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Disk Read Error - unable to boot laptop


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#1 JustMyAlias

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 06:52 PM

I am getting "a disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"

When I do, I just come back to the same screen.
This is a Dell Studio (1555?) laptop runnings Windows XP. Warranty expired.
It was running fine Tuesday, and just started this when I booted Wednesday morning.
I have not added any hardware, software or updates. All I have done is try several times to Ctrl+Alt+Del, remove the laptop battery and reinstall, and went into Boot Options (F12), Enter Setup and Selected F9 (Setup Defaults). No luck.

I have also removed the hard drive and tried to hook it up with EZ-Connect (Kingwin) to try to pull my files.
However, the little install disk would not install on the 2nd laptop (Vista and pretty crumby itself...), and I was not able to see it from the 2nd computer.

And I have also tried Ubuntu (running from a flash drive and a live cd) to try to pull my files. I have not been able to successfully mount the drive and see any data.

Any thoughts on how I can first, pull my files (if still possible) and second, troubleshoot to find out what the issue really is.

I am running the Dell diagnostic tool (in setup)... to see what info it yields.

Any help would be so gratefully appreciated.

Edited by JustMyAlias, 08 December 2011 - 06:55 PM.


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#2 Eyesee

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:56 PM

Since you pulled the hard drive out once, please do so again and tell us who the manufacturer of the drive is so that we can link you to the appropriate hard drive diagnostic tool. The Dell BIOS one is pretty generic but does a good job.

If the drive fails replace it.
Any clicking noises like a clock would make?
In the beginning there was the command line.

#3 JustMyAlias

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:26 PM

no clicking at all...
I believe it was Seagate.
I will pull it again when I finish the Dell diagnostics.
tx

#4 JustMyAlias

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 10:06 AM

okay - ran through the Dell diagnostics...

on some initial test (it started automatically...)
I got an error code 0146 2000-0146 Hard Drive 0

for TEST MEMORY (Run the stand alone memory test.)
everthing passed

for TEST SYSTEM (Run system diagnostics.)
everything passed

for SYMPTOM TREE
I ran all of the tests under the "Cannot Boot to the OS" option...
It passed all of the other tests(L1, L2 cache tests,...) - but FAILED all of the SATA tests.

I got the following error codes during te different parts of the SATA tests...
error code 0F00: 0132, 0732, 0632, 0232, 0432, 1232, 0D32, 0E32, 1A32, 1332
and errors on disk block 344423272,...23400, ...23528, ...656, ...784
IRDQ did not set in time.

Pulling the laptop apart now to check for manufacturer of hard drive...

#5 JustMyAlias

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 10:11 AM

they wouldn't make it easy and put it on the side facing up...

it is a Seagate
Momentus 7200.4, 500 GB

#6 JustMyAlias

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 10:35 AM

I have the SeaTools or DOS bootable disk - I am assuming this is the correct one - running now...
Short Test FAILURE
test code: 99A9E36B

now running long test...

#7 JustMyAlias

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 12:22 PM

Long Test errors
test code 99A9E35B
Ubfortunately your Seagate drive has failed an important diagnostic test...
possibly caused by problem sectors wich are difficult to read
... consider repairing...
see our help topic 'Bad Sector Found'.

#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 01:57 PM

It is time to retrieve your files from the failing hard drive. Please follow the instructions given below, which will result in you attaching a screenshot to a forum post, using Ubuntu run from the LiveCD.
(I am assuming that you have the latest version of Ubuntu, version 11.10.)

Boot the computer with the Ubuntu CD: Choose to "Try Ubuntu".

At the Ubuntu Desktop, click on "Dash home" (that's the uppermost icon on the left-hand side), and in the Window that opens, type the first few letters of terminal into the search box. The results will appear below, and you will see an icon labeled "Terminal": Click on it. A terminal window will open.

Please note well:
  • Capitalisiation (whether a letter is typed in upper or lower case) is important when working in Linux!
  • The commands that you enter must be exactly as I have provided.
  • It is very important to pay close attention to the spaces in the commands provided, and to insert them when entering the commands yourself.

In the terminal window, at the prompt, type:

sudo su
and press <ENTER>.

Now, type:
  • fdisk -l
  • (that's a lower case L as in Llama .... not a ONE ... after the dash/minus sign)
and press <ENTER>.

Before you take a screenshot, I would like you to ensure that you have all the text in the window visible. The lower edge (and the sides) of the terminal window can be moved to increase the size of the window: When you hover the mouse pointer over the window edge you will notice a small "mover" icon appear. At that time press and hold the left mouse button and drag the window edge to make the window larger, and then release the mouse button.

When you have all the text displayed in the terminal window, press (just once) the <PrntScrn> (PrintScreen) key on your keyboard. A new window ("Save Screenshot") will open: The default "Save to" location will be the Pictures folder in "Home" (in reality, this is all in your computer's memory, and will not be saved when you next shut down the system ... but don't concern yourself with that now.) Click on Save, and the window will close.

Back at the terminal window, type in exit and press <ENTER>.
Again type in exit and press <ENTER> and the terminal window will close.

At the Ubuntu Desktop, click on the Firefox icon (4th one down the left-hand-side) and enter bleepingcomputer.com in the address box, and press <ENTER>. At the BleepingComputer website, click on Forums. Log in and then find your topic in the Windows XP forum, and click on Add Reply.

