Let’s Break Down “How to Fix Smart Hard Disk Error 301”

If you’re confused by the “Hard Drive SMART Check Failed” or “S.M.A.R.T. failure”, well, you are not alone. Here is how the smart hard disk error can be fixed.

Last Updated on August 10, 2021 by Ian McEwan

fix smart hard disk error 301What the hack is Smart Hard Disk Error?

“The SMART hard disk check has detected an imminent failure.

To ensure no data loss, please backup the content immediately and run the Hard Disk Test in System Diagnostics.”


“SMART check

Hard Disk 1 SMART (301)”

“SMART Failure Predicted on Hard Disk 0”

Sometimes, you can see one of these warning messages mentioned above on startup.

Smart (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, also known as S.M.A.R.T.) hard disk error 310 is common with computers that experience various anomalies and this affects the hard drive resulting in this error message.

Technically, this error suggests a malfunction on the system’s hardware, mainly in the hard drive (allocation errors, which means bad sectors) and it does not signal the end of the problem after hitting the enter key for it will recur every time the computer restarts.


Seriously. Before Fixing The Smart 301, Backup your PC RIGHT NOW.

Although the disk is still usable, it is in a precarious state. So creating a backup of your individual files and a system image is definitely a good idea.

Get an external hard drive or a USB Stick has enough storage space and connect it to your PC.


To Back Up Your PC

For Windows 7/Windows 8.1 Users:

Simple go to Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore. And select Set up backup, Back up now or select Create newfull backup, depending on whether your used Windows Backup before.

For Windows 10 Users:

Start​  > Settings > Update & Security  > Backup > Add a drive , then select the external drive you connected before for your backups.


To Create a System Image

Right-click on Start Button > select Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore > Choose Create a system image in the left pane.


Backing up your Crucial PC data with EaseUS Todo Backup Home will save you a lot of trouble.

EaseUS Todo Backup software


Back to the story. What causes smart hard disk error?

Power surges are a common cause of this hard disk error message, but there are other reasons, for the failure of the component in the computer system. Such as:

  • Bad sectors
  • Overheating
  • Physical damage
  • Outdated BIOS
  • Virus
  • File corruption
  • Not defragmenting if your disk is almost full
  • Shutdown unexpectedly, etc

It may also arise from a user problem like improper un-installation and installation of software which results in corrupted registry files and so is the deleting of system files.

In simple terms, the error message will not stop the user from the normal operations of a system, but it still means that the hard drive has stopped running its normal routines.

If it’s not properly taken care of immediately, the system will eventually collapse.


But. Is it necessary to replace your hard Drive ASAP just like the warning said? Hold your horses.


Device Check

When you encounter this 301 error, it’s important to physically check the hard drive.


Start with the drive’s connectors to make sure they are in place, and that the drive firmly rests in the slot. While at it, you can also check for any physical damages on the drive that occurs from liquids and falls.


It’s also important to verify the disks storage space for insufficient space, and the age of the component which is also a factor that causes this smart hard disk error.


For those in the know about system files you can edit the registry file while taking the care of not to lose the Operating system.


You can also run defragmentation, which needs a backup of your data before starting the process. Simply type “Disk Defragmenter” in the search box, after clicking the “Start” button. Then select “Disk Defragmenter” in the result and choose the drive you want to defragment, click “Defragment Disk”.


Fixing Smart Hard Disk Error

To fix the problem in Windows OS, you will need to run a hard disk check and there are two ways:


  1. Windows Graphical User interface

  • Open windows explorer- My Computer-Select the Drive to Check (C: ).
  • Select Properties.
  • On the Properties Window under Error Checking- click Check Button.
  • On the Error Checking Window- Click Scan Drive.
  • Allow the progress bar to complete the scan tasks and fix the errors.
  • When done, Go Back to the Tools Tab Under properties and now click Optimize.
  • Select the Drive to Optimize and then Click the Optimize Tab.
  • When Finished restart the computer to allow changes to take effect.


  1. Using CHKDSK on Command Prompt

  • Type cmd on Windows Start Menu and Right Click it to Select Run as Administrator.
  • In the Command Prompt type after the drive letter CHKDSK followed by the parameters /f /r /x with spaces between them. Example: C:\ CHKDSK /f /r /x

(CHKDSK is the check disk command, /F: Fix Parameter, /r: recover parameter, /x Force dismount the drive parameter.

  • The process will request to schedule a scan after the system restarts.
  • Press Y to accept and press Enter.
  • Restart the computer for changes to take effect.


The procedures are worth a try if you’re now sure with the check results that the hard drive faces imminent failure.


Hard Drive Repair

It is also wise to use other hard drive repair tools in the market, and they might be ideal for you in this situation. One of the best hard drive repair software is EaseUS Partition Master Free. Here are easy to follow steps that even with little technical knowledge, you can manage with the wizard.

EaseUS Partition Master

Step 1. Download, install and run EaseUS Partition Master on your computer.

Step 2. Locate the disk and right-click on the partition you want to check, then click “Check File System” from the pop-up menu.

Step 3. Check “Try to fix errors if found” in the Check File System window and select “Strat”. Then the program will begin to check and fix the error. Just click “Finish” when the disk repair is done.


Replace Old Hard Drive

Another method to clear the smart drive error is by formatting the Operating System loaded on the computer.

The only way forward to save you from a possible loss of your data is to get a new hard drive which will guarantee the smooth running of your Operating System.

The procedure is to slave the old hard drive to a new one and then start the cloning process. With your data and other applications safely on the new drive, you can discard the faulty drive.


Data Rescue fail? Try Stellar Data Recovery to Get Your Files/Data Back From The Broken Hard Drive Safe and Sound.

Stellar data recovery


Oh, and One Last Thing

Always ensure to check the health of your drive, maintain the proper procedures in shutting down and protect the computers with surge protectors. Another type of protection is using a credible anti-virus that protects your system from Malware/ Virus corruption of the partition tables.