Atypical hard disk error.

Hey folks, new to the forums, looking for some help.

I've had my HP Beats edition Envy 14 for just over 2 years now, and am running into the dreaded hard disk error. I know there's a lot of topics on this issue for all sorts of different models, but my case seems to differ a bit from the vast majority (if not all) of cases I've seen, so I'm hoping I did not lose my data/do not need to replace the hard drive.

For most people it seems that once they get a hard disk error message, it's a warning for imminent hard drive failure, and they can choose to ignore it and use the computer for the time being. However, I've never received any warning, and the laptop has not been subject to any physical damages or drops. I've never had an issue with my hard drive, until yesterday, when I was using my laptop, when it seemed to lock up for maybe 5 mins, worked for a split second, only to hang again, and after another minute or so, the laptop restarted itself. Instead of letting me choose between windows 7 and 8 (dual boot setup), I got the following message (and this is the message I get whenever I try to start the laptop now):

Hard Disk Error
Please run the Hard Disk Test in System Diagnostics.
Hard Disk 1 (3F1)
F2 System Diagnostics
For more information, please visit:


As soon as I press F2 system diagnostics and F4 hard disk test, (ie. at Quick test 0% complete), I get a message saying the test failed (303).

If I try to ignore this and boot, I get the following message:

No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key


Sometimes I get this message before getting the hard disk error.

On a couple of occasions I got the following message before getting either the hard disk error or the no bootable device message:

" A disk read error occurred
press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart"

Sometimes I get a flashing underscore thing on the top left corner, followed by a blank screen.

I tried starting with my windows CD, and act like I was installing windows again, but instead of recognizing the different partitions I have, it sees all of it as unallocated space, and I cannot install Windows on it.

I think I tried reseating the hard drive. I reseated whatever is right next to the battery, that is accessible once you take off the battery cover, without taking off the bigger cover that gives you access to RAM and video card and stuff. If this is the hard drive, then I took it out and back in, with no result.

I cannot go into BIOS, recovery menu, or startup options, pressing ESC or function keys gets recognized, but takes me to the same hard disk error screen (3F1).


I was finally able to go to startup options (who knows why), and through that, to BIOS, but resetting BIOS to default (F9) did not fix the problem. Now, I only get either the disk read error I mentioned above (the one that tells me to press ctrl alt del to restart) or the flashing underscore followed by a blank screen.


I was able to go to repair windows (or something along those lines), which resulted in the computer "scanning and repairing" drive F I think (certainly wasn't C or D), which was kinda weird, but at about 40%, the drive name changed to what seemed to be a bunch of random letters/numbers/slashes/symbols. Anyway, it was stuck at 100%, so I restarted the computer, at which point it actually booted as normal, allowing me to switch between windows 7 and 8, but when I tried to log on to windows 8, it got stuck. I was able to move the mouse cursor, but unable to type my password, or click on the buttons on screen (power, accessibility, language, etc). Now whenever I start the laptop, it either takes me to a Windows 8 boot logo with a message that says "preparing automatic repair" that eventually leads to a blank screen, or a Windows 8 boot logo with a message that says "to skip disk checking, press any key within 1 second (s)". Whether I press any key or not, nothing happens. The one time when it did boot (as mentioned earlier), I think I got this message, but I pressed a key well after 1 second, so not sure what happened there.

Oddly enough, the hard drive test (quick test) passes now, where as before, it would fail at 0%. The memory test also passes.

I would appreciate any help.

Thanks a lot in advance.
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  1. UPDATE 3:

    Well, I was able to log onto my windows 8 partition. Everything seemed to be working fine, except that windows explorer was having trouble finding the partition where I have windows 7. After I put the computer to sleep, and woke it up, all was still working for a few minutes, then firefox stopped responding, then everything else froze, except that I could move my mouse cursor. After that I had no choice but to force restart the computer, after which it went back to the same state it was in (message says preparing automatic repair, then black screen, with mouse cursor that I can move, OR Win 8 logo, with the loading circles going around. Pretty sure it's trying to do a disk check, since that's what it was doing before. The message (press an ykey within 1 seconds does not pop up because I set the disk check countdown timer to 0 seconds when the laptop was briefly working).

    When I try to install Windows from the bootable DVD, it sees all my partitions. I have 0.1 GB unallocated, about 400GB logical drive with Win 8, ~150 GB primary drive with Win 7, a few hundred MBs allocated to system, and ~30 GB primary partition for recovery. The only thing amiss is that it sees the entirety of the partition that is supposed to have windows 7 on it as being "free space". When I try to delete that partition, I get a message saying that Windows can't delete it (error 0x80070002), and when I try to format, get a message saying it cant format it (error 0x80070057).

    If no one has the solution or any suggestions, I would still love to know what exactly is wrong. Is the hard drive damaged and needs to be repaired? Is it damaged beyond repair? Is the data on it just corrupted (maybe just data on that one partition?) I seem to recall reading somewhere that if you install an OS on a logical drive (as I have done with Win 8), and your primary partition fails, it may cause problems with the logical drive, but can't find that information anywhere. Is this a possibility?
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