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Terminal HDD failure??

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,996
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Terminal HDD failure??

I have been asked to look at a laptop from a workmate. It boots to a screen that tells you windows did not load correctly, and choose how windows starts etc etc, it then gets to the windows scrolling blue bars for a couple of seconds, then you see a flash of a BSOD, then it reboots. I assume its set to do this ion Windows, but cannot get into the install to change this. I popped in a diagnostic CD, and ran some through CPU, memory and drive tests, and the HDD came up as having errors. I have taken it out, and tried it in a USB caddy, and also an IDE adapter to a standard MOBO. Although windows and the BIOS recognise the drive, when connected via USB nothing shows in My Computer, and I cannot access the Drive management snapin while this HDD is connected. With the IDE adapter, windows shows a drive, but when you try to access it, all you get is 'this drive is not formatted etc '  Drive properties show it formatted as RAW. I am presuming this drive is kaput, as it also rattles when moved (I have not shaken it Crazy)  My question is......  is there any way of getting data off this drive, short of a data recovery specialist. There is stuff on there they would really like to retreive.
6 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,491
Thanks: 1,950
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Terminal HDD failure??

If the HDD rattles, it does sound a bit terminal Cry
However the fact that it does struggle to start loading Windoze does leave a little bit of optimism.  I'd guess that you will need to get the system booted into either a DOS or a Linux recovery program to have any chance of 'seeing' the disk and getting some of the data transferred to another drive.  Getting the failing drive onto another machine where you are not relying on loading the OS from the drive is a good start.
Could you get it to boot into 'Safe mode'  (F8 during load sequence) when in the original Hardware?  Is it FAT or NTFS?
Now comes the leap in the dark!  There are a number of freeware / shareware / paid for packages out there which might help you get at least some of the data back.  Google for "Hard Drive Recovery"  It's some time now since Iv'e had to go down this path, so I'm hesitant to recommend anything as the outcome could well be a bigger disaster?
Hopefully someone with more recent experience will be along with a recommendation.
Maurice
Moderator
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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Terminal HDD failure??

I've used spinrite very effectively to give hard drives a stay of execution, though the rattle is a little worrying.
It's not overly cheap, but I've found it very useful quite a few times.

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,491
Thanks: 1,950
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Terminal HDD failure??

You might also take a look at this thread  a different problem, but the Tools being suggested might just help you out? Smiley
M
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,996
Thanks: 5
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Terminal HDD failure??

Thanks Guys,
I have slaved it to 2 windows systems, and cannot access anything. I would presume its NTFS, but Windows when I can eventually access it, reports file system as RAW. Also when it is slaved, it makes windows run very slowly.  I have a LINUX disk, I could try, and will read the other thread for more info.  Have also tried o&o recovery and search and recover to no avail.
KenA
Grafter
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎28-08-2007

Re: Terminal HDD failure??

I had a similar challenge a while ago, and I used a linux system rescue boot disk to help.  Have a look at www.sysresccd.org, though you'll need a minimal knowlege of linux to do some stuff like mounting the filesystem.
But at least it would allow you to try to view any important files to recover them.
If you boot rescuecd into memory cached mode, you can take the boot cd out and if you've got a cd writer you can then copy the files to that.  Alternatively, you can mount a network share on another pc and copy the files there.
Gel
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,663
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Registered: ‎02-08-2007

Re: Terminal HDD failure??