Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34

Thread: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    14

    Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    I have an old tower, a Dell Inspiron with a Vista sticker, that I'm hoping to turn into a backup storage computer, however when I crank it up, it warns me that the hard drive selfchecker has detected a possible problem with the hard drive. Going forward takes me to the Dell splash page and the Windows XP (?) splash page before it tells me Windows didn't shut down properly, would I like to start in safe mode, safe mode with network, safe mode with command prompt, last known working settings, or normally? All do the same thing; load for a while then loop back to the hard drive warning. Doing a Dell self-check with f12 fails because it cant find the partition. There is nothing in the CD drives.

    In an attempt to reach a working desktop, I have booted Ubuntu from a USB stick and it works fine. I followed these steps http://askubuntu.com/questions/31724...ems-in-windows but according to disk utility there is nothing under local storage. There are just no options except peripheral devices, i.e. the ones on the thumb drive. I'm not sure what I should do next to determine what's preventing the computer's hard drive from being accessible.

    I asked this question on the Wikipedia Computing Reference Desk and was recommended here, if you'd like more information. Thank you for any and all assistance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    ozarks, Arkansas, USA
    Beans
    8,851
    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    Aabicus_Finch; Hi ! Welcome to the forum .

    There being XP installed, and a vista sticker on the box, I would think that there are existing problems and at some point someone has "tried" to install the prior version XP.
    I see 2 options:
    1. Obtain a Window's repair disk and run Windows' file system checks.
    2. Forget Windows, and try and overwrite the disk with an install of ubuntu.

    If there are problems installing ubuntu onto that hard drive, zero out the hard disk (say with dd or other tools) and try to install ubuntu once more.

    From the indication, possible that the initial "superblock" for the file system is corrupt. Thus, in this instance, a valid file system can not be determined or accessed. A disk wipe and a new file system might correct this. Within ubuntu there are means to "spare" off this superblock. I do not know if that is possible in Windows' world.

    It may turn out there are defects and/or mechanical defects -> toss the disk ........

    just my little bit
    to try and help
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubutu'n !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    14

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    Yeah, all signs are pointing to something being wrong with the hard drive. Regarding Recovery disks, there's nothing important on the hard drive that I care about saving, so a factory restore or something would be acceptable as well. (I thought it was alt-f3 to do those but alt-f3 didn't work.) So far I can't get the computer to accept any commands except f2 and f12 though.

    also, if I install Ubuntu onto the computer (so far I've been hitting the 'try' button), will it wipe the faulty XP OS that is currently on there?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    /dev/root
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    Wiping the first megabyte (overwriting with zeros) is usually enough to make it possible to re-partition and re-format a mass storage device (HDD or pendrive or SSD). If it does not work, there might be physical defects (bad sectors or some bad electric or electronic component).

    When Ubuntu is booted from the USB-stick, you can download mkusb and use it to wipe the first megabyte with the command (in the same directory where you have downloaded the mkusb shell-script file

    Make the file executable with

    Code:
    chmod ugo+x mkusb
    and run it with

    Code:
    sudo ./mkusb wipe-1
    See this Ubuntu Forums tutorial "Howto make USB boot drives"
    Last edited by sudodus; January 22nd, 2014 at 06:33 AM. Reason: added tip how to make it executable

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    /dev/root
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    Quote Originally Posted by Aabicus_Finch View Post
    ... also, if I install Ubuntu onto the computer (so far I've been hitting the 'try' button), will it wipe the faulty XP OS that is currently on there?
    You can keep or overwrite the current operating system. In this case I suggest that you overwrite it and get a clean Ubuntu system.

    But before installation, you can also consider other Ubuntu flavours with lighter desktop environments, that will make the computer more responsive and make it easier to get good playback of video, for example Xubuntu or Lubuntu.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    14

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    Wiping the first megabyte (overwriting with zeros) is usually enough to make it possible to re-partition and re-format a mass storage device (HDD or pendrive or SSD). If it does not work, there might be physical defects (bad sectors or some bad electric or electronic component).

    When Ubuntu is booted from the USB-stick, you can download mkusb and use it to wipe the first megabyte with the command (in the same directory where you have downloaded the mkusb shell-script file

    Code:
    sudo ./mkusb wipe-1
    See this Ubuntu Forums tutorial "Howto make USB boot drives"
    So, before I begin I want to ensure I do everything right:

    Step1: Download mkusb from here: http://phillw.net/isos/one-button-installer/scripts/ (is that the shell-script file?) and put it on my computer somewhere.
    Step2: use terminal to locate the downloaded mkusb on my USB. I'm not sure how to do that but I can look it up, I remember vaguely working with terminal in my C class from college.
    Step3: Type the above quoted code into the terminal
    Step4: Sit back and wait as it wipes the first megabyte?

    Will that be enough to restart the computer and maybe have it boot up correctly?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    /dev/root
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    Typically, the downloaded files go to the Downloads directory, but you can select to put it elsewhere, or you can move it after downloading.

    Start a terminal window with the hotkey combination ctrl + alt + t

    It wipes one megabyte in a second or two, so you won't sit back long

    With the computer booted from the USB pendrive, you will probably not need any reboot. After wiping the first megabyte, you can run gparted and start by finding the device (drive), and then select the pull-down menu Device to create a partition table. After that you can make new partitions (and file systems).

    If you have problems, it might help to reboot (into the USB pendrive again).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    14

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    Sadly I am going to need more exact instructions. So here is the code in terminal i used to reach the mkusb:

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ cd ~/Downloads
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~/Downloads$ ls
    mkusb
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~/Downloads$ xdg-open mkusb

    Upon which it opens in what looks kinda like emacs. But entering your doce line grants the following:

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~/Downloads$ sudo ./mkusb wipe-1
    sudo: ./mkusb: command not found

    What error did I make? And am I supposed to have a second usb for this process, that isnt the one im booting ubuntu from?

    Apologies for being slow...I've fixed like two dozen other problems at the office in the past two days so I'm a bit frazzled in general...
    Last edited by Aabicus_Finch; January 22nd, 2014 at 01:11 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    /dev/root
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    Sorry, you should make the file executable too

    Code:
    chmod ugo+x mkusb
    and it will run with

    Code:
    sudo ./mkusb wipe-1
    or use bash to call it (if you do not want to make it executable)

    Code:
    sudo bash mkusb wipe-1

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    14

    Re: Cannot see the computer's hard drive through Disk Utility or GParted

    It asks if I want to wipe the USB device?

    Should I be using a USB device other than the one I'm booting Ubuntu from?

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •