EDIT: I want to run a diagnostic but it sounds like I have to have another Windows machine to do that, and I don't have a second Windows machine. My question (sorry if it's sorta buried below) is whether or not it might be worth buying a donor HDD for $20 to perform a board swap, or if this is most likely something wrong with the MBR or Part Table or something like that.
As the title suggests, this is an old ATA/133 drive. It was my isolated-from-the-internet Win7/AutoCAD drive and I'm hoping I can at least retrieve my files.
I was several hours into a drafting project when the computer locked up. Ctrl+Alt+Del did NOTHING! I had to hit the big rocker switch on the PS to shut down. Next morning I rebooted and went to the other room while it booted up. When I got back it was in the middle of recovering a bunch of dll files. It eventually hung up in its process of doing something with USN. I remember the USN part because whatever it stands for in this context it stands for US Navy in military context. It stayed there for an hour without any new text or progress bar before I gave up and hit the reset button.
Now, BIOS recognizes the drive but will not boot from it. I connected the drive to my Linux machine (I built that beast with nice new SATA drives) and it can see the drive but cannot read files. While it's plugged in it sounds like the head is scanning back and forth looking for something, otherwise there is nothing unusual about the sounds; no yowling cats, grinding gearboxes, or shattering glass.
I read somewhere that sometimes the board on the drive needs to be replaced, and I found smaller drive online that I use as a donor, but if USN is a critical part of the file system it might not do me any good. Is there ANYTHING a hardware guru can suggest that might allow me to retrieve my files? I have most of the other content backed up but this project is new since the last update. All of the manual field sketches I worked from are long gone, and I was working on some final revisions before plotting the sheets.
Edited by ratel, 26 January 2016 - 11:38 PM.