I purchased my gaming laptop around 2016 and my HDD has just started giving a S.M.A.R.T error on start up, I also can no longer access D drive although it says it is healthy and working normally. I have tried reformatting, however it brings up an error. Some questions - do I have any chance of being able to reformat off a USB disk? Would it actually help? Can I use an external HDD instead of the current internal HDD or will I run into issues? I plan to replace this computer in around 4-5 months but for now it is needed. I frequently back up all my data to google drive because it is an older computer, so I am not worried about data loss.
With data loss not being an issue, you can definitely use an external drive instead of the internal one. There may be small inconveniences, such as needing to keep it connected or some applications forgetting where you last saved something when the drive is no longer connected, but otherwise you should have no issues.
For convenience, if you have a spare 2.5" drive, you can replace the one in the computer, but it is completely fine to just use a cable and USB.
With the SMART errors, I would assume the drive is so far gone a reformat would not help it. Before attempting formatting, data recovery would have been an option, but with regular backups you've fortunately solved that problem already.
Hi @Snowcherub ,
If the issue is related to the file system or software corruption, reformatting may be of assistance. However, if the S.M.A.R.T error is hardware-related, reformatting may not resolve the problem.
If you plan to replace your laptop within the next 4-5 months, using an external hard drive as a temporary solution is feasible. Please be aware that utilizing an external hard drive as the primary disk may result in slower performance compared to an internal drive. The information provided above is for your reference.
The laptop in question has an SSD and a hard drive, so the SSD is the primary drive (with Windows) anyhow. This is why Windows reinstallation has not been mentioned. But it is correct and a very good point that the external (USB) drive connection will be slower than the internal (SATA).
I only plan to use an external HDD for storing my games on and playing from. Unfortunately the bulk of the computers storage is on the internal HDD so it's a massive loss of space. The HDD is still active 100% of the time off and on, not sure why as what is being used is on C drive (SSD).