Hard drive failures may occur because of logical, head, or mechanical failures. The following table describes the symptoms of failing hard drives

Symptom Description
Noisy hard drives Noisy hard drives indicate head crash, noisy bearings, or a failed motor
Data and disk errors Files may not get saved or programs may stop responding
Hard drive not detected Operating system does not detect the hard drive
System crash Blue screen errors
Slow read/write process Delay in reading or writing data on the hard drive

Perform the following steps if any of these symptoms occur:

  1. Check if the hard drives are installed correctly
  2. Check the hard drive indicator LED
  3. For systems with an LCD panel, check for the following error codes
Error Code Error Message Description
E1810 Hard drive <#> fault Hard drive has had a fault as determined by the system
E1811 Hard drive <#> rebuild aborted Drive has had its rebuild aborted
E1812 Hard drive <#> removed Drive has been removed from the system

How to troubleshoot a hard drive failure?

The first step is to determine if the issue you are facing is linked to a hardware or software issue.

How was the issue first noticed?

  • LED on one of several of the hard drive slots is blinking amber, or amber and green.
    • Hard Drive Carrier Status LEDs

      LED Description
      Off Slot is empty or drive is not yet discovered by the system
      Steady Green Drive is online
      Green flashing (250 ms) Drive is being identified or is being prepared for removal
      Green flashing (On 400ms, Off 100ms) Drive is rebuilding or undergoing a replace operation
      Amber Flashing Drive has failed
      Green/amber flashing Predicted failure reported by drive (drive is failing)
  • Error message on the LCD panel
  • Error message on POST or in the BIOS
  • Error in the Operating system
  • Performance is slow when copying files

At minimum, the Dell Diagnostic Utility should be utilized to help test the status of the hard drive.