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Dell Hard Drive in Distress!!!

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September 8, 2006 12:09:47 AM

My hard drive has been acting up lately (a hitachi 60 GB ATA 4200 rpm) in a Dell Laptop, I can't boot past the loading screen - I 've already done 3 windows repair reinstallations, and the third time was done 20 min ago from typing this thread...

I've found a component tester (pressing Fn button when booting), and when the Short DST test comes up, it says fail......what does that mean?

Is there any way I can fix this drive by myself...some utlity maybe...chdsk...?
:cry:  :cry:  :cry: 

Please help me!!!

laptop specs:
Intel Pentium M 1.5GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, Geforce go5200.
September 8, 2006 12:20:48 AM

Run erd from Winternals or something like that. Usually in this case, you may want to attain a new drive, plus an external 2.5 enclosure to repair the other. I would call Dell\India for any warranty the drive may have.
September 8, 2006 12:29:03 AM

Do you still have the hidden reinstall partition on your hard disk? If so, you could reinstall the OS back to the original Dell configuration. Sure, you'll loose all your data, but at least you'll have a working computer. It doesn't sound like a failing hard drirve. Sounds more like a bad OS install.
Related resources
September 8, 2006 12:34:41 AM

The Laptop is around 2 years old, so no warranty there.....

Please tell me what erd from Winternals is and what it can do for my hard drive - somehow I can't access the site from laptop..
September 8, 2006 12:38:57 AM

how can I tell if I have one?

I probably dont - I low-level formatted the drive using a Maxtor utility around a month or two ago - it was the only way I thought I could get rid of the lag/slowness on my laptop, since it has been troubling me almost for 3 months.

IF a Short DST fails, does that mean the HD is a goner, or can DST test more than HD health?
September 8, 2006 12:46:23 AM

I would say your drive is on the way down the pooper. I happen to have a copy of the Winternal's from a friend of mine, but you may be able to torrent the now Microsoft product. If you formated the disk the Dell hidden partition gone. You'll need to get a new drive and OS, but u would not recommend writing to your disk anymore. Buy a new drive and an external enclosure to rebuild the partition and save your data.
September 8, 2006 12:50:19 AM

forgive me, but what's an external enclosure?
-haven't had much experience with hard drives :cry: 

You say that it's finished, but I'm wondering if like joefriday said, it might be some other problem......Are the chances that it's another problem great?



bump on anything about DST...
September 8, 2006 12:54:49 AM

Check the out on the web here is an example. Basically they are a external box that work through your USB interface rather than inside your Laptop. Same thing as external hard drives. You can grab a notebook drive just as easy. Check out newegg.com for notebook hard drives.
September 8, 2006 1:00:07 AM

You may try a copy of SpinRite from GRC.com

It's worked for me.

When you replace the HD move up to the Hitachi 7K100, it has a 3yr warranty and is very fast
September 8, 2006 1:30:49 AM

bump on previous question...
September 8, 2006 1:50:28 AM

I forgot to say that the DST failure code was Error Code : 1000-0146

Can that also be a overheating problem, as also a HD prob?

My comp runs at 45C-47C when booted for an hour, over 50C when 2 hours...
September 8, 2006 2:00:11 AM

That's normal for notebook drives.

I've notice the 7200rpm drive runs cooler. I think it is related to less time working.

Have no idea what the code is, do a google search on it.
September 8, 2006 2:12:29 AM

I think over 50 is abnormal, and it hits like 56-57C when left on for 2 1/2 hours...
September 8, 2006 2:14:59 AM

You know the topic title is kind of misleading. Because its not a Dell Hard Drive, Dell doesnt make hard drives.

I would recommend getting a WindowsPE disk (MiniPE XT) which has some nice tools for testing the HD. You'll have to torrent that btw,
September 8, 2006 2:18:34 AM

srry :oops: 



ISn't MiniPE XT a windows Boot disc or something? - does it repair HDs also?
September 8, 2006 2:48:41 AM

My 4200rpm drive ran 54-55c all the time. The new 7200 lowered the temp to 45-47.

I also increased the ram from 512 to 1024, which may have helped cut down the disk mem swaping.

But I keep my laptop cooling clean. I blow out the dust on a montly basis. I have even torn my apart and re-apply the thermal Paste to the cpu, switched over to AS5, now the fan run on low 95% of the time.
September 8, 2006 3:56:45 AM

how do you blow out the dust?




BUMP on DST!!!
September 8, 2006 4:17:46 AM

Quote:
srry :oops: 



ISn't MiniPE XT a windows Boot disc or something? - does it repair HDs also?


