Old 08-07-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
Lazz
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Default Hard drive failure, Please help me guys.

Computer worked fine ten days ago, came home from vacation, go to turn it on...It turns on, it posts, but then the
Verifying DMI Pool Data.... just hangs and then I get
Boot from cd
DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER
When inserting the Vista DVD and booting from that to attempt to Repair Start Up, my drive that the OS is located on is not listed to select. Ive been googling for days about this, apparently its a BOOT.MGR error. I then dl'ed Ubuntu Live put it on a cd and booted from that but I still do not see my c: drive with the OS and everything Im trying to recover off that HD. Why cant I see the HD anywhere? I dont know what to do?

I'm Really hoping you guys can help me out here.
I'm pretty much devastated right now.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #2
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You main system HD has puked. The warning "DISK BOOT FAILURE,
INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER" means that BIOS is
looking for an OS but can't read the disk. Most likely it's
toast - possibly still readable after you replace it and
install a new OS.

But check:

1. Power and data cables to drive
2. Power supply
3. BIOS battery could be dead - go into BIOS and check
the boot order to make sure the C: drive is still listed.
Replace the BIOS battery while there (usually a CR2032 button)

Pop in a new drive to replace it, move the old drive to
another drive port, run your OS DVD to reinstall on the
new drive - then see if you can find/read the old drive
to recover any data. Could be just the OS partition died,
and the rest of the drive could still be readable.

Good luck

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Old 08-07-2011, 03:16 PM   #3
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1-3...I checked and they are all good

I do Not see the drive listed in my bios...I see the other 2 hd's I have but not the one with the OS?

Second part of your explanation im not following.. sorry

Are you saying to install a NEW hard drive and do a fresh Windows install then put the old drive back in to see if i can find/read the old drive?

Would this be any different than trying to do that with Ubuntu?
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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If all the cables are good etc, then it sounds like the I/O part of the HD (the electronics) died. Which may or may not mean the physical data platters are "lost".

Did you try moving the HD to a DIFFERENT connection to your computer MB? Could also be your MB I/O.

More likely though is your HD died and you need to get another and reload your OS.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:18 PM   #5
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That happened to me on Vista 2 years ago, and believe it or not, the HD was fine. It was the MBR that was corrupted, but the OS was toast. What had happened in my situation was that the partition table got corrupted by setting up dual boots with various linux distros and one day Grub (linux boot manager) finally decided to kick Window$ ass! I was able to retrieve any data I wanted and reinstall the OS, which was minimal anyway since my C drive is OS and apps only. That same HD is still in use, and that computer is my back-up DAW and general use box, running fine. I still dual boot with whatever linux flavor of the day I like, but never, ever on my DAW again!
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lazz View Post
Are you saying to install a NEW hard drive and do a fresh Windows install then put the old drive back in to see if i can find/read the old drive?
If it turns out that the drive that's acting up can be read at all, you could try to *clone* it to a new drive, and then you wouldn't have to reinstall the OS, and all your other programs would be preserved. This would probably be easiest if you had another computer that has room inside to temporarily install the two drives. You'd have to install the cloning software onto that computer.

I cloned a drive to a larger drive this way, and it worked brilliantly, but then the smaller one wasn't giving me any problems at all, so I'm not sure how much that difference between your situation and mine is going to matter. I'm no expert. This is just a suggestion. Take with a grain of salt. The cloning software I used was EASEUS Partition Master 8.0.1 Home Edition, and it is free.

If you don't have access to another computer for this, you could maybe install an OS onto one of your other drives and install the cloning software onto that? Of course if you can install some cloning program onto Ubuntu while you have it booted up, that might be the easiest of all, but I have no idea if that can be done.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazz View Post
Are you saying to install a NEW hard drive and do a fresh Windows install then put the old drive back in to see if i can find/read the old drive?

Would this be any different than trying to do that with Ubuntu?
Yeah - just toss a new drive in and install an OS on it.
Ubuntu would be fine! I run 3 Ubuntu boxes. Or just use
your Vista DVD.

Keep the old drive in and connected as a secondary drive.
Once you have an OS running, you'll either see it or not.
Remember that if you do Ubuntu, you may have to "mount the
drive" before you can open it.

But my bet is the drive is just dead - as someone above
pointed out - the electronics have failed or the platters
or the arms. The data may still be in there but you won't
be able to get it out without a very expensive data retrieval
service.

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Old 08-07-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
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1-3...I checked and they are all good
Have you been able to hear or feel the drive whirring? Just the other day I powered up a hard drive and heard/felt nothing. I unplugged the connector and plugged it back in and again got nothing. I did that again, and it started whirring. Just a thought...
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:02 PM   #9
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1) Install the drive as a secondary drive and chkdsk it. That can sometimes work.

Also I have had drives that reach a failure point which seems to be temperature related. Give the drive a day and then try 1.
It may give you enough time to salvage.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:44 PM   #10
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It may give you enough time to salvage.
And "salvage" is the important word here. If you ever do get the drive back up, the very first thing to do is start copying things elsewhere, starting with the most important stuff. There's a pretty good chance that the drive will fail again and never come back.

