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Laptop - Hard Drive going bad (I think)


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Jeremy James

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:45 PM

Hey all,

I have a IBM Thinkpad T42 laptop with the hard drive going out. Specifically, I believe it's a bad connection between the HD and the computer (based on some other stories that I have heard.)

It's got a factory (I think) install of Microsoft Office on it, and I want to keep it.

How hard if I purchase a hard drive and install it, and then use a HD enclosure to transfer all of the programs off? Is that doable?

Are there any other options, like to save the current hard drive on this one?

Outside of that, it's a great computer.

Thanks!

Jeremy

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#2 jhayz

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:13 AM

There are free softwares that would clone or image the hard drive to retain all programs and files. Transferring programs by enclosure is out of the equation as they are need to be reinstalled unlike your music, movies and documents which you could backup straight forward.

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#3 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:25 AM

... a factory (I think) install of Microsoft Office on it, and I want to keep it. How hard if I purchase a hard drive and install it, and then use a HD enclosure to transfer all of the programs off? Is that doable?

No, that is not "doable": Programs like you are referring to need to be installed by the operating system and cannot be transferred from one Windows installation to another (without the necessary installation file).


... the hard drive going out. ... I believe it's a bad connection between the HD and the computer ...
Are there any other options, like to save the current hard drive on this one?

Yes, there may well be some options to do this, depending on what we find upon investigation:
  • Let's firstly have a look at the current situation with that "problematic" hard drive using a bootable LIVE UBCD CD.

FIRSTLY ... Create a bootable UBCD ... CD

Please do the following on a working computer:
  • You will need a new blank writable CD.
  • Download UBCD and burn to a CD:
    Note: If you have trouble finding a download link here:

    UBCD download page: Download UBCD
  • Look under the heading: Mirror Sites
  • Try any of those listed websites which are hosting/providing the UBCD .ISO file for downloading.
  • An example direct download link to try would be:
  • Michigan Tech Linux/UNIX Users Group
  • Which in turn leads you to: http://lug.mtu.edu/ubcd/
  • and eventually the download link itself: ubcd511.iso
    (Sorry about it not being exactly straight-forward, easy and obvious!)
[/list][*]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]============================================

SECONDLY ... UBCD > Parted Magic > GSmartControl > Short Self-test > Save results
  • Note: The following will save the test result, along with the SMART data to a text file.
Boot the ailing computer with the UBCD CD.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD/DVD drive.)
  • At the first menu screen, select Parted Magic and press <ENTER>.
    Use Default settings ...
    Be patient until UBCD loads and you are presented with the Desktop.
  • Click Start (bottom-left-corner button) > System Tools > Disk Health (GSmartControl)
    (... or simply double-click the Disk Health icon on the Desktop.)
  • In the GSmartControl window that appears, click on the device that represents the hard drive to select it.
  • On the top menu, click Device > View Details.
    A Device Information window for the hard drive will open.
  • Click on the Perform Tests tab along the top of the Device Information window.
  • Beside Test type, ensure that Short Self-test is displayed in the box.
  • Click on Execute (on the far right side of the window).
    The test will take around 60 seconds.
  • At the bottom of the Perform Tests page, click Save As.
    Look at the default file name and location that the file will be saved. Default location will be "root".
  • Click Save.
============================================

THIRDLY ... Post the results to BleepingComputer.com.

Establish internet connection

At the UBCD Desktop, click the 'start' button (bottom-left corner button) > Internet > Start network.
  • The Start Network Options window will open.
  • Ensure the appropriate option is selected, and click Continue ...
    The Network Utility window will open.
  • Ensure the appropriate option is selected, and click OK.
    You should now have a working internet connection.
Open Firefox and go to BleepingComputer site

At the UBCD Desktop, click the 'start' button (bottom-left corner button) > Internet > Firefox.

Attach file &/or paste text to a post
  • In your topic at the bottom of the page, click on Add Reply.
  • Under the text box, under the heading Attachments, click on "Browse" to browse for the file that you wish to attach.
    A file upload window will appear.
  • On the left-side, click on "root" to display the contents of the root directory.
  • You should see the text file there that you saved earlier. Click on it, to select it, and then click Open at the bottom-right of the window.
  • Back at the BleepingComputer.com forums window, click on Attach this file.
  • Now type a few words in the text box "text file attached" and then at the bottom click on Add Reply.
  • Note: If you are feeling confident enough to try it, you can open the text file with a text editor and paste the contents in a reply so it can be seen easily by anyone browsing the topic, if you wish. If you do this, don't forget to enclose in CODE tags to preserve the format/spacing.
  • Please enclose the pasted report in CODE tags so that the spacing/formatting is preserved (to make it easier for all to read).
  • Firstly, click on the "Insert code snippet" button Posted Image
  • You will then see the "start" and "end" code tags (highlighted in dark blue/selected in the image) in the text box.
  • Click between the two tags to insert the cursor between the tags and then press <Ctrl+V> to paste the report there.
[/list]All done!

