Receiving S.M.A.R.T. status bad backup and replace error

Updated: 10/30/2017 by Computer Hope

A computer giving a "S.M.A.R.T. Status BAD, Backup and Replace" Press F1 to resume error indicates that the hard drive is about to fail or has already failed.

S.M.A.R.T error

The S.M.A.R.T. system is a utility that monitors the "health" of the hard drive and reports any potential problems. As an early warning system, it allows the computer owner time to back up any important files before the hard drive fails. In the above example, the error message indicates that the Pri Master (primary master) hard drive is the drive that is bad. If there is more than one hard drive in the computer, this error may change depending on the bad drive.

If the computer can boot after pressing the F1 key immediately backup all information on the computer and contact the hard drive manufacturer for replacement or additional help. In some very rare cases, the S.M.A.R.T. implementation on your computer may have issues of its own and may need to be patched before replacing the hard drive.

If you press the F1 key and the computer cannot boot, one or more of the files on the computer that are required to boot may be corrupted. It may still be possible to recover some of the data on the hard drive. You need to boot from another disk like an UBCD or Linux LiveCD, which you can create on another computer. Once you've booted to an alternate location, the files may still be accessible on the bad drive. If they are accessible, they can be moved to an alternative location, such as a USB jump drive.

If I get a S.M.A.R.T. error, should I continue to use my hard drive?

As stated above, S.M.A.R.T. is designed to detect upcoming failures in the hard drive. While the hard drive may not fail for several months, it is still inevitable that the hard drive will fail. It is ok to continue to use the hard drive. However, we highly recommend if you are still under warranty that you consider getting the drive replaced before your warranty runs out.


Many users can also enable or disable the S.M.A.R.T detection through their CMOS setup.

1720 - smart hard drive detects imminent failure

This error message is related to S.M.A.R.T and is an indication of failure. See above recommendations for additional details.

Additional information