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Is This A Hard Drive Failure?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BML, Jun 25, 2002.

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  1. BML

    BML Thread Starter

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    I was on my computer tonight and internet explorer froze, no biggie things have froze before, but then the blue screen came up and said "beginning physical memory dump" "physical memory dump complete please restart".

    When I went to restart, it will not go into windows - it says "disk read error press ctl+alt+delete to restart!!!!!!!

    At that time it makes a little "grinding" noise coming from the hard drive!

    Swapped master and slave hard drives cannot get it to work. is it possible to extract data from a damaged hard drive? oh please tell me yes....save me many tears......it took me 6 months to create a lot of that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I tried to install windows (thinking that maybe it was missing a driver or some system file) and it recognizes the drive is there, but says "disk is unformatted, damaged, or not compatible..." so even that wont work!!!!!!!!

    oh please...I have not recently backed up my stuff - all my music, html webpages, digital camera images...I've got to be able to recover it!~~!

    O/S is windos XP Pro. drive is a IBM Deskstar 60 (40gb)

    :( :confused:
     
  2. wedor

    wedor

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    Let the drive cool down and then try to access it. If that doesn't work and you have another system to put it in you can try the freezer trick. Put it in a static bag, freeze it, put it in the other system, and then if you can access it get all the data you can off of it.
     
  3. BML

    BML Thread Starter

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    Huh? Put a sensitive hard disk drive in a FREEZER????

    won't condensation/ice crystal formation hurt it? How long do you freeze it? do you just take it right out of the gfreezer and into the computer case & fire it up?

    why do i need to use a second system. i have a "backup" hard drive (but I was too dumb to actually back up my stuff recently) and I could make THAT one the master, temporarily, and my IBM drive could be slave, if i was able to COPY data & files off of it .
     
  4. active95

    active95

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    Get a different hard drive , install it inside the machine , make sure that drive is the only one installed , then after XP is install , power down , install the IBM drive as a "slave" and power up and see..)

    Or if you have a friend take it to him and let it connect to his machine and "shove " files to cd-r

    Or might want to try Norton System Works or Ontrack programs which will try to repair the hdd.

    AFAIK the "freezer" trick used to work on the old hard drives , PIO Mode 1,3... ( were freezing the hdd make the inside "fluid" more "thick " sorta of speak, thus bringing the hard drive back to life)


    HTH
     
  5. wedor

    wedor

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    Yes, if you have an OS on the second drive you can do that.

    Hmmm...sensitive? well if it's already dead or dying what are you saving it from? If it is sealed in a bag (you can put the anti-stat bag in a ziplok) it shouldn't have a condensation problem. You are correct, as a general rule of thumb this would not be a normal procedure. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. If the data is that important to you it may be worth a risk to get it back. You can leave it in overnight, and yes, I pull them straight out and fire them up, you usually only get one or two shots at it so make sure you have everything ready ahead of time.

    The other option if you have a lot of money is to use a data recovery service.

    From the error messages it's giving you it may already be beyond saving. Have you gone to IBM's site and downloaded and run the Drive Fitness Test? Is it recognized in BIOS?
     
  6. BML

    BML Thread Starter

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    when i first boot up, when the BIOS screen is up, it displays "PRIMARY MASTER: XXXXXXXXXX SECONDARY MASTER XXXXXXXXXXXX PRIMARY SLAVE XXXXXXXXXX......"

    so by this I know that the machine knows there is a hard drive there. In fact, when I went to install winXP on it, it listed on the blue screen the correct partitions in their original sizes:

    c: 34245mb free space 34245mb
    d: 5004mb free space 5004mb

    so it must be able to read SOMETHING, right? I'll bet it's reading the partition table or something like that but no further.

    when i selected the slave drive to install to, is when it said "c: is unformatted, damaged, or not compatible..." I think the problem is in it being able to read data. it does spin up.
     
  7. BML

    BML Thread Starter

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    if I try the freezer trick, and it still does not read, will that have totally trashed the disk so that it cannot be recovered by any other means, including professional lab?
     
  8. wedor

    wedor

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    No, it doesn't kill it. The success of that trick depends on the reason for the drive failure in the first place. Have you tried the test from IBM yet?
     
  9. wedor

    wedor

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  10. thetoll

    thetoll

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    I work for a company and data recovery and forensics is all we do. If you have no other avenues and would be willing to pay ups shipping or fed ex to get the drive here I will look at it and see what I can do for you at no charge.

    Darren
    www.isaforensics.com
     
  11. wedor

    wedor

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    Now there's a heck of an offer!
     
  12. BML

    BML Thread Starter

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    Thanks Darren, maybe I'll call you.

    Last night i tried the freezer trick. no help.

    I loaded winXP onto my other (slower) drive and swapped IDE cables, and it boots up. no problems. but as soon as I plug in that IBM drive it can't seem to read.

    I listened with my ear to the drive and when it attempts to read it makes 4 "scratchy" sandpaper-like sounds. And, while I can hear it spin up, it does sound a tad loud.

    My BIOS does recognize this disk by its model #. And since my computer will boot into winXP on the other drive, and all the "old" backup files are still there, i think the IBM drive has died.

    I've had some probs recently when browsing photos (jpgs) with photoshop open it would freeze and say " memory referenced at xxxxxx cannot be written" and I moved those files into a different directory - different location on the drive - and they're fine. I've also had the mysterious sudden shutdown which I thought was RAM related but perhaps not. perhaps this is all somehow connected to the IBM junk.

    Anyway, I took the drive to a local computer repair and they'll charge me $60 to find out what they can recover and how much more they'll charge. I spent the last 6 months working on my web pages, scanned images for which i no longer own the scanner to duplicate, digital cam pictures which I spent hours taking, music which cost me hours of download time......i really really need to get it back and I will never again fail to back up....
     
  13. brushmaster1

    brushmaster1

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    It sounds like your drive is OK, but the master boot record may be fried. Try booting from a floppy and running FDISK/MBR

    It just might fix the problem, and it can't hurt...
     
  14. Slithy Tove

    Slithy Tove Guest

    HERE is an old thread with some interesting discussion on failing hard-disk options.

    If the read/write heads on the drive have "crashed" onto a platter surface there will be some data which probably cannot be recovered my any means whatsoever. If the heads remain in contact with the platters then repeatedly putting power to the spindle driver will only cause more damage. But, if you can get the heads off the platters by freezing or banging the drive then you can do some data copying for yourself (these "fixes" are short-term at best,,, if you get access to your data start a copy operation immediately).

    If the drive will spin up to speed you may be able to do some recovery even if there is some physical damage. Go HERE and download the free version of Easy Recovery. The freebie will NOT recover data, but it will tell you what it COULD recover if you purchase the full-blown version.

    And, stay in touch with Darren (thetoll). The services his company performs are expensive - and when someone offers help like he just did you want to consider that a VERY generous offer to help you out.
     
  15. BML

    BML Thread Starter

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    Well....talked to the computer repair place and they said they were able to recover my music. This is because i had a seperate partition for MP3s....all 5 gb of it.

    The problem appears to be something with the FAT table as the guy said, although my file system is NTFS. They think that the "boot" file or the very first file that windows looks for when it loads can't be read. So they are using some kind of "diagnostic" thing and they said it was an older version and didn't work..so they're ordering a new version of it, and will try that on thre main C: partition. They'll need a whole week.

    does this sound like it could be true? And, in a case like this where the FAT table is corrupted, can it be salvaged?
     
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