Edited by AustrAlien, 08 August 2012 - 02:29 AM.

AustrAlien
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#4 Jeremy James

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:19 PM

Hey - that .ISO file is a Zipped file - does that matter? I only have 1 Blank CD, and i am trying not to waste it. :)

#5 ranchhand_

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:25 PM

Apologies for butting-in here, but have you really verified that your hard drive is failing? It seems from your posts that you are unsure.

I believe it's a bad connection between the HD and the computer

What is your hard drive doing? If it really is simply a bad connection (doubtful, but who knows?)you can easily check it by removing the cover (usually on the back)and make sure the cable connecting the drive is solidly plugged in.
To verify that your drive is bad, go HEREand click the Downloads tab at the top. This is the Seagate Corp. hard drive tester (free for download). If you can boot Windows, click Seatools for Windows download, install to your system and run the test; if you can't boot into Windows, click the Seatools for DOSdownload and burn to a CD, then boot from the CD. You will get a simple Pass or Fail. I like to check the easy stuff first before starting to replace things. Just a suggestion...

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#6 AustrAlien

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:23 PM

Hey - that .ISO file is a Zipped file - does that matter?

Yes, it does matter.

I can't be sure what exactly you downloaded or from where, so you may have downloaded a zipped (compressed) folder/file.
  • If you have downloaded a .zip file, then you firstly need to un-zip it: Right-click > Extract to get the .iso file, which you then must burn in the correct manner to a CD.
    (Note: An .ISO file is an image of a CD, and must be written to a CD in the correct manner, and not as would normally be done for other data/files ... or it will not work.)

AustrAlien
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#7 Jeremy James

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 08:52 PM

Well, I copied the .iso file - and ran through it, and then on step after Parted Magic/Default, it powered off (or something) and it won't respond. I can't even get the power button to turn it off/on again. The Green CD light is on, and the power/charge light is on.

#8 Jeremy James

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 08:59 PM

Ok - I think the battery had died earlier.

I had chosen the option for Parted Options/Default Settings, and here's what I got:

Mounting pmagic-6.6.sqfs...mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on dev/lop1,
missing codepage or helper program, or other error
In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try smesg l tail or so

Mounting //sqfs_disk/pgmagic-6.6sqfs failed.
Type "exit" to reboot the system.
Bash-4.1#

#9 AustrAlien

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:44 PM

I only have 1 Blank CD, and i am trying not to waste it. :)

Ooops ? We might have?
  • It seems that particular machine might not like that version of PartedMagic???
Will the Thinkpad T42 laptop allow booting from a USB device?
  • If so, do you have a flashdrive that (can be wiped clean and) used to boot from if we load a different version of PM to it?
  • Try downloading a different version of PM from the download page: http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=downloads

    This file is for machines older than a Pentium III class, such as an i586 or a PII with only one processor.
    pmagic_2012_08_09_i486.iso (md5sum: 35a0cef1e44900b452bac1953f4bf9ef)

    This recommendation is based on a similar occurrence having happened previously ... so do not concern yourself with the description of its use seeming to be not applicable to your computer.
Use UNetbootin to load the .ISO file to a flashdrive which will then be bootable.
  • Use a working computer (running Windows) to perform this task.
:step1: Download the chosen .ISO file to your working computer (if not already done).

:step2: Before you get started with UNetbootin I suggest that you perform a quick format of the flashdrive with the Windows GUI version of fat32format.
:step3: Download the UNetbootin application for Windows.
Use the directions part way down the UNetbootin web page under the heading Installing Other Distributions Using UNetbootin:

Installing Other Distributions Using UNetbootin

  • Download and run UNetbootin, then select the "Diskimage" option and supply it with an ISO (CD image).


AustrAlien
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#10 Jeremy James

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 04:11 PM

I got an error message that says "Missing Operating System." Any thoughts?

#11 AustrAlien

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:55 AM

Long time ... !

I got an error message that says "Missing Operating System." Any thoughts?

More details please ... of exactly what you have done and what you are doing, as well as what you are trying to do.
  • It seems as though, whatever the system is trying to boot from does not have a recognisable Operating System on it.
    Have you configured the system to boot from the device you are attempting to boot from?

If you are trying to boot from a LIVE CD or USB flashdrive, and it is not working, can you test by booting from it with another different computer? Is that successful?
AustrAlien
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