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Desktop HD with alot of Bad Sectors, can't boot need to recover!

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February 28, 2012 3:59:23 PM

Hi guys, just joined and this is my first post ;) 

Basically, 2 weeks ago my windows XP desktop out of the blue got the dreaded "Disk Read Error press CTRL ALT DELETE to restart message"at boot when I turned it on one morning. Not matter how many times i restarted I couldn't boot into windowsXP or in safe mode, I would always just get the DISK READ ERROR message. I borrowed a laptop and spent about 5 hours researching online what could be causing this (a wonderful Valentines Day that was :??:  ), I read alot of threads on this forum and after doing Recovery Console chkdsk R and F it would return a error instantly everytime (the was no progress bar at all, just instant error!) and then running Seatools and failing both the short test and longtest (It passed the short test at first then failed long then I tried short again and failed it) I came to the conclusion that my Maxtor drive is full of bad sectors :( 

Now Im at a lost as no matter what I Google I cant find a thread with a solution for my exact problem. All the other recovery threads I read they didn't seem to have as many bad sectors as my drive (Yes i did alot of searching before coming here and posting) The drive is a 256GB Maxtor with more than 5 years of data! I want to recover the data but I can't boot my PC cause the Maxtor was my only drive and Windows was on it. But BIOs can see the HD and from the threads I read about recovery that's is a good thing? I really want to try to recover whatever I can. I dunno if I have to buy a new HD to use as a master to reinstall Windows onto and then slave the bad drive, or if i can just buy a HD enclosure to put the bad drive in and plug it into the borrowed laptop? Basically I don't know how to go about dealing with this.

Sorry for the wall of text guys, I tried to be descriptive as can be. Any help I would really appreciate, its been a terrible couple weeks. Ill be checking this thread often so any questions or info you need to ask let me know!

Summary:
-PC wont boot, got Disk Read Error out of the blue (never had HD issues or symptoms of failing)
-Used Recovery Console's CHKDSK R and F: both returned an Error message instantly.
-Used Seatools for DOS v2.20: passed Short test but failed Long test in 1 min.
-NEED to recover data from the HD, had over 170GB of important data from over 5 years of use! Computer still unbootable.
-HD is detected by BIOS though
a c 119 G Storage
February 28, 2012 4:11:55 PM

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

I am sure that you have to be in Windows to use this software so if you can set someting up temporary to use it and see if you can recover any of your files.
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February 29, 2012 12:53:45 AM

inzone said:
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

I am sure that you have to be in Windows to use this software so if you can set someting up temporary to use it and see if you can recover any of your files.


Thanks for reply! Ok Im checking it out but it says "It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again". I don't really have those issues, my HD just developed alot of bad sectors and I'm assuming that's a different problem? Also I still cant get my computer to boot since my bad HD is the only drive in my desktop and that had Windows on it (I do have a WindowsXP CD though) If I need to have my computer running to do recovery, how can I get it running again? New HD and Windows reinstall?

Thanks in advance and again I apologize for all the text guys!
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a b G Storage
February 29, 2012 3:39:24 AM

Try using DM, Disk Manager from seagate, irrelevant of the hdd that you might have in the rig. Boot from the CD/DVD which you can put DM on, run it, it will block all the bad sectors and transfer the recoverable data onto other part of the hdd which are still working. Then it will disable the addresses of those bad sectors so that they will never again be queried.
This ought to solve the problem, but get a new hdd and try a new xpinstall again and avoid using this bad sector hdd afterwards.
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February 29, 2012 7:12:14 PM

alyoshka said:
Try using DM, Disk Manager from seagate, irrelevant of the hdd that you might have in the rig. Boot from the CD/DVD which you can put DM on, run it, it will block all the bad sectors and transfer the recoverable data onto other part of the hdd which are still working. Then it will disable the addresses of those bad sectors so that they will never again be queried.
This ought to solve the problem, but get a new hdd and try a new xpinstall again and avoid using this bad sector hdd afterwards.


This sounds good, ok I looked for the DM but I cant find it anywhere online :??:  I guess Seagate doesn't offer it anymore? Any places in particular I should be looking?

Also Im getting the impression it'd be best to have my computer running again to do any of the recovery techniques on this bad drive... would buying a new HD, swapping it into my desktop and reinstalling WindowsXP get my pc running again?