Below the text box, you will see the facility to attach a file, under Attachments. Click on Browse, and a "File Upload" window will open. Down the left-hand-side of the window (probably 3rd up from the bottom) click on Pictures. You will see your screenshot image in the right-side window pane. Click on it to select/highlight it, and then click "Open" (down in the bottom right-side corner of the window).

Now click on "Attach this file", and then over on the right-hand side, also click on "Add to post".
Now, scroll down the page and click on "Add Reply". Done! You should see your screenshot displayed nicely in your post.

To close the Firefox window, move the mouse pointer up to the very top edge of the screen to display the menu, and then click on the small orange-coloured icon in the very top left-hand side corner.

You may leave Ubuntu running (note that by default the monitor display will cease ... simply move the mouse to have the display resume again). However, you may shut it down if you wish.
AustrAlien
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#9 AustrAlien

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:10 PM

When you have all the text displayed in the terminal window, press (just once) the <PrntScrn> (PrintScreen) key on your keyboard. A new window ("Save Screenshot") will open:

Please replace the above with the following ...

When you have all the text displayed in the terminal window, press <Alt> + <PrntScrn> on your keyboard. A new window ("Save Screenshot") will open:

That will considerably reduce the size of the image that you need to attach.
AustrAlien
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#10 JustMyAlias

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:27 PM

Yes - Ubuntu 11.10
The cursor blinked then stopped - very, very slow responding - I was able to do a print screen and save
but then it froze up ...
I did a Right Alt+Print Screen+K
trying again...

on a side note - my cd drive is very,very noisy : /

#11 JustMyAlias

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:48 PM

attached -
tx!

or,...
seemingly NOT attached...

Edited by JustMyAlias, 09 December 2011 - 02:52 PM.


#12 JustMyAlias

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:24 PM

right now I am torn between which is a greater torture...
a laptop with a bad hard drive
or a (2nd) laptop with Vista - it performs so slowly, it might as well be dead... (I guess it is next on my list of fixes...)

Attached Files



#13 AustrAlien

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:25 PM

No luck there with the attachment.

Would you have any better chance of success using Ubuntu from the flashdrive?

If you can't post a screenshot for some reason, perhaps you could give me a written report on what you see after entering the fdisk -l command. I am particularly interested in whether or not you are seeing the first partition on the hard drive.
  • The hard drive will be represented by sda.
  • The first partition will be represented by sda1.
It may be that Ubuntu will just not work too well on your system?

I will post instructions for you to backup your files using Puppy Linux: That might be easier for you than trying to use Ubuntu (now that Ubuntu has got the new Unity desktop interface).

If your computer is not able to boot into Windows or simply not able to access the internet, you can use a LIVE Linux operating system run from a bootable CD or flashdrive instead of Windows, to access the internet, to access files on the HDD(s) and do other tasks.

:step1: Using a working computer:
  • If you wish to use a LIVE CD ...
  • Download the Linux version of your choice (usually an .ISO image file).
  • There are many options to use for a LIVE CD. I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 11 Katya (versions for a CD, and larger versions that need to be burned to a DVD disk)
[*]Burn the .ISO image to CD: If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
  • Download and install ImgBurn.
  • Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
  • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
  • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image
[*]When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.
[/list][*]OR ... if you wish to use a LIVE flashdrive ...
  • Go to UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads and at the top of the page, click on Download (for Windows) to download the application.
  • Follow the instructions further down the page under the heading Installation & Screenshots.
  • Run the application to download and install the Linux version of choice to your flashdrive.
  • I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 11 Katya (download file size depends on version)
[/list][/list]
:step2: Boot the problematic machine from the LIVE CD or flashdrive.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD drive or the flashdrive, which ever you are using.)
  • Choose to run the Linux operating system from the CD or flashdrive without making any changes to your computer.
    Do NOT install Linux on your hard drive.
  • When the Linux operating system loads ...
  • You will be able to navigate to all the files on your HDD.
  • You can backup your files by copying them to a flashdrive or an external hard drive.
  • Before using the internet (if you choose to use Puppy, for example) you may have to:
  • Configure/set up the internet connection
  • Download a favourite browser
    (With Linux Mint the foregoing should not be necessary.)
[/list]You may find one of the following guides useful:
Recover files from Windows XP hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows Vista hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows 7 hard disk using Puppy Linux

The easiest way to copy files/folders in Puppy is to drag-and-drop from one window to another. To do this open a window showing what you want to copy. Open another window showing the location that you wish to copy to .... and move the windows so that you can conveniently see both at the same time.

Now, simply drag the items you wish to copy from one window into the other. Simple.

----------------
Recent news, November 2011: You may be interested to have a look at the following:

The most popular Linux is...

No itís not Fedora, openSUSE, or even Ubuntu. Itís Linux Mint.


AustrAlien
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#14 JustMyAlias

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:28 PM

quickly - I think we crossed
I pulled the screen shot off onto a flash
and uploaded it from laptop 2
it does show sda1 and sda2

now I need to read the rest of our notes...

#15 AustrAlien

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:31 PM

Good. Thank you.

The partitions are being detected, so I expect that you will be able to mount in Ubuntu and retrieve copies of your files.
  • sda1 represents the small partition containing DELL's utilities.
  • sda2 represents your main Windows system partition

Can you not open/mount sda2 and see all your files on the hard drive?
AustrAlien
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