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HP G60 Laptop - Hard Drive Recovery - Is it Possible?


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#1 layladog

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:58 PM

I have a HP Laptop, details as follows:
System Info:
Notebook Model: HP G60 Notebook PC
Product Number: NB041UA#ABA
System Board ID: 3612
Processor Type: Pentium® Dual-Core CPU T4200 @ 2.00 GHz
Total Memory: 3072 MB
InsydeH20 version: F .36
UUID Number: A879FAE0-3A65-11DE-986B-A3416F793F15
Product configuration ID: 0111A000100C10000
Factory Installed OS: Vista

I had no advance warning of issues; just tried to boot the system, and no go.

It thinks for a moment, and then suggests no boot record exists; please enter a boot disk and hit enter.

I created a ubuntu disk, and can boot the system. However, I can not 'see' the hard drive any where.

I created a bootmed disk, and tried to find the hard drive; it doesn't see it either.

I have data I would like to recover; if these 2 failed to see the drive, should I even try anything more?

I've spent many hours researching, reading, thinking, trying, etc.

My system does not make any noises, nor did it before.

My system did not fail or hiccup or show any signs of issue prior to this.

I did run some HP diagnostics, and got this:

Start-up Test
100% of the system memory tested OK
3,113,742,336 bytes of system memory tested OK
Memory Test Passed

Primary Hard Disk Self Test
Quick Test is Executing
00% Completely
(in red) #100008 – Replace Hard Disk 1 (no space in white) rent test item
SMART check
SMART Hard Disk Passed

in Blue “Start-up Test” Failed
“Hard Disk 1 QUICK” (303)

I am trying to determine next steps, if any.

Thank you in advance.

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:23 PM

Hi, Hopefully you made the recovery disc set to restore with or have the appropriate Windows disc to re-install on the new hard drive.

The test is pretty clear that you have a bad hard disk drive.

To change it put a soft cloth on the table to protect the laptop finish.
Put the laptop upside down on the cloth with the front facing you.
You should see a rectangular cover held on with two screws that covers the hard drive.
It will be on the right front side with the two headphone jacks in the front of the case in front of it.
Windows license should be to the left of it.
Remove the two screws They stay attached to the cover BTW. lift up the cover at the screw end.
Under it you will find the hard drive bracket held in with three screws.
Remove the screws and slide the drive to the right and remove.
You will see other screws holding the drive to the drive bracket, remove them and swap the drives.
New for old.
Reassemble in reverse order.
Use the recovery discs or the Windows OEM Operating System Disc that matches the license on the bottom of the laptopwith the Product key on the bottom of the laptop or if no recovery discs you can order them from HP.

The one I have here has a 320Gb SATA laptop drive (2.5") You could go larger if need be.

Sorry to have to give bad news.
Good Luck
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 02 May 2012 - 04:25 PM.

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#3 layladog

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:05 PM

Thank you Roger - I felt this was the case, but I just wasn't sure if there was anything else to try/do.

I am amazed that this laptop has only been used for about 20 months, and the hard drive has 'passed on'. They seem to be made to be disposable and short-lived for sure.

Would it be worth a shot at putting it into a freezer? Or...based on what the HP diagnostics say ---- has it passed on completely?

Love my tools when they work...but what a pain when they fail!!

#4 killerx525

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:38 AM

If you want to recover your data then you might as well use that freezer method.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#5 AustrAlien

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:56 AM

SMART check
SMART Hard Disk Passed

Hmmmm ... situation perhaps not entirely hopeless?

Please follow the instructions given below, which will result in you attaching a screenshot to a forum post, using Ubuntu run from the LiveCD.
  • (Instructions prepared some months ago, using the then-latest 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 <Alt> + <PrntScrn> 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.
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#6 layladog

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:59 AM

Thanks all ----- I have a few meetings this AM, but will work on 'the above' this afternoon. You all ROCK!!!

#7 layladog

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:53 AM

I ended my day yesterday with a bit of the flu. Definitely not fun, nor welcome.

I did try to do all that was recommended (AustraAlien), but could not get the screen print to work. I have instead cut/paste the output of the terminal commands below:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo su
root@ubuntu:/home/ubuntu# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000001

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 2048 602232831 301115392 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 ? 1456668671 851897973 1845098299+ f6 Unknown
/dev/sda3 ? 1458797997 1151116354 1993642827 7c Unknown
/dev/sda4 ? 3462642087 34662841 433494025+ 55 EZ-Drive
root@ubuntu:/home/ubuntu#

I tried the Alt + PrintScreen several times, and it would not open for me to save.

