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Seagate 500GB drive died... Cmos can't see it

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July 5, 2010 8:38:11 PM

My wife has the 500GB SATA Seagate in her computer. It is the second Physical drive. 3 partitions 2 -100gb and 1 300GB partitions roughly.
It has a bunch of songs on it, a bunch of family pictures, and 3-4 Games on it... tetris type stuff.
3 days ago the drive is inaccessible, worked fine the day before.
Never had any problems with the drive at all... all of a sudden it is gone-not recognizeable even by CMOS.

Hooked up the 500GB to her computer's SATA DVD drive power data cables...no joy

Swapped the connections, power and data from her boot HD to the 500GB and the the ones that were on the 500GB to the boot drive, to check the respective SATA and power connections on the motherboard... 500GB still dead, boot drive boots up fine.

I hooked the 500GB up to the cables of my computer's SATA DVD drive, after making sure that the DVD drive worked. My CMOS cannot see the 500GB either.

I'm thinking the boot record of the 500GB might be fudged... the drive is around 18 months old.

I have heard that some viruses can mess with the boot record.

have been looking around trying to find a boot disk that has fdisk... use the MBR command and see what happens?

We really want to keep the data...

Could this plan work on a NTFS fromatted drive?

Any help will be appreciated. thank you
a c 76 G Storage
July 6, 2010 2:15:14 AM

You can't replace the MBR if the drive isn't detected, but even if you could, that most likely wouldn't resolve the issue. If it contains really important files and they were not backed up, you should send the drive to a trusted data recovery service. As far as I'm concerned you can't do much to access a drive that isn't detected by the BIOS. Why didn't she backup on a regular basis? Was there an issue with the system preventing backups from working?
a c 84 G Storage
July 6, 2010 5:53:26 PM

If the BIOS does not see it, you can't do anything with the drive till you get it to be seen. The boot record will only be an issue once you get past the BIOS boot.

Sometimes the board on the drive dies, which is a fairly cheap swap that will not harm the data. Check if a repair shop in your area can try that.
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July 6, 2010 7:57:54 PM

Wife took the Seagate 500GB to local big box electronics store "Fry's"
they said we have a "platter problem"

Thanks so much for the help.
a c 84 G Storage
July 6, 2010 8:05:13 PM

tommech60 said:
Wife took the Seagate 500GB to local big box electronics store "Fry's"
they said we have a "platter problem"

Thanks so much for the help.


I may get a 2nd opinion on that. Many techs at those stores are kids who know what a CD drive is and that's about it.

Look around for another repair shop and ask them how much it is to replace the system board on your drive. If it's cheap enough for you, try that.

I may be wrong, but if you had an issue with the platters, you would see the drive in BIOS but it would either make funny noises or be listed in Windows as "unformatted". You may even just have a loose cable going to the drive.
a c 277 G Storage
July 6, 2010 8:19:12 PM

tommech60 said:
My wife has the 500GB SATA Seagate in her computer. It is the second Physical drive. 3 partitions 2 -100gb and 1 300GB partitions roughly.
It has a bunch of songs on it, a bunch of family pictures, and 3-4 Games on it... tetris type stuff.
3 days ago the drive is inaccessible, worked fine the day before.
Never had any problems with the drive at all... all of a sudden it is gone-not recognizeable even by CMOS.

Hooked up the 500GB to her computer's SATA DVD drive power data cables...no joy

Swapped the connections, power and data from her boot HD to the 500GB and the the ones that were on the 500GB to the boot drive, to check the respective SATA and power connections on the motherboard... 500GB still dead, boot drive boots up fine....

There is a rash of these events happening in the last two weeks, with Seagate drives. I don't know if it's just a coincidence (very popular drive), or if there is something wrong with the ST3500418AS (was yours that model?).

A perfectly happy disk failing SMART and being seen as bad by the BIOS on the next boot. I went so far as to go back to the store, buy another of the same model, and swap the printed circuit board - no joy. If I want to spend $1,400, I can probably get my data back.

So a question to all: Are the 500 GB Barracuda 7200.12's failing like mad, or is this a normal rate of failure and I'm just noticing because mine went out?
a c 277 G Storage
July 6, 2010 8:20:34 PM

And I just pulled this off Newegg:
" I bought 6 of these in the fall of 09 for a new small business server and backup system. As of June 2010 three of the drives are already bad. Two have SMART issues and the other is just plain dead. Bios doesnt even see that it is there anymore."
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N...
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