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Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????

GUEST,punkfolkrocker 26 Jun 15 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,# 26 Jun 15 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 26 Jun 15 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,# 26 Jun 15 - 12:50 PM
EBarnacle 26 Jun 15 - 02:15 PM
GUEST 26 Jun 15 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 Jun 15 - 05:09 PM
Stanron 26 Jun 15 - 07:45 PM
Nick 26 Jun 15 - 08:46 PM
EBarnacle 27 Jun 15 - 07:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Jun 15 - 07:31 AM
Stanron 27 Jun 15 - 08:52 AM
Acme 27 Jun 15 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 27 Jun 15 - 06:51 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 15 - 07:32 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 Jun 15 - 05:10 AM
Thompson 28 Jun 15 - 05:16 AM
Thompson 28 Jun 15 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,DaveRo 28 Jun 15 - 06:01 AM
EBarnacle 28 Jun 15 - 07:18 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 15 - 08:26 PM
Stanron 28 Jun 15 - 09:26 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 15 - 12:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Jun 15 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Jun 15 - 12:46 PM
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Subject: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 11:18 AM

hello mudcat mates - I'm back online after sudden death of old PC last weekend.

I've just finished setting up a brand new cheap PC
that'll tide me over until I get the high powered machine on my wishlist.

So here's the big problem - the old PC expired without warning or obvious symptoms.

It starts to boot, but will not recognise the Hard Drive;
nor will the win 7 installation DVD boot repair software.

Even less than 2 weeks ago I defragged the drive and ran the Win 7 error check up,
and it passed showing no problems;

so I'm about to remove the Hard Drive and set it up in a USB 2 enclosure,
hoping it still works, but prepared for the worst.

It's a 5 or 6 year old WD Blue Caviar 320gig

My question is this...

The drive has 3 partitions with win 7 installed on C [with no bootup pass word].

If it still works, would the new PC recognise it as a USB disk
and show all folders on all 3 partitions regardless of the formatting ???

Anything important I need to know before proceeding to see if the data is salvageable over USB ???

Also, if the disk is still alive and I download and burn the WD diagnostic tests to CD,
can I run the tests over USB ???

cheers....

not the best weather for dismantling computers,
uncomfortably hot and humid and perspiration dripping all over everything...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST,#
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 11:45 AM

pfr, why not first see if you can get the old hard drive stuff you want to save to a memouy stick, then see if that will load to your new machine, assuming your new machine has good firewalls?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 12:15 PM

unfortunately the PC won't boot beyond
"DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER"

The BIOS refuses to recognize the hard drive, and neither does trying to boot from Win 7 installation DVD.

to all intents and purposes the PC is 'brain dead'.

So absolutely no access to the data on the disk via USB stick or any other way.

I'm resigned to the probability of a dead HD and total data loss,
though going through the motions of trying to be optimistic
that maybe there's a slim chance it's only a fried component
on the motherboard or power supply...???


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST,#
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 12:50 PM

Wish I could help. I have had two HD failures in two years on second-hand machines and a fellow nearby was able to save stuff from one of them. I'll ask him what he did and get back to you soon as. Until then, see if this is of any use to you.

http://ccm.net/faq/1191-disk-boot-failure-insert-system-disk-and-press-enter


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 02:15 PM

Get the external HDD enclosure and try the drive. If the drive is actually good, you will have access to all of your files. You can then transfer the files you wish to save. If the drive is the problem, you can install a new HDD in ye Olde machine and have two good machines.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 02:20 PM

Use a live Linux CD

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-best-rescue-disks-windows-system-restore/


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 05:09 PM

Windows in every version have always failed me.
(The aspect of "E.T. phone home for continual updates is unnerving, and the crash usually happens shortly afterward.

Mr. GUEST in right.....Linux ..... I prefer a flash-drive boot ... and a very recent CD version is available in most bookstore magazine sections as a "bonus within the magazine.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I can usually get another two years use with Linux after a Windoze cra$H.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Stanron
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 07:45 PM

The linux live CD idea could work. You need to download the iso file, burn it to a DVD and boot up with that. You wont have to install it if you get something like Mint 17.1 Cinnamon. It will be slow to run but it will show all your partitions as separate drives. The problem is they wont be called 'C; or 'D' etc. They will be called 'sda1', 'sda2' or 'sdb1' or something like that. You might be able to identify them by size. You should be able to transfer files from the hard drive to a USB stick. or external drive.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Nick
Date: 26 Jun 15 - 08:46 PM

I'd echo the Linux idea and have used Knoppix off a CD and recovered all the data off my son's 'dead' laptop


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: EBarnacle
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 07:20 AM

He's asking for a diagnostic approach and you are touting a product change. Get real. He is trying to save as much data as possible.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 07:31 AM

He's asking for a diagnostic approach and you are touting a product change.

