Dead hard drive or virus?

Thanks for reading...

Last week I was trying to watch a basketball game on my HP Pavillion D6 lapton on and no issues. After that, my computer started running very slowly so I tried to reboot.

It said that there were no files to boot from and then said there was no hard drive. I was able to boot to windows afterwards and it ran very slowly. Somehow I was able to get to safemode and it ran just fine and ran my Norton AV and if found a lot of issues that it said were either fixed or quarantined. I let it run all night and in the morning Norton had somehow been turned off. I also ran malwarebytes and no issues.

I tried to restart my computer to get my files off onto an external hard drive and it said my hard drive was in imminent danger of failing. I said to continue and then I got an error that says no hard drive found. Even in the bios, no hard drive found to even run checks on.

My IT friend gave me an external SATA adaptor. I took out my hard drive from my laptop popped it in the adapter and plugged it into another computer. I could hear my little hard drive start up and spin, heard some soft clicks (no grinding or anything) but the working laptop did not recognize my hard drive. My hard drive spins normally, doesn't make any weird noises, but it is still not recognizable.

My question is whether or not this is dead hard drive or am I missing something. It is about 3 years old so I guess that is possible. Are there other tricks that I am missing?

I am a doctor and I have patient sensitive information on it so I don't want to send it out, nor do I want to pay big bucks to get it back.

Just wondering if there are any last ditch efforts before I pronounce it dead.

As an update...I tried to put in an windows installation disk into my laptop just to see what would happen.

It recognized that there was a hard drive and said that there was a bout 300 gb of data space (for a 320 GB HD) but it gave me an error stating that windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support botting to this disk Enshare that the disk controller is enabled in the computer's bios menu. What does this mean?

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  1. My vote is that it is sounds like it is dieing. If it normally clicks, it could be parking the heads but if you've never noticed it before, it could be time to save what you can.

    If it was a virus, then putting the hard disk in another computer should have worked and you should have been able to just copy your data.

    If you are unable to initialise the disk, sounds like it is time to go for a new drive unfortunately.
  2. Thanks. I guess the million dollar questions is how do I save what I can if I can't get it to be recognized? It is weird that the windows installation disk recognized it but nothing else.

  3. The installation disk message is normal for any hard disk with problems, it's to ensure you don't do an installation on a HDD that may fail soon after, but it's not an indication that the hard disk is hopelessly inaccessible... the problem recognizing it from the external SATA adaptor is because the BIOS S.M.A.R.T. setting prevents it, you need to disable S.M.A.R.T. in the BIOS of any computer you want to access it from... it may even be possible to boot from it after disabing this BIOS setting in the computer it was running on, and if it does, immediately backup your information and don't turn the computer off before you're done because it may not be accessible for much longer.
  4. Thanks Chicano. Do you have a link that can help me temporarily disable S.M.A.R.T IN THE BIOS?
    Thank you so much for helping me out.
  5. mikeinstlouis said:
    Thanks Chicano. Do you have a link that can help me temporarily disable S.M.A.R.T IN THE BIOS?
    Thank you so much for helping me out.

    I would need the computer make and model to find the user manual where I can see the BIOS images and right BIOS menu for the detailed information... you could look in the BIOS yourself trying to find the setting in the meantime...

    How to access the BIOS by computer make
  6. It's an HP Pavillion Entertainment PC laptop, dv6-2057 cl. Does that help?
  7. mikeinstlouis said:
    It's an HP Pavillion Entertainment PC laptop, dv6-2057 cl. Does that help?
    It would normally help but HP doesn't give much information like other makes... most makes have a link from which you can view or download a detailed PDF manual that most of the times includes information and includes images of the CMOS BIOS or UEFI Setup Utility where you can find every setting you need to change... but so far all I've found is this PDF with limited information, it's not so detailed so I hope it helps help you find the setting. This is to try and boot the HDD in your computer if you want to try on another computer the appropriate info would be necessary.

    If it becomes seeminly impossible, you may want to try on an older PC if possible... in my experience older PCs had simpler BIOS that didn't object on detecting and booting failing HDDs
  8. Thanks. Unfortunately, all of my old computers are not SATA.
  9. mikeinstlouis said:
    Thanks. Unfortunately, all of my old computers are not SATA.

    Sata adapters are very inexpensive.. you can find for IDE, for PCI, for 3.5 or 2.5 HDDs.. or maybe a USB enclosure. PCI may require drivers but an adapter for the IDE cable/belt may recognise the HDD as IDE immediately w/o need for drivers. You can find some adapters here. You shouldn't need to bolt in the 2.5" HDD but if you want to you can buy an adapter for that also. Find adapters for 2.5" HDD to 3.5" HDD or Optical bay here
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