Reapir? It can't repair physical damage, but theres Scan Disk (Avast + other ones) in it. It also has WD's Data Lifeguard Utilities and what not.

If you want data recovery, SpinRite is probably your best bet.
September 8, 2006 4:29:10 AM

Quote:
My hard drive has been acting up lately (a hitachi 60 GB ATA 4200 rpm) in a Dell Laptop, I can't boot past the loading screen - I 've already done 3 windows repair reinstallations, and the third time was done 20 min ago from typing this thread...

I've found a component tester (pressing Fn button when booting), and when the Short DST test comes up, it says fail......what does that mean?

Is there any way I can fix this drive by myself...some utlity maybe...chdsk...?
:cry:  :cry:  :cry: 

Please help me!!!

laptop specs:
Intel Pentium M 1.5GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, Geforce go5200.


If you fail the DST test your hard drive is bad or will be.... repalce it.

If it was under warranty a DST failure is enough for an automatic replacement even if you ahve NO other issues, it indicates immenent hard drive failure.
September 8, 2006 4:41:03 AM

Somehow, I've had this DST failure for over 4 months, and it hasn't broken down entirely, but I'm not too happy about repair-reinstalling XP like almost every day just to boot XP and work on it. :evil: 

to jesterx, i was talking about software damage, (ie. data corruption).

What are the chances of Spinrite "healing" my Hard Drive?
-want to know before getting it...
September 8, 2006 6:22:40 AM

Okay, so...no more Dell partition. That's okay. If you have the ability to run repair installs, you must have a windows XP cd handy. How 'bout just a regular good ol' reformat/install using the XP CD instead of a repair install? You could at least see if it works.
September 8, 2006 1:21:32 PM

You blow out the dust through the intakes and exhaust vents. Will warn you, if it's never been done it can be nasty, do it outside. And lint actually stickes to the fan and can block the cooling fins on the heat sink. Some times the only way to clean it is take it apart so you can scrape the packed stuff off.

Remember, every time you start you notebook up the closer it is to failing all together. BACK OFF ALL DATA WHILE YOU HAVE ACCESS.

At least you are geting a warning, alot of time you do not.
September 8, 2006 9:47:34 PM

I want to, but it is going to be a huge hassle transferring about 40 GB of media and files to another source.....the low-level format didn't work, will a sole format work then???

ANYONE KNOW THE BEST WAY TO TRANSFER 30-40 GB of files NOT USING ANOTHER HD? CDs?....HELP!!!
September 8, 2006 9:49:41 PM

what do you use to blow, compressed air?
September 8, 2006 10:07:35 PM

Compressed air is good (if clean, free of water and oil) , more pressure than caned air. If you can see your fan you may want to use a paper clip to keep it from spinning. Compressed air can really make the fan spin up and may damage the bearing.
September 9, 2006 3:05:03 AM

Run an extended drive self test, if it fails replace the drive.

Remember what you are testing here is the health of the drive not the integrity of the data stored on it. Failure = Bad Hardware.

An external 2.5" external USB enclosure + recovery software might save some of your data if its worth the bother and expense.
September 9, 2006 3:42:24 AM

got a dell diagnostic disk? you should. got a dell warranty? if so call dell. thats what you paid all that money for.

Quote:
My hard drive has been acting up lately (a hitachi 60 GB ATA 4200 rpm) in a Dell Laptop, I can't boot past the loading screen - I 've already done 3 windows repair reinstallations, and the third time was done 20 min ago from typing this thread...

I've found a component tester (pressing Fn button when booting), and when the Short DST test comes up, it says fail......what does that mean?

Is there any way I can fix this drive by myself...some utlity maybe...chdsk...?
:cry:  :cry:  :cry: 

Please help me!!!

laptop specs:
Intel Pentium M 1.5GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, Geforce go5200.
September 9, 2006 3:53:43 AM

had this drive for more than 2 years....warranty expireed...
September 9, 2006 3:57:17 AM

I don't know how much you know about computers but ... look for a diagnostic disk. Dell gives one to all dell computers. It'll have application drivers and or software and or diganostics. Boot that cd and a diagnostic window should pop up.

Do a custom diagnostic and then test hard drive. If it fails then the drive is bad. Only thing you can do is buy a new drive.

Quote:
had this drive for more than 2 years....warranty expireed...
September 9, 2006 4:37:08 AM

Quote:
My hard drive has been acting up lately (a hitachi 60 GB ATA 4200 rpm) in a Dell Laptop, I can't boot past the loading screen - I 've already done 3 windows repair reinstallations, and the third time was done 20 min ago from typing this thread...

