Hard Drive Dead? Opinions?

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stiney

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My sister's HP Pavillion suddenly wouldn't boot, it comes up with the error message that there is no OS. I went into BIOS and tried to do a hard drive scan and I get the error message that "Hard Drive Does Not Exist". The computer is running Vista.

I took the drive out, put it in an external enclosure, plugged it into my laptop, and at first it recognized it, the volume label popped up, after that, nada. I tried a few disc utilities, they can't find the drive. In the first enclosure, the access light blinks briefly, I can hear the drive make some noise, then it does nothing.

I put the drive in another enclosure, this one continually cycles through the same noise I heard in the other enclosure, and seems like it turns itself on and off. Like my computer keeps reacting like a USB drive has been plugged in, then unplugged and the procedure repeats.

I have a brand new drive, I put it in the laptop and the laptop recognizes it has a drive in it, the BIOS drive test will run, and it asks for a boot disc.

I'm thinking this old drive is dead. Just looking for confirmations or maybe another way to test it?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old trick I've used a few times with varying degrees of success. All I can tell you for sure is it can't hurt.

Remove the HDD, place it inside a plastic bag ( ESD shielded type if available) and place in the freezer overnight. Next day, prepare to hook it up (I suggest the external enclosure would be best) then remove the bagged HDD from the freezer, remove it from the bag, install it and power it up.

I've had faulty HDD's operate for as little as a couple of minutes and as long as an hour doing this, so have a plan regarding what files you want to save (just in case it works).

Some HDD's simply stay dead.

Raybro
 

stiney

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You know, I'm going to try that. It's -26 here right now and the one and only time I got the drive partway accessed was when I first brought it in from outside and it was cool to the touch. I will let you know how it goes.
 
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Sounds dead. But it's better to try it connected internally to another machine if possible. BIOS can't access the drive when connected externally. But that would be most useful for recovery, and that drive is beyond that point. I'm afraid all the data is lost.
 

stiney

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239
Unfortunately I have nothing to hook it to internally. I am surrounded by laptops at the moment.

What I'd like to confirm is that it's not spinning. It makes noise briefly, but I can't feel any vibrations out of it. Every drive I have with me at the moment you can "feel" running when it's in the enclosure. This one just makes sounds then gives up. If it was spinning I could feel vibrations right?

What's really irritating is that all that's needed off of it is one measly little Simply Accounting file. Very frustrating. Guess that's why people back up important info though.

Thanks for the advice guys.
 

stiney

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Jul 12, 2001
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239
I wish I could back it up. I've tried everything I can think of. I put in a Windows disc last night and attempted a repair and got a new message, drive not ready. Keeps repeating te same series of noises.

She told me yesterday when I picked the computer up that it wouldn't run longer than 15 minutes without being on a chill mat. I usually associate that with processor heat, but had she told me the symptoms a month ago I definitely would have told her to back up her files.

I'm certain now that it's toast. I'm going to ask if she'd like me to try the freezing thing or if she wants to take it elsewhere.
 
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If all else fails, and a given file is important enough to justify the cost, data can be recovered from dead hard drive by specialized methods available through some computer repair shops.. But its expensive.

I've never done it nor had it done, but my understanding is they disassemble the hard drive and somehow read the disc directly. Unless the hard drive is physically destroyed, the data is still on the disc, you just cannot access it via normal means.

Raybro
 

stiney

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Jul 12, 2001
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Well, she's going to take it and pay someone to give her a second opinion. I actually hope I'm wrong about the thing, as much as it pains me to admit I'm wrong about anything :p

I tried to access it enough different ways. At the very least I should have been able to access some of the files on it if it was working at all. I think she's about to throw some money away to have bad news repeated.

Anyway, thanks again everyone.
 
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Lessons are learned by everyone by the experiences they go through.... This is a good thing (y)

If you believe you have finished with this thread, please click the "Mark Solved" button located at the top-left of the first post. The originator is the only one who can do so. This lets everyone know it's handled.

Good luck to your Sister... :)

Raybro
 
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