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Thread: Laptop HD failure advice

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    Laptop HD failure advice

    Hi all, this is my 1st post and I hope someone can give me some good advice....
    My Laptop just failed to start windows. Eventually comes up with a report that 'load needed DLLs for Kernel'
    Have tried recovery console and chkdisk (with no options) reports OK. chkdsk with /p or /r options lock at 3% & go no further.
    dir of C drive will not complete (error report) and bootcfg / rebuild fails at the scanning stage reporting that may be corrupt file system.

    Is all lost or is there something to be done.
    I dont want to reinstall Windows as I haven't been a good boy & backed things up properly. I guess I may have just learned that lesson the hard way!!

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    The problem you have here could be that some system files have been corrupted or deleted.

    There is a way to run a Windows Installation Repair which deletes the system files and reinstalls windows without the need for formating the Harddrive.

    1. Instead of booting from the os cd-rom and choosing recovery console, you can select to install windows.
    2. During the harddrive detection it may detect an installation of Windows at C:\windows, if it does it will give you a chance to repair the installation. This method just deletes system files and then installs Windows on top but keeps the exisitng registry files and doesnt delete anything else. If it doesnt detect the harddrive stop there and get some proffesional help as it may mean either an hardware fault, the hdd's formated or the OS bootcd needs drivers loading for the harddrive controller.

    3. Follow onscreen installation instructions, shouldnt be much as it is using your previous settings in the registry.

    4. If at anytime it promts to format you have missed the relevent bit.


    -=System 1 - C2D E6600 (Stock) GF7800GT VIVO, 250GB HDD,2Gb Ram,16x LG Superdrive DVDRW-=
    -=System 2 - Samsung P35 Laptop, PentiumM1.8Ghz, 9700 Mobility, 80GB Hdd, 512Mb Ram,DVDRW=-[/B]

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    Thanks for prompt reply.

    I already tried this route & when I choose the partition to instal on, it reports that 'the partition is too full, damaged, not formatted or formatted with an incompatible file system. To continue installing, setup must format this partition. There is only 1 partition on the drive plus 8mb unpartitioned space which is not big enough.

    Is there any way I can create a new partition big enough to instal on so I can recover files from the original partition?

    Any other suggestions out there?

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Sounds like the drive has died, laptop harddrives are often not as robust as pc ones and often suffer from overheating problems (the disk inside becomes warped.)

    Which means it's new hard drive time.

    if you don't need any data of the old drive, then just buy a new one (make sure it's the correct type)

    If you need data back off it then you've got a couple of options
    1 - if you have a pc, you can get converters that let you plug a normal pc ide cable and power connector into a laptop hard drive, you can then try to recover the data with a recovery program.

    2 - get an external hard drive enclosure (again make sure it's the correct type), you can then put the laptop hard drive into it and then try to recover the data. (onto a pc or the laptop once you've reinstalled windows on a new hard drive)

    One thing you can try if you are haveing problems recovering the data, is to stick the hard drive in the freezer over night. Sounds crazy but it does often work on damaged disks, take the hard out and leave it for 5-10min before trying and be aware that it could die again at any time (it will often run fine for 30min to 1hour before dieing again)


    EDIT: the correct type will depend on the laptop, but will standardly be a 2.5" IDE (PATA) or 2.5" SATA
    Of course if your laptop is still in warranty, then RMA it.
    Last edited by Pob255; 15-07-2007 at 10:43 PM.

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    before going down the new drive path its worth finding out what make it is and downloading the test tool from the makers support site. it can often correct a fatal error and make the drive usable again.

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    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoNz0 View Post
    before going down the new drive path its worth finding out what make it is and downloading the test tool from the makers support site. it can often correct a fatal error and make the drive usable again.
    sound advice here,
    also try running the "fdisk /mbr" option from the command line, to re-write the MBR.

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    Steve B - I have tried rewriting MBR & it reported 'successful'. Still same behaviour.

    Gonzo, Its a Seagate ST94Q19A, I'll have a look on their website, but how do I use such a tool if the laptops effectively dead - can you do it by connecting up to a functioning machine?

    I have mounted the drive onto the innards of an external HDD I had, and connected via USB to another laptop & to a desktop. Both machines reported that the disk was not formatted.

    Is there any freely available file recovery software I could now employ to rescue files?

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    OK.
    Now I downloaded & ran CONVARs PC Inspector File Recovery software.
    It shows the drive is empty!!!

    Oh Dear

    Suggestions desperately required.....

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    Currently downloading Seatools...... fingers crossed!!!!!

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    OK
    Seatools test results
    Only tests that are not 'unavailable' are short generic & long generic
    These both result in 'Fail'

    I'm starting to think it's cooked.

    Anybody any other suggestions to try????????


    Please!!!!!!

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    new disk time.

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    2 last questions -
    1) Is it SATA or PATA ? Is this a daft question / can you tell by looking at it 'cos I cannot find info in the docs with the m/c.
    2) Would a professional recovery service be able to go beyond what I did & recover my photos etc?

  13. #13
    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    • GoNz0's system
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    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=113201

    guy there selling a 3 day use drive if thats any help.

    forget about using data recovery unless each pics worth about £10 to you..

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    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    gotta have 50 posts

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    • GoNz0's system
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    47 to go then

  16. #16
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimPD View Post
    last questions -

    2) Would a professional recovery service be able to go beyond what I did & recover my photos etc?
    Yes - but it won't be cheap - depending on how difficult it is to recover, you are looking at £100's to £1000's.
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