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SMART Short Self test Failed

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SMART Short Self test Failed

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I ran a full system scan on my Dell laptop and it said that the SMART Short Self test had failed. It explained that my hard drive could fail any time now and to back up my files immediately. My computer is only 3 months old, how can my hard drive be dying already? As it's still in warranty I take it my only option is to ring up DELL? Being a student, having my computer away for replacement is going to be very impractical so I'm extremely disappointed that something so vital as a hard drive can be failing so soon. Is this normal? 

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  • Was there an error code number associated with this event?

    I would have a chat with dell and try asking for a replacement  fully installed hdd.

  • No error code shown as it was a test run by Dell Support Center. It also seems to be failing now on 'Targeted Read Test' which equates an overall fail for my hard drive scan. 

    I'm going to take my laptop back tomorrow to see what they say. 

    Is it normal for a hard drive to go so quickly?

  • Hi Staceyford,

    There is no such thing as "normal" when it comes to drive failures, which are pretty random. That's why we recommend people keep their important files backed up.

    Anyway, sorry to hear about this. I know it's disappointing for a new system. I hope everything gets worked out for you!

  •   I too,  tested today with the same results, Inspiron 1545, 250 GB HDD, shipped from factory 9/2010 bought 10/2010. ???

  • Hi Unclehappy,

    Sorry to hear about that. I hope you've got everything backed up.

  • A lot of people have been saying the same thing about hard drives failing randomly. I'm just disappointed as I was warned against buying a DELL but thought I'd make my own mind up about them and then this has happened so it's pretty much a 'told you so' from IT specialists. I had a Compaq laptop before which is six years old and never once had a problem with that so maybe I should have chosen more wisely! 


    As I'm at university, having a working laptop is VITAL and this has created a huge problem for me, not helped by Dell's phoneline only being answered 9-5pm Mon-Fri which isn't helpful. I brought it via Currys so tried to get help from them but they wouldn't help me as it was a DELL - if I'd known this when purchasing, I wouldn't have purchased through them. Definitely not impressed with their customer service and will put me off buying with them in future. 


    I have to return to university laptop-less tomorrow and my parents are going to have to try and get DELL to sort this out. I just hope DELL sort this out otherwise I'm going to think twice before purchasing a DELL in the future. 

    Thanks for your help and advice! Hopefully they'll be a silver lining to this very grey cloud!

  • I am having the same problem with my dell inspiron 400 desktop i went to bed last night everything was fine woke up this morning all my icons on my desktop are gone so i ran the pc doctor in dell support center and it told me that my SMART short self test failed and everytime i have ever called dell they always want me to pay money for them to help me to do ne thing even though my computer in under warranty for another 2 yrs. I will never buy another dell after all the problems i have had with this computer and it only about 10 months old and i have had nothing but trouble with it since i got it and dell doesnt want to help with you with ne thing i dont even know why they have tech number because they do ne thing.

    Also when i restart my computer it gets to that page that says inspiron on it and the blue line gets about half way and stops i have to turn my computer off and back on and then it will go ahead and reload im guessing this has something to do with the icon dissappearing because it wasnt doing that last night either i have ran spyware malware and antivirus and everything is ok can someone please help me because i dont know what to do and i know dell wont help so any help i would greatly appreciate. Thanks

  • I have been having a similar problem as staceyford when operating the Dell Hardware Scan, in that the SMART Short Self Test would never complete on my Inspiron 530S.  It would try and carry out the test for about 10 minutes, but would also time out.  I took osprey4's advice and did the scan using Dell Diagnostics instead.  The SMART Short Self Test completed successfully as did all the other tests.



  • A couple thoughts from the Osprey...

    1. Every hard drive has a mathematical probability of failure. It makes no difference how many PCs you've owned and how reliable they've been. At some point, you are going to have a hard drive failure.

    2. Important files should be backed up regularly. That means you keep two copies at all times. That way, when one fails, you've got the backup.

    I'm sorry to hear about the various issues from all of you and resulting complications, but the fact remains that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  • Same thing here I think, although it does not say "failed" it says the smart thresholds test "cannot run" ? I have a Dell XPS Studio 8300 running a Seagate 2T drive the dell support center has given this result every time I have run it since the PC was new about 10 months ago. I reformatted the drive once and still the same problem. Thankfully I have it backed up to another 2T external drive. I really have had a LOT of problems with this PC since it was new. Also had two sticks of 4G Memory that was bad which dell sent and I replaced myself, that helped but still same results on the hard drive test. this is my first Dell which I thought was one of the top PC manufacturers - I am very disapointed with them... Also getting the same results on the "Smart short test" - "cannot run".... I really hate to have to replace the drive even if Dell gives it to me, I am so tired of working on this PC instead of working with it... If I had known this I would have bought a Mac.

  • I would like to add just so you dont think I'm an idiot... even though the test have shown this ever since it was new; the reason I didnt do anything is I didnt think it was a serious problem until I just started reading the forums on it.... had I known this I would have returned the PC the first time I ran it the first week I had it...

  • mine is doing the same thing but mine is a year old the error code is WHD17-9SA i can't find what it means anywhere? but it's been going now for 2 days and it's acting as if nothing is wrong,what does it see that it thinks it's going to fail,all check errors via windows is fine? go figure...

  • This link updated the system and mine is fixed now!

  • You would think Dell would have sent this link out in a notification instead of us having to hunt it down....

  • Hi Dennis,

    Are you using the Dell Support Center? Because that's the easiest way to keep track of updates.