From your frantic plea for help, I'll assume you don't have your stuff backed up. Whether you get your files back or not, now is the time to start a solid backup regimen. Whatever you spend for a backup solution - preferably including some sort of off-site storage - it will be money well spent. I know you don't need some smart-ass telling you that you should back things up after you've lost them, but after life settles down a bit, it's something to consider.

Good luck. I hope you can resurrect your files.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazz View Post
Computer worked fine ten days ago, came home from vacation, go to turn it on...It turns on, it posts, but then the
Verifying DMI Pool Data.... just hangs and then I get
Boot from cd
DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER
When inserting the Vista DVD and booting from that to attempt to Repair Start Up, my drive that the OS is located on is not listed to select. Ive been googling for days about this, apparently its a BOOT.MGR error. I then dl'ed Ubuntu Live put it on a cd and booted from that but I still do not see my c: drive with the OS and everything Im trying to recover off that HD. Why cant I see the HD anywhere? I dont know what to do?

I'm Really hoping you guys can help me out here.
I'm pretty much devastated right now.
Spinrite www.grc.com
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:34 AM   #12
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If you were not seeing the drive from the Live CD or Bios then the HD is toast.

Spinrite may be your last chance. If that doesn't work your only option is forensic data recovery and that starts about $1000. I know this because I recently sent one of my day job HD's out for recovery after going though exactly what you are experiencing.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:24 PM   #13
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This HAS been known to work sometimes, but not always.

Stick your hard disk in a freezer bag and freeze it overnight.
Stick it in another computer with a working OS disk as a secondary driver and assuming it actually spins up anjd is recognised, copy as much as ou can as fast as you can.

And you might want to see what is aailable in the way of free hard disk utilities on the Easeus site.

Been a life saver for me on several occasions.

Mind you if it is invisible as a secondary disk under linux, you may well be flagellating a deceased equine quadruped.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #14
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This HAS been known to work sometimes, but not always.

Stick your hard disk in a freezer bag and freeze it overnight.
Stick it in another computer with a working OS disk as a secondary driver and assuming it actually spins up anjd is recognised, copy as much as ou can as fast as you can.
This is a good trick, it has saved my butt on a couple of occasions. I'm guessing we're talking about a SATA drive here, but in the ATA days you could also change the transfer mode of the drive to a slower one (e.g. PIO mode) to prevent the disk from getting too hot while rescuing files from it. It would take longer but put less stress on the disk. Unfortunately I don't think you can change transfer modes on SATA hdd's, at least I can't on my system.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:25 PM   #15
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me neither, cerendir.

I seem to have had a lot of `friends` with dead or dying hard drives coming to me for help recently, so I am getting quicker at killing or curing, but not necessarily BETTER.

*SIGH*
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:31 PM   #16
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Don't screw around with it. Take it to a data recovery place.

Everyone else, today is a good day to do some backups.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:55 PM   #17
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Methinks you're screwed :/ I hope not, but i feel your pain either way.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:15 PM   #18
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Well things are not looking any better. I found an old hard drive which I formated and loaded windows on to it. I then put the old drive back and booted from the new 1 and I still don't see the old drive. As was stated here I tried every SATA port, unpluged several times, I even tried the freezer trick, with not luck. I do however hear it spinning. At this point I am completely devastated, that drive contains 5 to 6 years worth of stuff, including all of my DAW, recording, plug-ins, etc, etc. I have a question pertaining to all of the recording stuff, if all of the material that was recorded was saved to a different drive if I reload everything an attempt open those projects am I going to run into any issues, ie...not going to work?

Please understand I know this may seem like beating a dead horse but if anyone has any further input it would be much appreciated, as this drive also contains hundreds of pictures and videos of the first few years of my 2 children...please no remarks about this if thought about it long enough I could seriously cry. I know it was foolish not to backup, unfortunely the saying goes "learn the hard way" as I have, should be receiving my new strictly backup 1tb drive friday.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:21 PM   #19
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Don't screw around with it. Take it to a data recovery place.
Ditto.
You'll pay a price, but they will most certainly get all your data back.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:40 AM   #20
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Ditto.
You'll pay a price, but they will most certainly get all your data back.
That's it. Are all your files and memories worth $1000+... only you can decide.

BTW if your serious about backup look into a SSD. No moving parts and an estimated 10 year lifespan. They cost more but the price is coming down every day. Within 2-3 years spinning disks will go the way of tapes, floppies and jazz drives.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:21 AM   #21
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That's it. Are all your files and memories worth $1000+... only you can decide.

BTW if your serious about backup look into a SSD. No moving parts and an estimated 10 year lifespan. They cost more but the price is coming down every day. Within 2-3 years spinning disks will go the way of tapes, floppies and jazz drives.
Addition though;
SSD's fail with none of the early warning signs of platter HD's, so back-up often!! (Learned from experience!).
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:06 AM   #22
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That's it. Are all your files and memories worth $1000+... only you can decide.