Thanks again for the replies guys, keep the ideas coming! Sorry for my noobness!
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a c 119 G Storage
February 29, 2012 7:27:19 PM

If you have the Windows install disc then get a new hard drive which you want to do anyway because the hdd you have now is so mess up. Load Windows on your new hdd and then you will have your computer working again and you can go about trying to recover any files you may want off the old hdd. You can then format the old drive and try to make a usable partition out of the part of the drive without any bad sectors.
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a b G Storage
March 1, 2012 1:48:56 AM

Logically , yes, to even recover stuff from this bad HDD you'd need to do a XP reinstall on a new HDD on this machine if that's is the only machine available to you.
But if you have another machine you could try to recover the data using the bad HDD as a secondary HDD in the other machine. And then finally, you will be buying a new HDD for this XP machine, yes.
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March 1, 2012 7:37:25 AM

I just had something similar happen where I couldn't boot into Windows, even in safe mode. I downloaded Knoppix which is a bootable live Linux system.

http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

Download either the CD or DVD version and burn to a disc - I chose the DVD. Place the Knoppix disc in your broken computer, go to the BIOS and change your settings to boot to disc. Once you reboot, you will see the Linux desktop. As long as the hard drive is accessible you should be able to copy your files to an external drive using the File Manager.

If you need more help with this (assuming you are able to boot to Knoppix), let me know.
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March 3, 2012 4:48:38 PM

Hey sorry for the late response guys and thanks for the great replies and info!

But I have good news...not only did my computer finally boot to Windows but my HD is intact and all my data is there!

I dont know what it is I did, but basically I took out the HD since I had to get a new one but then repluged it back into the computer to run Seatools one more time just so I can give you guys a exact number of how many bad sectors it had so maybe it can be determined that recovery wont be possible so I don't waste my time trying.

I boot up the comp, run Seatools, runs Short test and passed! Then run Long Test and to my surprise I didn't get an error after one min! It went to 20% and i kept waiting for the error, got to 50% was really expecting it to fail and it never did it got to 100% and PASSED! Not sure what to think of it, I ejected the disc and pressed ctrl atl del to reboot and got to the windows loading screen and waited fingers crossed and finally I got to my desktop and everything was intact just as it was before the problem!!!

I couldn't believe it! It must've been a miracle lol! :D 

What do you guys think happened?
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March 3, 2012 6:36:51 PM

That's great news, glad to hear it. Sounds like you may have had something loose and by fiddling about with the HD you knocked it back in place. Either that or, as you said, a miracle!

Start backing your data up now and do it on a regular basis! :) 
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a b G Storage
March 4, 2012 2:54:41 AM

Good for you, but it could be a component on the base of the HDD where the PCB is that may have got lodged back into place. Or maybe the HDD just needed a knock. Anything is possible. In my experience I've learnt the similarity between women and computers, if they get going in the first instance they wanna go, and if they don't wanna go..... you can do all you want and it's just not going to happen.
Give them a break and get back to them later, even the most unwilling ones will get going. :) 

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March 5, 2012 11:35:07 PM

Brianito said:
That's great news, glad to hear it. Sounds like you may have had something loose and by fiddling about with the HD you knocked it back in place. Either that or, as you said, a miracle!

Start backing your data up now and do it on a regular basis! :) 


alyoshka said:
Good for you, but it could be a component on the base of the HDD where the PCB is that may have got lodged back into place. Or maybe the HDD just needed a knock. Anything is possible. In my experience I've learnt the similarity between women and computers, if they get going in the first instance they wanna go, and if they don't wanna go..... you can do all you want and it's just not going to happen.
Give them a break and get back to them later, even the most unwilling ones will get going. :) 


Haha, thanks guys! Yea once my computer booted to my desktop I whipped out my old external and started moving everything over like crazy! I was afraid it would only work for a short while but so far its been working everyday now. Yea its crazy about how computers sometimes just need a break and sometimes it just works out! I was using my desktop daily maybe that's what it needed and the HD replugging :D 

The next day I gave my comp a good dust cleaning, cleaned out all the caked on dust from the CPU heatsink too. Then did a full defrag with Defraggler and now keep my room a little cooler and moved the tower farther out from under the desk to get better airflow, the HD's temps are on avg around 38C now according to Speccy. Any other things I should do to hopefully prevent another occurrence what happened? :D 
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Best solution

a b G Storage
March 6, 2012 3:52:04 AM

Be sweet to it.... :) 
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March 17, 2012 4:19:13 PM

Best answer selected by bigrussia.
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