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Hard disk failure?


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#1 mastobeam

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:30 PM

I have a second HDD which I use to store data. On copying across a large file it took forever and hung the computer. Ctrl alt del was producing no result so eventually I just kill the power. On re-boot the computer will get part way thru boot up and just hang. If I go into BIOS on boot both hard drives are showing however I can't boot. If I boot in safe mode the computer hangs at file avgidshx.sys

If I remove the SATA connectors to the data drive the computer will boot OK.

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#2 mastobeam

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:39 PM

Sorry should add i'm on windows XP service pack 3.

Working HDD is a WDC 500 and the malfunctioning one is a fairly new (less than a year) 2TB WDC HDD

#3 James Litten

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:52 PM

Hi

We can make a boot CD that will allow us to take a closer look at the drive and maybe repair it.

Download the PartedMagic ISO for your computer (you probably need the one labeled "Most people will only need this file") ask me if you aren't sure.


Instructions for making a Boot CD
If you don't already have CD Writing software, download and install Infrarecorder
and place a blank CD in your CD writer then run Infrarecorder
Click WRITE IMAGE
Navigate to the PartedMagic ISO that you downloaded and click the OPEN button
Click the OK button and it should burn your CD. When it is done it will automatically eject the CD and you can close Infrarecorder, you can now use this CD to boot your computer.

Instructions For Booting From The CD
If you have any trouble booting from the CD let me know the manufacturer/model of your computer and I'll help.

When you boot the computer that has the bad drive connected to it with the PartedMagic CD that you made a menu will pop up, please select
1. Default Settings (Runs from RAM)

When it finishes booting you will notice that it looks kind of like a Windows desktop.The button in the lower left works like the START button in Windows XP and allows you to select and run various programs or shutdown the computer. To make things easy, I'll just refer to this as the START button.

Check SMART status of drive
After PartedMagic loads, double-click the Disk Health icon on the desktop and then double-click the icon for your hard drive. Click on the PERFORM TESTS tab.
Make sure that the Test Type is set to Short Self-Test and click the EXECUTE button
I will need to know if it passed or not.
Next click the ERROR LOG tab and let me know if there are any entries and if there are let me know what the rows say.
Next select the ATTRIBUTES tab and let me know what the raw values are for the ID's listed there.

Check partitions with fdisk
At the bottom of the screen near the START button you will see a picture of a computer monitor. Click it to open a terminal window. In the terminal window type
fdisk -l
(that is fdisk SPACE DASH l as in Linux) and press ENTER
I want to see the information that it prints out. You can take a picture of the screen or use Firefox in PartedMagic to login here and copy and paste the results into your reply. As long as the text is legible, a picture will be fine.

In your reply I need to see...

  • Did it pass the Short Self-Test?
  • Any entries in the Error Log
  • The Attributes list (at least the RAW VALUES for ID's 1, 5 and 197 if you have to type them by hand in your reply)
  • The output of fdisk

There are more detailed instructions with pictures here

If you have any questions/problems, let me know.

The next tool we use will depend on the disk health results.
James

Edited by James Litten, 31 July 2012 - 12:55 PM.


#4 mastobeam

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:15 PM

James,

Thanks for the instructions. Info requested is:

Did it pass the Short Self-Test? - no it completed with read failure. Though on the identity tab the overall health self assessment says passed

Any entries in the Error Log? No

The Attributes list (at least the RAW VALUES for ID's 1, 5 and 197 if you have to type them by hand in your reply). Please see the attached text file in following post

The output of fdisk - please see disk.bmp

Attached Files

  • Attached File  Disk.bmp   75.94KB   14 downloads


#5 mastobeam

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:47 PM

James I hope you can mke sense of this text file.

Attached Files



#6 James Litten

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:13 PM

Good job. Thanks for getting that info.

A couple of things...
First, as you noticed the disk does have some problems that show up in the SMART diagnostics. The disk in my example pictures on that page I linked to was very badly damaged but like yours the overall health self assessment said "passed" so that's not a good indicator to go by :)

Second, it appears that the drive might have (or once had) an Advanced Format instead of a normal MBR type format so we need to run a different command than fdisk to look at it. With 2TB drives, you're never quite sure which it uses until you look. I don't often see them inside XP boxes.

Boot into PartedMagic again and we're going to run gdisk this time
Open the terminal and type
gdisk -l /dev/sdb
and press ENTER
That's gdisk SPACE DASH l (as in Linux) SPACE /dev/sdb

I'd like to see a picture of the output of that command. The picture you posted from fdisk was fine so just do it like that again.

Here's what I need to know now...
Are you running a special XP 64-bit or is it just a standard XP 32-bit install?

Is this an internal drive or was it ever in an external enclosure before and removed?

If it is internal, is it plugged into the motherboard or is it plugged into a controller card that is stuck into the motherboard?

The picture of the gdisk output.

After I get that info, I'll tell you how to access the drive in PartedMagic so you can try to get anything super-important off of the drive before we go further.

James

EDIT: Also, was the bad disk originally in a Windows 7 system?

Edited by James Litten, 01 August 2012 - 02:24 PM.


#7 mastobeam

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:17 PM

Here's what I need to know now...
Are you running a special XP 64-bit or is it just a standard XP 32-bit install? Standard 32 bit SP3. The computer is a bit of a dinosaur now (7 year old Fujitsu with a few after market upgrades.... such as the 2TB disc...)