BTW if your serious about backup look into a SSD. No moving parts and an estimated 10 year lifespan. They cost more but the price is coming down every day. Within 2-3 years spinning disks will go the way of tapes, floppies and jazz drives.
First, it's not necessarily $1000 for data recovery services, and worst case scenario it's $65 to find out if your data is recoverable from what I feel to be the most reputable company(obviously, the one I work for...)

There are others as well, true, but they don't provide you with a list of what can and cannot be recovered, blah blah blah.

Not here to pimp, just to set expectations. Data can be recovered with professionals and it's not always as expensive as the interwebs would have you believe. Worth it to you? Only you can make that call.

Peace.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:10 AM   #23
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Addition though;
SSD's fail with none of the early warning signs of platter HD's, so back-up often!! (Learned from experience!).
Yep, SSD's are money...until they fail. And they do. More often than you might think or read about.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:21 AM   #24
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Yep, SSD's are money...until they fail. And they do. More often than you might think or read about.
I may get flamed for this, but I would still possibly use an SSD for an OS drive, IF I really need that extra snap for the OS, but I would still rely on an "old-school" high quality platter HD for all of that reading and writing of data on an all audio HD.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:27 AM   #25
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.

There is another thing you could try if you are comfortable with electronics and you also have an IDENTICAL working hard drive. Remove the circuit board from the IDENTICAL working hard drive (same model, same circuit board number marked on the PCB). You will need the appropriate sized torx screwdriver. Replace the board on the non-working drive with the one from the working drive , then re-connect to the computer (as a NON-BOOT drive) and see if you can read anything.

I have actually used this technique to fix a dead IBM drive some 5-6 years ago (I always buy drives in pairs so having an identical good one was not a problem). I tried it again some time later on two different (but still identical) drives and it did not work (failure was probably not the board, but maybe the preamp chip in the drive arm or one or more of the MR heads).

I have about 30 to 40 drives in my studio (mostly in mirrored pairs), and I have seen a number of drive failures over the years, but none in the last 5 years (knock on wood). This is why my boot drives are all mirrored pairs (RAID 1) and my main data storage drive is an eSATA RAID 5 array with automatic re-build. The RAID5 array is further backed-up onto a RAID1 Mirror once a month or so and that mirror is taken to the local bank vault.

This kind of thing is what is needed if you are serious about data protection. Don't assume "THE CLOUD" will protect your data either as millions of people's data have already been lost and/or destroyed and/or publicly distributed without permission in "The Cloud".

.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:21 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Lazz View Post
Computer worked fine ten days ago, came home from vacation, go to turn it on...It turns on, it posts, but then the
Verifying DMI Pool Data.... just hangs and then I get
Boot from cd
DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER
When inserting the Vista DVD and booting from that to attempt to Repair Start Up, my drive that the OS is located on is not listed to select. Ive been googling for days about this, apparently its a BOOT.MGR error. I then dl'ed Ubuntu Live put it on a cd and booted from that but I still do not see my c: drive with the OS and everything Im trying to recover off that HD. Why cant I see the HD anywhere? I dont know what to do?

I'm Really hoping you guys can help me out here.
I'm pretty much devastated right now.
You need a second computer, but plug the HD in an external casing and try to access it this way. If you can't see it it's one of two things:
1) MBR is toast...this is easy to fix and cheap, just bring it to a serious data recovery shop, 100$ and your are done.
2) The HD is dead...then you are screwed and usually data recovery on a dead HD is about 100 to 500$ depending on what went toast, if you are lucky it's just the motor, very easy to recover for someone who knows what he's doing.

f you burn your HD, drive a car over it and then drop it from 10 stories. Then this is gonna cost you 1000$+
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:30 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kihoalu View Post
.

There is another thing you could try if you are comfortable with electronics and you also have an IDENTICAL working hard drive. Remove the circuit board from the IDENTICAL working hard drive (same model, same circuit board number marked on the PCB). You will need the appropriate sized torx screwdriver. Replace the board on the non-working drive with the one from the working drive , then re-connect to the computer (as a NON-BOOT drive) and see if you can read anything.

I have actually used this technique to fix a dead IBM drive some 5-6 years ago (I always buy drives in pairs so having an identical good one was not a problem). I tried it again some time later on two different (but still identical) drives and it did not work (failure was probably not the board, but maybe the preamp chip in the drive arm or one or more of the MR heads).
Yep, 5 or 6(or 10) years ago this was a valid technique. Not so much anymore as much more of the important system area information is firmware specific and even matching firmware still has unique to that drive data.

There is a reason that we have 100 guys doing R & D for us everyday. The days of the "freezer trick" and just swapping boards are pretty much over. The price you pay for high speed, high density, cheap media.

Can you post the drive make and model? I might be able to give you a hint or two depending on that info.

Cheers,
C

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Old 08-19-2011, 09:25 PM   #28
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Still no luck.

Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Last edited by Lazz; 08-19-2011 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:59 AM   #29
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Still no luck.

Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Yeah, those are tricky models. Could have media damage, could have seized bearings, could have electronics failure, could be more serious.

PM me if you really need to get this data recovered and I will see what we can work out.

Cheers,
C
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