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Is This What They Mean By A "crash"?


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#1 hiprocka

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 12:48 PM

Hello. Here's a description of the problem.

First, the battery indicator light and the two adjacent lights (one for
power, the other, the processor) were flashing on and off. The following Youtube video shows this:

flashing lights

Then, my computer cut off while I was using it. The screen didn't go black;
rather, I heard a whistle noise of sorts, whereupon a blue screen came up (a
screen that looked something like the screen you see when you start Windows
in safe mode, but not exactly that screen). I think I just shut down at that
point. Next, I tried to turn the computer on without its being plugged in.
Absolutely no power from the battery. So I
removed the battery. Then I started it again, plugged in of course. This
time it worked for a while. I put it in hibernate mode, which I frequently
do. Yet, the next time I started it, I got a black screen with a message
like "HDD error." Now, still unable to get Windows, I'm getting the following message: "No bootable devices, strike F1 to retry boot. When I do this, it says "No boot sector on internal hard drive." The following Youtube video shows this:

what happens when turn on


***

Obviously, I'd like to know what I can do in order to reslove this problem.
At a minimum, I'd like to be able to transfer the files in the MyPictures and the MyDocuments folders to another device. I would also like to be able to transfer my Outlook Express settings and my Internet Explorer favorities.

I've been all over the web for this issue. People are advising me to remove the hard drive, put it a 2.5" case, and connect to a computer with the same operating system. Would this really work? However, they haven't been clear on how you actually transfer the files when you connect the USB hard case a computer.

***

Here are some other intriguing suggestions I got, from someone who is describing himself as "A+":

"1st. try to "reset your bios" (aka CMOS)

if that fail,
insert a system CD that match your original operating system (such as XP cd or win 98CD).
(if you dont have one, you can download www.bootdisk.com
At the dos prompt, try fdisk/mbr
and hit enter. This should restore your boot record

if that doesn't work. you will need to do what u said. pull the HD out and put it in an enclosure. and connect it to a sepearate computer and pull file from your "document and setting" folder on a seperate machine."

Thank you for your consideration.

John Davis

Edited by hiprocka, 26 July 2008 - 08:20 AM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 01:27 PM

Unmountable boot volume errors are fairly well-documented...and (normally) easily overcome.

Unmountable Boot Volume in Windows XP ( WINXP ) - http://www.windowsreinstall.com/install/wi...unmountable.htm

Unmountable Boot Volume - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;555302

Louis

#3 oneup

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 07:18 PM

well, you could also try and use a linux live cd and copy your files, if you could find them.
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#4 usasma

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 06:29 AM

It sounds as if your hard drive is dead - but the other symptoms indicate that there could be other damage (in particular the flashing lights and it not working with the battery inserted).

I'd go with the suggestion to remove the hard drive, put it in an external enclosure and move the data off it (if possible). To do this, you'll have to have access to another computer to plug it into. Then open up Windows Explorer and navigate to the Documents and Settings folder in the drive letter that the computer assigns to the attached drive.

There'll be several names listed under Documents and Settings -
- All Users
- Default User
- Administrator
- LocalService
- Network Service
- there may be other Administrator or Owner accounts - these are most likely where your profile is if it's not listed separately
- there may be a profile that you recognize as being yours - that's where your documents/photos/etc are most likely located.

Copy the contents of your profile(s) and then check the All Users profile for things you may have placed in the Shared Documents folders.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 hiprocka

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:29 AM

It sounds as if your hard drive is dead - but the other symptoms indicate that there could be other damage (in particular the flashing lights and it not working with the battery inserted).

I'd go with the suggestion to remove the hard drive, put it in an external enclosure and move the data off it (if possible). To do this, you'll have to have access to another computer to plug it into. Then open up Windows Explorer and navigate to the Documents and Settings folder in the drive letter that the computer assigns to the attached drive.

There'll be several names listed under Documents and Settings -
- All Users
- Default User
- Administrator
- LocalService
- Network Service
- there may be other Administrator or Owner accounts - these are most likely where your profile is if it's not listed separately
- there may be a profile that you recognize as being yours - that's where your documents/photos/etc are most likely located.

Copy the contents of your profile(s) and then check the All Users profile for things you may have placed in the Shared Documents folders.


Hello. I just deleted Bill Husted's tips from my post as I tried what he suggested and it didn't work. I got a message that BIOS boots the hard drive and some other drive before it boots the CD rom drive. Thus, presumably, I can't work from the installation CD.

I think I'm going to do what you advised. That way, I'll at least be able to recover some of my important documents and some photos. However, in an source for which the first responder to this thread provided a link, I read that you have to disconnect the CD Rom drive of the computer to which you connect the external exclosure. Is this true? If so, do they mean physically disconnect, or can this dosconnection be made through XP's settings?

John Davis

#6 hiprocka

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:37 AM

It sounds as if your hard drive is dead - but the other symptoms indicate that there could be other damage (in particular the flashing lights and it not working with the battery inserted).

