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DanF
02-22-2010, 09:33 PM
Hi all :) hope you're all well!

I've had a customer calling me because his system won't boot. Windows tries to boot and it restarts while loading Windows. What I've noticed is that the loading bar keeps stopping a lot and then all of a sudden a BSOD appears and restarts immediately. It doesn't work in safe mode and I've tried everythin in BIOS.

Then, seeing I could do nothing on the system itself, I've proceeded with connecting the HDD to a working system, via internal SATA. The system is running Windows 7, and it doesn't load with the HDD connected; so I've connected the hdd externally using a SATA to USB adapter. It took AGES for the hdd to get setup. It gets installed right away but it takes ages to appear in My Computer and in Computer Management.

Computer Management stops responding until it is detected. When it gets detected it tells me that the HDD is not formatted and it needs to be formatted with an option to Format. Upon checking out My Computer and double clicking on the HDD it gets stuck, and it does not open. It does the same sound like it's trying to do something, but it can't.

I've had the same issue long long time ago, but can't remember what I did. My bet is that the hard drive has gone bad. My question is, can I try something else? Secondly, the client does not have any important data, but he asked me if I could backup certain information only if possible. What can I do?

Thanks :)

Dan.

NickCat11
02-22-2010, 09:38 PM
It definitely sounds like the drive is going bad or it has some bad sectors where its getting stuck. Did you give HDTune a try to see if you can get them SMART details off of it or do an error scan? I had something similiar happen last week. I ran HDD Regenerator, it took 7 hours but when it was finished it fixed the bad sectors and allowed me to access the drive with no problem.

kagman
02-22-2010, 09:44 PM
I suggest Spinrite... One should have this great piece of software. If the hard drive has a bad section or if the ECC is not correcting files as it writes the data to the drive then this might help.. Get it at grc.com. Now its 90 dollars but it can help out. Depending on the damage on the hard drive the scan will take hours upon hours.

Thats just my advice. I'm sure that others here will have some great advice or other software suggestions for you.. Good luck

--Jose--

DanF
02-22-2010, 09:55 PM
Applications won't even run if the drive is connected. Even if it's not plugged into the wall lol, strange huh. So I can't use HD Tune or anything unless it decides to show up.

I'll try a new HDD on the customer's system just to make sure it's actually the HDD that's messing up everything.

EDIT: Actually I've managed to get HD Tune to start testing. It showed up all of a sudden.

NickCat11
02-22-2010, 09:58 PM
EDIT: Actually I've managed to get HD Tune to start testing. It showed up all of a sudden.

Is there any external noises (clicking, etc)?

kagman
02-22-2010, 10:00 PM
Best to use a program that boots up within its own environment bypassing windows or what ever OS is installed on the computer.


--Jose--

DanF
02-22-2010, 10:11 PM
Yes, that's why I think it's going bad. To be honest, it clicks most of the time, on and off, on and off. But it's not doing it while HD Tune is running. So far no errors detected :confused:

Is there any external noises (clicking, etc)?

DanF
02-22-2010, 10:15 PM
Can you recommend any specific one? Thanks.

Best to use a program that boots up within its own environment bypassing windows or what ever OS is installed on the computer.


--Jose--

HubCityPC
02-22-2010, 10:25 PM
Can you recommend any specific one? Thanks.

As mentioned earlier, Spinrite. You boot to it from CD, a thumb drive or even a floppy.

Also try MHHD (http://www.technibble.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10075).

Kevin

othersteve
02-23-2010, 02:44 AM
Just a bit of personal advice: be sure to create a full image of the drive before running SpinRite. As it sounds as though this particular drive is mechanically failing, it's quite possible that SpinRite could kill it completely once it's run.

kagman
02-23-2010, 04:53 AM
I had spinrite running on a computer for 28 hours at one point..lol.. The point of having a program like spinrite and others is to get the data off as soon as possible on the drive is repaired.

Remember all hard drives will fail, its a just a mater of time thats all..


--Jose--

othersteve
02-23-2010, 03:32 PM
Yeah, quite true. I just am always certain to image before and after in case SpinRite's abuse of the drive sectors during the read/write repairs goes horribly awry (it's happened before).

NickCat11
02-23-2010, 03:44 PM
in case SpinRite's abuse of the drive sectors during the read/write repairs goes horribly awry (it's happened before).

This is what has kept me away from SpinRite. I've heard some horror stories about it although the general consensus says its good software. I'll stick with HDD Regenerator for now.

MobileTechie
02-23-2010, 04:16 PM
Boot up Parted Magic and see if linux can see any files and then clone it.

Then try chkdsk on it for starters.

MrUnknown
02-23-2010, 04:28 PM
This is what has kept me away from SpinRite. I've heard some horror stories about it although the general consensus says its good software. I'll stick with HDD Regenerator for now.

HDD Regenerator can also kill a dying drive.

Neither software should be used on a HDD that you actually think might fail.

othersteve
02-23-2010, 04:49 PM
I certainly do not claim to be a data recovery expert, but as MrUnknown suggests, my knowledge of the field has always led me to believe that generally ANY software which writes back to a mechanically failing drive should be avoided until a full sector-by-sector drive image is completed. At that point, abuse all you like, as whatever data was initially accessible is safe.

kagman
02-23-2010, 05:23 PM
I think we can all agree that when you are working on a drive that is dieing then you are taking a risk in trying to fix it. Personally i tell people that when it comes to data recovery I give it a 50/50 chance.


Now I love spinerite. It has helped me big time over the years. Ive never used the others but if guys here recommend and stand by the others then look into it.


--Jose--

DanF
02-23-2010, 06:30 PM
No matter what I try it stops the process in the middle. It just crashes and the drive starts doing the 'faulty' noises. I've informed my client and he understood the situation. Fortunately he used to backup all the important stuff every so often. So he hasn't lost too much, except some of the e-mails cause he didn't know that he could actually back them up.. but I'll be showing him how to back his e-mails when I deliver the system back to him :)

Thanks for all your replies. I really appreciate your support.