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Reviving a hard drive


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#1 floridaze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:32 AM

Hi, faithful Bleepsters. I have a hard drive which I believe I've corrupted very badly. It was blank when given to me. A while back, I tried to clone a drive and write some backup stuff to it, but I was never able to access it. I believe my external enclosure was the culprit. I know the HDD to be good. It was known to be working when given to me not long ago, and a couple of surface scans have shown it to be good very recently.

I've tried many partitioning programs and data recovery programs, such as EASEUS (both Partition Magic and Todo Backup), MiniTool Partition Wizard, MaxBlast (it's a Seagate drive), and I'm sure a couple of others.

It's an 80GB, IDE drive which I want to use on my old XP computer, with either XP or Linux on said drive. Some of the above programs show "bad disk," some show the aforementioned data which I can't access, and some show only about 10GB as existing on the drive, and they show that as unallocated. None of these programs will let me create a partition.

I've also tried BootIt NG, having had great results with that before in another scenario. But the commands are way, WAY over my head.

The first sector, after scanning since this fiasco started, showed up as bad. Does that mean I need to rebuild the MBR? I did that before with BootIt, but again, it was a different scenario. If I do need to rebuild or repair the MBR, could somebody please point me to some instructions that are dumbed way, WAY down? I know nothing about command lines and such and just can't do BootIt, MBRtool, etc. on my own.

Afterthoughts: I don't have any Windows CDs. That would be the obvious solution, I know. All I have is the Windows 7 repair DVD which I burned, and it doesn't allow me to boot. I also have PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu 10.10 Live CDs. At this point, I don't care whether I have Linux or Windows on this drive. I just want to get it bootable. I can always clone another XP or 7 drive to it later if I want Windows.

Thanks so much in advance for ANY help at all.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:13 PM

Seagate has a diagnostic tool called Seatools which you can download and make a bootable CD from. This will at least let you know what condition the hdd is in.

SeaTools for DOS | Seagate

Edited by dc3, 29 March 2011 - 12:47 PM.

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#3 floridaze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:27 PM

I'm sorry; I forgot to mention that program as one which I've run. It says the drive is fine. Of course I had to check it out while in my external case, as it won't boot at all when I put it inside the machine. I mean it starts up, but I just get the j_ at least until I installed BootIt NG, which again is way over my dorky head.

I'll try again with a bootable CD from Seatools though. Thanks for the reminder.

Edited by floridaze, 29 March 2011 - 12:28 PM.


#4 listeur

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:31 PM

I'm assuming that you are trying to use this as a primary drive, and do not have a working windows system to check the drive.
If it is directly attached to the motherboard that will help diagnose possible interfce errors. Make sure it is attached as a primary drive. If it is at least recognised in the bios- you can work with it from there. As previously mentioned seatools is a good start- I think they have a bootable version these days.


Windows 7 install will automatically check the drive to see if it can access it. Provided the drive can talk to the windows installer- it should be able to format it and go from there.

Hard drives are dirt cheap these days. If you think that the drive is funky, or may have problems you may want to consider a new drive. New hard drives may save you a lot of grief in the long run- especially if the drive you are going to be using as a primary is already suspect.

#5 floridaze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:37 PM

Yes, I have it on the primary mobo cable (for now) in my old computer, with it jumpered correctly. I only get the j_ when the computer boots though.

But when I have it in my external case, it shows up in device manager, both on my XP computer and my 7 computer. BUT it doesn't show up in "My Computer."

I can't plug it into my 7 comp because it's an IDE drive and the 7 comp of course is SATA, being built last year. Although I guess I could plug it into the IDE, now called PATA I guess, spot for the DVD drive, right?

Used comp shops around here want $20 for a small IDE drive like mine. That's nuts. I'd like to conquer this blasted drive both to save money, and just on principle of person vs. machine. Grrrrrr.

Thanks for your input.

#6 dc3

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:48 PM

floridaze,

When you installed this inside the computer was this the only drive on the IDE data cable?

How do you have the jumper configured, Master, Slave, Cable Select?




listeur.

The link that I provided is for the DOS version which can be used to make a bootable CD.




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#7 floridaze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:54 PM

Yes, now that I have it inside my old machine, it's the only HDD, and it's jumpered to Master.

I'll try the Seatools bootable CD now. I tried a couple other bootables, I know I tried MaxBlast anyway, but again, it's WAY over my head.

Thanks again. I'll let you know if Seatools boots it or not.

#8 floridaze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 01:31 PM

The ST DOS short test passed. It showed the features it tested as enabled, supported, SMART not tripped, and so on.

Should I run the long test or any other tests with this tool, or should I give up and try once again to install Linux? And if the latter, should I install Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS?

I'd prefer to revive the drive using BootIt or some such, but if you gurus recommend doing the Linux dealio just to get the durned thing partitioned and running, I certainly shall.

Many thanks again.

#9 floridaze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 02:06 PM

I think this has become a moot topic. :(

With the Seatools results still on the screen, I walked away for maybe five minutes. When I came back, the screen was dark. Now when I restart, there's absolutely nothing. The Seatools CD won't boot the machine and neither will the MaxBlast CD. I'm not even getting the j_ nor the Press A Key To Restart when I have no CD in like I was before.

The drive is physically starting, I can hear it, and my CD-ROM sounds like it's working fine too, but something happened to the drive when I walked away with Seatools still up. It's like there's utterly nothing on the drive. It's toast, I presume? I just don't know WHAT in the world happened in those few minutes!

Thanks all, for your time and efforts. Greatly appreciated, as always.

#10 Eyesee

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 02:07 PM

I would run the long test.
It could take a while so
In the beginning there was the command line.

#11 floridaze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 02:09 PM

I was planning to, but when I came back to do so, there was NOTHING on the screen, and I get absolutely NOTHING when I reboot now. Something very strange happened when I walked away for five minutes. :blink:

#12 floridaze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 04:23 PM

OK ... just to make this very strange thread a little stranger yet ... no wait, a LOT stranger ...

... it was not the hard drive which suddenly conked out while testing with SeaTools.

It was ... wait for it ...

... the monitor!!!!

I can't believe it. Firstly, that it happened at that exact time. Spooky. Secondly, that I was too big a moron not to try another monitor sooner.

So, to put an end to the misery for now, I installed PCLinuxOS. I may put XP on it in the near future as a dual-boot, but for now ... I'm going for a well-deserved nap after all this bleepin' madness.

Thank you again, everybody, for all the time and effort!




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