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Hard Disk Failure


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#1 cvos

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:38 AM

I have a Presario CQ61 laptop that gave me hard disk failure. I have been told by HP that I need a new hard drive. One question I have I have some documents that I would like to get off of it, how can I get them off if I cant get past the diagnostic screens? I should have known better, I have an external drive for just this thing! But the laptop is not a year old yet! The documents are not life or death if I don't get them back, I would just very much like to get them on my external drive.

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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 05:06 PM

I have a Presario CQ61 laptop that gave me hard disk failure. I have been told by HP that I need a new hard drive.

Let's leave that one for later: There are a number of options that can be explored.


Firstly, you should retrieve/backup your personal/important files. There are many bootable Live Operating Systems types and versions available, most of which may be run from either CD (LiveCD), DVD, or USB flashdrive, without writing any data to the laptop's HDD. Try one of the ones I have suggested below:

Download Ubuntu

See the following guide (somewhat dated now, but may be useful as a general guide):
Use Ubuntu Live CD to Backup Files from Your Dead Windows Computer

OR
Download Linux Mint

Connect your external drive, and copy the files from one disk to the other.

Edited by AustrAlien, 29 November 2010 - 05:09 PM.

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#3 cvos

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:46 PM

I have this on my laptop, but do not see how to get to my documents. and copy them.

#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:12 PM

I have this on my laptop

What do you have on your laptop?

Please explain exactly what is going on.
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#5 cvos

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:27 PM

I have ubuntu on my laptop. When I look in documents all I get is a blank pink screen. I get that on most anything I click on.

#6 AustrAlien

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:57 PM

When you say "I have Ubuntu on my laptop", I am going to assume that you have booted from a Ubuntu LiveCD and are looking at the Ubuntu desktop. Is that correct?

What does the Ubuntu desktop look like?

You said "When I look in documents all I get is a blank pink screen. I get that on most anything I click on."
Hmmmm .... that does not sound good! But I can't be sure that what you are doing/what you are seeing is not normal.

With Ubuntu, you may need to actually try to locate your hard drive and look in there for your "My Documents" folder.
I am running a slightly older version of Ubuntu (9.04): From the desktop, if I click on "Places" in the menu bar at the top of the screen, I see a drop-down menu with a list of all my drives, and if I click on my C drive, I can see the contents of it.
Are you able to do this? Do you see your hard drive listed there?

Edit: file path to your "My Documents"
<your drive>\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\ ...

Edited by AustrAlien, 29 November 2010 - 10:10 PM.

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#7 cvos

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:11 PM

I was looking in the wrong place. I have found the documents I need, can I use a USB drive to copy them to? I have a USB drive in the laptop and the laptop shows files on it. How do I copy the files from the laptop to the USB? It gives me options: bluetooth (OBEX Push), CD/DVD creator. instant message (empathy), email and removable disks and shares? I did the removable disk and shares, but do not see the files on the USB.

#8 cvos

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:29 PM

Ok I think I have it!? I see the files on the USB. But I will look on my other computer to see if they are really there. Will let you know.

#9 AustrAlien

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:32 PM

Firstly do have your external USB hard drive (or flashdrive) connected and powered ON?
Do you see your external drive listed? If you don't see it,you may have to re-boot from the Ubuntu CD in order for it to recognise that the external drive is connected.

I just tested my own ... while Ubuntu was running, and I was looking at the desktop, I plugged in my external USB drive and turned the power on. After a short time, I saw an icon appear on the desktop with the drive's name under it. Do you see that?

Once you are able to see your external drive listed, there are several ways to copy your files to it.
  • Right-click on your file (or a selection of multiple files) and select "Send to", and then select your external drive. Click "Send".
  • Right-click on your file (or a selection of multiple files) and select "Copy". Then navigate to your external drive and right-click on a vacant area and select "Paste".

Ok I think I have it!? I see the files on the USB. But I will look on my other computer to see if they are really there. Will let you know.

Good!

Edited by AustrAlien, 29 November 2010 - 10:33 PM.

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#10 cvos

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:39 PM

The USB flash drive was seen by the laptop, the USB shows the files but when I go to check them on my desktop it will not open any of them! Most are PDF files, and some pictures. When I try to open the PDF is says it is "not supported file or the file has been damaged". Giving an example of an email not properly decoded. What do I need to do now?

#11 AustrAlien

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:43 PM

What about the pictures: Are you able to open them on your Desktop computer?

On your Desktop Computer, do you have a program that will read .PDF files, such as "Adobe Reader" or "Foxit"? Can you read other .PDF files on your Desktop Computer?
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#12 cvos

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:57 PM

OK I GOT TO WORK!!!
Sorry for all caps, I'm happy!
Next good question, I think it's a good idea to wipe completely clean the laptop hard drive. How do I do that? I will be getting a new one from HP in a few days, and they want the bad one back. No problem I will send it back, I just don't want my personal stuff left on it for some one to possibly steel.

#13 AustrAlien

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:12 AM

OK I GOT TO WORK!!!
Sorry for all caps, I'm happy!

That's OK ... I guess that is reason enough to shout a little.


I think it's a good idea to wipe completely clean the laptop hard drive. How do I do that?

You should be able to do that from the Ubuntu LiveCD without having to download a special program: I just have to figure out how! I shall work on it and get back to you.

OR you could:

Download "Darik's Boot and Nuke" (dban) and run it to create a bootable floppy or burn the image to a CD (depending on your choice of download). You need to boot from this media ... and ensuring that there is ONLY the one hard drive connected in the box (because it will nuke every hard drive attached), type in "autonuke" and press Enter and let it run.

Download (dban-1.0.7)
bootable floppy: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/files/dban/dban-1.0.7_i386.exe/download
bootable CD: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/files/dban/dban-1.0.7_i386.iso/download

If you don't have a suitable burning program for .ISO files, download and install
ImgBurn
http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=download
and choose to "Write image file to disc"
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#14 cvos

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:34 AM

Ok let me know on Ubuntu. I will check back later in the day. It is after 12:30 here.
Thank You for your help!!

#15 cvos

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:27 PM

Any luck on Ubuntu wiping the disk clean?




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