I've found a component tester (pressing Fn button when booting), and when the Short DST test comes up, it says fail......what does that mean?

Is there any way I can fix this drive by myself...some utlity maybe...chdsk...?
:cry:  :cry:  :cry: 

Please help me!!!

laptop specs:
Intel Pentium M 1.5GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, Geforce go5200.



Well, your first problem is that you got a Dell.
September 9, 2006 6:22:23 PM

....


bump on file transfer problem - anyway i can use ghosting?
September 9, 2006 6:56:19 PM

Well, if you are having problems backing up files now, So will Ghost.

Every time you start the drive, the more it degrades. Time to shut it down, leave it down, till you get a recovery program.

My recomendation is to remove the drive. Install a new one and get it setup and running. Buy a recovery program, and a adapter to connect the 44 pin to a std 40 pin used in desktop pc's. Once you decide you are set to do the recovery. Install using the adapter in you desktop. Boot with the recovery program. Run it. Once it has completed. It will give you a report. Reboot your desktop and recover all data that can be recovered.

Waiting as long as you did to react to the problem, recovery degrades. Particuly if you are having a media failure. These have a tendency to rip the heads off. Then Send big $$$$ to the recovery services if it's a must have at all cost.

Recovery program I like is SpinRite by GRC.com

There are many more, None Are 100%
September 9, 2006 7:03:53 PM

did I say I had problems backing up drive? - srry, I meant I didnt know what to use to backup the best - the only stuff i need are like files and media(music /videos).

I was planning on using CDs, (i dont have a DVD rw drive in my laptop), but if a portable HD is better for backup I'll buy one of those...

Opinions?
September 9, 2006 7:22:59 PM

SpinRite recovery tries to repair the problems with your drive. It does it by using the SMART techology to locate and relocating bad sector, recovering data along the way. If you have a desktop the procedure I posted above will work fine.

It can still work if you only have the notebook. Just mount the failing drive in a external enclosure and let SpinRite loose. Then transfer the data to your new drive.
September 9, 2006 7:57:06 PM

how much are extrnal enclosures? is it similar to an external HD? - what does it do?

-Will it be cheaper If I just use a portable HD, and will transfering the files on my problematic HD right now on to it work? - and then get a laptop HD

-also - if a let spinrite run on my HD without an external enclosure, will it work?
September 9, 2006 8:10:26 PM

External enclosures run around $30. The 44-40 adapter sell for around $7-10.

Yes you can run it on your LT with out removing the drive. The program is design to create a CD or floppy that is a bootable image the auto starts SpinRite. I do the maintance part that way.

You are still going to need a NEW HD. So if you have away to backup and transfer the data that will work too. I was just planing ahead. Most LT users have Desktop units too, with large HD.

If the damage is to sector 0, you do not want to be booting from it. This is the most criticle sector on the drive. If this one is going, death is intimate, and soon.
September 12, 2006 12:05:42 AM

My HD Failed for good today :cry:  :cry:  . I immensly regret not doing anything quicker, and not listening to you guys. I am really sorry. Windows wont boot, And as i am writing this, I am at my friend's house, a true computer whiz. We are running spinrite right now, and there is 20 min left to go. I hope for the best for my data. Can spinrite save my data, and any other suggestions?
September 12, 2006 1:03:16 AM

I seen 20 min = 20 min and 99hrs (sol) time will only tell.
September 12, 2006 1:58:38 AM

If you do get your machine up and running again then please do not do a low level format format on it.

All drives have bad blocks/sectors, you just do not see them. The electronics on an IDE or SCSI disk maintains the bad block list, and its created by the drive maker. If you do a real low level format it erases this list, and the drive then writes to areas of the disk that do not work. The error detection on the driver will then be working massive amounts trying to recover data, and marking that block as bad. Low level formating always used to mean returning the driver to the maker.

Things may be different now, but if you want to do a low level format again then check with the maker of the drive.

If you want an easy way to back up your files, but not the OS, then you can connect your machine to another with an ethernet lead. Most ethernet adapters will auto sense these days so you do not even need a crossover cable. Once the 2 machines are connected you can map the hard drive on your machine onto the machine its connected to. To map the drive click on my computer or open windows explorer and under tools you will find the option to map a network drive. Copying large files will take a little time at 100Meg, but its quicker than burning CDs.

Just my 2 p worth.

Rob Murphy
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