Help for Haunted Hard Drive???

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mikeinstloui

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Last week, I had to power off my windows XP because it froze up. I tried to reboot and got some error saying I needed to repair windows. I put in my disk and tried to repair, but it was bit successful.

I tried to run Spinrite (a hard drive repair disk) , but it said it would take 3000 hours to fix and more or less did not procede with any repair.

I installed a new hard drive, and set it up as the master and my old corrupt one as the slave. It did see the old drive in device manager and said it was working properly. However, I was not able to find it in the explorer (my computer) mode.

I checked the bios, and it was recognized

I used ulitmate bootup cd, it recognized the drive, but I could not see the files with the utility.

The platters "feel" to be spinning, I do hear some clicks, but not really close together and not constantly.

The main problem now, is that when I have the two hooked up, I can't get the boot up disk to boot up, and when I just have the new one, it boots up fine (which makes no sense for a bootup disk???)

It seems like if I don't touch it for awhile...it will at least let the boot up disk boot up, but then it stops working again...(sorry...hard to describe)

Is it possible for me to retrieve this data, and if this is not the right site, where can I go for some answers. Any help would be appreciated.

I know enough about computers to probably be dangerous and I am not afraid to tackle a problem. Also, the data is not so important that I will cry if I lose it, I just have a lot of programs (ie photoshop) with customized settings and a lot of pictures. I like fixing things so I see this as a challenge.

Mikeinstlouis
 

jiml8

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Sounds to me like a failed HD. The head drive mechanism being down would give all the symptoms you have described.

Only other thing I can suggest to you beyond what you have already done is to boot into a Linux Live CD such as Knoppix, which won't use your HD system at all, and see if the Linux system can see/read the drive.
 
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both HDs have the same MBR on them and both have the letter "C" assigned to them.

go into disk management, and reassign a new drive letter to the "corrupt" drive so that the system won't boot from it. restart your computer, you should be able to see both drives
 

mikeinstloui

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How do I go into "disk managment" to reassign the drive letter...sounds like a good idea!
 

mikeinstloui

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plus..if I can't get into windows with both drives hooked up..what should I do? Sometimes I can...sometimes I can't!
 

jiml8

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drive letter assignment is not stored on the drive. Windows won't assign the same drive letter to 2 drives. Don't worry about it.
 

mikeinstloui

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Jan 6, 2006
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yes, and I asked you already
"I have heard of Knoppix...can I do that on my system and where do I get it?
Thanks"
So..I ask you again...what should I be doing?
 
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Good Evening mikeinstloui, the symptom you describe is indicative of the drive dying, possibly due to heating after a short while. It may be the head assy or the electronics. I would be more inclined toward suspecting the electronics, provided that you have the slave/master set correctly.
Some people have had success by placing these kinds of problem drives in the freezer for thirty minutes or so in a plastic bag and then quickly refitting them and trying to get the data off before thay heated again.
If you consider this as a possibility you may be able to use some ingenuity and have a win.
Alternatively if you want a Linux program that will be able to see the drive contents provided the drive can be detected, this one I am using usually works quite well. It is called Puppy Linux, but there is a bit of a learning curve required to make it dance. http://www.goosee.com/puppy/
This program loads completely into memory as a RAMDRIVE, similar in operation to a hard drive. The file transfer idea would be control drag and drop with crossed fingers. The drives require to be mounted with the included drive mounting tool, you would need to get a bit of practice before trying the actual work.
If you would like more info on how to do this I will assist you.
You would need a good CD burner and a dsl or better internet connection.
there are some other programs that may also be useful.
Cheers, qldit.
 

mikeinstloui

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Jan 6, 2006
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Thanks...
I have a couple of disks with that kind of capacity...I mentioned the ultimate boot cd which has some file transfer features. I have read enough about the freezer trick that I already put it in this morning as soon as I got home from the hospital (I am doctor, not a patient) and I also have some of the frozen wraps to keep it cold in case it does work, while transferring my data. Who knows...it is my last shot next to wacking it like I have read in other sites.


Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Mike
 
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Mar 16, 2002
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i think a lot of the time the bearings fail in the drive, freezing them makes the bearings shrink just enough to free the platters for a short time until they heat up again.
 

mikeinstloui

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Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
47
OK...here is what I did....I put in in the freezer for about 30 minutes (long enough?) and plugged it in immediately as a slave drive. Windows boot up on my new drive (albeit slowly!!). I went to my computer and could not find the drive referenced. Only found the new C drive. Still, recognized in device manager and BIOS.
I guess my questions now are...

1) Should I chill it longer
2) Is it possible to get my data off? and if so how?
3) When I put in a boot disk like ultimate boot up cd for windows...it just hangs. but it opens fine for the dos version. Could it just be the all the data has been wiped off?
4) If I can't get any data off, is it possible to try to reformat it and how? It is strange to me that it shows up fine in the BIOS and device manager. It is an 80 gig drive, and it says that there is a total capacity of 40 in the bios. It is about half full of data...does this make sense, good or bad?

Thanks again

Mike
 
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Go to disk managment, start, settings, control panel, administrative tools, computer managment, disk managment, is your old hard drive listed at the bottom? Assign it a drive letter if it is.
 
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