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Dropped Laptop - Wont Load

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September 10, 2012 12:42:07 PM

My sister recently dropped her Sony S series 17" (quite heavy) laptop and since then it has not been booting. I would like to some guidance on how to troubleshoot and find possible solutions.

Let me explain. The machine switches on but Windows does not load. I have tried to 'Repair' windows but this gets stuck for about 10 mins and results in a reboot. I am not able to load up in any type of Safe Mode either. The whole process is cyclical between me trying to 'repair' and reboot.

My question is whether or not this is a hardware problem (is the HDD damaged?) or just a windows issue? Seems unlikely but will re-installing Windows resolve this?

I am late to ask this question but thought id get some expert advice anyway. I have already ordered a new HDD and will be replacing the old one with the new when it arrived but figured id check if there was any way to recover the old HDD (especially since it has a lot of ... unbacked data).

Thank you
a b D Laptop
September 10, 2012 12:47:53 PM

The hard drive is probably physically damaged. You could try testing the hard drive in another machine to be sure. If it is the hard drive, then you'd have to buy a new one and re-install Windows and all of your programs on it.
September 10, 2012 12:48:27 PM

buckpalace said:
My sister recently dropped her Sony S series 17" (quite heavy) laptop and since then it has not been booting. I would like to some guidance on how to troubleshoot and find possible solutions.

Let me explain. The machine switches on but Windows does not load. I have tried to 'Repair' windows but this gets stuck for about 10 mins and results in a reboot. I am not able to load up in any type of Safe Mode either. The whole process is cyclical between me trying to 'repair' and reboot.

My question is whether or not this is a hardware problem (is the HDD damaged?) or just a windows issue? Seems unlikely but will re-installing Windows resolve this?

I am late to ask this question but thought id get some expert advice anyway. I have already ordered a new HDD and will be replacing the old one with the new when it arrived but figured id check if there was any way to recover the old HDD (especially since it has a lot of ... unbacked data).

Thank you


Hi...

You mentioned that Windows won't load, are you hearing a clicking or scratching sound at anytime during both the bootup and when the drive is in use i.e. attempting to load Windows?

Are you bale to remove the HDD from within the laptop and if so, you may be able to connect said HDD to a desktop via Sata (if it is indeed a Sata interface) and perform scans/tests. This should at least provide confirmation if the drive itself is *damaged*.

Hope this helps.

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September 10, 2012 12:51:39 PM

Thank you for your response. I was not able to hear any scratching or clicking. I contemplated opening up the HDD and performing the crazy 'freezer' treatment but quickly came to my senses. If all fails and there are no chances i'll give it a go...

I do not have a SATA to USB adapter to perform scan/tests. I will look to get one as it it will come in handy later on anyway.
September 10, 2012 12:54:02 PM

blazorthon said:
The hard drive is probably physically damaged. You could try testing the hard drive in another machine to be sure. If it is the hard drive, then you'd have to buy a new one and re-install Windows and all of your programs on it.


Thank you for your response. I wasnt sure if this would work as I previously had tried moving HDD's between laptops and windows did not load. Thought this might be due to driver comparability.

Thanks
a b D Laptop
September 10, 2012 12:54:29 PM

The freezer treatment is not crazy. It often works.

You can use the hard drive internally in your desktops. It doesn't need to be through UB and would actually be better if you used it internally. You need to use both the desktop's hard drive and the laptop's hard drive at the same time. You could try plugging in the laptop drive after Windows is already loaded because SATA is technically a hot-swap interface and should let you access a SATA device that is attached after Windows is loaded. I have used laptop hard drives in some desktops before and I guarantee that if it doesn't work it's because of a hard drive failure or, no offense, but you did something wrong.
September 10, 2012 1:04:55 PM

blazorthon said:
The freezer treatment is not crazy. It often works.

You can use the hard drive internally in your desktops. It doesn't need to be through UB and would actually be better if you used it internally. You need to use both the desktop's hard drive and the laptop's hard drive at the same time. You could try plugging in the laptop drive after Windows is already loaded because SATA is technically a hot-swap interface and should let you access a SATA device that is attached after Windows is loaded. I have used laptop hard drives in some desktops before and I guarantee that if it doesn't work it's because of a hard drive failure or, no offense, but you did something wrong.


