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Dead hard drive?

- - - - - Windows XP Dell computer dead

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21 replies to this topic

#1
Briansurvivedwindowsme

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Ok,so one day I booted up my Windows XP computer(specs below) and it said"Primary hard disk drive 0 failure"

"Strike the F1 key to continue,F2 to run setup utility"

I had no clue what happened.Virus?I have N360.I think the thing may be a hard drive failure after all.I need a way to get my important files back,and even restore WinXP on the computer.Is there any way?

 

Specs:Windows XP Professional,

Dell Optiplex GX260,

Intel Celeron Processor,750 mhz.




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#2
Andromeda43

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Take it to a professional computer tech.

 

;)


Edited by Andromeda43, 11 May 2014 - 04:47 PM.

A person with experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument.

#3
Ponch

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That PC will be over 15 years old... If there is any chance they've been touched by something (mice :D, or maybe the case has been open), you could try resetting the cables that connect your hard drive and maybe an other (slave) device to the motherboard and to the power supply. Check cables at both ends. If nothing has moved, check (feel) if the disk is spinning. If not, try an other power cable. Good luck.



#4
puntoMX

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Try the drive in another system, might be a motherboard or PSU failure. If it's seen by another system then backup your information. Backup your information next time at all times; computers (electronics) do not last forever.

 

a ) If it's not seen (in the BIOS) by another system you might need professional data recovery that recover at hardware level.

b ) If it's seen (in the BIOS) you might be able to access it and try software like DMDE if the data structure is messed up.

 

I hope you get your data back.



#5
pointertovoid

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The error message can have many origins. Testing the disk would be one sensible action. To do that, use the special software offered by the exact manufacturer of the disk. Here are some:

Hitachi Dos http://www.hitachigs...32_v416_b00.iso

Hitachi Windows http://www.hgst.com/support/downloads/ (in 2013)

WD http://support.wdc.c...=n&pid=4&swid=3

more at Seagate, ex-Samsung - and for laptops, Toshiba etc.

 

Most such software thankfully boots on a diskette or Cdrom, which must first be created using the downloaded programme. In other words, the test is NOT done under Windows, but Dos or some other OS, sometimes none at all. In that way, the test is independent of Windows errors or viruses.

 

Who exacly displays your error message is a bit unclear - is it the Bios ? You could activate the Smart check in the Bios, it may tell you more.



#6
Briansurvivedwindowsme

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I don't know,as in the BIOS it says "Hard Drive Not Installed",as well as "Floppy Disk Drive A: Not Installed",but the IDE CD-ROM Device says it works.

Also,I saw this after an update.Maybe that update was fatal and killed it.

#7
jaclaz

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OK, let's clear some possibly wrong guesses.

 

That message comes from the BIOS. 

(last character in the above is a full stop or period)

 

It means that the BIOS cannot detect the hard disk at all.

 

Possible causes of such message are:

  1. bad/unseated data cable <- more common than you might expect
  2. bad/unseated power cable <- quite rare
  3. bad (aged) PSU (i.e. simply not providing at boot time enough power on either the +5 V or +12 V rails <- also more common than you might expect
  4. failed soldering of the connectors (on either the motherboard or the disk drive PCB) <- rare, but it happens
  5. another bad (cold) soldering (on either the motherboard or the disk drive PCB) <- also rare
  6. another defect of *some kind* (on either the motherboard or the disk drive PCB)
  7. corruption of the BIOS <- very rare
  8. Other <- you never know

The FIRST thing to try is:

  • disconnect and reconnect the cables (both data and power) from the hard disk, and, in the case of the data connector also on the motherboard side

The SECOND thing to try is:

  • replace the data cable with another one surely working

The THIRD thing to try is:

  • disassemble the hard disk from that PC and - holding it in your hand while powering up the machine, feel if it's spinning up.

The FOURTH thing to try is:

  • try it in on another PC, either by directly connecting it to the internal connectors or using a USB adapter

@Briansurvivedwindowsme

Until you will have performed the above four tests and reported results, there is nothing that we can advise you.

Please also post the EXACT make/model of the hard disk drive.

 

jaclaz

 

 



#8
puntoMX

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I would like to add number five to your list: Remove PCB and clean contacts that touch the motor connector (only if you know what you are doing!). But yes, first see if the harddrive spins up.

 

You make it a list to follow-up, but it can be done randomly; I would start with number 4 if and when it's possible. Why?: I've seen southbridges go bad due to overloaded USB ports (older systems are simply NOT made for loading your modern smart-"phone". The Dell GX260 is so known for bad capacitors and southbridges going bad (or the electronics around that chip). 



#9
jaclaz

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@puntoMX

Sure :).

 

They are listed in order of "less tools/materials needed".

For #1 you ONLY need the PC and the tools (if any are needed) to open the case.

For #2 you need the above and a new/known to be working cable

For #3 you need  besides the above (possibly more) tools to remove the disk from the case

For #4 you need another PC with a suitable bus (IDE or SATA) the tools to open that other case or a suitable USB adapter.