Is this an internal drive or was it ever in an external enclosure before and removed? Always been internal

If it is internal, is it plugged into the motherboard or is it plugged into a controller card that is stuck into the motherboard? Straight off the motherboard as is the other drive

The picture of the gdisk output. Will attach to next post.

#8 mastobeam

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:56 PM

G disk output attached, hope you can read it

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#9 James Litten

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for the answers. I'm just being careful. It's an Advanced Format drive that has been reformatted in a normal MBR format in the style that Windows 7 uses installed in an XP machine so I needed to check all that :)

We can try to mount the drive and see if you can view your files on it.
DO NOT DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD WRITE TO THE DISK WE ARE TRYING TO FIX
but if you have some really important files or data that you absolutely need and you can see them with this technique then feel free to try and copy them to your good drive.

Boot up PartedMagic if it isn't still open and click the 'mount devices' button which is next to the START button (see picture from an older version of PartedMagic)
http://litten.com/images/mount1.jpg

Click the button that says mount next to both /media/sda1 (your 500GB drive) and /media/sdb1 (your 2TB drive). (see picture of an example that is different from yours but you'll see what I mean)
http://litten.com/images/mount2.jpg

Mounting the drives should also open a graphical file manager kind of like Windows Explorer.

Navigate to /media/sdb1 and see if your files are visible.
If you see them, you can try copying important ones to /media/sda1 (your 500GB drive)

Let me know if you can see them and if you have any questions or problems copying/navigating the drives.

Whether or not you see your files will determine the next step.

James

#10 mastobeam

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:31 PM

Hi James,

I can see my files and I have copied across a couple of them. Will be copying across the family and sports videos/photos. Will set it going before sleeping and hopefully should complete after an hour or two.

#11 James Litten

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:44 PM

Good, I was placing orders for hard drives just now (for client's machines that I'm repairing) and I took the opportunity to look up your model and found that it really isn't being sold much anymore there were a lot of complaints about the drive lasting less than a year before having problems like you experienced. With that information along with the SMART stats, I would not trust that drive anymore and replace it. If you have more stuff on it than you have room on your other disk for then disconnect it completely until you get a new disk and then hook it all up and recover the files like you are doing now in PartedMagic using the new drive (just remember to mount them first).

Let me know if you have any difficulty with the recovery.

James

#12 mastobeam

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:22 PM

I take it from what you are saying that the disk is ruined for further use. Is there any more efficient way to recover files than PartedMagic as that is running at about 75mbps - or is that a refleaction of the state of the disk?

Many thanks for the help and guidance - much appreciated.

I must see if I have the receipt/box, I feel a warranty claim approaching......

#13 James Litten

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:39 PM

Yeah, I would not trust it anymore and I think that it will continue to fail.

That slow copy speed is very likely because of the state of the disk. PartedMagic is doing the copy very close to the metal with fewer layers of abstraction than an operating system like Windows has. If you have a problem with the copy, we can get a little closer to the metal but it will probably be even slower because it will make attempts on the bad sectors.

You've done a great job so far. If you want to try to repair it and see if you can get it working in Windows again here are some instructions. I strongly recommend that you finish recovering important files before attempting this.

 


First, if you remember its name, let's see if that file you were copying when it crashed is still on the bad drive.

On copying across a large file it took forever and hung the computer.

Go into PartedMagic and mount /media/sdb1 like you did before and see if you can find any remnant of that large file you tried to copy there when it first crashed. If you find it, try to delete it. If you can delete it then try to boot to Windows with the bad drive connected and see if it works now.

If Windows boots at this point STOP and let me know before we try anything else with the disk.

If any of that does not work or you can't see/remember the file then try this next.

Boot the laptop with the PartedMagic CD again.

Open the Terminal again
Type
testdisk
and press ENTER
Choose No Log and hit enter
You should now see your drive listed.
Make sure the bad drive is selected and choose Proceed and hit enter
Select Intel/PC partition and hit enter
Select Analyse and hit enter
Select Quick Search and hit enter
Say 'Y' if it asks if the disk was made in Vista/Win7 (even if it was made in XP say 'yes')

When it is done you may see more than one partitions.
If you see more than one partitions then take a picture for me and STOP HERE and post the picture.

If you only see one partition...
Press
p
to see if you can see your files and folders there.

STOP HERE if you do not see your files take a picture for me and post the picture..

If you do see your files then do the following
Press q
press ENTER
select Write and press ENTER
press y
to confirm that you want to "Write partition table"
select OK press ENTER (you have no other choice :) )
Press q
until you are out of TestDisk.

Remove the PartedMagic CD and see if the system boots normally.

Let me know what happens.
Ask me if you don't understand any of my STOPs and IFs :)

James

Edited by James Litten, 01 August 2012 - 06:42 PM.


#14 mastobeam

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 06:05 AM

OK, good news (I hope). I deleted the file and booted into Windows which seems to be working OK - though I have followed your instructions and not done anything since it has booted up. I await further guidance....

#15 James Litten

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:02 AM

You're good to go :)
Make sure you get your important data off of it or backed up elsewhere. The drive might very possibly crash again soon and next time it may be more difficult to recover. If it is still under warranty, the SMART data should be enough to qualify it for replacement.

James




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