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Horrible Boot Problem


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#1 1984

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 07:29 PM

Hello everyone. I was told this website could help me with my problem so here goes. Bear in mind please I'm not too computer savvy..but not totally ignorant either.

The problem: A couple of weeks ago I turned on my computer (An Hp pavilion a282n P4 2.4GHz 512 ram, 80gig HD...) And it wouldn't boot right. It kept shutting down and restarting in the middle of startup. I heard something inside was struggling to maybe turn on. It was like something was not getting enough power so at first thought it was a power issue. Tried a a couple dozen times to start it up. I finally got it to start on safe mode and then start normally. The next day same thing happened but this time it wouldn't even start on safe mode. Took the machine to a technician, he told me he'd have it up and running for me in a few hours and sure enough he did. Next day machine goes bad again with the same problem. First i had it checked for malware on a website, thankfully it had none, but the computer still is not starting windows at all anymore. Took it to the technician again and this time he goes through it with me try to isolate what the problem could be. Pretty much took the thing apart and finally while working on safe mode he's going through event manager and finds a log with a bunch of errors on it. I don't know what the errors say but he tells me that I need a new hard drive. I asked him why and he pretty much tells me its wear and tear. Is this something that happens a lot? Do hard drives give out after a certain amount of time? Now I'm faced with the problem of having to salvage my data from the old hard drive. If I were to buy like a seagate or other brand external hard drive, would it be possible to save all the data I had in my old hard drive there and then transfer it to a brand new hard drive? Also Would all the errors in the old hard drive be transferred as well? Any help would be much appreciated.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 08:29 PM

Hmm...

First thing to recognize is...you can determine for yourself if your hard drive is bad, you don't have to take the word of anyone here or elsewhere.

a. XP has a built-in maintenance function for drives that anyone can use with ease.

Error Checking - Scan Your Hard Drive Using Error Checking - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproble.../hderrcheck.htm

b. Event Viewer is another XP tool that is available to any user who wants to check for info re system problems, situations, etc. Generally, any hard drive which is problematical will have an error reflected in Event Viewer on occasions where XP documents what is viewed as a problem.

What is the Event Viewer, and Should I Care - Ask Leo! - http://ask-leo.com/what_is_the_event_viewe...uld_i_care.html

c. Every major hard drive manufacturer (probably) has a diagnostic program which can be downloaded, installed on a floppy or CD, and then used to check the condition of the hard drives manufactured by that manufacturer. All the user has to do is follow the instructions provided and read whatever readme/text file is provided.

Drive Diagnostics - http://support.mpccorp.com/diagnostics/hard_drive.html

Hard Disk Drive Diagnostics-Utilities - http://www.duxcw.com/faq/hd/diag.htm

It makes it easier on the pocketbook (and eliminates the integrity question) if a user does these things for herself/himself, IMO.

Some general info that every user ought to be aware of: 10 things you can do when Windows XP won't boot - http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10877-6031733.html

Wear and tear happens to anything material, humans, artifacts, etc...a hard drive is no different, they probably have a 3/5-year warranty, at the most. And there is no predicting when/if they will fail or last years. That's one reason why there are diagnostic tools for hard drives.

There is a countless amount of documentation on various problems which users have experienced with hardware, software, and operating systems. If I have any doubt about the integrity of advice/suggestions made by a person, I just Google and obtain more info.

Regarding error messages, whether onscreen in XP or those which are reflected in Event Viewer, you can always look such up yourself, visit a forum like this for help in interpreting the error, and so on.

<<If I were to buy like a seagate or other brand external hard drive, would it be possible to save all the data I had in my old hard drive there and then transfer it to a brand new hard drive?>>

Yes and no :flowers:. A lot depends on what you mean when you say "data."

I've interpreted that to mean that you want to save everything...programs installed and all other files. That can be done and it's best accomplished by either backing up to another drive or by using a disk imaging program. I use a disk-imager, so I wind up with cloned copy of whatever is on my hard drive within X minutes. That clone is just that, a clone. Any existing problems will transfer with that image (corrupt files, malware, etc.).

Cloning a partition/drive which has disk problems is probably going to result in some file problems, since disk problems generally often translate into problems accessing/deleting files.

OTOH, you can just move anything other than programs (and the O/S) installed from one drive to another drive quite easily.

That's enough out of me, for the moment :thumbsup:.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 28 December 2007 - 08:33 AM.


#3 dc3

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 11:28 PM

It does sound like the hdd. I would start transferring all of your important files to either a CD or DVD because this hdd could die at any time. The more you use it the more you increase its chances of failing.

If you want to make sure it's the hdd go to the manufacturers web site and download and run their diagnostic tool. Usually this will be transferred to a floppy or CD and you will boot from it. This means that that drive will have to be the first device in the boot order in the BIOS.

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#4 1984

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 03:28 PM

Hello everyone. Thanks for the advice. I just wanted to be sure about hard drives dying like this. Louis when I said my data, I did mean everything like you said, but now it seems that maybe I'd be better off not doing that because I don't want all the corrupted stuff to get transferred. I pretty much have all the cds for my programs and i can download a lot of them from the web. What I'm really concerned about I guess is my files such a documents I've written, music, videos, pictures etc...since the external hard drives are like UBS storage things, Im guessing I could move those to the external drive no problem right? Also, what about my OS (windows XP). How would I get that over to the external hardrive?Is it even possible?

#5 dc3

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 11:18 AM

One way to transfer those files would be to right click on start> Explore. Click on the C drive, once this is open you can click and drag which ever files you want to your external hdd.

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#6 1984

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 04:15 PM

Hi again, I purchased a Seagate 80 gig portable Hard drive. I figure I have less than 50 GB of stuff in my failing internal hard drive and think I'd like to go for the disk imaging to back up EVERYTHING. How do I go about doing this, do I need to purchased disk Imaging software separately? I've been looking for disk imaging on tools that came with the external hard drive and can't seem to find it, also I've been searching their website and I can't come up with anything.

#7 usasma

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 07:20 AM

You can look here for freeware disk imaging solutions: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html

I prefer Acronis True Image (about $50 US) for my imaging needs.

Also, make sure that you've got a "solution" for accessing the data on the image if you think you'll need to access it without restoring the image. Acronis comes with an image explorer - but I don't know if the freeware solutions do.
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