Please let me know what, if anything, I should do next!

Thank you!

#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:01 AM

Excellent! Thank you. Cut & paste is just as good as a screenshot in this case.

Very interesting!!! Your hard drive has not "passed on" just yet: Instead, it seems that the partition table has been damaged. I would like to get a look at the MBR (MasterBootRecord) which contains the partition table ... that's the first 512 bytes on the hard drive.

Theoretically, we could do the task using Ubuntu, but the newer versions of Ubuntu have me beat: It will be much easier and quicker (especially for me) if we do it with xPUD (another version of Linux, but a very small and simple version).

Please try the following: You will need a USB drive/flashdrive and a new blank writable CD.

:step1: Please do the following on a working computer:
  • Download GETxPUD.exe to the Desktop.
  • Run GETxPUD.exe
    A new folder will appear on the desktop.
  • Open the GETxPUD folder and click on get&burn.bat
  • The program will download xpud_0.9.2.iso, and when finished will open BurnCDCC ready to burn the image.
    Please be patient: This could take awhile - download file size 63MB.
  • Click on Start and follow the prompts to burn the image to a CD.
You will use this CD to boot the ailing computer from.


:step2: Boot the ailing computer with the xPUD CD.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD/DVD drive.)
    A Welcome to xPUD screen will appear.
  • Click on File.
  • Expand the mnt icon on the left (click on the little arrow beside the icon).
    • sda1, sda2 etc. ...usually correspond to your HDD partitions
    • sdb1, sdc1 is likely to correspond to a USB flashdrive, external USB hard drive etc.
  • Click on the folder that represents your USB drive (sdb1 ?).
  • Click Tool on the top menu, and choose Open Terminal.
  • Type the following at the hash prompt:

    dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.bin bs=512 count=1

    • Note: Leave a space between the following:
      • dd ... the executable application used to create the backup
      • if=/dev/sda ... the device the backup is created from (the hard drive when only one HDD exists)
      • of=mbr.bin ... the backup file to create - note the lack of a path - it will be created in the directory currently open in the Terminal
      • bs=512 ... the number of bytes in the backup
      • count=1 ... says to backup just 1 sector
        It is extremely important that the if and of statements are correctly entered.
  • Press the <ENTER> key.
    After it has finished a file will be located on your USB drive named mbr.bin.
  • Remove the USB drive from the ailing computer.

:step3: On the working computer:
  • Insert the USB drive, and navigate to the file mbr.bin
  • Zip-up the mbr.bin file:
    • Right-click on the file and choose Send to .. > Compressed (zipped) Folder.
      A zipped folder will appear in the same location as the mbr.bin file.
  • Please attach the zipped file to your next reply.
    This will allow the MasterBootRecord of your drive to be checked to see whether or not it is infected &/or damaged.

Edited by AustrAlien, 05 May 2012 - 01:16 AM.

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#9 layladog

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:28 AM

I created the disk, and inserted it into the ailing PC as requested.

The welcome screen begins, and says it will automatic boot in x seconds

It then goes dark for a bit, and flashes an error which says, "....no parent found...."


I tried several times to capture the no parent found message, but it flashes super quick.

I got the message below 3 times:

giving up.
xinit: No such file or directory (errno2): unable to connect to X server
xinit: No such process (errno 3): Server error.* i2c_init DPDDC-D
xauth: creating new authority file //.Xauthority
xauth: creating new authority file //.Xauthority
xauth: (argv):1: bad display name "(none):0" in "list" command
xauth: (stdin):1: bad display name "(none):0" in "add" command

On the 4th time, the message expanded quite a bit:

XOrg X Server 1.6.4
Release Date: 2009-9-27
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.24-23-server i686 Ubuntu
Current Operating System: Linus (none) 2.6.31.2 #5 SMP Mon Dec 7 11:56:35 UTC 20
09 i686
Kernel command line: no isapnp quiet initred=/opt/media lang=en kmap=us BOOT_IMAG
E=/boot/xpud
Build Date: 26 October 2009 05:15:02PM
xorg-server 2:1.6.4-2ubuntu4 (buildd@)
Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
to make sure that you have the latest version.
Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config gile, (--) default setting,
(++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log), Time Sat May 5 07:48:31 2012
(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf"
FATAL: Module fbcon notfound.
(EE) intel(0): No modes.
(EE) Screen(s) found, but non have a usable configuration.

