Old 2nd March 2009, 02:59   #1
dlinkwit27
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Atmo! Is this HDD Fried?

So my gf's sister fried her laptop somehow, I don't know the story. Vista Home Premium, I don't know more than that. I was able to boot ubuntu using a liveCD and copy all the vital files (pics, etc) to an external HDD. Vista would hang literally 20-30 seconds after booting no matter what mode (regular, safe, safe with net, etc). I tried to format the HDD and itgot just far enough to get rid of the boot portion of windows.

I have tried dban and also killdisk to wipe the drive and start over, but they do nothing.

Is the HDD dead or is there some other program I need to try first?
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Old 2nd March 2009, 05:54   #2
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It's possible (through I have no idea how likely) that the fault is with the controller and not the hard drive. My first instinct, if possible, would be to take the drive out and try working with it from another machine. This also lets you see if there's any obvious physical problem, including loose/damaged connectors.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 06:43   #3
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It seems odd that you would have a hard disk that is functional enough for you to back up data files off of it while being faulty.

Windows not booting could be anything. It is weird that your attempts to format haven't been successful either though.

Windows not booting wouldn't lead me immediately to conclude anything about the status of the HDD. I'd think more along the lines of a software error, especially since you were able to recover data.

I think I'd just get out the Vista CD and see if she'll take a new install. If Vista isn't handy, try installing Ubuntu to test. Yeah nobody ever has their install disk

EDIT: I'd reset the BIOS first.

Last edited by rockouthippie; 2nd March 2009 at 06:58.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 12:36   #4
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whipe the partition with gparted and create a new one and format for ntfs. maybe works that way.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 12:47   #5
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gparted won't let me partition it, or format it. it freaks out. I'll give you the error message in a while.

I am also at a loss as to why I was able to run ubuntu for 2 hours and not vista. I was thinking I got lucky and now it is really fried from all the plugging in and unplugging

/edit
well gparted just let me create a new partition with no issues. so now i have a 250 gig partition whatd'ya know. I'm going to install ubuntu first while my vista torrent finishes. the damn girl lost her recovery CD luckily i was able to pull the serial back when safe-mode was working

My ubuntu install is just made it past the part where every other program (but gparted now) has freaked out. SCSI (i think I got that wrong) (0, 0, 0). 23%. Yippie.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 13:08   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by dlinkwit27
the damn girl lost her recovery CD
DON'T THEY ALWAYS. How many times have I asked "Where is the recovery CD?" Usually after pulling a pile of dusty CD's with "learn to speak spanish", printer drivers and the world atlas out.... they never find it.

"No... it's the one that had PUT THIS IN A SAFE PLACE all over it."
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Old 2nd March 2009, 20:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
It seems odd that you would have a hard disk that is functional enough for you to back up data files off of it while being faulty.
This is the most common type of failure I see at work. Virtually all hard drives that fail multiple tests will still give up their information (slowly); they just won't be stable enough to run an OS from. The stress placed on a primary drive is very different from the stress placed on a storage drive.

At most, one out of five failing hard drives won't let you back up any information in my experience.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 23:46   #8
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Yeah, but in the absence of real testing, I wouldn't assume a boot failure was a drive failure.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 08:17   #9
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Old 3rd March 2009, 15:18   #10
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http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolso.../tophddiag.htm

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Old 3rd March 2009, 18:55   #11
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I'd do a memory test. Maybe windows uses portions of your RAM that might be damaged? Or that windows loads a device driver that uses a piece of hardware that linux doesn't load?

There's a bootable memory test that you can put on a floppy... if the computer has one..

09 F9 11 01 9D 74 E8 5B D8 41 56 C3 63 56 81 C0
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Old 5th March 2009, 13:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
Yeah, but in the absence of real testing, I wouldn't assume a boot failure was a drive failure.
Assumptions aren't too smart, but really if the machine is powering on but not booting, it's much more likely to be a dying HDD. Cases where a stick of RAM, or a motherboard component, or some other component are keeping the machine from booting are much more rare.
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Old 5th March 2009, 15:03   #13
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Originally posted by iomegajaz
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Old 5th March 2009, 16:20   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phyltre
Assumptions aren't too smart, but really if the machine is powering on but not booting, it's much more likely to be a dying HDD. Cases where a stick of RAM, or a motherboard component, or some other component are keeping the machine from booting are much more rare.
Aren't you also making an assumption? If you don't want to assume anything in this case, you need to test.

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Old 5th March 2009, 16:36   #15
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All of the times I had a computer that would not boot it was because of either bad ram/ram slot, bad sound card/pci slot, or the cpu had been fried.

