4hdds

My Toshiba laptop's HDD Protection program keeps getting disabled

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My Toshiba A505-S6965 laptop has a utility that protects the hard drive from impact damage by detecting excess drive movement and moving it's heads to the park location away from the platters. It's called HDD Protection. Is there any reason why this useful program keeps becoming disabling, with no apparent reason? I've installed it many times, discovering a few days later that when I open the dialog box to check the settings, all selections are shaded grey. Re-installing it and restarting solves this problem until I check it again a few days later. I haven't done a System Restore in ages, so that can't be the reason.

Edited by 4hdds

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What operating system?

Have you checked for an updated version of the program from Toshiba's site?

Also, an easy way to solve the problem is to get an SSD :P

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What operating system?

Have you checked for an updated version of the program from Toshiba's site?

Also, an easy way to solve the problem is to get an SSD :P

The laptop came with Win Vista 64 bit Home Premium Edition. But with the hard drive replacement, the tech. installed Win 7 64 bit using the upgrade DVD that Toshiba sent me in Oct. 2009 when Win 7 was released. After the replacement, I downloaded all Win 7 based Toshiba utilities from their website. I found a slightly later version of the HDD Protection program than was part of their massive utilities package. This is the one that I've been using that has repeatedly become disabled for no apparent reason.

I was thinking about getting an SSD, even though the hard drive replacement was an in-warranty incident. But the prices are "still" too high for a capacity that would suit me well in terms of ability to accommodate a steady growth of data. My 500 GB drive has only 43 GB of used space. This is because I keep it lean by sending all downloaded media files to my desktop pc,, over my wireless network.

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So your version is from 2009?

Try this 2010 version: 3.1.64.6

http://cdgenp01.csd...._os2010097a.exe

128GB is a pretty good size and pretty cheap. Also a great way to breath some life in older notebooks.

Your program is for the HDD/SSD Alert, which uses the SMART feature built into an HDD or SSD to predict failure. This exact program summoned me that my original Toshiba HDD was about to fail. It was correct. The program that is giving me trouble is called "HDD Protection."

I downloaded/installed the file above, and the executable's digital signature is more recent than the version I had. I don't know how I could have missed the update. Thank you.

Based on the amount of disk space I've used on my 500 GB drive, a 128 GB SSD would serve me well as long as I use it for program files and not media storage.

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Addendum:

I had a few more unpredictable failures. But ever since I downloaded the Windows 8 (64 bit) version from Toshiba and installed it, all has been well. Recall that my OS is Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit). I wonder why it's working?

Edited by 4hdds

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I've had a few incidents where the latest version of the program disabled. I'm thinking that one of the following actions may have something to do with this:

1. As a result of my many attempts to solve a problem where returning from sleep mode delays the connection of the wireless adapter to the wireless router by 50 sec. or more, I was placing the laptop in sleep mode much more often than ever before after I made a change to some aspect of the wireless adapter's or wireless router's configuration. This problem is solved. But I wonder if this represented excessive use of the sleep feature, and could cause the HDD protection program or built-in motion sensor to disable? By the way, I've been entering sleep mode via the OS's Start Menu Sleep option as well as the laptop's power button, which I've delegated as a sleep button in the Win 7 Control Panel Power Options applet.

2. My usual method of giving the laptop a rest when I know I won't be using it for at least 5 hours, is by entering hibernate mode. Can the HDD protection program or motion sensor be failing after I return to desktop?

3. I use my laptop in bed, with it sitting on top of the cardboard box in which it was packed. The box sits directly on one of two twin size mattresses, situated side by side without any space. I "slide" the box across the sheets from mattress to mattress on a regular basis. During the colder months here in NYC, I use a quilted blanket that sometimes comes into contact with the laptop. I'm wondering if the movement of the box on the sheets, or the contact between the laptop and the blanket, can cause my problem by way of static electricity? I've never felt, heard or seen any sparks. Can the motion sensor with which the program works, be incapacitated by static electricity? When I reinstall the program after it's disabled, I have to do a restart to enable the feature. It always works after a restart.

