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Solved: Is my laptop hard drive about to die...?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by NeilR, Apr 22, 2010.

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  1. NeilR

    NeilR Thread Starter

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    Laptop froze today without warning. COuldn't turn it back on. Would freeze during boot process, even when I tried to boot in Safe Mode.

    Left it half hour and tried again. Managed to get XP going. BUt it's still not right. Freezes apparently at random, 5 or so minutes after boot. Needs re-boot.

    Other symptoms:
    Freezes in stage 2 of 3 of CHKDSK (verifying indexes). Needs reboot.
    Event log suggests errors with iastor (9) and ntfs (55).
    Left it on with no programs (other than startup progs) running. Opened Task Manager and just left it there in the hope that it would freeze and I'd get a glimpse of what was causing it. It froze on 99 percent CPU on System Idle Process. 1 percent on csrss.exe. I don't know if this is relevant.

    Mouse icon still moves when everything else is frozen.

    Oh, and one last thing, when trying to start the repair console with the XP boot disk it says it can't find a hard drive...

    I'm using XP Pro, on a Lenovo 3000 N200. Can't tel you a huge deal more than that I'm afraid.

    Huge thanks in advance for any help anyone can give....

    :)
     
  2. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    Since chkdsk is freezing, it does sound like impending doom for the hard drive, I would back up your Important data Now.

    Plan on replacing the hard drive soon.

    .
     
  3. NeilR

    NeilR Thread Starter

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    Thanks Mumbodog. Doesn't sound good, huh. My only problem is that I only have between 2 and 5 minutes before it freezes. I estimate I have about 25 GB of stuff that I *really* want to get off there. Going to have to do it in lots of short, sharp burst!
     
  4. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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  5. NeilR

    NeilR Thread Starter

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    Thanks Mumbodog. Just tried to reboot in order to give this a go, and it said my profile was corrupt and it couldn't load it. So what it did load was a "fresh install" Lenovo-branded profile. Basically what you'd see if you switched it on straight out of the box. Loads of shortcuts to the pre-installed nonsense software etc.

    However, since I've been in this profile I've been able to use it with no problems at all. No crashes etc. Now trying to work out where my data is so that I can drag it off onto an external hard-drive....

    So maybe it's a corrupt profile file or something?
     
  6. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    Corrupt due to a failing hard drive I think.

    .
     
  7. NeilR

    NeilR Thread Starter

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    If that's the case will I be able to reformat and reinstall the OS? Or is it beyond repair, meaning I'll have to get a new laptop hard-drive...?
     
  8. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    I would not trust that hard drive myself, I would replace it.

    .
     
  9. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    DO some diagnostics first. Hard drive is a very good possibility here. But could also be memory, or could be dust bunnies clogging the cooling passages through the machine.

    Remove/reinstall the RAM, and clean out the airways. If the problems persist (basically, if you still can't run chkdsk) then you need to try some drive diagnostics.

    Don't try to reinstall; if the drive is failing the reinstall won't succeed and any hope you have of recovering data will be gone.

    I don't know what you know how to do, so I hesitate to recommend specific drive diagnostic procedures; I always wind up doing that in either Linux or DOS. I use spinrite, which I highly recommend if you are willing to pay the $89 that it costs.

    I also commonly will use a Linux Live CD to run the system without using the hard drive, then I can use Linux tools to examine the drive and determine its condition. I also then use Linux to scroll the data off of the failing drive, onto a workstation someplace, then later back onto the new replacement drive.

    The drive *might* be salvageable; hard to tell. I have had spinrite bring them back from the dead before.
     
  10. NeilR

    NeilR Thread Starter

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    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for this. I have Spinrite and ran that, but it couldn't fix it. Looked pretty terminal. Plumped for new hard-drive which works fine, although I am now having a separate issue with that and the resulting XP install!

    :)
     
  11. NeilR

    NeilR Thread Starter

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    Update - thanks to your help I was able to get up and running and have managed to finally plough through the backlog of work that had built up.

    However, drivers aren't my strong point (unless they come with self-installing exes etc) so I couldn't work out how to download and install a few missing ones. Most notably the audio driver (no Skype or music in the office at the moment!), and whichever one is responsible for allowing my laptop to go into standby mode. It currently has two modes - off and on.

    Any driver advice on this would be gratefully received! :)
     
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