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Funky Hard Drive


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#1 drmsucks

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:33 PM

Neighbor gave me a hard drive from an HP laptop that he had Geek Squad replace because the computer quit booting. Geek Squad wanted $180 to recover files from the bad drive, he told them no. I said that I'd give it a try. The drive is a Seagate 2.5", ST9160821AS, SATA.

First, I put the drive into a USB external enclosure, plugged it into my system with XP running - XP "hung" (quit responding) until I unplugged the drive. Next, booted into Vista and plugged in the drive - same result. Next, shut down, plugged drive into USB port and cold booted Windows (XP and Vista) - OS would not boot until I removed the drive. Tried to boot from a Ubuntu live CD - no boot with drive connected. Booted up with drive disconnected, plugged in drive and Ubuntu did not see the drive - same as Windows but Ubuntu didn't "hang." BIOS would recognize the drive.

Got SeaTools for DOS. Disconnected all good hard drives from the computer and connected the Seagate to the SATA controller. This was the only drive. Booted the SeaTools CD and SeaTools recognized the drive. Passed a short test and failed the long test - program quit responding after an hour or so. Re-booted and drive would not pass the short test.

Booted up SpinRite from DOS CD. SpinRite saw the drive, recognized the partitions. Told SpinRite to recover the drive. SpinRite "hung" for 5 or 6 minutes at "Identifying Drive" then errored out with a critical error and a note to not try to recover the drive.

Anyone have any suggestions? Particularly what does it mean when the drive, when connected, prevents boot, or, when connected after boot "hangs" Windows?

Thanks.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:19 PM

Failure of the manufacturer's long test...is usually conclusive proof that the drive will not work properly.

Louis

#3 drmsucks

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:36 PM

Thanks Louis - I have no hope of getting the drive to "work" again and am losing hope of being able to recover any data.

But, as a curiosity, do you have any ideas regarding the way the drive prevents the OS from functioning? What would account for that?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 03:25 PM

The O/S is installed on the drive.

If the drive has a mechanical problem, it cannot be counted on to be of any use to anyone at anytime. It's as simple as that.

Louis

#5 drmsucks

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:02 PM

The O/S is installed on the drive.


There is a misunderstanding here. The defective drive is not booting the computer (yes, it has Vista on it, but, it is not the boot drive), but, rather, the system is booting from another drive. However, if the defective drive is connected during boot, the OS will not boot from the good drive until the defective drive is removed from the system. Similarly, if Windows is running (XP or Vista) and the defective drive is added to the system, the system will "hang" until the defective drive is removed.

I cannot explain this. My question is: Does anyone have an explanation or hypothesis for Windows' behavior when the defective drive is connected to the system?

Thanks.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:27 PM

I think the fact that you have two entirely different sets of boot files operative here...may be the problem or contributing to the problem.

Vista has its own boot files, quite different from XP's. That may account for your boot difficulties.

More important, IMO, is the fact that the hard drive failed the diagnostic.

I also know from personal experience...that having a troubled hard drive connected to an XP boot...may lead to difficulties in booting/running XP. As XP loads, it attempts to take inventory of all connected components. If a component/drive is not functioning properly or if a USB device is connected at boot...it interferes with the XP inventory/boot process.

Louis

#7 drmsucks

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 09:51 PM

I think the fact that you have two entirely different sets of boot files operative here...may be the problem or contributing to the problem.

Don't think that this is a problem - I have 4 hard drives in my system with XP, Vista, Ubuntu and Win 7 RC! all able to boot without interference.

However, I suspect that you are right that Win is inventorying devices and detects that the defective drive is a problem. Ubuntu does the same thing at boot.

Anyway, thanks for the interest.




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