I'm not saying this is the case all of the time, but that sort of thing does happen ... and well, yah:

Quote:
Originally posted by k_rock923
you need to test.
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Old 6th March 2009, 17:49   #16
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My nomination for most common fritzy computer behavior goes to bad power supplies. Sometimes it looks like you have voltage, but it's hardly DC. It can make you think a lot of other things are wrong.
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Old 6th March 2009, 18:02   #17
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Heh, it's possible to: hdd suddenly changes the power it's using by seeking or stops seeking or something, power supply shits itself, dead.

Power supply was my last hardware problem, computer rebooted randomly, computer starting dying more often, funny loud cracking noise coming from power supply... Then the replacement PSU I bought, some cable wouldn't reach, ended up splicing it so goodbye warranty...

My UPS agrees with me that the power supply in this house is poos. If I wasn't renting I'd rewire the place, but don't have anything demonstrable to warrant getting the landlord to do it (and my names not on the tenancy...)

Most common problem for me tho? "Oh, I forgot to plug something in/put jumper in the wrong place" Doesn't really apply to laptops though.
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Old 7th March 2009, 02:20   #18
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good news bad news. actually, bad news worse news.

The laptop was/is dead. I was able to get everything backed up like I said, but the ubuntu installiation froze after 12 hours the first time, then 6 the next. It was on it's way out.

Worse news. There were a few viruses on the backed up data, and like an idiot I opend a few of the files before scanning them and infected my machine. Yea, n00b 101 I know.

I didn't mind though, my comp was getting cluttered and I have all important docs on my external HD so I just decided to wipe my machine and do a clean XP instal.

Now the worse news. I got XP installed no trouble there, but for some reason it won't detect my hardware. My screen is choppy which in the past has meant a corrupt vid driver, and it won't detect my ethernet card. I know both are there because I popped in my ubuntu live cd and it is able to find both. I am typing this from the livecd for that matter.

I've googled and so far the most common solution is to download a program called Everest and let it do its thing. Now I am just trolling for 2nd opinions
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Old 7th March 2009, 03:13   #19
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This thread is a prime example of "too many chiefs, not enough indians"

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
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Old 7th March 2009, 11:36   #20
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Fuckin' A. We need some primo Atmo action up in here, STAT.

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Old 7th March 2009, 11:45   #21
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meh, this is below his level of difficulty. I think he knew that if he left me alone for a while I would figure it out.

Used the hardware thingy in ubuntu to recall which cards I have, downloaded the drivers, and then just moved them to my c:\docs\desktop in ubuntu. no flash drive needed got avast and firefox installed, intalled my realtek drivers, and now i am getting ready to download updated vid-card drivers. then winamp and office 07 and digsby and ... and ... and ...
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Old 7th March 2009, 13:12   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by dlinkwit27
it won't detect my ethernet card.
Yeah, XP doesn't have ethernet drivers! At least not for any computer I tried it on. That's made me swear a few times. Download Winamp? Are you sure that's safe?
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Old 7th March 2009, 15:19   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
Yeah, XP doesn't have ethernet drivers! At least not for any computer I tried it on.
i can confirm that.
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Old 8th March 2009, 02:43   #24
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because I know you all care, here is my new problem I had everything up and running, got my drivers installed, everything was working fine. Then i updated via auto updates to xp sp3 and now I am stuck on the "limited or no connectivity" bug which seems to be common. finding a solution through all of the stupid replies I am finding on google is the hard part. I am looking for one short of uninstall and re-install sp3
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Old 11th March 2009, 08:10   #25
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Uninstall/reinstall wireless drivers? Update wireless drivers? Reconfigure/reinstall everything network related?
My upgrade to SP3 everything just worked, in fact I never noticed the difference, so I'm not much help.
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Old 11th March 2009, 11:15   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul_Bags

My upgrade to SP3 everything just worked, in fact I never noticed the difference, so I'm not much help.
same here.

but i gained 3 fps in UT3 benchmark :P
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Old 12th March 2009, 00:15   #27
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just re-installed windows overnight (since I had nothing else on the HD) and all the upgrades work fine now. weirdness, but I wont complain
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Old 13th March 2009, 04:42   #28
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I always install service packs before drivers, driver installers will reset anything they need back how it was or not install at all, ether way you know where the problems are better.
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Old 17th March 2009, 15:49   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by k_rock923
Aren't you also making an assumption? If you don't want to assume anything in this case, you need to test.
LOL, only in cases where "likely" = "assumption". Obviously testing is still needed, it would be silly to say it wasn't.


I've been having some problems myself, an 8hr stress test reported a HDD failure. I've purchased a RAID-class drive this time (an RE3) so hopefully things will be a little smoother. I'll also be installing Windows 7 RC1 this time around. (Build 7057).

Next stop, SSD! One the small Intel models drop another $150 or so (and that should happen in 6 months, if I'm right) I'll be making that jump.
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