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hard disk crash

Posted on 1999-01-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
For the seccond time in the history that I have had this computer, the hard drive crashed.  And in addition, I was in the middle of instaling a seccond hd.  The bios recognizes the 2nd disk, but the OS doesn't.  On it, there were several megabytes of irreplaceable data including home-made programs
and other important programs.  The boot sector was completely destroyed (erased) and the first half of the disk was erased.  I could not boot at all untill I did a sys from an old boot disk... Is it possable to recover this data? and how??----
New Problem, Now absolutely NOTHING is responding to ANY stimuli.  All that happens is the lights come on and the fans turn on.  I have quadruple checked ALL cables and the power supply. I think it is time for a new system... what do you think??
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Question by:maxell
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23 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1132734
Be careful with what you do in attempt to get the disk opperational.  Its easy to mess up the drive even more if not done correctly.  First make sure the hardware is installed, connected, jumpered, and configured in CMOS correctly.  Then procede from there.  If you need help with this, let me know.

Norton Disk Doctor may be able to repair the disk.

There is a utility called Tiramisu that will attempt to recover data on a failed hard drive.  http://www.recovery.de  Use this after attempting Nortons.

Any questions, let me know.
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Expert Comment

by:demarb
ID: 1132735
Whatever you do, don't install or copy anything to the failed drive. That would make it impossible to recover.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132736
ok... the bios recognizes both drives, so they are configured properlly.  Can either programs fit on a single floppy???
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:kayton
ID: 1132737
Make sure that the original drive is jumpered as "master-slave present", and the new drive is configured as "slave".  Sometimes they will sort-of work if jumpered improperly.  
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:dudleyf
ID: 1132738
Just because teh bios recognizes the drive doesn't mean that it's configured properly.
The drive can be set up in the bios as large, normal, or lba.
If you autodetected your new drive, and set your old one to a different type than it was originally configured(easy to do), you would not be able to read it properly. Before I tried editing anything on the drive I'd go to the bios and try each of the modes.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132739
Already have, both drives ARE configured properly.  it is just the first part of the disk (maby half) that is not readable.  The jumpers are master and slave (both only have master, slave or cable detect). And no, I am not using a cable detectable cable. The bios is configured to the correct size, sector size, and heads.  Everything is set up correctly.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132740
Already have, both drives ARE configured properly.  it is just the first part of the disk (maby half) that is not readable.  The jumpers are master and slave (both only have master, slave or cable detect). And no, I am not using a cable detectable cable. The bios is configured to the correct size, sector size, and heads.  Everything is set up correctly.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:joe_h
ID: 1132741
Just in case double-check connections. I've seen similar stuff happen with loose connected ribbon cable. And check (in BIOS) drive access mode (LBA/LARGE/NORMAL). Then, I'd try a diskeditor (e.g. norton's diskedit; all necessary files fit on a single floppy), and try to repair the partition table and boot sector. Be careful about NDD, it has quite a few bugs.
BTW, it is possible to read data off the disks' surface in a well-equipped lab (try begging at Maxtor etc). However, this might be more expensive than creating the most important data again...
What kind of drive is it, and what OS and filesystem did you use?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1132742
Yes these programs will fit on a floppy.

Always create an undo disk with a utility that will let you (NDD).

Can you go back to your origional configuration, and get the drive fully working?  If so, backup all information if not already done, then work on the new configuration.

What do you mean by, "it is just the first part of the disk (maby half) that is not readable"?  Please explain.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132743
I can read the root, and certain recently(month or so) created directorys and their files.  No, when I switched it back to the orrigional configuration, It does absolutely nothing different.  I am going to try that 'Tiramasu' program listed above...
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:jepe
ID: 1132744
Your right to try Tiramisu, it realy works great, I had my HD 'Fdisk'ed and with tiramisu I was able to recover most of my valuable data.
The great thing about Tiramisu is that you can download a demo version just to check if it will work.
One thing you should keep in mind with Tiramisu is that it is best to have a second HD to store the recovered data on since it is not smart to write on the defective one.
The second thing about Tiramisu, you can only recover data, it is no HD restore utility.

Just some more info
Jepe
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132745
Edited text of question
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:kayton
ID: 1132746
Unplug everything and remove all add-in boards, but leave the SIMMs and speaker connected.  Do you get a beep when you turn it on?  Remove all the memory, and see if you get beeps.  No beeps, bad motherboard.  
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:jepe
ID: 1132747
Try booting from floppy and see if you can access your HD's eventualy use fdisk /status to view if the partitions are recognized.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132748
Kayton, that must be it... no beeps... Must be a bad mb.. I think it is time to boost that p-133..
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1132749
maxell:  Where are you at on this?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132750
Refer to the edited question to learn the bitter events that have overcome it...
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1132751
A bad power supply could possibly cause degrading problems like this.  If possible, connect another power supply, and see if that helps.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132752
what should the voltage readouts be on the supply...?? I will put a volt meter on it and see what the readouts are.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1132753
Depending on the power supply.  If you have two connectors side by side with black wires together, then you will have 12V, and 5V volts. One plus one minus (I think 12V is plus, and 5 is minus).

Newer systems have one connector with a clip.  Some of these (not all) use 3.3V also.  The ones that use 3.3V will have the connector full of wires.  Without will have three empty positions.

The best test would be a donor Power Supply just for testing purposes.  Be sure that you have the right type before using it, or you can damage the system.

This won't tell you for sure if it's bad.  Testing it on its own with no load will probably test just fine.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132754
I just took a spare power connector and tested it with everything else hooked up... looks fine.... Thankks all for the help...
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LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
Jason_S earned 450 total points
ID: 1132755
So all is well?  Your hard drive is working, and your system will boot?  If not, reject this answer, and we will continue.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:maxell
ID: 1132756
Sorry about taking so long, but I just found out it was a blown fuse burried deep down in the supply.
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