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Major Hard Drive Problem

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August 12, 2009 7:32:55 PM

1st off thanks for any help in advance.

I built this computer at the very 1st of the year. Everything went smoothly, until about one month ago after doing a clean install of xp and after i had used an external hard drive to copy lots of school work and large files back onto my Seagate 500gb harddrive (i only have 1 internal). I installed drivers and restarted the machine to find some of the files i recently copied over to be gone. I restarted again and found that more files were now missing from my computer, luckily, i had backups of the most important files (school documents). After doing reaserch i found i might have overheated my internal drive and caused memory corruption. Also, i thought it might have been the case of my scrathed XP disc causing a windows corruption. Anyways, i borrowed a new windows disc from a friend and got windows running smoothly. 2 days ago, I was playing portal when the game froze, alt + tab, ctrl alt delete, nothing working (not sure if this is important). I restarted my computer and that fixed the problem, so i turned it off. Later that day i went to turn it back on only to recive a message "Please insert correct boot media". And i haven't found a way past that screen. My motherboard will no longer even recognize the drive (it only shows my dvd drive). I tried switching the power and sata cables between the two drives and no change. I also tried unplugging all unnecessary devices (usb, the dvd drive, case fans) to check if it was a power failure but no change. I think im going to have to rma the drive but i don't want to get another faulty product. If there is no solution can someone sugest a recovery option because i had a summer report due in 5 days that i didn't have backedup (its 5 pages long) and some other very important work i need. Im getting really desperate and im about to send Segate an angry email. Anyhelp would be extreemely appreciated.
a b G Storage
August 12, 2009 10:02:56 PM

Ok, firts if you gone buy another HDD don't buy the same brand....

Second, maybe the mobo don't show the HDD 'cause isn't good oconfiguration...check in the BIOS don't have RAID systema activated....

Now, if you can, install XP in other disk, like in the back up disk that you have....an then connect the dead disk, donwload this program: Active file recovery, I use with 3 HDD and works great, recover me 95% of my lost files....

PD: Excuse me for my english, isn't my native languaje
August 13, 2009 4:46:42 AM

IF you buy the exact same model hard drive with the same firmware version, you could probably swap the controller out and access your failed drive...but chances are you're too short on time for this to do you any good. All the HD failures I've seen are due to the controller. This is why it's critical that you IMMEDIATELY back up any important files and preferably image your boot partition as well. My 5 month old WD boot drive failed the other day and after reading reviews looking for a replacement drive, it seems that current generation drives are failing at higher rates than in the past (regardless of brand). I replace my drives every three years and the only other failure I've had out of about twenty drives was a Maxtor at 2.5 years. Definitely not happy about the WD, but I use Ghost on a regular basis so no data lost.
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August 13, 2009 4:15:11 PM

@saint19 No raid settings in bios are activated, i had already reset the settings and pulled out the battery a few times. If i buy a new hard drive and load windows on there, the recovery program will recognize the drive even if my bios doesn't?

@orion1024 I don't think i could get the same HD, newegg says its deactivated. And i can't back up all the files, which is essentially my problem, i didn't have any partitions for storage and windows. Im looking into getting another physical drive for storage and if i can fix/rma this one, it will be for windows.

I have good news tho, i found that i did have my important documents and save games backed up from the end of july. Those were the main things I wanted, but I could use a lot of the other files still on the drive...

Oh and thanks soo much for replying, i know my post was like an essay
a b G Storage
August 13, 2009 6:02:04 PM

Ok, first...pulled out the battery the only thing that you do is reset the time and date, not the BIOS. If you buy a new drive, and start from there, maybe the system recognize your old HDD as slave, but i'm not sure. The program can't recognize your HDD if the system don't recognize to.
August 13, 2009 6:40:15 PM

If you didn't lose any files that's the main thing. If you do still have some files on the failed drive I'd check eBay for that same drive and give the controller swap a shot. Get the same model and manufactured date within maybe a month or two of when yours was made. Probably wouldn't cost more than $30 or so. Considering you're in school, I'd also get a portable HD and a copy of Ghost or Acronis and start imaging your drive. You don't want to be down when you need your system for important work. It takes me under 20mins to restore my system with Ghost...OS, apps and data. Well worth the money.
August 13, 2009 8:03:26 PM

@saint my drive was SATA and I thought only IDE drives were slave/master?

@Orion I briefly checked eBay to find a used drive would cost me around $60 (about how much I payed for it as new). As far as ghost and acronis go, is the backup image a 1 to 1 memory ratio (my external hardrive is only 160gb)? Also, which one do you recommend? I was looking at arconis cuz it has a partitioner included and it's $20 less.
a b G Storage
August 13, 2009 9:28:17 PM

HV07 said:
@saint my drive was SATA and I thought only IDE drives were slave/master?

@Orion I briefly checked eBay to find a used drive would cost me around $60 (about how much I payed for it as new). As far as ghost and acronis go, is the backup image a 1 to 1 memory ratio (my external hardrive is only 160gb)? Also, which one do you recommend? I was looking at arconis cuz it has a partitioner included and it's $20 less.


-----------------------

I know, in th BIOS change for first boot your new HDD and the system take the old drive as slave....
August 13, 2009 9:28:38 PM

Unless it's a big hard drive you should be able to do better than that on eBay. The 500GB retail boxed drive I picked up was $60 out the door. I can't comment on Acronis as I've only used Ghost for about the last ten years and it's served me well. The images are compressed - I think my 50GB of data compresses down to 35GB or so. Backup times for me are 1:20 with verifying the image integrity and 20mins to restore. I would probably do some research on both and if they're comparable go with the best deal.
August 14, 2009 2:16:14 AM

@saint ok I'll give that a try.

@Orion I will have to give eBay a thorough looking through. For making a backup image, should I make one of my os partition/drive and my storage partition/drive? Or just my os partition? What I was thinking of doing was making an image of my os drive with all my program files and putting it on my storage drive and then vice versa. Then if one failed I would have a copy of both. Also, I would put a copy of my os image on my external drive.
August 14, 2009 4:55:41 AM

Just image the OS partition to another physical drive (not from one partition to another partition on the same drive). The advantage of imaging is that it preserves your OS & settings, MBR, applications and registration info for apps (that is to say nothing will need to be reactivated). I keep my personal files (text files, source code, etc.) on the C drive so they're included in the image, but have my MP3's, videos & ISO's on my second internal drive D to keep the system image size down. These types of files it doesn't make sense to include in the image. I also copy some of the files from D to my external drive (it would take weeks to rip all those MP3's again). All you really need is two physical drives, though. So, if your C drive fails restore the image from D to the new C drive. If you have a second internal drive (D) that fails, replace it and make a new image of your C drive.
August 30, 2009 5:58:24 AM

Well I got the new hardrive about a week ago and after installing windows it still doesn't recognize the old drive. Thanks for the help, I just wish I could get some of my save games back.

Ps, I decided to go with acronis. It took me about 20 minutes to create a backup and it was only 26gb of the 46 I backed up.
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