How to Fix 1720-Smart Hard Drive Detects Imminent Failure Error

Encountering a “1720-SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure” warning on your computer can be alarming. This message is a critical alert that indicates your hard drive is on the verge of failing.

SMART, or Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, is a monitoring system included in computer hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs) to detect and report various indicators of drive reliability.

In this detailed article, we’ll dive into the meaning behind this warning, explore the causes of a 1720-SMART hard drive imminent failure issue, and provide comprehensive steps on how to address this predicament to safeguard your data and ensure the longevity of your device.

1720-Smart Hard Drive Detects Imminent Failure

What Does the 1720-SMART Hard Drive Imminent Failure Mean?

The 1720-SMART warning is a predictive failure analysis feature of the SMART system, designed to alert users of potential hard drive failures before they occur. It means that the hard drive has detected a significant enough error that, if not addressed, could lead to total drive failure, resulting in the loss of all data stored on the drive.

Causes of the 1720-SMART Hard Drive Imminent Failure Issue

Several factors can trigger this warning, including:

  1. Mechanical Wear and Tear: Over time, the physical components of a hard drive can degrade, leading to potential failure.
  2. Bad Sectors: These are areas of the hard drive that have been damaged and can no longer be used reliably.
  3. Overheating: Excessive heat can damage the internal components of the hard drive, leading to failure.
  4. Electrical Faults: Power surges or unstable power supply can harm the hard drive’s electronic components.
  5. Firmware Corruption: The software that controls the hard drive can become corrupted, leading to errors and potential failure.

How to Fix Imminent Failure on Your Hard Drive

Addressing an imminent hard drive failure involves a combination of immediate data backup and taking steps to either repair or replace the hard drive. Here are actionable steps you can take:

Step 1: Back Up Your Data Immediately

The first and most crucial step upon receiving this warning is to back up all important data from your hard drive. You can use an external hard drive, a cloud storage service, or another computer to secure your files.

Step 2: Check the Hard Drive’s Health

Use built-in diagnostic tools to check the health of your hard drive. For Windows, you can use the WMIC (Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line) tool by opening Command Prompt and typing wmic diskdrive get status. For macOS, use Disk Utility to perform a S.M.A.R.T. status check.

Step 3: Run Disk Repair Utilities

For Windows, use the CHKDSK utility to find and repair disk errors. Open Command Prompt as an administrator and type chkdsk /f /r. On macOS, Disk Utility’s “First Aid” can perform similar checks and repairs.

Step 4: Consider Hard Drive Replacement

If the SMART warning persists after backing up data and attempting repairs, it’s advisable to replace the hard drive. Continuing to use a failing drive can result in total data loss.

Step 5: Update Firmware

Occasionally, updating the hard drive’s firmware can resolve minor errors or compatibility issues that might trigger the SMART warning. Check the manufacturer’s website for firmware updates.

Step 6: Monitor Hard Drive Temperature

Ensure your computer’s cooling system is functioning correctly to prevent overheating. Consider using software tools to monitor the temperature of your hard drive regularly.

In addition to addressing the immediate concern triggered by a “1720-SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure” warning, adopting long-term strategies and proactive measures can significantly enhance the durability and reliability of your hard drives. Here’s how you can ensure the health and longevity of your data storage solutions:

Regularly Monitor Hard Drive Health

Implement a routine schedule for checking the health of your hard drives. Utilizing SMART monitoring tools or third-party software designed for hard drive diagnostics can provide real-time insights into your drive’s condition, allowing for early detection of potential issues.

Optimize Your Computer’s Environment

The physical environment plays a crucial role in the longevity of your hard drives. Ensure your computer is kept in a cool, dry place to prevent overheating and moisture damage. Proper ventilation or additional cooling systems can help maintain an optimal operating temperature.

Practice Good Data Management

Organize your data efficiently by regularly archiving old files, deleting unnecessary data, and defragmenting your hard drive (for HDDs). This not only frees up space but also reduces the workload on your hard drive, potentially extending its lifespan.

Stay Updated

Keep your operating system, drivers, and firmware up to date. Manufacturers often release updates that improve performance, fix bugs, and patch vulnerabilities, all of which can contribute to a more stable and reliable hard drive.