Fatal server error:
no screens found

Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support
at http://wiki.x.org
for help.
Please also check the log file at "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" for additional information.

ddxSigGiveUp: Closing logo file
giving up.
xinit: No such file or directory (errno2): unable to connect to X server
xinit: No such process (errno 3): Server error.
xauth: (argv):1: bad display name "(none):0" in "remove" command
sh: no job control in this shell
sh-4.0#

On the 5th time, it actually started up....and I was able to complete the above.

I have attached the zip file. THANK YOU!!!

Attached Files

  • Attached File  mbr.zip   592bytes   7 downloads


#10 AustrAlien

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:19 PM

Sorry about the trouble you had with xPUD, but that happens on some systems, unfortunately. Your persistence paid off in the end, so thank you for that. Good job!

I am consulting with NeverSayDie on your issue and one/both of us will continue to assist. Hopefully, we will be able to recover/backup your important personal data, and then be able to fix the problem on your current hard drive.

I will be unavailable for the best part of today as I am due to leave home shortly.
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#11 James Litten

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:56 PM

Hi Layladog

I hope that you are feeling better.

I chatted a bit with AustrAlien since I fix problems that look a lot like yours and he said it was okay to see if I could be of assistance.

“Hard Disk 1 QUICK” (303)
Is a general failure of the hard drive. Not much help to troubleshooting.

SMART Hard Disk Passed
Means that it has not reached a level of damage set by the manufacturer which would tell you to replace the drive.


This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 2048 602232831 301115392 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 ? 1456668671 851897973 1845098299+ f6 Unknown
/dev/sda3 ? 1458797997 1151116354 1993642827 7c Unknown
/dev/sda4 ? 3462642087 34662841 433494025+ 55 EZ-Drive


Means that the partition table is scrambled. This can very possibly be the only problem with the drive and fixing it will bring everything back to normal.


Having said that, there is a possibility that the drive is broken or going bad. If that is the case then it is in a perpetual state of breaking and getting worse. So we need to be as gentle as possible.

There are four ways we can approach this.

1. Super Safe Way

We attach an external drive with at least 320GB of free space to the laptop via USB and use some tools that you can download for free to make an image of the laptop drive.
We then proceed with repairing/recovering from the image and then attempt to repair the laptop drive. This way we always have a copy of the data in its current state and are protected from any mistakes or errors created by pushing a fragile drive past the point of no return.

2. The Cautious Way
We attempt a simple repair of the partition data using TestDisk and its 'quick search' option.
If it does not work, we proceed to recover specific files from the drive using tools like PhotoRec or TestDisk.
Once we successfully recover the important data, we try the 'deeper search' option which will put a lot of stress on the drive which is not a problem if the drive is healthy but can be dangerous if the drive has damage and is fragile.

3. Damn The Torpedoes
We attempt a simple repair of the partition data using TestDisk and its 'quick search' option.
If it does not work, we proceed with the 'deeper search' option which will put a lot of stress on the drive which is not a problem if the drive is healthy but can be dangerous if the drive has damage and is fragile.
If it does not work, we proceed to recover specific files from the drive using tools like PhotoRec or TestDisk.

4. GET MY IRREPLACEABLE FILES NOW!!!
If you really feel this way then I advise you to go with option #1 :) but if you are dead set on just trying to recover some specific files, we can attempt that.

What I need to know.
Was there anything that happened with the hard drive before it went bad? Did the battery die while it was powered on? Did it give any errors recently? Anything you can think of might help us make better decisions.

Is it a 320GB hard drive (I know it sounds obvious but there is a specific reason for my asking)?

Which of the four options would you like to try?

James

#12 layladog

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for the additional assistance! I'll try to answer all that I can - perhaps in a slightly different 'order' than your questions/comments.

The hard drive is 320GB. That's an easy one, but I did go get the paperwork, so I could state the size right.

There was no advance notice - no noise, no hiccups, nothing - that I am aware of. I will admit that I often shut the lid on my laptop(s), and walk away - when I know they actually 'sleep' properly. An example - we have 2 Dell Vostros ... older machines ... my boys have them. They are a bit scary, and we actually put them to 'sleep' before we walk away as they don't always get there alone.