No offense taken. I will try your suggestion and see happens. Thank you.
a b D Laptop
September 10, 2012 1:11:55 PM

EDIT: I meant to say that you can try plugging the laptop drive in with a second cable. Do not unplug the desktop's hard drive when it's running or else it will go BSOD on you.
a b D Laptop
September 10, 2012 1:17:38 PM

Another suggestion is if the BIOS loads, you can always boot the system off a Linux live CD, and test it there to see if there's more damage then just the hard drive. From the sounds of it though, the hard drive is gone.
September 10, 2012 1:33:40 PM

blazorthon said:
EDIT: I meant to say that you can try plugging the laptop drive in with a second cable. Do not unplug the desktop's hard drive when it's running or else it will go BSOD on you.


Yes i understood what you meant :) . Thanks.
September 10, 2012 1:34:44 PM

runswindows95 said:
Another suggestion is if the BIOS loads, you can always boot the system off a Linux live CD, and test it there to see if there's more damage then just the hard drive. From the sounds of it though, the hard drive is gone.


Good suggestion. Will try and un earth my old UBUNTU cd.
Thank you
September 12, 2012 2:59:20 PM

blazorthon said:
The freezer treatment is not crazy. It often works.

You can use the hard drive internally in your desktops. It doesn't need to be through UB and would actually be better if you used it internally. You need to use both the desktop's hard drive and the laptop's hard drive at the same time. You could try plugging in the laptop drive after Windows is already loaded because SATA is technically a hot-swap interface and should let you access a SATA device that is attached after Windows is loaded. I have used laptop hard drives in some desktops before and I guarantee that if it doesn't work it's because of a hard drive failure or, no offense, but you did something wrong.


LOL, the freezer method is something for me to try one day!

I had a buddy who came to me with a problem, his notebook HDD was clicking and not accessible.
It was bad timing on his part as he runs his own business and all customer data as required for taxation purposes was not accessible and he had no backup!!!

I removed the HDD and installed it into an enclosure via a USB connection (typical) to my desktop computer; the sweet sound of a failing drive can be heard - *click-click-whirl-whirl-click-click*.

At that point with the HDD still connected, I literally tapped it against the edge of the desk a number of times with each tap getting harder and harder. PRESTO - I managed to gain access to the HDD and backed up all the data he required, shortly thereafter the HDD completely failed. Dropping it from a few feet had no effect.

Thus if the freezer method fails, the extreme method of tapping the drive (within an enclosure is preferred) may be ones last resort!

BTW, he now performs a *daily* backup - lesson be learned!

September 12, 2012 3:12:54 PM

ELMO_2006 said:
LOL, the freezer method is something for me to try one day!

I had a buddy who came to me with a problem, his notebook HDD was clicking and not accessible.
It was bad timing on his part as he runs his own business and all customer data as required for taxation purposes was not accessible and he had no backup!!!

I removed the HDD and installed it into an enclosure via a USB connection (typical) to my desktop computer; the sweet sound of a failing drive can be heard - *click-click-whirl-whirl-click-click*.

At that point with the HDD still connected, I literally tapped it against the edge of the desk a number of times with each tap getting harder and harder. PRESTO - I managed to gain access to the HDD and backed up all the data he required, shortly thereafter the HDD completely failed. Dropping it from a few feet had no effect.

Thus if the freezer method fails, the extreme method of tapping the drive (within an enclosure is preferred) may be ones last resort!

BTW, he now performs a *daily* backup - lesson be learned!


This is still my last resort. I dont hear clicks so I dont think the freezer method applies at this point. I've ordered a USB-SATA adaptor so will give that a go.

Do SSD drives suffer from such vulnerabilities? sure they have no moving parts but surely being dropped isnt healthy for any piece of hardware. I guess my question is - what is the threshold for SSDs :sarcastic: 
September 12, 2012 3:30:18 PM

buckpalace said:
This is still my last resort. I dont hear clicks so I dont think the freezer method applies at this point. I've ordered a USB-SATA adaptor so will give that a go.

Do SSD drives suffer from such vulnerabilities? sure they have no moving parts but surely being dropped isnt healthy for any piece of hardware. I guess my question is - what is the threshold for SSDs :sarcastic: 


...like any other piece of electronics, with love and care and a tender caress makes the world of difference.

Here's a link if you have some time to pass....

http://www.ni.com/white-paper/7482/en
a b D Laptop
September 12, 2012 3:50:14 PM

SSD's can handle much more physical shock than hard drives tend to handle, but yes, it's generally not good to put too much stress on them either.
!