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Solved: Hard drive about to die?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Chico1984, Sep 21, 2008.

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  1. Chico1984

    Chico1984 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Hey everyone,

    I got a computer, and my client would like me to save her data (understandable). Anyway, that is the problem, I cannot access the data on her drive. Below are the ways I have tried to access the drive:
    Hooking it up to my computer's secondary IDE controller as the master drive.
    Hooking it up to my USB Bridge (IDE to USB, neat tool that works great)
    Boot up her computer and access the hard drive.

    Each time, the system would "freeze up" When I hooked it up via the bridge, the system could tell me what type of drive it was, but it would never show up in My Computer, and within 20 - 30 seconds, the system (my OS - Windows XP) would freeze up until I turned off the USB Bridge, then about 5 seconds later my PC would respond. When I boot up her PC with the hard drive, the orange light comes on after POST, and just sits....and sits. I have it set to boot from the Windows XP boot disk, then to the HDD, and I press enter to boot from the XP CD, but the orange light comes on and I need to reboot the machine. I finally "disabled" the HDD from starting up at all, and now I can access the Windows XP CD.

    I was able to get into the Recovery Console and do a chkdsk /r on the drive, and it said it fixed problems (which it took an unrecognizable file system, and converted it to NTFS, it sounded like the file system was corrupted). I still could not boot to her HDD, it would still lock up. I am now trying to just reinstall XP to see if I can get in there long enough to save her data and then wipe the drive and start clean. Okay, just rebooted, enabled the HDD to start, and yeah, we still have the same problem. I will try tomorrow to hook it up via the USB Bridge and see if I can get into it. Ugh....

    What else I could do, since I want to do all I can to save her data. Could there be a problem with the MBR? If so, would FIXMBR work? I have heard negative things about this command.

    Your suggestions and input is greatly suggested.
     
  2. Gulo Luseus

    Gulo Luseus

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,463
    From the post, it may be time to get a specialist. If the drive wont react under the 3 conditions you tried, it sounds fairly much dead, or close to it. The worrying bit is that it has tried to convert to NTFS. This sounds horribly like it may have formatted an unknown drive, in much the same way it would a blank drive.
    I cant think of much else that can be done from a home point of view. Depending on how important the info is, you may have to go to a shop that does data recovery and see what they can find. Not hugely cheap, but may be the best alternative :)
     
  3. Chico1984

    Chico1984 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Thank you Gulo for reassuring my thought. Anyhow, I fixed the problem(s), so let me tell you what I did, because this one was a strange one. Okay, I pulled out the HDD and looked in the back, and noticed a broken pin, hmmmm.... Now, I assume this isn't from me, because I'm very careful with these things, knowing the pain of trying to bend a pin back. Okay, so I called her, we talked, and we decided to throw in an existing HDD I had from another machine.

    Started it up, and we were right back to where I started. No boot up, just the orange light after POST. Well, my suspicions led me to check the cable, and I plugged in a new cable, same results. I decided to put the HDD on the secondary IDE channel, and boom, the new HDD booted right up. Of course, this sucks, because the primary IDE channel is malfunctioning, and my old system, when the primary IDE channel went, I had to buy a PCI IDE channel card. So I moved the CD-ROM and HDD around so that it went master-->slave-->CPU. It works and I'm installing XP as we speak. Let's hope all goes smoothly now :)
     
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