HDD dead or just needs a reinstall?

Live forum: http://forum.freeipodguide.com/viewtopic.php?t=64772


18-06-2007 06:07:40

Alright...I'm speaking about a 120gig WD that I've had for YEARS, a good long life for a HDD. Now...it just froze the other night (i'm running my os off this drive) so I rebooted and now it just gets to the XP loading screen and reboots. I had no clue what was going on, so I tried booting in all modes ...safe mode, everything, etc. Nothing worked. So then I booted up an XP disc and booted into recovery console and ran

chkdsk /p
chkdsk /r
chkdsk /f (doesn't work)

After running fixboot (which said it was corrupt and needs to fix it) the computer booted up...so I went to bed, woke up again this morning and it was froze and just constantly reboots at xp loading screen.

I went to reinstall windows but it doesn't give me the option, it wants me to format the drive cuz it's either full or damaged it says. So I can't do that.

Now I don't care about buying a new HDD ...cuz i'm due for one...but is this drive on it's last leggs or just needs a fomat and reinstall?

Plus when I disable reboot on error...the error it keeps rebooting on is a BSOD - UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME

Am I just missing something here?

Edit Also this morning I could not even detect the WD HDD on the POST or in the BIos.

the only thing I haven't tried was fixmbr or something like that


18-06-2007 08:32:48

Sounds like the drive is dying/dead. There are a couple of last ditch attempts you can try to get it running long enough to recover data.

You might try the ol' tried & true GRM (Gravitational Repair Method). Drop it on a desktop from a height of about 1 foot or so. Then try it again -- if it works, backup all critical data to restore to a new drive, then toss that one (or certainly don't use it for a critical drive). This fixes a surprising number of minor HDD drive problems due to "sticking" parts.

Another last ditch home remedy is to put the HDD in a ziplock freezer back, getting out as much air as you can (if you have a vaccuum bag machine for food storage, even better), and putting it in the freezer for a few hours. Take it out and let it come up to operational temp before trying it again (not all the way to room temps, but just short of it). This works by contracting the parts to free up any sticking parts.

However if the problem is with data corruption then none of these will likely work.


18-06-2007 08:47:13

Cool Thanks for the help, I was looking at hdd's and I can get like a 400gig sata II hdd for like 80 bucks

so i'll try to get my data safe and buy a new hdd

Edit Right now i'm running IDE as boot device, I can boot of a Sata drive right?

Just bought this

400 gigs for 79.99 shipped

20cents/gig not to bad ;)


20-06-2007 09:40:47

Ok...HDD should be coming in today. Question is...If I want to install windows on this Sata Drive...how will windows see the drive if the Sata controller driver isn't loaded on the hdd? So when I go to install windows it won't see the hdd cuz the control drivers aren't installed on the device yet? Is this true??


20-06-2007 09:58:50

Is the SATA controller on the mobo or a card? You might run into an issue if a card, but either way, XP (and I assume Vista more so) should have at least a generic compatible driver that would be loaded into memory. That should allow the drive to be recognized during install.


20-06-2007 10:01:59

Depends on which mobo/SATA controller you have. Recent chipsets by AMD and Intel support native SATA ports that are visible to the BIOS without drivers, so you wouldn't need to do anything special for those. Older chipsets or SATA controllers external to the chipset require a driver diskette to be created (or the drivers slipstreamed onto an install CD image, which is a bit advanced). For those, you hit F6 when the Windows setup prompts you for additional drivers (right at the beginning of the text mode setup sequence). It will prompt you for the driver disk containing your SATA drivers. It will load the drivers from disk and enable Windows to access your SATA drives.

[b5b2d4ddc87]EDIT[/b5b2d4ddc87] Those driver instructions are for XP of course. The Vista installs I've had were on modern hardware with native SATA support, so I'm not sure of the exact sequence for providing the Vista installer with 3rd party drivers, or what drivers it comes with built-in.


20-06-2007 10:02:43

[quote89225c6fb9="Tholek"]Is the SATA controller on the mobo or a card? You might run into an issue if a card, but either way, XP (and I assume Vista more so) should have at least a generic compatible driver that would be loaded into memory. That should allow the drive to be recognized during install.[/quote89225c6fb9]

It's on the mobo, I just remember I was having a hell of a time with that stupid controller in the past

Edit I know the f6 load extra drivers thingy, thanks, never thought of doing that. I have the drivers on a cd, I burned them a while back incase I needed them, i'll probably have to do that.

Edit I will be installing XP Pro

This is the mobo
SOLTEK SL-75FRN2-RL Socket A (Socket 462) NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Edit I'm pretty sure it has the Promise PDC20376 controller to provide Serial ATA Raid.