So - if the hard drive is broken, it did not give any warning - no noise, no erratic behavior; it just would not wake up. My battery is a bit weak, so it's got a very short 'charged life', but beyond that, it has never been a problem system.

Before I came here for help, I did try a variety of things. I was considering trying to image the hard drive to preserve the data (your option 1), but did not know how since I could not 'see' the hard drive in Ubuntu or in BootMed. I was able to create both of those disks, and boot from them, but could not easily see the hard drive.

I will add that I have also taken the battery out, tried a hard reset and nothing.
I also have taken the hard drive out, and reinstalled just to make sure it was correctly in the system.
I looked at the entire drive, and did not 'see' anything of concern - no bent pins, no strange marks - it looks brand new still.

After I did this a few times, it is now giving another error message...

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
and PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM

Of course, trouble-shooting for this suggests steps I've taken already.

Given the choices below, I would love to start with option 1 - as there is data/photos I would like to retrieve if possible.

As far as the laptop, and getting it back up and working - that is secondary - as I had already put it as a secondary system - basement for surfing primarily.

So ---- if I have to prioritize - the data is most important to me. The hardware would be secondary.

Again, thanks to both of you for your help. If it weren't for the data attempt, I would probably have drop-kicked the darn thing by now - JK!!!

#13 James Litten

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:11 PM

Hi

Thanks for answering my questions.

You are going to need an external drive with at least 320GB of free space.


Download the ISO for Parted Magic from here and burn it to a CD...
http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=downloads
If you do not know how to make a boot CD of the ISO, let me know and I will get you further instructions.

Plug the external drive into the laptop.
Boot the laptop using with the Parted Magic CD that you made.
(Since it is a laptop you will probably have to turn it on to open the CD drawer and put in the CD and then turn it off so the next time you turn it on you can boot from it.)

When Parted Magic gives you the list of options at startup choose...
1. Default settings (Runs from RAM)

Once it boots, you'll see that it looks kind of like XP. Instead of a start button in the lower left it has a button with a picture of a hard drive on it. For this post we will call that the START button. The two items that we are going to be using later are the FileManager icon on the desktop (START>SYSTEM TOOLS>PCMan File Manager) and LXTerminal at START>ACCESSORIES>LXTerminal.

First we are going to try to identify the names of our good drive (external drive) and the bad drive (laptop drive). They are probably going to be...
dev/sda (laptop drive)
dev/sdb (external drive)

But we must be sure.

Open LXTerminal, START>ACCESSORIES>LXTerminal
Type
fdisk -lu
and hit enter.

The laptop drive should still look like before

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 2048 602232831 301115392 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 ? 1456668671 851897973 1845098299+ f6 Unknown
/dev/sda3 ? 1458797997 1151116354 1993642827 7c Unknown
/dev/sda4 ? 3462642087 34662841 433494025+ 55 EZ-Drive


If it does, all I need is for you to tell me what it sees for the external drive (probably something like /dev/sdb1). Otherwise tell me everything it sees. Remember, you are my eyes :)

Now you can shutdown the computer. We want to be very gentle with the drive
The CD ROM drive will be open with the boot CD in it. Make sure to close it before shutting down so that it is in there for our next boot.
Click START>Logout
Choose "Shutdown the computer" and click OK


If anything looks different than I describe or you are not sure about something, stop and ask me.

James

EDIT: Those PXE errors means that it is trying to boot from the network rather than a drive. Hopefully, that is because the boot order has gotten messed up running the other boot disks.

Edited by NeverSayDie, 05 May 2012 - 09:15 PM.


#14 hamluis

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:58 AM

<<EDIT: Those PXE errors means that it is trying to boot from the network rather than a drive. Hopefully, that is because the boot order has gotten messed up running the other boot disks.>>

It could also indicate a failing CMOS battery, needing to be replaced. On some systems, the BIOS automatically reverts to the network boot when the CMOS battery is failing and CMOS settings cannot remain as previously saved.

HP Says...

Louis

#15 layladog

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 01:31 PM

Louis - thank you for the information about the cMos battery. I did do a bit more searching and it seems that when this presents issues, the time/date are often off. I don't have that as a symptom, so have you heard/seen cMos battery failures without an affect on the date/time?

James - thank yo for the detailed information and instructions. I am going to have to purchase/find/borrow an external hard drive - I have 2 and both are not large enough for this effort. I will hopefully chase one down tomorrow and then attempt the task as described.

I will be sure to circle back and share what the outcome is...

You all ROCK!!!




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