SMART Hard Disk Error 301 is an unpredicted error message that indicates hard drive failure or severe drive corruption. This error is related to HP laptops, which comes with HP SMART check embedded in the firmware. The HP SMART check is a customized version of Power-On-Self-Test (POST) check that scans hardware for issues when you boot the system. During the scan, if it finds a hardware-related issue, the firmware displays error code such as SMART hard disk error 301 when it encounters problems with the internal hard disk.
Also, this error in HP notebooks is quite common and occurs unexpectedly. You never know when your HP laptop might throw this error. Moreover, it doesn’t let you boot Windows OS. Therefore, when the error 301 occurs, you must be prepared as it becomes crucial for you to act immediately and appropriately to prevent data loss. Below we have discussed a few troubleshooting methods along with a few tips and software solution that can probably help you solve the hard drive error before the situation worsens.
Additionally, if the error isn’t fixed, the guide will also help you get your data back securely.
Why SMART Hard Disk Error 301 Occurs?
To solve the issue, we need to first understand the reasons to why SMART hard disk error 301 occurs. Then, accordingly, you can take measures to prevent such issues in future. Following are some of the factors that can lead to SMART hard disk error 301:
Outdated or Misconfigured BIOS
Application or Driver conflicts
How to Solve SMART Hard Disk Error 301
1. Change Boot Priority Order
Turn off your HP laptop and then turn it on. Immediately start pressing BIOS key, usually F10 in HP laptops and desktops, continuously until you see the BIOS screen
Use left/right arrow keys and go to ‘Advanced’ tab
Using up/down arrow key, move the selection to ‘Boot Order.’
Follow the on-screen instructions and move the hard disk to top in the boot order
Press F10 key to save changes and exit the BIOS
Alternatively, you can press F9 key continuously after pressing the power button to enter boot priority order. Use up/down arrow key and select your hard drive to boot Windows.
If the Windows starts, log in to your system and immediately backup your data. If it doesn’t boot up, proceed to the next troubleshooting method.
2. Reset BIOS
SMART disk error 301 can also occur when there is an issue with the BIOS/firmware. This issue could arise over a period as you use your system and tweak BIOS settings that sometimes coincide and lead to such errors.
To solve this, you can update BIOS. When an update is not available, we recommend you to reset the BIOS configuration by following these steps:
Follow steps given above solution to enter the BIOS
Press F9 key to reset BIOS
Then press F10 to save and exit the BIOS settings menu
Your system will reboot. Let it boot and if this fixes the error, immediately backup; else follow the next troubleshooting method.
3. Reseat Hard Drive
It’s possible that connection between the hard drive and the laptop might have loosened due to shock, physical damage, etc. Ensure a firm connection between the hard drive and the motherboard by reseating the hard drive.
Be careful while playing with the internals of the laptop as it may further damage your laptop. If you are not familiar with the hardware part, skip this method.
4. Hard Reboot
While system reboot is the first step to troubleshooting, sometimes restarting a system doesn’t necessarily fix some issues such as SMART disk error 301. In such a case, you need to shut down the system and discharge traces of current from the motherboard. This is referred to as a hard reboot.
To hard reboot your HP laptop, follow these steps:
Shutdown the system
Disconnect the power cable
Remove the battery
Press and hold the power button for 15-20 seconds in order to discharge every bit of current left in the motherboard (inside capacitors, coils, etc.)
Wait for a few minutes and repeat once again
Then connect the battery and turn on your laptop
Hopefully, this fixes the issue; if it doesn’t, the drive might have got corrupt. Follow the next method to recover your data and fix the drive error.
5. Use Data Recovery Software
The above-mentioned troubleshooting methods should fix the issue. However, sometimes, the hard drive gets severely corrupt, and common troubleshooting doesn’t work.
So when the described methods fail, you must rely on a data recovery solution such as Stellar Data Recovery Standard. The software helps you recover your inaccessible data securely from a severely corrupt hard drive using the ‘Deep Scan’ functionality.
Follow the steps below to restore your data from an HP hard drive showing SMART disk error 301:
Remove the hard drive from the system and use an use an HDD enclosure to connect your hard drive to a different Windows PC
Download, install and run the Stellar Data Recovery Standard software
Select ‘All Data’ and click ‘Next.’
Under ‘Connected Drives’, select your affected hard drive and click ‘Scan.’ If the drive volume isn’t visible, click ‘Can’t Find Drive’, click ‘Scan’ and follow these steps:
Choose your connected HP hard Drive from the ‘Select Drive’ list and click ‘Search.’
The software quickly scans your drive for lost, invisible, severely corrupt, or deleted partitions and lists them under ‘Partitions Found’ list box.
In case the desired partition isn’t listed after the scan, click ‘Deep Scan’ begin thorough partition scan
Then select the partition from the ‘Partition Found’ list and click ‘Scan’. Resume with the steps given below
Once the scan is over, the software lists the recoverable files. Use search and filter option to locate important files quickly.
Further, you can run ‘Deep Scan’ by clicking ‘Click Here’ link at the bottom of the software window if desired files are not found
After the scan, select the files you wish to recover and click the ‘Recover’ button
Choose a save location and click ‘Start Saving’ to save files at your desired location
Now you can open the Disk management tool and format your drive. We recommend you not to use the same drive after repair as it may fail again. It’s better to buy a new hard drive and replace the faulty one. You may also choose to upgrade your hard drive to an SSD.
Smart Disk Error 301 is an abrupt error that frequently leads to data loss. Maintaining regular backup is an effective preemptive measure to address data loss situations that arise due to disk error 301.
However, it’s recommended to also have a data recovery software in case the backup is either obsolete or unavailable.
A software such as Stellar Data Recovery can not only recover inaccessible data but also proactively monitors hard drives to safeguard from impending drive failure and SMART disk error 301.
Aruna Attri is a Senior Data Recovery Expert at Stellar®. She is a technology blogger and Windows expert. She has experience in Windows data recovery domain. She loves to troubleshoot Windows issue and write technical tips and tutorials.