By Delia / Last update September 24, 2020

User case: hard disk failure is imminent please backup

If you have ever searched "hard disk failure is imminent" on the internet, you may find there are many related topics. Now, let's have a closer look at this issue.

When starting my computer, I sometimes get a message, saying, ‘Hard disk failure is imminent. Please back up your hard disk and have it replaced. Press F10 for Setup. F2 to continue.’
The first time I got this screen it clicked on F2, Windows opened and all seemed fine. But now my computer run into the same issues: A black screen with same message, but the F2 key is not working when I click on it.
Is the drive really dying? But I don’t have a backup for my hard disk yet. What can I do to save this situation or am I just out of luck? Any assistance will be appreciated, thanks.

- Question from

Hard Disk Failure Is Imminent

Overview of hard disk failure imminent

“Hard disk failure is imminent” error is a common issue reported by SMART in different computers, such as, HP, ASUS, Lenovo, etc. It’s also called “SMART failure predicted on hard disk", “SMART check Failure”, “SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure”, etc.

SMART, Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology, is a firmware that resides into most modern hard disks (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD), which can continuously keep track of hard disk condition such as health, performance and error rates. In addition, it still has a technology known as predictive failure analyst that can report the problems to system when your hard disk is in trouble.

So, when hard disk detects imminent failure, you may receive one of the above error messages according to your computer and its motherboard.

What does hard drive failure imminent mean?

When your computer says hard disk failure imminent, it means your hard drive right now is not yet dead, but will be sooner or later. It's just a matter of time. It could be in 1 hour, could be in a week. Who knows?

And A SMART hard drive failure may come out for many different factors such as bad sectors, higher temperature, physical damage like hardware failure and firmware corruption, virus, power issues, etc. So far, there is no reliable way to prevent.

So, you need to follow the prompts to backup your hard disk and have it replaced. Otherwise, in the future, you may loss some of your important files, or your entire dive may stop working completely.

How to fix hard disk failure is imminent?

Hard disk failure is a fact of life in the computer world. It's something many of us have experienced, and not with fond memories. As the SMART tell you: "Please backup your hard disk and have it replaced!" It's the sure-fire way to get rid of this issue.

Also, this problem may be caused by a software or fireware error, which can be fixed by disk check utility in Windows 7/8/10.

In addition, there is possibility that you have a bad hard drive driver controller or cables. You can test with different cables or on a different computer.

Method 1: Sure-fire way to repair hard disk failre imminent

To fix the hard disk failure is imminent in Windows 7/8/10 and minimize data loss, the most secure way is to do as suggests - backup your hard disk and have it replaced. Now, all you need is to find a trust and reliable backup software. Here I recommend you AOMEI Backupper Standard.

This software is very easy to use, even for beginners, thanks to its clear interface, user friendly design and fixed steps, so you can backup hard drive or data to external hard drives, networked drives, NAS devices, USB flash drives easily and quickly. Meanwhile, it still offers you some features that can bring you convenience.

  • Encryption: If there are any sensitive data on the disk, you can enable encryption for backups.

  • Compression: If your disk is very large, you can choose to compress image file with “Normal” or ”High” compression level.

  • Splitting: If you don’t have a big enough disk, you can split the large image file into multiple smaller image files and save it to different storage devices.

  • Intelligent sector backup: This feature will only backup the used sectors of file systems and reduce the size of image file and its backup time.

Backup your hard disk and have it replaced

Then, connect the prepared disk and fix “smart hard disk error imminent failure” with the following steps.

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper. On the main window, select "Backup" -> "Disk Backup" as shown below. To only backup important files, click “File Backup” as instead.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Disk Backup

Step 2. Click “Add Disk”, then select the disk with SMART hard disk failure imminent and click “OK” to exit.

Add Disk

Step 3. Click where the arrow point and select the prepared storage device, such as, external hard drive, USB flash drive, network drive or NAS as storage device. Then, click "Start Backup".

Start Backup

You are allowed to configure disk backup settings by clicking "Options", and select compress level, intelligent sector backup, etc.
Also, it is highly recommended to schedule backup hard disk via “Schedule”. Because you cannot predict the time of hard disk failure. You can choose daily, weekly, monthly, incremental or differential backup. (Scheduled differential backup is supported by paid versions.)

Step 4. After the process 100% ends, you can restore the disk image to another hard disk and boot from it.

Just connect another hard disk to the computer, open this backup and restore software, click “Restore” and “Select Image File” to find the image file, tick “Restore the entire disk ”, then select the connected hard disk as destination and click “Start Restore”.

Select Image File

Method 2: Fix hard disk failure is imminent using disk check utility

Disk Check utility is a built-in tool for Windows 7/8/10 that can scan & fix hard drive errors, bad sectors, file system errors. Please note that the steps are a little difference in different operating system.

Here, I'll take Windows 10 as an example to show you how to fix hard drive failure is imminent in HP/Dell/Notebook and Lenovo Thinkpad. If you are using Windows 7 or 8, you can search detailed steps online.

Step 1. Open Computer or This PC, then right-click the disk with hard drive failure imminent and select Properties from the context menu.

Step 2. Click the Tools tab and Check option subsequently, then tap on Scan Drive to continue. Just wait and it will repair the erro it found. If not, it will show you details.


Note: If you are familiar with command prompt, you can open command prompt window and type chkdsk /f/r and hit Enter.

The Conclusion

Backing up hard disk regularly is the best practice to prevent hard disk failure is imminent and other disk error in Windows 7/8/10. If you don't want to lose any of your important data on a disk, please backup your disk with schedule backup settings. It reduces the trouble of manually backup, and ensures the modified files and recently installed programs are backed up.

Once the hard disk eventually failed, you can replace it with a new hard drive and perform disk restore. If you encounter "hard disk imminent failure won't boot", you can create a bootable media on other working computers first.