Note: Before attempting to diagnose your Lenovo hard drive problems PC Doctor diagnostics should be run and any messages or error codes noted before replacing your hard drive.
Keep in mind that a noisy laptop hard drive may not be defective, some are just naturally noisy.
Some of the following steps may not be applicable to your system and remember to test your machine after each step.
1. First up check that your hard drive is recognised in the BIOS, to do this;
- While the “Press F1 for BIOS Setup Utility” or “To interrupt normal startup, press the blue Access IBM button” message is being displayed at the lower left area of the screen during start up, press the blue Access IBM, F1 key or ThinkVantage button. (see image)
The BIOS Setup Utility will now be displayed. If prompted, type in the correct password.
- Select Startup and then press Enter.
- Select Boot and then press Enter.
a) If your hard drive is detected by the BIOS it should be listed with a plus (+) sign next to it.
b) Click the plus to expand the branch and check that the device name (or drive ID) appears normal (something similar to IC25T060ATCS05-0).
- Select Hard Drive and then hit F6 to move it into the first boot position (the normal position is usually second or third after the floppy or CD-ROM drive).
- Hit F10 to save and exit and then Enter to restart your machine.
If the hard drive is recognised by the BIOS then you need to test the hard drive for errors (see below), if it’s not being recognised then try reseating the drive (also see below).
2. Reseating the hard drive.
3. Run an error test on the hard drive.
a) For all current ThinkPad A, G, R, T, X, and Z series systems you’ll need to run the PC Doctor diagnostics. During start up you can access the PC Doctor for DOS by pressing the F11 key, the ThinkVantage button or the Access IBM button then enter the predesktop area for troubleshooting options and to enter the BIOS Setup Utility.
If you don’t have PC Doctor on your system it can be downloaded here.
Note: The following step only applies to ThinkPad models R60, R60e, R61, T60, T60p, T61, X60, X60s, X61, X61s, X61 Tablet, Z61e, Z61m, Z61p and Z61t.
b) In the Bios Setup Utility select the HDD diagnostic program and hit enter. Take note of any errors.
c) For ThinkPad models 600E, 770, 770E/ED, 770X, and 770Z the hard drive test is run in Easy Setup.
– Turn on the laptop and and hold the F1 key down until you see the Easy Setup menu. If prompted type in the correct password.
– Select Test.
– Click the HDD-1 symbol to run the basic test. The results will either be a blue OK or a red error code.
– To select the advanced tests click Ctrl-A.
– Click Exit and then Exit again.
– Click HDD-1 again to start the advanced test.
Note: The exact procedure may vary slightly from machine to machine. If the hard drive fails any of the tests, note the error messages. If it passes move onto step 4.
4. Verify the drive is active and partitioned using FDISK. You will need a bootable or start up disk with the FISK.EXE utility on it. The fourth option on the FDISK’s menu will display the hard drive’s current partition information.
5. Check that the hard drive (and optional hard drive if installed) has the latest firmware updates.
If these steps haven’t fixed your Lenovo’s hard drive problems then it’s probably time to seek professional help, contact your local IBM Lenovo support centre or search the IBM website’s knowledgebase for further information. Be sure to include any error codes you have noted with your enquiry.