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Frustrating Hard Drive Related Issues


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#1 defection

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 03:03 AM

Hi guys!
My girlfriend has a PC which I bought her a couple of years ago, it's a relatively basic (but more than adequate) system. It's used perhaps once or twice a month, usually for simple tasks such as photos, internet browsing etc.

A couple of weeks ago, with Windows 8.1 installed, she tried to turn the PC on (with no changes made from a perfectly working PC) to be asked to 'Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device.'

Now, Googling told me to go into BIOS and ensure that it was still booting from the C: drive, but it was no longer there. Long story short, I concluded that the drive had died and therefore upgraded the 500GB SATA that was in there to a new Kingston SSD drive and I also upgraded to Windows 10.

At first, the Kingston SSD drive worked flawlessly, however I then get another phone call, the error is back again. I head round to fix it, and you guessed it, the drive isn't showing in BIOS.

After a few reboots, trying every setting I could in BIOS it works again, and it shows up again aswell, all is fine.

Next day, same problem, but this time it wants to work even less. I try swapping the SATA ports, the SATA and power cable, just about everything I can think of and eventually it shows up. I told her to leave the computer on in the hope that the error doesn't come back, but sure enough in the middle of the night last night she woke up to the dreaded black screen once again.

I understand that this is an intermittent fault, but it really couldn't have come at a worse time financially for needing a repair. Not only does it look like we've lost all the data on the previous hard drive, (which stupidly wasn't backed up) but now the PC won't work at all. Gah!

Any help is HUGELY appreciated, thank you all so much in advance.

Regards,
Bill



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:45 AM

I am assuming this is a desktop, correct? What is the make and model?

 

The first thing I would try is powercycling the computer. Pull the power cord and hold the power button for 30 seconds. Reattach the power and boot. It may also be a good idea to replace the CMOS battery with a new one. 

 

By the sound of your problem your data on the previous hard drives is probably still recoverable. You could attach the drives to another computer via a enclosure or USB adapter. It may also be possible to boot the computer with the problem using a live linux disk or USB flash drive. Using a USB flash drive with persistence would allow you to boot and save any settings during a browsing session or when installing a program. It would not be as fast as a SSD or course but if you have a USB 3 port using a USB 3 flash drive should work fine. This would allow you to do email, and other tasks such as browsing the internet and editing photos.

 

In regards to the BIOS not detecting the drive, that sounds like a motherboard issue if replacing the CMOS battery and doing a powerscycle does not work.


Edited by JohnC_21, 05 October 2016 - 08:45 AM.


#3 defection

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 09:54 AM

Hi John,

Thank you for your reply.

 

It's indeed a desktop, it was put together by a company who no longer exist annoyingly, but it's an ASRock A55M-HVS motherboard.

 

I haven't tried powercycling, I'll do that now, I have however tried replacing the CMOS battery to no avail.

 

I brought the PC to my house to work on the whole day today, I couldn't get it to acknowledge the SSD even once after it threw up the error last night. I gave up trying with the SSD, inserted an old SATA drive that I no longer use, and it's worked perfectly since. I have now formatted it, installed Windows 10 and I'm currently experiencing no problems whatsoever.

 

Is it likely to be that the old drive failed, the SSD was dodgy from new and this one is okay? Does seem weird, but the fact that this one has worked flawlessly does make me wonder. I also tried connecting the SSD to a second SATA port and trying to load it into disk management, but again it denied it's existence.

 

I will try and use the old drive as a slave, but the times I have tried it so far have been pretty unsuccessful. I've never used Linux and it sounds quite daunting haha. I would love to recover the data though as she has some precious photos on there.

 

Thank you for your help!



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for the update. If the SSD is under warranty I would definitely RMA it. With the SSD and the original drive slaved I would run Seatools for Windows to diagnose them. Run the short and long tests. If both drives pass then post back and I can give instructions on creating a bootable linux disk that may be able to recover the data where Windows failed.

 

Seatools for Windows

 

How to use Seatools for Windows.



#5 defection

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 10:14 AM

Hi John,

Just wanted to give you a quick update, I connected the original SATA drive which was in the PC in hope it might play ball with this drive connected, but I'm still having trouble.

 

It was originally used as the master in the computer and it was the only drive that was in there. I am now sticking with the new SATA which I have put in as master, and I connected the old drive using another SATA port.

 

It shows up in My Computer as F: and G:, so far I have tried to open G: but after about 5 minutes, I still have the green loading bar at the top of explorer.

 

Do you think Seatools is going to be able to recover this? Would be amazing if so, I assume it's worth a shot if the computer is detecting it?

 

Thanks again.



#6 defection

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 10:18 AM

Now being told F:\ is not accessible.

 

The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 10:18 AM

Seatools will not recover any data but it will tell you if the drive itself is bad or not. If the drive will not open because of file system corruption it can still be marked good by Seatools and if that is the case then linux may be able to mount the partition on the drive where Windows failed. There are additional tools that can also be used if the linux distro will not mount the drive.

 

Edit I/O errors can be the drive or the SATA port itself. I would try attaching the drive via a USB adapter such as this one.  

 

Edit: The adapter is just an example. You may be able to find a local source.


Edited by JohnC_21, 05 October 2016 - 10:22 AM.


#8 defection

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 10:42 AM

I have just managed to try and run a test, Short Drive Self Test, supposedly 20 to 90 seconds long but got to 90% after about 5 minutes and said Short DST - FAIL.

 

Worth buying the USB adapter do you think?



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 10:55 AM

Only if your budget allows but I personally think the drive has failed. It may have failed because of the I/O errors.

 

Download Gsmartcontrol. Run the program and look under the Attributes page. Are there any pink or red rows? If the drive shows as red it means a failure.

 

main_failing.png



#10 defection

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 11:05 AM

The drive itself isn't showing as red, however when I went into details it came back with this:

http://imgur.com/a/ckCX6



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 11:08 AM

The drive is failing or has failed. Further down the list is a row called Current Pending Sector count. What is listed for that attribute?

 

Edit: I missed it. It shows as zero which is good but I would not be using that drive. It is possible to wipe the drive and reformat it but I would not be putting any important data on the drive unless it was on another device. Seatools for DOS, when running the long test will try and correct bad sectors.

 

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/seatools-dos-master/

 

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/201271en

 

Edit Edit; It requires a bootable disk and it may not detect your SATA drive. If that is the case you need to change a setting in BIOS from AHCI to IDE mode. Make sure it is changed back before booting to windows.


Edited by JohnC_21, 05 October 2016 - 11:14 AM.


#12 defection

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 11:11 AM

Ugh.

 

Is Current Pending Sector count not the one that's also in that screenshot? It does say that, but if not could you let me know where I'd find it please?



#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 11:15 AM

See my edited post. I missed the attribute in the image. 



#14 defection

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 11:36 AM

I ran the 'long' test in SeaTools for DOS.

 

Annoyingly, I got told that there's a 'Sector Repair Failure'.

 

'Unfortunately your Seagate drive has failed an important diagnostic test, possibly caused by problem sectors which are difficult to read.'

 

I'm assuming the fact that it's a WD drive makes no difference, right?



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 12:09 PM

No but you can run the WD diagnostic software to confirm.

 

http://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?ID=940






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