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HP Notebook PCs - Testing a Hard Disk using the Built in Self Test

The Hard Disk Self Test, built into the BIOS for HP notebook computers that were manufactured after 2003, tests the condition and integrity of the hard drive. You should run the Hard Drive self test in the BIOS if you see any error message about possible problems with the hard drive. As part of a performance maintenance program, you should periodically run the test to identify potential issues before they become problems that cause the hard drive to fail unexpectedly.

Hard Drive Test not available for solid state hard drives

The hard drive testing processes in this document cannot be performed on a solid state hard drive. If your computer has a solid state hard drive, and displays a hard drive error message, contact HP Support .

Hard Drive Test not available for older BIOS

Performing the Hard Drive Self Test on serial ATA (SATA) hard drives may generate a message indicating that diagnostics are not supported or do not exist. If such a message displays, determine if an updated version of the BIOS is available for the notebook. If an updated BIOS is available, install the BIOS and then perform the Hard Drive Self Test.

Perform a Hard Drive Self Test

Many computer problems are related to soft failures on the hard drive. The comprehensive portion of the HP Hard Drive Self Test repairs soft errors on the hard drive, but does not report the errors. After the test completes, be sure to restart the computer to determine if the test repaired any problems you are experiencing with your computer.

If the computer has two hard drives, you should select the multi-bay test option and test each drive separately.

  1. Plug the AC Adapter into the computer.

  2. Turn off the computer and wait 5 seconds.

  3. Press the Power button to start the computer and repeatedly press the f10 key to enter the BIOS Setup menu.

  4. Use the Right Arrow or Left Arrow keys to navigate through the menu selection to locate the Primary Hard Drive Self Test option. Depending on your BIOS, this may be located below either Diagnostics or Tools .

  5. Select Primary Hard Drive Self Test , and then press the Enter key to start the test.
    NOTE: The exact wording of the option for your particular BIOS may be slightly different.

The Hard Drive Self Test performs a Quick Test followed by a Comprehensive Test . During each test, the window displays a status bar and an estimated time to completion. See HP Notebook PCs - Testing a Hard Disk using the Built in Self Test for additional information.

  • If any test fails , contact HP service and support for instructions on how to order a replacement hard drive.

  • If all of the tests pass, the hard drive is not damaged. As a rule, HP will not replace a hard drive under warranty that does not fail the HP Hard Drive Self Test.

  • If there is no physical problem with the hard drive or memory, then try reinstalling your Windows operating system to troubleshoot the problem.

Testing Multi-Bay hard drives

Some notebook models have two hard drives and the Self Test should be run on both drive. Start the notebook in the BIOS Setup Utility, as discussed above. When you select the Hard Drive Self Test option, you also open the drive selection window. Select either the Hard Drive or the Multi-Bay test option. After testing the drive, you can select and test the other drive.

NOTE: The exact wording used for these testing options may differ from model to model, but the test accurately evaluates the condition of the hard drive.

Perform a Memory test

To use the Memory Test in the BIOS, follow the steps below.

  1. Turn off the computer and connect the AC adapter.

  2. Press the Power button to start the computer and repeatedly press the f10 key to enter the BIOS setup window.

  3. Use the Left Arrow and Right Arrow keys to select Diagnostics .

  4. Use the Down Arrow and Up Arrow keys to select the Memory Test , and then press the enter key to begin the test.

  5. Allow the memory test to run and make note of any reported errors. If there is an error, you can contact HP for support, and to purchase replacement parts.

The message, Memory test pass [OK] is displayed when the Memory Test is complete. Press the f10 key to exit the BIOS Setup window.

Install updated BIOS if Windows is accessible

  1. If Windows starts, download and install the latest version of the BIOS for the notebook computer. For more information, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - Locating HP Software, Driver and BIOS Updates support document. Click here for the Vista version of the document and click here for the XP version of the document .

  2. After installing the latest version of the BIOS, perform the Hard Drive Self Test, as described above.

Install updated BIOS if Windows is not accessible

  1. If Windows does not start properly, reset the BIOS to the default settings. Using the default settings, you should be able to boot into Safe Mode and install the latest BIOS.

    To reset the BIOS, press the power button to start the computer and repeatedly press the f10 to enter the BIOS setup, then press f9 key to Reset BIOS Default . For more information, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - Configuring the Boot Order in the System BIOS support document.

  2. If it will not boot to the BIOS, you may need to remove and re-seat the hard drive. Instructions may vary depending on the notebook model you are using. For specific instructions on re-seating the hard drive in the notebook, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - Steps for Removing and Replacing the Hard Drive support document.

  3. After re-seating the hard drive, perform a Hard Drive Self Test .

If any test fails, contact HP.

Review system information

You can view information about the computer's memory, hard drives, and other hardware components by following these steps. The information below is organized by operating system. You can access system information using any of the following built-in tools.

View using Windows System Information tool (XP, Vista, Windows 7)

  1. Click Start , All Programs , Accessories , System Tools , and System Information .

    • Right-column : General information, including the Model Name , Processor , Operating System , BIOS version , and Memory .

    • Left column : Detailed information on the installed components including the hard disc drive. To view the hard drive information, select Components , Storage and Drives .

View using My Computer Properties tool (Vista, Windows 7)

  1. Click Start , Right-click Computer , and then select Properties .

The System windows display general information, including the Model Name , Processor , Operating System , and Memory , is displayed in the right panel.

View using My Computer Properties tool (XP)

  1. Click Start , Right-click My Computer , and then select Properties .

    The System Properties windows display general information, including the Operating System , Processor , and Memory .

View using HP Support Assistant Tool (Vista, Windows 7)

Click the link to download the latest verion of the HP Support Assistant support tool. If the PC has the Vista operating system with the default HP Help & Support tools, you should upgrade to the HP Support Assistant for the latest tools.

  1. Click Start , type assistant and select HP Support Assistant from the list.

  2. In the HP Support Assistant, click Learn

    The Specifications panel, on the right-hand side, displays general information, including the Processor , Hard drive , and Memory .

  3. Click More Information for Product Name, Product Number, and Serial Number information.

    This information is also displayed at the bottom of the window.

View using HP Help & Support (XP)

Click the link to download the latest version of the HP Help and Support for XP support tool.

  1. Click Start , Help & Support .

  2. Click My HP Computer to display product information.

See also

Customer Support . Individual countries and regions have their own procedures for providing product support and customer service. For your country or region, go to the Hewlett Packard Technical Support page, select a country or region, and then click Contact HP .
Alternately, click the Contact HP link near the upper left corner of this web page

HP Notebook PCs - Using HP Update Tools to Update HP Software, Drivers, and BIOS with Vista

HP Notebook PCs - Locating HP Software, Driver and BIOS Updates in Windows XP

HP Notebook PCs - Configuring the Boot Order in the System BIOS

HP Notebook PCs - Locating the Product Number and Support Information for the Notebook PC

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