Ok, after 3 calls to Dell's tech support I was less than impressed. I was getting the error:
"Warning: Dell's Disk Monitoring System has detected that drive 0 on the primary EIDE controller is operating outside of normal specifications. It is advisable to immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive by calling your support desk or Dell Computer Operator.Strike F1 to continue, or F2 for setup utility."
On my Dimension 4550 which is only a few months old. I called Dell and of course they told me that this was a problem with the SMART disk monitoring system and my hard drive was about to die and they are going to send me a new one. What a pain!
So I investigated a little bit on my own. Now I'm not an IT guy, programmer, or anything like that...in fact I am an out-of-work mechanical engineer. What do mechanical engineers know about computers? Apparently a lot more than the Dell phone support folks.
I proceeded to run the Dell ResourceCD and selected "specific hardware tests" and ran all of the hard drive tests. Run the COMPLETE tests, not the quick tests. This will run the identity test, file test, SMART test, etc. All of my tests came back normal, so I figured "hmmm..thats weird, my computer was telling me that my HD is about to die, and Dell is sending me a new HD, yet the diagnostics show that everything is normal." This got me to thinking that probably the error...WAS AN ERROR (how ironic right?) So I did some more research, also calling Dell back and explaining to them that everything was normal in the tests I ran. Rico there insisted my HD was about to die though and he is sending me another one. I'm like "ok, whatever." And when I got off the phone I did some more research.
Finally, I find this handy file on Dell's website: BR64013.EXE you can find it here..
And sure enough, what does the description say?
"This utility reduces the chance of erroneous SMART failures for the Hitachi(Previously IBM) Deskstar 180GXP Family Hard Drives (20,30,40,60,80,120GB) Dell P/N (4X469,X0308,X0375,X0769,X0770,X0775)"
WOW, that sounds exactly like the problem that I am having. So I check the date of the file, hmmm 7/2003....yup I bought my system before this was written. Then I check my system to see if its listed, applies to Dimension 4550 (AND LOTS OF OTHERS!)
I followed the instructions on the file, made the bootable floppy disk, ran the utility, and viola! No more error message!!!! This solved the problem.
So Dell folks, do you have any job openings? I can't believe that none of the 3 tech support people I called knew of this file update and that it was a common problem with these drives. In fact, during my search on these message forums, nobody seemed to have posted a message about it either. So I am hoping that someone will read this post and benefit from it by it solving their problem.
Dell, please send the check for the $80 I saved you (plus any additional hard drives you don't have to send out because of this) to Vincent Chiaro.
I don't like to rely on a DELL utility. Best option is to visit the HD manufacturer's website to download the latest utility to test the fitness of the HD. They built the HD, not DELL!
Any suggestions if my system is not on the list (i.e. Dimension 8100)?
francis are you a member of hp forums ?
Used to until I posted a link about the bundled NAV 2004 software on HP PCs. The following week, there was a report about HP and Symantec/Norton in a 2 year 'sweetheart' deal.
francis i remember you well dr berg others also. you will be a fine addition here welcome!
HELP HELP HELP!!!
I am having the same problem on my friend's PC I am helping with. She has a Dimension 8200. Will this utility work with this model too? It says 8250, but no 8200. Any tips on what i should do???
I have received the message on my desktop. In my case though I am not able to proceed by pressing F1; instead I receive a blank, black screen. If I run this utility (BR64013.EXE ) will this jeapordize any of the data that may be left on my hard drive? Or does it simply correct the error message from displaying falsely?
Note that this utility will only work if you have a Hitachi or IBM hard drive. It is not designed to work with other manufacturer's hard drives.
The intent of the message is to warn users of imminent hard drive failure so that proper precautions, such as backup of data to prevent data loss, as well as arrangements to replace the drive, can be made. Now, if you disable that SMART feature you will not be warned of an imminent hard drive failure.
It's your choice. Good luck!
How can I determine which drive I have installed? ( to see if it is IBM or Hitachi??)
Go into Device Manager and click on the + sign next to "Disk drives". Post a list of what you find there and we may be able to tell which manufacturer it is.
Please post back and let me know if you need more help.