I'd go with the suggestion to remove the hard drive, put it in an external enclosure and move the data off it (if possible). To do this, you'll have to have access to another computer to plug it into. Then open up Windows Explorer and navigate to the Documents and Settings folder in the drive letter that the computer assigns to the attached drive.

There'll be several names listed under Documents and Settings -
- All Users
- Default User
- Administrator
- LocalService
- Network Service
- there may be other Administrator or Owner accounts - these are most likely where your profile is if it's not listed separately
- there may be a profile that you recognize as being yours - that's where your documents/photos/etc are most likely located.

Copy the contents of your profile(s) and then check the All Users profile for things you may have placed in the Shared Documents folders.


Hello. I just deleted Bill Husted's tips from my post as I tried what he suggested and it didn't work. I got a message that BIOS boots the hard drive and some other drive before it boots the CD rom drive. Thus, presumably, I can't work from the installation CD.

I think I'm going to do what you advised. That way, I'll at least be able to recover some of my important documents and some photos. However, in an source for which the first responder to this thread provided a link, I read that you have to disconnect the CD Rom drive of the computer to which you connect the external exclosure. Is this true? If so, do they mean physically disconnect, or can this dosconnection be made through XP's settings?

John Davis


Actually, what I wrote in the preceding post isn't quite accurate. Here are some suggestions I got by following a link that the first responder to this thread provided:

"This option tends to be very successful.

Quite simply take the Hard Drive out of your computer, then go to a friends house, that is a friend who owns a Windows XP computer, and with permission open up his/hers computer, disconnect their CD-Rom drives, and plug your hard drive in with theirs, of course make sure the cable is seated correctly and that the power connector is plugged in.

Your friend computer will now boot up and run Chkdsk before it logs into Windows, let this run & complete.

Take your Hard Drive home and test. This method has a good success rate."


What does he mean by "plug your hard drive in with theirs"? Presumably, he means more than just plugging a 2.5" USB hard case into the computer via a USB cable. If so, his tips wouldn't work for me, as I can't get the case of of my mom's computer.

#7 usasma

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:08 AM

This all depends on the hard drive, the construction of your computer, the availability of places to plug it in, and the manner in which you're going to plug it in. It will also depend upon how "dead" the drive is. Some dead drives can have data recovered from them, but some won't have all of your data - and some won't be able to be accessed at all.

From the YouTube video, this appears to be a Dell laptop.

To boot from another drive (such as the CD drive) on a Dell laptop you'd press F12 as the Dell screen first shows up. That'll give you a menu where you can select the drive that you want to boot from.

If you can't access the hard drive using the boot from CD method, then your next choice is to try and slave the hard drive to another system. Laptop drives are usually 2.5" wide and are either the IDE (PATA, EIDE, etc) or the SATA types. The IDE type has around 80 little gold pins that plug into the computer - and they're a different size than the one's for a Desktop computer (the same number of pins, but a wider cable to support the 3.5" wide drive. The SATA drives all have the same connector sizes - they're 2 flat black things, one is wider than the other.

I'd recommend this adapter ( http://www.cooldrives.com/saandidehadr1.html ). It's about $30 US and will accomodate all of the drives that I mentioned above. I have one of my own, and I got work to buy a couple for use there.

But, as I said before, you may not be able to recover the data - so the $30 for the adapter is a gamble on your part.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 hiprocka

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:22 AM

If you can't access the hard drive using the boot from CD method, then your next choice is to try and slave the hard drive to another system. Laptop drives are usually 2.5" wide and are either the IDE (PATA, EIDE, etc) or the SATA types. The IDE type has around 80 little gold pins that plug into the computer - and they're a different size than the one's for a Desktop computer (the same number of pins, but a wider cable to support the 3.5" wide drive. The SATA drives all have the same connector sizes - they're 2 flat black things, one is wider than the other.

Thanks for the tip about using F12. I'll try that shortly. However, assuming that won't work, I'm a little unclear on the advice that's highlighted above.

My understanding WAS that I could buy an external enclosure and hook this directly to a operational computer having the same operating system as mine via a USB cable. That is, I assumed that you just put the HDD from the laptop in the enclosure, shut it, and plugged the enclosure into a USB port. Above, you seem to be suggesting something different. Could you clarify what you mean by this? Thank you for your assistance.

#9 usasma

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:37 AM

Your assumptions are correct - the issue that I was trying to get at is that laptops have 2 kinds of hard drives (the IDE or the SATA types), and if you buy the wrong kind or size of enclosure it won't work. They all generally have USB outputs to plug into another computer.

Also, the "disconnect the CD drive" thing refers to trying to recover data by slaving a 3" IDE drive to the interior of another computer. This won't work with a laptop drive without a converter - or a laptop that has an extra bay in it (not very common).