Consider Using SSDs

Solid-state drives (SSDs) offer a more durable alternative to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). With no moving parts, SSDs are less susceptible to mechanical failures and can provide faster data access times. Upgrading to or incorporating SSDs for your primary drive can enhance your system’s performance and reliability.

Implement a Redundant Data Backup System

Adhering to the 3-2-1 backup rule—keeping at least three total copies of your data, two of which are local but on different devices, and one copy off-site—can safeguard your data against the most severe hard drive failures. Consider cloud storage solutions for an off-site backup that is both secure and accessible.

Educate Yourself on Signs of Failure

Understanding the warning signs of hard drive failure, such as frequent freezes, disappearing data, corrupt files, and unusual noises (for HDDs), can help you take timely action to prevent data loss.

Use Encryption for Sensitive Data

Protecting your data is just as important as protecting the physical drive. Use encryption for sensitive files to ensure data security, especially in scenarios where the hard drive may need to be replaced or serviced by external parties.


The “1720-SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure” warning should never be ignored. It serves as a critical alert to back up your data and address the health of your hard drive.

By understanding the causes behind this warning and following the steps outlined to mitigate the issue, you can prevent data loss and extend the lifespan of your computing device.

Remember, regular backups and periodic health checks can keep you one step ahead, ensuring your data’s safety against potential hard drive failures.

FAQ: Addressing 1720-SMART Hard Drive Imminent Failure

1: What does the “1720-SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure” message mean?

This message indicates that the Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) system within your hard drive has detected conditions suggesting the drive is likely to fail soon. It’s a warning to take immediate action to prevent data loss.

2: What causes the SMART hard drive imminent failure warning?

Causes include mechanical wear and tear, bad sectors, overheating, electrical faults, and firmware corruption. Essentially, anything that significantly impacts the drive’s ability to operate normally can trigger this warning.

3: Can I fix a hard drive with a SMART imminent failure warning?

While you can’t “fix” the underlying wear or damage causing the warning, you can take steps to back up your data immediately and replace the hard drive. Some software-related issues causing false alarms can be resolved by updating firmware or correcting software errors.

4: How do I back up my data if my hard drive is failing?

Use an external hard drive, cloud storage service, or another computer to transfer your files. Prioritize important documents, photos, videos, and application data. Consider using backup software to simplify the process.

5: How do I check my hard drive’s SMART status?

On Windows, you can check the SMART status using the Command Prompt with commands like wmic diskdrive get status. On macOS, Disk Utility provides a SMART status check under the “Info” button for each drive.

6: What should I do after backing up my data from a failing hard drive?

After securing your data, you should replace the failing hard drive. If it’s an internal drive in a laptop or desktop, you can purchase a new HDD or SSD. For external drives, buying a new external hard drive is advisable.

7: How do I install a new network adapter in Windows 11 if my hard drive fails?

If your system’s hard drive fails and you’ve replaced it, installing a new network adapter typically involves connecting the hardware (if it’s external) and letting Windows automatically find and install the drivers. For internal network cards or unresolved driver issues, downloading the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website on another device and transferring them over is recommended.

8: How do I report a SMART hard drive failure?

Reporting a SMART failure is more about seeking support than reporting the issue to a manufacturer or software developer. Contact the customer support of your hard drive’s manufacturer for warranty information or replacement options if it’s under warranty.

9: Is upgrading to an SSD a good response to a SMART failure warning?

Yes, upgrading to an SSD (Solid State Drive) is a great option. SSDs are faster and more reliable than traditional HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) because they contain no moving parts, making them less prone to mechanical failures.

10: How often should I check my hard drive’s health?

Regularly checking your hard drive’s health is crucial, especially for drives that contain critical data. Monthly checks are a good practice, but more frequent checks might be warranted based on the drive’s age and usage patterns.

Understanding and responding to the “1720-SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure” warning properly can save you from unexpected data loss and ensure your system’s longevity. Always back up your data regularly, even before these warnings appear, as a fundamental part of digital data management and protection.

Leave a Reply