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Hard Drive Dead?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by wrenrj1, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    What is the symptom of a hard drive that's crashed?

    My wife's Dell laptop started acting slow and noisy, like gears were driving inside. Then, upon turning it on it would show the Dell logo and the loading bar. After that the screen goes black with a cursor in the upper left hand side for about a minute. Finally, it comes up with two loud beeps and says that it failed to boot the C drive (I believe). Is it dead?

    To add,It does allow me to get to set up however. We end up having to manually turn it off.
     
  2. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    Its probably not dead, but pretty close. Anytime you hear noises like that, its time to backup everything soon and just wait for it to die.


    Hope you had backups, but if you didn't and if you really need to get stuff off it it may be difficult, being a laptop HD and all. You're going to have to make it an external hard drive. I am sure they they sell external HD boxes for laptop drives. Possibly regular ones will work with laptop drives. But based on what I remember with my laptop HD, I doubt it.


    If you can't do that, you may get lucky by doing a Windows repair install...however you really don't want to make a dieing HD do anything more than necessary just because you'll be speeding its demise along...
     

  3. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    n/m misread post.
     
  4. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Almost all external HD enclosures include little plastic shims for use with 2.3" laptop drives.

    I'd replace the laptop's drive with a new one and then install the old one into an enclosure.

    Attach it to the newly-reformatted XP laptop and take the data from the old drive ASAP.

    Sounds like it's in its last death throes to me.
     
  5. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    Sounds like this laptop is on life support only because the battery still works. My wife uses it primarily to log in to her company's server and works remotely from home, and it's a company computer. She has some personal stuff on there but nothing important.

    She's just wondering what she needs to do in the mean time. She handed it off to the IT, but they're not the sharpest tools in the shed.

    If anyone can answer, I'd like to know what they do to try to revive these situations, or if it's possible. She really likes this laptop, but like anything, it's disposable (IMHO) as technology moves forward.

    I've loaned her my laptop and told her to stay off of porn sites to avoid this situation! (I am kidding....).
     
  6. m2hmghb

    m2hmghb

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    Gee that happened to my lappy too. Guess what computer brand is now on my do not buy list along with Compaq and Gateway?
     
  7. waktasz

    waktasz Gamer Scumbag

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    Neither compaq nor gateway manufacture the hard drive inside of the pcs they produce. Hard drives are a wear item, as they are one of the only parts in your PC with moving parts. HD failure is a fact of life, sucks for you if you didn't have backups. Deal with it.
     
  8. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    A lot of what will happen depends on the IT dept., company policy and the age of the machine.

    While not a dedicated IT dweeb by trade, I generally get stuck with the job at work. In this situation, assuming the laptop isn't ancient, ~I~ would replace the hard drive with a new one, they cost like $50 these days. Install the drive, install the OS and get the thing up and running. I have a couple USB to IDE adapters I'd use to put any useful, recoverable data onto the now running latop and hand it back to the owner.

    Depending on age, the laptop and/or drive might still be under warranty.

    Some places just don't play recover games like this out of warranty, and will scrap the old one and replace it with a new one.

    Not all IT guys would do any extra steps to recover old files, and it's possible it's completely dead beyond reasonable hope. Data recovery services can get back a lot of stuff, but they cost a fortune; the data would have to be EXTREMELY valuable and completely irreplacable.
     
  9. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    The wife said her laptop (Dell Latitude) is about three years old and has a DVD burner on it as well, and enough memory to keep up with what she's doing. So, with the price of hard drives it sounds like that's the way they'll go, we'll see.

    For desktops my organization changes them out every four years so this may fall close to being replaced anyway.

    Thanks for the comments everyone, they've been helpful.
     
  10. NGWT

    NGWT

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    Two good things to try that sometimes temporarily revive a hard drive is to:

    1. Freeze it
    2. Slap it on a tabletop, circuitboard side up

    The second one has been a godsend for me several times in the past.
     
  11. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    I'd try that if I owned it, but that's one good thing about working where I work, is that I don't have to try to fix it myself (although I do like to try to understand what's happening and would LOVE to try your suggestions).

    They went ahead and ordered/installed a new hard drive and it's up and working like new. They were gonna try to get stuff off her old drive but I told them (we work at the same place) not to bother. I would have liked to see how they would have done that however...

    Thanks everyone for your replies. You have furthered my hard drive knowledge exponentially!