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Thread: [SOLVED] Hard Drive Failure?

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] Hard Drive Failure?

    This is not particularly an ubuntu problem (it is related to hardware in general), but I have found this a helpful community, so I am going to seek advice here.

    My church's laptop (XP Professional) which we use to store sermons and project song lyrics onto our screen, has recently taken a turn for the worst. The computer is getting a PXE error on start up. I have found various articles about this on the internet (see bottom of post) and they all seem to point to one thing. A hard drive problem. It is possible that the hard drive is just busted, but I have a lot of people depending on me, and I would like to restore it if at all possible. My hopeful thoughts are that it is simply a bad hard drive connection that I can remedy by snapping or plugging something back in. This is probably not the case, but if it is, I would like some experienced advice for checking that the hard drive is connected properly and fixing the connection if need be.

    The computer makes crazy buzzing noises when I turn it upside down while it is running, and it makes unusual noises when attempting to boot as well.

    Thank you!

    Links:
    http://www.asklaptopfreak.com/laptop...-when-booting/
    http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000706.htm
    http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000229.htm

    EDIT--By the way, I am able to boot from a CD. I have booted it up with my 8.04 live CD, and gparted does not detect the hard drive, so that leads me to believe that is the cause for the problem.

    EDIT2--Actually, now, after the live CD was irresponsive and I had to force shut down. The computer boot message is
    "A disk read error ocurred
    Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to Restart"
    It now even refuses to boot from a CD.
    Last edited by seuzy13; June 27th, 2008 at 09:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    This sounds like a hard drive on the way out. My advice would be to get a replacement ASAP, and get a tool like Norton Ghost to move the existing system on the failing hdd to the new one.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    If the drive is somewhat functional, you should be able to remove it and install it into a known working desktop. You won't boot from it, but instead just load from the main drive and pull all the data off.

    If it is a SATA based drive, you need no tools, it plugs in just like its 3.5" brother.

    If it is an IDE based drive, you will need a tool like this to convert it:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16812203012



    Basically if the drive itself works, data recovery is simple. If the drive is toast, there is going to be little you can do. If it is mechanical failure (bearings, etc), the only way is to send it in to a data recovery center which is very expensive. If it is electronic failure, you can swap the logistics with a same make and model drive.
    Asus P5K Premium | e3110 | 8gb G.Skill | 9800GTX | 5.35 TB
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  4. #4
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    Any particular advice on how to do this? We never backed-up the data (I wasn't really aware of our backing-up system, 'cause I wasn't particularly in charge of this computer). So, essentially we've lost a few years of sermons, though I think many of them our on CDs and minidiscs scattered all over the place. A new hard drive may or may not be in our budget. We do not have an XP install CD or a copy of Norton Ghost either. This could total a few hundred dollars before its all said and done easily. The pastor REALLY does not want to go back to using an overhead even for a short time, so...

    I also have absolutely no experience with installing a new hard drive. *shrugs*

    As to the second post:
    I do not know whether it is SATA or IDE. Way to check for this?
    Also, since gparted could not detect it from the live CD, it may seem as though it is toast, correct?

    Thanks
    Last edited by seuzy13; June 27th, 2008 at 09:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    I booted up using a WinXP recovery disc. When I go into the recovery console, it is able to detect the hard drive, because as it is starting up it displays on the bottom that it is examining the drive and displays the correct size for it as well. Hopefully, this is a good sign?
    Last edited by seuzy13; June 27th, 2008 at 09:58 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by seuzy13 View Post
    I booted up using a WinXP recovery disc. When I go into the recovery console, it is able to detect the hard drive, because as it is starting up it displays on the bottom that it is examining the drive and displays the correct size for it as well. Hopefully, this is a good sign?
    It is a good sign, but if the hardware fails it's game over.

  7. #7
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    Well, I'm pretty sure the hard drive is IDE...which means if I were to hook it up to a desktop to get the files out, I would need an adapter. I know they don't cost much, but I don't want to purchase something without being sure it will work...

    Thoughts? Ideas?

  8. #8
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    if you dont want to spend anything, your best bet is to take the hard drive out and "slave" it into another working machine. Provided the other machine can read the hard drive, you can copy the data onto the good hard drive.
    "Despite millions of dollars of research, Death continues to be Americas number one killer."

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  9. #9
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    Do you have a link or something explaining how to do this? (It's not that I don't want to spend anything. I just don't want to spend money needlessly.)

    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Re: Hard Drive Failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by mykrob View Post
    if you dont want to spend anything, your best bet is to take the hard drive out and "slave" it into another working machine. Provided the other machine can read the hard drive, you can copy the data onto the good hard drive.
    The only issue is if it is an IDE based drive. They use a more dense pin configuration, which means you need a converter to plug into a conventional IDE cable.

    OP: I would suggest checking some local computer shops, there are probably some that either have the part you are looking for or would be willing to help you. I know around here they are extremely helpful . About the only way to salvage the data if a live CD can't read it is to put it into a desktop. If you do not have experience, I'm sure there is someone around you willing to help you out.
    Asus P5K Premium | e3110 | 8gb G.Skill | 9800GTX | 5.35 TB
    CM 830 Evo Stacker | HX620W | 2x BenQ G2400W

    "I do not know what overkill means"

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