No they,re not, EB. The recommendation is to simply boot up using the free Linux ISO and see if that can then see the hard drive to save the data. It is diagnostic. It is not a product change. Got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning or something? :-(


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Stanron
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 08:52 AM

The Linux free DVD will work on the original computer if the motherboard still works and the hard drive still works. Windows can and does fail if some of the Windows files are corrupted. If the motherboard has failed the hard drive will have to be connected to another computer. That computer's operating system should be able to see contents of a working hard drive. It may not be able to see all the partitions on that drive. That is where Linux can score over Windows. It will see each partition as a separate drive. Of course if the hard drive itself is dead then all bets are off. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Acme
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 09:57 AM

Shoulda though of that when my neighbor's "all-in-one" computer died, but she had so little data that for her it is easier to get a new computer and put the last backup into it (all of her data fit on one DVD disc. This is the "little old lady only drives to church on Sunday" kind of computer use.) And now her data is going into Dropbox, so she won't lose it again.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 06:51 PM

thanks for very constructive advice.
I postponed rehousing the HD in a usb enclosure
to first burn a knoppix DVD and give it a try.

Through trial and error i just found 'system info - summary'

but can't see any sign of a hard drive on the summary list.

The only storage listed is the DVD drive..

This might be interesting though..

If i click the heading 'Battery' - the message is

"No batteries found on this system"

Does that refer to the motherboard/bios battery
and if i try to be optimistic
might it have any bearing on the Hard Drive being lost from the system ???

Still haven't worked out how to explore knoppix folder structure
just in case there was a Hard Drive recognised by the linx install


cheers


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 07:32 PM

Battery would be for laptops, etc.

Open a terminal window and try:

ls /dev/sd*


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 05:10 AM

Could be the battery. I have had old PCs fail with that before. Usually a CR2032. Certainly worth a try as you can get a whole card of them on markets or pound shops for a quid.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 05:16 AM

You've tried the hard drive in another computer already, yes?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 05:17 AM

Damn lack of edit button! If the hard drive works in another computer, it might be a) a motherboard problem, b) the wire you're using to link the computer to the motherboard.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST,DaveRo
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 06:01 AM

The WD Blue Caviar is a SATA drive. The bios setup display on the old machine should show what drives it can see. I had a PC where the onboard SATA failed. I installed a SATA PCI card to replace it.

Does the new machine have a spare SATA socket on the mobo? Is there a spare power socket coming from the PSU? If yes and yes, just plug it in and try it. Ideally you'd check the bios to make sure it'll boot from the other drive rather than this old one, but either way it'll tell you if the old drive works. (Booting the new machine from the old HD almost certainly won't succeed.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: EBarnacle
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 07:18 PM

Quick way to check the BIOS is to press F2 during startup. This will give you access to the machine's BIOS.
Dave, my point earlier was that if the machine is not recognizing the drive it is unlikely to load a new program.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 08:26 PM

Delete is another common key for the BIOS.

The Linux versions mentioned boot from CD/DVD. Some of them, eg. Knoppix, have a sort of niche as "rescue CDs". Their use in diagnosing, fixing and retrieving data is well known. Even "Windows professionals" can have something like this in their "tool kit".


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Stanron
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 09:26 PM

There is a very small window of time on the initial boot up screen where the key to press for Bios setup is displayed. Not all machines are the same. There is sometimes a boot source option (on my machine F8) as well. I always mean to write these down but when the machine is working OK I just don't bother.

I seem to remember an option when installing Windows of creating a rescue disk. I never got one of these to work. Has anyone else?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 12:18 AM

When I want to retrieve data from an old computer, i find it's easiest just to install the old hard drive into the new computer. It's just a matter of two plugs and sometimes a screw or two. Most times, the old drive works just find, and I copy the old data onto a partition on the hard drive of the new computer. Then I take out the old drive and deface the disks on the old drive, and throw it away.
Takes me about ten minutes or less to install an old drive into a new computer. Why mess around with more complicated solutions?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 06:58 AM

OK, EB, but no-one was suggesting loading a new program as far as I can see. You do just boot with a Linux disk in the DVD drive and see if that can see the hard disk. It is not always F2 either. Could be Del as someone has mentioned or, in some cases, F10 or F12. All depends on the motherboard really.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Testing 'failed' hard drive ?????
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 12:46 PM

ok.. I now have a brand new USB enclosure, to test the old 'failed' hard drive with the new PC and or laptop.

I actually bought it about six years ago, just in case it ever came in useful,
but it's taken a couple of days to discover which box it was stored in.

Quite a versatile external enclosure, either SATA or IDE drives can go in it, and it can connect by USB 2 or eSATA.

Anyway, I'll get on with the job as soon as the weather cools down a bit.
I'm sweating buckets and feeling too sleepy at the moment to concentrate..


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