External enclosures generally come in one of these 4 types:
3" IDE (for desktop drives)
3" SATA (for desktop drives)
2" IDE (for laptop drives)
2" SATA (for laptop drives)

At most stores in my area, the enclosures run $50 to $60. I haven't searched for them on the web, so they may be cheaper there. That's why I recommended the adapter from my link. It accommodates all 4 size/type drives and is generally cheaper. The disadvantage is that it doesn't have a housing to cover the drive - which decreases portability if the drive isn't dead (if it is dead you won't want to lug it around anyway).
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#10 hiprocka

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 10:11 AM

Your assumptions are correct - the issue that I was trying to get at is that laptops have 2 kinds of hard drives (the IDE or the SATA types), and if you buy the wrong kind or size of enclosure it won't work. They all generally have USB outputs to plug into another computer.

Also, the "disconnect the CD drive" thing refers to trying to recover data by slaving a 3" IDE drive to the interior of another computer. This won't work with a laptop drive without a converter - or a laptop that has an extra bay in it (not very common).

External enclosures generally come in one of these 4 types:
3" IDE (for desktop drives)
3" SATA (for desktop drives)
2" IDE (for laptop drives)
2" SATA (for laptop drives)

At most stores in my area, the enclosures run $50 to $60. I haven't searched for them on the web, so they may be cheaper there. That's why I recommended the adapter from my link. It accommodates all 4 size/type drives and is generally cheaper. The disadvantage is that it doesn't have a housing to cover the drive - which decreases portability if the drive isn't dead (if it is dead you won't want to lug it around anyway).


Here is the section of my manual that provides information on removing the hard drive. By this information, can you tell whether it is the IDE or SATA type?

Dell Inspiron 6000 HDD

Thanks again,

John Davis

Edited by hiprocka, 26 July 2008 - 10:59 AM.


#11 hiprocka

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 11:13 AM

Sorry John, I forgot to add a link to the previous thread, in which I asked you to take a look at the manual in order to see whether the HDD is of the IDE or SATA type.

I followed your advice regarding using F12, and I managed to get the installation CD to run. The following photos show what I encountered:


This was the first screen I got to:

Posted Image

I think this is called the Welcome to Setup screen. I pressed "r" to start the Recovery Console. That took me to this screen:

Posted Image

Note that it says the path or file specified is not valid, even though I hadn't done anything yet.

In the instructions I have, at this point, it says to "If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you must access from the Recovery Console." For starts, I don't know whether I have this sort of computer. What's more, as the preceding image shows, I have a command prompt, not a screen from which I could make any such selection.

For all that, I still entered the command "chkdsk /r," and pressed ENTER. This is what I got:

Posted Image

Now it says the path or file selected is not valid, along with the message that "or there is no disk in the hard drive."

Can you make anything from all of this? Does this pretty much mean that I can't use the installation Cd to salvage my hard drive?

John Davis

#12 thrillhouse

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 11:20 AM

I had the same problem a while ago on my dell I used to have. The way I fixed it was to use a pre-installation environment cd to run the check disk and it found a lot of errors and said it fixed them and then it turned back on. The cd I used was HAWKPE. The windows cd was worthless for me too. Hope that helps.

#13 hiprocka

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 11:28 AM

I had the same problem a while ago on my dell I used to have. The way I fixed it was to use a pre-installation environment cd to run the check disk and it found a lot of errors and said it fixed them and then it turned back on. The cd I used was HAWKPE. The windows cd was worthless for me too. Hope that helps.


Hello. where did you get the CD HAWKPE and how much did it cost?

John Davis

#14 thrillhouse

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 11:37 AM

it was free, I downloaded it on another board.

#15 hiprocka

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 11:38 AM

I just did an internet search, and I found out that my laptop comes with a 80 GB 5400 RPM ATA-6 internal hard drive. Thus, if I can't find a CD to fix my problem, I'm going to have to go the 2.5" USB case route, in an attempt to save some of the files. One of my previous questions regarded what kind of case I should purchase. John said there were essentially four different types of cases:

3" IDE (for desktop drives)
3" SATA (for desktop drives)
2" IDE (for laptop drives)
2" SATA (for laptop drives)

As I have a laptop, I presumably have to buy either a 2.5 IDE or a 2.5 SATA. The fact that I have a "ATA-6" HDD in my laptop leads me to believe that I should buy a 2.5 SATA enclosure. However, a person asserted on Yahoo Answers that ATA-6 is not compatible with SATA. Granted, he was responding to the question whether you could use a 2.5 SATA hard drive to replace an ATA_6 hard drive, not to a question about whether you could put an ATA-6 into a SATA enclosure.

In another question posed on Yahoo Answers, a man asserted that you can use "standard 2.5 IDE hard drives" in the Dell Inspiron 6000. Supposedly he's done this and everything turned out swell. If this is this case, this would lead me to believe that I could put my hard drive in a 2.5 IDE enclosure.

So, in light of these observations, could you tell me what kind of enclosure, or 2.5" USB case I should get for my HDD?

Regards,

John Davis

it was free, I downloaded it on another board.


Do you have a link?

Edited by hiprocka, 26 July 2008 - 11:40 AM.





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