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Event ID 51 Disk Laptop Tech

Event ID 51 Disk

There are not always precise solutions to what appears to be a straight forward error message in laptop computers. Take the Event ID 51 disk error in Windows for example.

Over the years we have seen common examples where the actual error message points to a rather straightforward piece of hardware, or at least it would appear that way.

One such error which we have seen countless times over the years on XP laptops is the one which can be found in the Computer Management:

"An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation."

So an error referencing a specific drive will indeed require that the technician know just what drive is being referenced. Keep in mind that there may be multiple drives (particularly in desktop computer towers).

Event ID 51 Description

Many of the troubleshooting calls which we have dealt with would be for some issue of the laptop freezing, for BSOD issues or other issues having to do with slow performance. A quick look in the Event Viewer during troubleshooting of the issues often will lead to the above mentioned: "An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation." Commonly this will more specifically be: Event ID: 51 which would lead one to ultimately think that there is an issue with the hard drive.

While the possible issues that cause this may indeed represent a hard drive which is going bad, in our experience this is not an absolute conclusion. As a matter of fact we have an XP laptop which we have used for years as a test machine that will have multiple instances of this exact error message occur multiple times per day. The XP install has gone for at least a couple of years with the same installation. There have been other times where the OS was reinstalled more frequently. The fact of the matter is that even with XP being installed for over two years, and having this error occurring on a daily basis, the hard drive has never had any issues that would indicate that it is going bad.

The error in reality could be associated to any number of different things such as the swap file (with multiple HDDs), hard drives and power supply issues on desktops. We have seen each of these being the root cause of the slow computer or other complainants like BSOD etc. Ultimately the drive should be further tested if it is suspected to be faulty in refurbished laptops under 200 dollars or brand new ones for that matter. We have seen this as an actual indication of a failing hard disk too, so if you ever do see this obviously the first concern would be making sure that the important data is backed up. Yet it does not necessarily mean that the HDD is actually going bad.

Over the years we have worked warranty contracts where the SLA stipulated that if this error was present that the hard drive was to be replaced immediately. However this was a rare combination.

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Basic Fix for Corrupt File Causing Older Laptop Boot Issue

We see plenty of instances in business settings that still use older laptops with older operating systems installed on them. Many of the roles that these computers play are that of a very specific task, such as a file server for a relatively small group of users in a small department. These may have been in this role for many years and there is no real reason to upgrade them, as it tends to be perceived as an unnecessary expense. “If it is not broken, why fix it” happens to be a saying that applies to many businesses out there to this day when it comes to the computer systems they have on their networks. There is really nothing wrong with this arrangement on internal network segments completely segregated from the Internet.

Recently we resolved a situation which may help anytime a laptop is running say Win2k or XP for example. An error message stating that Windows could not start due to a missing or corrupt file, likely a .dll file, was causing some issue with the boot. This may happen to any computer user so we thought we would share what our approach was to this issue.

Ultimately this was the same install which had been on the laptop for many years. The company maintains a good backup system, and there was no critical data on this particular laptop anyway. Basically the hard drive tested fine and the customer had the Windows install disc available. By booting to this we chose to access the repair options, pressing R here, and then pressing R again at the next screen. Pressing F next will begin a full repair of the install thus replacing the corrupt file which was causing the booting issue.

Typically we recommend keeping an eye on the hard drive for any signs of it going bad after something like this where the customer confirmed that nobody had installed, or attempted to install any other updates or software just prior to the issue. However this was an older laptop which served a minimal, and ultimately easily replaceable, role in the grander scheme of things. While the operating system in this case was Windows 2000 this methodology can be helpful with other similar situations as well. While the vast majority of the cheaper laptops under 200 dollars displayed on Priceit.biz will not be using Win2k, there are going to be very similar steps to attempting to resolve this kind of issue on other Windows operating systems. The key points to always consider however are the data on the drives, which should always be backed up regularly, and the technical abilities of the user. While this is not a complicated process, there are decisions which will need to be made that might be better left to a competent laptop technician.

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Internet Explorer Error Copying File

Receiving an error regarding the copying of a file after it is has downloaded in Internet Explorer. This would read in effect: “Error copying file or folder – There is not enough free disk space” and will typically indicate an issue with available space on the target drive and not an issue with hard drive diagnostics needing to be performed.

This is not a very common issue today but it used to occur more frequently on much older used laptops which were running a FAT32 setup. This would generally be most likely to apply to laptops running a Windows operating system previous to Windows 2000 Professional on the consumer side. This would be even more unlikely on a Domain client in given business scenarios today.

In this scenario Internet Explorer first downloads the file to a temporary subdirectory and then will copy the file to the intended location. This obviously means that twice the file size is required in available hard drive space and when the temp directory and the destination location are on the same partition then this can be an issue if there is minimal available space on the partition.

Taking a look at just how much free space is available on the drive through the properties of My Computer will give you an indication of whether this is the obvious reason for the laptop error. If this is the case you may want to begin a thorough clean up process on the drive but always consider what data is important before you delete anything. You should always make backups of your data.

On much older used or refurbished laptops there may be the possibility that they are using the FAT32 file system which will have a file size limit of 4GB and would likely cause this exact error message. A 4GB file is a huge file even by today’s standards. This almost fills an entire standard DVD disc so keep in mind that this is still a very large file.

Typically the older computer operating system would be for example Windows ME, 98 or 95 as these were not designed to use NTFS. If you’re old laptop uses Windows NT, 2000, XP or above then you are more than likely running on the NTFS file system and not FAT32 so there is not a set 4GB file size limitation. In other words Win2k, XP and Vista laptops are most likely gong to be running on NTFS and this applies to Windows 7 as well.

If this is the case you could try using Firefox to download the file as it is designed to basically adjust to foregoing any temporary directory and DL straight to the destination if hard drive space is an issue.

If you had to DL a 4GB file with an old laptop computer using the FAT32 file system then you could attempt to change the IE Temporary Internet files location to a drive formatted with NTFS. You could also grab the file using FTP in DOS making sure that there was enough room on the destination drive.

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