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How to boot a faulty hard disk

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December 21, 2009 1:38:41 AM

I have two hard disks. one crashed a few months back. In the other HDD I have my OS.

when i connect the crashed HDD it is recognised in the BIOS. while windows (XP) boot the load screen appears and just before i reach the win XP log in page, my PC gets restarted.

I also tried to boot using a bootable xp cd. As soon as system analyze is complete, i get an error message in a blue screen saying: "windows encountered an error for a faulty plug and play device............restart the computer.........or change bios settings.........".

I badly need to boot up my pc along with the crashed HDD since i have important files in that HDD.

What should I do?

Fahim S Chowdhury

More about : boot faulty hard disk

a b G Storage
December 21, 2009 2:36:56 AM

Depending on the type of problem, you may not be able to easily access the crashed HDD.

Though the error makes it sound like the problem is the interface port, not the HDD.

If SATA:
Unplug the crashed HDD, then boot up. While Windows is operating, plug in the crashed HDD into a different SATA port.

If IDE:
Get an IDE to SATA adapter (if your motherboard has SATA ports) or an external hard drive enclosure and hook it up after boot that way.

I also suggest you try hooking it up into a different computer first to see if the problem is definitely the HDD or interface port.
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December 21, 2009 2:59:51 AM

Get a linux live cd, or windows pe image and boot from that. You may be able to rescue your files that way.
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December 21, 2009 4:33:02 AM

TheViper said:
Depending on the type of problem, you may not be able to easily access the crashed HDD.

Though the error makes it sound like the problem is the interface port, not the HDD.

If SATA:
Unplug the crashed HDD, then boot up. While Windows is operating, plug in the crashed HDD into a different SATA port.

If IDE:
Get an IDE to SATA adapter (if your motherboard has SATA ports) or an external hard drive enclosure and hook it up after boot that way.

I also suggest you try hooking it up into a different computer first to see if the problem is definitely the HDD or interface port.



I tried to hook it up in another PC, but the same trouble.

My crashed HDD is not SATA.

Could you kindly explain "Get an IDE to SATA adapter (if your motherboard has SATA ports) or an external hard drive enclosure and hook it up after boot that way" separately.

Fahim
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a b G Storage
December 21, 2009 4:44:31 AM

If your motherboard has SATA ports, you can buy an IDE to SATA adapter like this one. Plug this into the back of your IDE based HDD and the other end into an open SATA port. This will allow you to use the old IDE drive like a SATA drive allowing you to plug it in while the PC and Windows are already running.

Or you could buy an external enclosure like this one. This would allow you to use it like an external hard drive.


But since you'd stated you already tried using it with another PC and it didn't work, these options are no longer valid.
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December 21, 2009 5:20:24 AM

TheViper said:
If your motherboard has SATA ports, you can buy an IDE to SATA adapter like this one. Plug this into the back of your IDE based HDD and the other end into an open SATA port. This will allow you to use the old IDE drive like a SATA drive allowing you to plug it in while the PC and Windows are already running.

Or you could buy an external enclosure like this one. This would allow you to use it like an external hard drive.


But since you'd stated you already tried using it with another PC and it didn't work, these options are no longer valid.



Dear TheViper,

Thanks for the prompt reply.

Can you suggest me any other ways?

I tried to plug my HDD as a USB device using a HDD to USB cable, but the unrecognised device message appears.

Will be waiting for your reply.


Thanks

Fahim
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a c 359 G Storage
December 21, 2009 2:44:14 PM

So your faulty HDD is an ATA (IDE) unit. What company made it? If it is Seagate, go to their websire and download their free diagnostic utility package, Seatools for DOS. Get the version that you use to burn your own CD (or floppy) of tools. You then boot from that disk and it loads a mini-DOS into RAM so you can run all their tests without using Windows at all. Using these tools you can test all kinds of things on your HDD units, and even fix a few things. The results will tell you whether you have hardware problems that cannot be fixed, or maybe they can be fixed.

If your disk is from WD, get their WD Data Lifegard tools instead - again, I recommend the version you use to burn your own bootable diagnostic disk to run independently of Windows. Other HDD makers have similar free diagnostics on their websites.
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December 22, 2009 12:12:41 AM

Paperdoc said:
So your faulty HDD is an ATA (IDE) unit. What company made it? If it is Seagate, go to their websire and download their free diagnostic utility package, Seatools for DOS. Get the version that you use to burn your own CD (or floppy) of tools. You then boot from that disk and it loads a mini-DOS into RAM so you can run all their tests without using Windows at all. Using these tools you can test all kinds of things on your HDD units, and even fix a few things. The results will tell you whether you have hardware problems that cannot be fixed, or maybe they can be fixed.

If your disk is from WD, get their WD Data Lifegard tools instead - again, I recommend the version you use to burn your own bootable diagnostic disk to run independently of Windows. Other HDD makers have similar free diagnostics on their websites.



My crashed HDD is a Maxtor.

will i be able to get seatools for DOS and/or the bootable diagnostic disk from maxtor website?
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a c 359 G Storage
December 22, 2009 6:27:13 PM

Maxtor has been a subsidiary of Seagate for some time, so check the Seagate website. I suspect their Seatools for DOS also will handle Maxtor units, too, but look for a clear statement on the website.
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December 24, 2009 6:38:46 AM

Paperdoc said:
Maxtor has been a subsidiary of Seagate for some time, so check the Seagate website. I suspect their Seatools for DOS also will handle Maxtor units, too, but look for a clear statement on the website.



