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Dying hard drive...

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by sweetkitten, Jul 21, 2008.

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  1. sweetkitten

    sweetkitten Thread Starter

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    The hard drive on my PC is apparently dying. I need to replace it... no big deal, I can handle that. But I want to get my information off the drive because I stupidly haven't backed it up recently. I can get the drive to start (with protests and a very slow reaction time), but though I can hear it spinning and feel the vibrations, it won't trigger the monitor. I don't get a "no signal" message, all I get is the power light blinking at me.

    I DO know that the monitor works. I've hooked it up to my laptop and was able to get it to display. Also, the second hard drive on the desktop will trigger the monitor (disconnected the main hard drive and the second drive will run and function properly, so it has to be the main hard drive, right?). I've tried both the current video card and the old one that I replaced... either one works on the secondary hard drive, neither on the primary.

    I freely admit to not being the best when it comes to the innards of my computer... I'm much better at the software side of things. Anything that you can suggest that I try before I surrender this beast to a computer "doctor"? All I want to do is copy all my files and I need to see what I'm doing...:(
     
  2. ekim68

    ekim68

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    Does the computer boot to the second hard drive?
     
  3. sweetkitten

    sweetkitten Thread Starter

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    I've unplugged the primary hard drive and can boot to the second, but I'm not sure how to force the second drive to boot as primary without going through the BIOS. Will just switching the master/slave pins on the drives make the secondary hard drive boot as primary even though the BIOS tells it that the other drive is primary?

    Out of maybe a dozen tries at booting, the hard drive only gave signs of life on the last two tries.

    I've got Windows 98 on the second drive if that matters.
     
  4. ekim68

    ekim68

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    You should be able to switch the jumpers to swap the primary and the slave. Once you do that get into the BIOS and let it recognize them as being changed. (If you haven't switched the jumpers then they're probably both on 'cable select'.) It's also possible to try to get the bad drive fixed temporarily with UBCD, at least long enough to save your stuff.
    http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
    I've used the seagate hard drive diagnostic to do this.
     
  5. Wanderer2

    Wanderer2

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    no need to swap jumper. Just swap the cables. Bios will boot the 2nd drive which it now sees as the first with no jumper changes required.

    What you want to do is access your data off the failing drive. If booted with the 2nd you still can't access the drive, take the drive out and put it in a ziplock baggie. Put it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Put it back into the machine and see if you can access it.

    This tightens up the spindle [being chilled] and may allow you to copy off your data.
     
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