 

For the added #5 you need still more tools (that nowadays mean normally a teeny-tiny Torx screwdriver, smaller than the ones that come in common "generic" kits), and, as you pointed out, it makes sense only if the disk is not spinning.

 

In my experience a non-spinning disk will usually be anyway detected by BIOS, as well as one with (for whatever reasons) insulation between the PCB and either the heads or motor contacts, though with the "PCB generic name" or with a string of "garbage characters".

 

jaclaz



#10
Briansurvivedwindowsme

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It does indeed smell like something is burnt,and when I restart it makes noises like "cling".Maybe the power for the hard drive wire burned out?

#11
jaclaz

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It does indeed smell like something is burnt,and when I restart it makes noises like "cling".Maybe the power for the hard drive wire burned out?

It would be very uncommon, but of course everything is possible.

 

jaclaz



#12
Briansurvivedwindowsme

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Oh god,today I started it up and it won't even show the hard drive message.The loading bar gets to the end,and it beeps so quick I thought the computer would explode.But it still boots to the BIOS and Boot Menu.The thing that is on the hard drive "cd" like one of those old music players has trouble and keeps scratching.I think that thing scratched the hell out of the hard drive.


Edited by Briansurvivedwindowsme, 08 June 2014 - 03:19 PM.


#13
bphlpt

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In the last month have you tried to plug the HDD into another computer with known good cables and copy the data you want to be sure to keep off to a different drive?  (Which would have also helped confirm whether the problem is indeed with the drive or some other part of the system such as the power supply or motherboard.)  Or is this just some kind of running blog where you are keeping us apprised of all the symptoms of your dying machine as it goes through its death throes as you just sit back and watch doing nothing to help it?
 

Ok,so one day I booted up my Windows XP computer(specs below) and it said"Primary hard disk drive 0 failure"
...
Also,I saw this after an update.Maybe that update was fatal and killed it.
...
It does indeed smell like something is burnt,and when I restart it makes noises like "cling".Maybe the power for the hard drive wire burned out?
...
Oh god,today I started it up and it won't even show the hard drive message. ... I thought the computer would explode. ... I think that thing scratched the hell out of the hard drive.


I'm not sure what you are looking for from us. I haven't seen any reports from you that you have tried to do anything that was suggested to help diagnose the problem, you have just reported its deteriorating condition. We can't fix it for you over the Internet. You are going to have to do some work yourself. Good luck, it looks like you will need it.

Cheers and Regards


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#14
Briansurvivedwindowsme

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Thanks,I removed the hard drive from the machine,and I ordered an SCSI wire to plug into a working computer.Today apparently the continuous beeping stopped.It's quite weird.



#15
Briansurvivedwindowsme

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I think I know what has been the cause.It was updating,and at one update it stopped completely:which is death for Windows.There was no way out,and waiting wouldn't help,as I already did for a few days.Maybe I need an Emergency Floppy,or XP CD?



#16
jaclaz

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I think I know what has been the cause.It was updating,and at one update it stopped completely:which is death for Windows.There was no way out,and waiting wouldn't help,as I already did for a few days.Maybe I need an Emergency Floppy,or XP CD?

 
No. :no:
Meaning that only a firmware update (of the disk firmware or of the BIOS) may cause a disk drive to be not recognized anymore by the  BIOS at boot time.

There was no way out,and waiting wouldn't help,as I already did for a few days.

Yep, waiting is a good strategy for some things and not a good one for some other.
As an example, waiting when we are talking of whisky or wine might get a better result, with milk, not much so. ;)

Maybe I need an Emergency Floppy,or XP CD?

Maybe (provided that you want some assistance) you need to post the informations that were asked to you and the results of the tests that were suggested earlier. :whistle:

Then, based on the result of these tests, maybe you will need some diagnostic software (at the scope - if possible - to diagnose the disk or the PC or both), and, if the PC is OK, you might need an install disk to reinstall the OS to a new disk drive (which you will also need).

jaclaz

#17
Briansurvivedwindowsme

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I should be able to connect the hard drive to a seperate computer(as external)and get my files out.Just I don't want to damage everything else,as I probably will knock everything out while getting the drive out. :whistle:



#18
Ponch

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Thanks,I removed the hard drive from the machine,and I ordered an SCSI wire to plug into a working computer.Today apparently the continuous beeping stopped.It's quite weird.

 

I should be able to connect the hard drive to a seperate computer(as external)and get my files out.Just I don't want to damage everything else,as I probably will knock everything out while getting the drive out. :whistle:

Is it like Groundhog Day ?



#19
Kelsenellenelvian

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Yeah, he's not reading anyone's posts.......



#20
jaclaz

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Yeah, he's not reading anyone's posts.......

But it would be interesting to know the result of plugging a SCSI wire (in either the disk or motherboard socket) :whistle:.

 

jaclaz



#21
Kelsenellenelvian

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That would require a SPECIAL tool....

 

Attached File  YGmTzq1.jpg   57.39KB   0 downloads



#22
jaclaz

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That would require a SPECIAL tool....

AND these:

http://img.photobuck...18/pic3218a.jpg

http://img.photobuck...18/pic3222a.jpg

 

See here ;):

http://55tools.blogs...06/set-551.html

 

jaclaz







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