boot up, simply presenting an error saying “A disk read error has occurred. Please press Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart”. And there are a bunch of users on several forums asking for help with this issue, and pleading for others to tell them how they should go about “fixing” it.

“Sheesh!” I think to myself. “These guys sure are a bunch of retards. It says right there that a disk read error has occurred. That makes it pretty clear that your hard-disk has died on you. Stop whining already and just go buy a fucking new hard-disk! Losers!”

But nothing else that’s remotely helpful turns up, so I decide to restart my computer. But the start menu isn’t working. So I press Ctrl-Alt-Del, and after about five minutes a message pops up saying that the windows settings and shutdown screen could not be displayed (or something to that effect)

It’s pretty late, and I’m pissed off, so I simply power off the system and go to bed.

Come back from work on Thursday, boot up the system, and what do I see?

“A disk read error has occurred. Please press Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart”


And you wanna know what I did after that? I booted up an Ubuntu live cd, and browsed through all those forums I’d seen in the google results the previous day to see if there was a fix. In all, I wasted six hours trying to “fix” my hard-disk before accepting defeat (it’s only been four months since I got it, so it’s still covered by warranty). Went to the shop today evening, handed it in, filled out a form for the free replacement, and bought a new disk (the replacement will take 15 days to get here, I can’t wait for that long, so I’ll probably end up using it as a backup drive)

And what have I learnt from all this?

That no matter how elite I might consider myself to be, I am, in the end and all things considered, also human.