Thanks..I have the seatools for DOX now, and I have it written in a CD.

However I am not quite sure what commands to type in when I boot using the CD.

It would be really helpful if you could send me the commands that I need to type in to run the diagnostic utility package.

Fahim
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December 24, 2009 11:19:52 AM

If you have important files on crashed HDD. Try to put crashed HDD as slave and another as master bootable. That way you may be able to retreave your important files.

If your crashed HDD has zero sector damaged then it is difficult to retreave any files from that.

Hope this helps you and good luck
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a b G Storage
December 24, 2009 11:23:35 AM

It sounds strange, but a friend of mine had trouble getting his drive to spin up. He put it in the freezer, hooked it to his computer and its reached running speed. Once it did this there was no problem and he copied 500+ gigs off it. I dont know the nature of your crash. Just thought I would throw that out there.
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a c 359 G Storage
December 24, 2009 1:33:20 PM

If you have not already set your machine this way, use the BIOS Setup screens to allow it to boot from your optical drive. Put the Seatools for DOS disk in it and boot. Once it has booted up you will have a set of help / instruction screens available and a menu of tests and commands. The entire system uses text screens and menus. You do not need to remember commands to enter. In fact, trying to escape the menus and get back to a DOS prompt is hard to do.
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December 24, 2009 2:15:11 PM

Paperdoc said:
If you have not already set your machine this way, use the BIOS Setup screens to allow it to boot from your optical drive. Put the Seatools for DOS disk in it and boot. Once it has booted up you will have a set of help / instruction screens available and a menu of tests and commands. The entire system uses text screens and menus. You do not need to remember commands to enter. In fact, trying to escape the menus and get back to a DOS prompt is hard to do.



Hi!

I got it done. It was quite simple.

Well I have another problem. I ran the diagnosis. However, the report said that there is error and the diagnosis could not be completed.

What should I do now?
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a c 359 G Storage
December 24, 2009 2:31:01 PM

You should write down exactly what the error message says. Post it here in case we can advise you. But your best source may be the Tech Support people at Seagate / Maxtor, who can tell you what you can do, if anything, to fix it.

As you will have seen, there are several tests available. Some have to be done first and some cannot be done if certain types of problems are not resolved first. But you can try any test to see what result you get. The worst result you can get is it can't do the test, and it might even tell you why. Even partial information can be helpful from a test that runs part way but cannot be completed.
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December 24, 2009 3:41:00 PM

I'm having the exact same problem with my main comp. When I turn it on it boots but then the screen goes blanck, doesnt even get to a xp loading screen, and its defo the hdd thats the problem.....
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December 26, 2009 11:09:03 AM

Paperdoc said:
You should write down exactly what the error message says. Post it here in case we can advise you. But your best source may be the Tech Support people at Seagate / Maxtor, who can tell you what you can do, if anything, to fix it.

As you will have seen, there are several tests available. Some have to be done first and some cannot be done if certain types of problems are not resolved first. But you can try any test to see what result you get. The worst result you can get is it can't do the test, and it might even tell you why. Even partial information can be helpful from a test that runs part way but cannot be completed.


the message reads as: ".............unfortunately your drive has failed an important diagonostic test, possibly caused by problem sectors which are difficult to read..................backup ur important files............contact the manufacturer..........."
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January 4, 2010 8:29:52 AM

Paperdoc said:
You should write down exactly what the error message says. Post it here in case we can advise you. But your best source may be the Tech Support people at Seagate / Maxtor, who can tell you what you can do, if anything, to fix it.

As you will have seen, there are several tests available. Some have to be done first and some cannot be done if certain types of problems are not resolved first. But you can try any test to see what result you get. The worst result you can get is it can't do the test, and it might even tell you why. Even partial information can be helpful from a test that runs part way but cannot be completed.



Hi!

I have not got any reply.

Could you tell me that if I break down my faulty HDDs partition and repartition it again, will I be able to recover the data using Acronis Disk Director Suit 9.0 ???

Fahim
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a c 359 G Storage
January 5, 2010 7:23:00 PM

If you delete all your partitions and then create new ones, that will certainly make it almost impossible to recover your files. Plus, it would not solve the problem of failed sectors.

Among the tools in that test disk is one which forces the disk to run its own long test of every sector on the disk and try to replace the bad ones. These days all disks have more sectors than they need when first manufactured. They keep a list of spare good sectors hidden away, and only the controller board on the HDD unit itself knows how to find and use them. During normal operations the disk's board tries to monitor all uses and identify problem sectors before they become completely unreadable. They the substitute a good spare sector for the failing one and copy all the data over while that is still possible. But sometimes the data copy step is not possible, and sometimes the whole system misses catching a few questionable sectors. By running this diagnostic disk test you can force the disk to do that test and replacement work on EVERY sector of your HDD. If it can complete this task, the result should be a HDD with NO bad sectors (from a hardware sense) in use, even though it is possible the data on a few sectors may have errors in it. At that point the diagnostic disk should be able to run all other tests.

Depending on exactly where the faulty sectors were that are replaced in this process and on the success of copying data to the new replacement sectors, you should end up with a disk that is usable by your OS, although some of the files might be corrupted. However, it is still possible that the disk might not be easily used if the corrupted sectors were for critical files like directories. In that case some help form file recovery utilities might be useful.

Before you start on this, contact the Maxtor Tech Support people by phone or e-mail. Tell them your symptoms and the results of the diagnostic tests, and get their advice. They might recommend exactly how to do the full-disk test, or they might recommend some other steps.
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