Hi Leo. I have a serious problem with my Dell PC. I bought it about five years
ago. The OS is Windows Vista Home Premium. It was very noisy in the last few
months. Three days ago, it stopped working, and the following message box has
appeared: Windows delayed write failed. Failed to save all the components for
the file system 32/something or other More than 20 message boxes, I think.
I’ve done a virus scan and a Trojan virus was found and already deleted. The
results after the diagnostic was Disk drive C:/ is unreadable. Hard drive rational
speed decreased by 20%. Damage cluster detected. Boot sector to the hard drive
is damaged. Windows detected a hard disk problem. Hard drive clusters are
partly damaged. Segment load failure. Windows delayed write failed. Failed to
save all components for the file (another 20). All of the data in my C drive
is gone. It can’t read. It also can’t read the external HDs. I’ve done a
recovery to an earlier date and it looked like it was normal again, but only for
half a day, then it wouldn’t work again. What seems to be the problem? Is the
hard disk drive damaged and it does need to be replaced?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #13, I look at the errors being delivered by a failing system
and the value of a full backup when faced with a hard drive failure.
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Your hard drive is broken
This is a classic case of the system telling you your hard drive is broken.
There is something physically wrong with the hard drive and it is not working.
You’re absolutely right, “The hard drive needs to be replaced.”
Saved by the backup
This is why I strongly recommend people back up routinely and regularly. It
sounds like you’ve done that since you were able to recover to an earlier
Unfortunately, recovering a backup and placing in on to a fundamentally
broken hard drive will not fix the drive. It’s a physical problem; it’s not the
data that’s wrong; it’s the drive itself inside is broken.
Things like the rotational speed (I assume it’s a rotational speed that you
really meant) “decreased by 20%” – that’s a bad thing. “Damaged cluster” –
that’s a bad thing.
Those are all things that are indications of physical problems on the disk.
The disk drive itself needs to be replaced. Replace it and then restore to the
most recent functional backup, and you should be fine.
Drive failure warnings
This is a case also where you actually had warning. “It was very noisy in
the last few months,” is what you said.
Depending on the noise, if it’s a new noise (if it’s the kind of a thing
where you’ve used the computer for four or five years and you know what it sounds
like and now all of a sudden it’s making a new noise), that’s worth
investigating. That’s worth understanding because it could be the sign of an
imminent hard disk failure… if the noise is coming from the hard disk.
I would bet that in this particular case, that’s exactly what happened. The
hard disk was basically in the process of going bad for the last few months,
and it finally just gave up and was unable to continue.
So, replace the hard disk, restore from a backup and you should be good to