Edit And I have two SATA connections on my mobo, one has a 320 gigger on it already, with connecting the other one up, I can just run two SATA driver right? I don't have to link them to make one big drive right?


20-06-2007 17:32:14

Well I ran into the problem I thought I would, I have an xp pro disc sp2...and of course xp doesn't see the drive...i found the floppy of the drivers for the raid controller but when I press f6 to load the drivers it asks for the floppy and I put it in and press enter but it does nothing, thinks about doing something but does nothing.

I ran the stupid seagate utility and it sees the hdd but in the middle of the process of formating it or whatever it does when i'm booting form their cd it error outs

I'm stuck in the water and usless....

Edit Also SATA is not mensioned anywhere in the bios

I can choose the boot order but only have the options of like hdd 1 hdd 2 hdd 3 etc, nothing about sata


20-06-2007 18:07:14

did you try spinrite to get the old drive working again? it might help


20-06-2007 18:08:20

[quote694cf68536="guelah75"]did you try spinrite to get the old drive working again? it might help[/quote694cf68536]

Right now i'm reinstalling windows on the old drive, some how that is working now, so If i can some how get onto the main drive again I can fuck with my new drive some how or at least get the new drive formated or ANYTHING

I've been drinkings beers cuz i'm frustrated and it's not making it easier.


20-06-2007 18:19:12

OK, i got the old drive booted up! Now...what can I do to get this new sata drive ready to install xp?>

OK, while in windows I went to manage the disk and am formating it now.

Once formated, can I install xp somehow on that dsk? I think my floppy drive might be fucked..it won't read the floppy disc in windows...I do have a external usb flobby drive...will the xp install recognize that some how??

I've read that since my bios doesn't mention sata it might recognize it as scis??

These are my boot options

Various USB


28-07-2007 21:22:58

we had a storm this morning and the power slightly flickered out twice within a few minutes of each other. the 2nd time it happened was during my desktops reboot after the first flicker. during the 2nd reboot, i received the blue screen of death.

got the usual messages


used the xp standalone cd and ran chkdsk (which did absolutely NOTHING) and fixboot and got the "cannot find the system drive...or the drive specified is not valid" message.

i couldn't and still can't get to boot in any mode.

found a couple of other places in setup mode where i could look at the hard drive and saw these messages

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[imgcb9bfc9fe3]http/" alt=""/img341.imageshack.us/img="341/6231/dsc00220ds3.th.jpg[" alt=""/imgcb9bfc9fe3][=http//img="341.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00220ds3.jpg][imgcb9bfc9fe3]http/" alt=""/img341.imageshack.us/img="341/6231/dsc00220ds3.th.jpg[" alt=""/imgcb9bfc9fe3]

i'm pissed because i have a ton of audience recorded concerts on the drive which i could have/should have either moved to DVDR or to my external HD (which i know may or not be the smart thing to do, depending on who you ask)

fortunately i have the laptop which i used to research the error messages.

i read [this][=http//forum.freeipodguide.com/viewtopic.php?t=65877&highlight=hard+drive][this] thread where sadaqtb mentioned turning the regular HD into an external. should i give something like that a try?

i'm taking any and all pieces of advice.



28-07-2007 21:32:09

If it's just a problem in the boot sector, you might have luck removing the drive and installing in an external USB enclosure, then backup to another PC.

However it almost sounds more like a hardware failure at this point than data corruption. The power flicker could have surged through your PSU (especially if the PSU is cheap and lacks AVR), although if that happened I would have expected the PSU and/or some other components to blow too. Perhaps the drive heads were in a delicate position as the power flickered, causing a head crash.

If you can nab a copy of Spinrite 6.0, it is no doubt the best drive recovery software you can get. I've seen it take bad sectors and make them good again. If it can't recover the drive and make it readable, then nothing short of a clean room service can.


29-07-2007 08:31:09

holy effing A.....spinrite did it.

it took me half an hour to get it set up, mostly figuring out how to create the boot cd.

it took an hour to run through the HD (160GIG).

when i went back into the bios and told it to read the hard drive, it gave me the error message again and i was ready to jump out the window. but then it did an auto-restart and ta-DOW, it started up normal.

i just did a regular restart and it fired up again.

i went through some of the music/picture folders and spot-checked the files and they worked.

best $90 i ever spent.



29-07-2007 10:16:12

Good deal. Just to be safe, immediately backup everything important and start shopping for a new drive -- they're dirt cheap now. If it was just data corruption then you'll be fine, but if it were due to bad sectors or a head crash, that is very often a sign of impending failure. Sooner rather than later.