4. From the very beginning of ownership, I've been using a dry microfiber cloth to keep the display and keyboard free from an accumulation of dust and fingerprints. I wipe them down before I close the lid and after I open it. Sometimes I will open the cloth, grab it by 2 sides and slap it a few times over the top of the keyboard to force dust from under the keys, this done ONLY when the unit is in sleep mode or hibernate mode. Recall that I'm in a bed when I take this action. Can my maintenance with the cloth introduce static to the laptop?

The laptop is always connected to the 2 prong power supply, because I removed the battery pack to be used only when it is mobile. Therefore, the unit "should be" grounded to the building at all times. I must admit that I forget to check the program each time I return from sleep mode, hibernate mode, shut down or after I finish using the cloth. My problem is that I'm always expecting the program to continue working. This has proved to be a mistake!

Any ideas?

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I received a reply to a post I submitted on the Toshiba Forum. The poster stated the following, "Even if you disable the hard drive notifications, the hard drive protection is still working to prevent the hard drive from crashing. If the sensor feels that the computer is being dropped, it will automatically home the hard drive to prevent the heads from crashing into the spinning disks."

Since the post was written, when I tested the program by jiggling the laptop the dialog box didn't appear. This means that when I clicked on the program in the Start Menu, the dialog box appeared, but showed up all grayed out. To see if the poster's statement holds true, I found the executable file for the Toshiba 3D Animation that shows a hard drive spinning. I clicked on it and jiggled the laptop to see if it registered on the spinning drive animation. It did, but the drive didn't stop spinning no matter how much I jiggled. When the program is working, the drive in the animation stops spinning momentarily and then resumes spinning. The animation was mimicking my jiggling in every direction, as expected, but it never stopped spinning. Logically, this would indicate that the drive never stopped spinning, and that there was no protection against a head to platter collision.

I was not convinced that the program was NOT working, and I wanted to prove that the poster was right. So I started an AVG virus scan, jiggled the unit and observed the progression of the files being scanned. When I kept the jiggling steady, the scanning paused until I stopped the jiggling. Scanning resumed normally at this point. This was encouraging. To further convince myself that the drive stopped spinning, I started an Ultimate Defrag. defragmentation, watching for a pause in file movement when I jiggled steadily. As in the case of AVG, the file movement paused when I was jiggling the unit.

So although there is no indication from Toshiba that their HDD Protection program stops the drive from spinning when the dialog box is grayed out, it is clear that it does so when watching dynamic programs pausing as soon as the shock sensor detects motion. I am impressed that the poster knew this undocumented fact, and I thank the poster for easing my mind about the way the feature operates. Since the dialog box gives the user the choice of shock sensitivity, what do you suppose is the sensitivity level of the program since the user no longer has control of it when the dialog box is greyed out?

Edited by 4hdds

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Rather that stopping the drive from spinning, it's more likely the drive parks the heads in a secure area until anomalous vibration ceases; then resume. The inertial momentum of the spinning platters can help stabilize the drive as a whole. IMHO, only continued vigorous vibration will cause the drive to spin down an otherwise active drive.;)

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Rather that stopping the drive from spinning, it's more likely the drive parks the heads in a secure area until anomalous vibration ceases; then resume. The inertial momentum of the spinning platters can help stabilize the drive as a whole. IMHO, only continued vigorous vibration will cause the drive to spin down an otherwise active drive.;)

I'm a real chump. I knew that the drive doesn't stop spinning when the shock sensor detects motion, yet I stated that it does in a few of my posts. I've always known that the drive keeps spinning and that the heads go to the park position. But I can see why I made such a mistake. The 3D Animation box shows the drive spinning and the head assembly swaying to the inside and outside of the platter under normal operating conditions. But when I agitate the laptop to see it's affect on the animation, the drive stops spinning and the heads park at the outside. This image of this impossible scenario must have been imbedded into my brain. I should call Toshiba and tell them that their animation is misleading. Anyway, I thank you Lamb0, for bringing the error to my attention.

However, I question your statement that continued vigorous vibration will eventually stop the drive from spinning. If this is a safety feature built into Toshiba laptops, I've never heard of it. I do recall that one feature of a profile in the Power Options applet is to have the drive turn off after a specified period of idle time.

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