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harddisk crashed, not detected by BIOS

Posted on 2002-06-17
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Last Modified: 2010-07-27
I have a IBM Thinkpad laptop. After I have a re-start, the Harddisk cannot be detected by the Bios.

Even I use a floppy boot disk or recovery CD-ROM, the Harddisk cannot be found.

I want to do my best to save the important data in the Harddisk. So, what can I do? I don't think the Harddisk has physical damages since it is just a system crash.

If I take the Computer to IBM, I think they may delete all my data. Anyone have such experience?

How about the Bios, can I change the setting of it so as to make Bios detects the drive?

Thank a million
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Question by:leekf
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11 Comments
 
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 7083728
1) Download the IBM maintenance manual and remove the Hard drive from the laptop.

Get a $10 2.5" Laptop IDE to 3.5" Desktop IDE adapater.
This will alow you to put the drive in a desktop and copy the data, if the drive still works.

Otherwise, contact

ontrack.com
They can recover your data, but it will cost you $$$.

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 7083921
What leads you to belive the drive is OK?  

It sure sounds like the system crashed because the HDD failed.
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Author Comment

by:leekf
ID: 7084041
thanks for your advice sysexpert

but is the problem related to the BIOS? can I make Bios to detect the HDD?

Also, for ontrack.com, about how much is it?
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 7084325
Ontrack starts at $1000 and goes from there.

I fixed a Gateway desktop once that would see the hard drive on one boot and not another.  I basically created a RAM drive and copied files to there and then to floppies.  I basically keep rebooting it until it saw the hard drive
and prayed it wouldn't die on me.

Be careful above removing the hard drive if you don't know what you are doing.  One tech pulled a hard drive out of a Toshiba laptop looking for the RAM slot and it scrambled all of the data on the disk! Eek!

If you cannot afford to loose the data Ontrack or another special data recovery center is your best bet, but be prepared to fork the dough over.  Otherwise, if it is under warranty, sending it to IBM either from Best Buy or Radio Shack with a copy of your receipt would probably be the best bet.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7084465
If the laptop's BIOS won't see the drive, then indications are good that the electronics on the drive are shot.  The data is probably still there and intact assuming you can hear the drive spinning.  As suggested above, Ontrack is probably the only hope, unless you have an identical drive that you could try swapping the controller boards on (which would be an extrodinarily difficult task, if not impossible for the typical inexperienced laptop harddrive engineer wanna-be; plus the fact that it would definitely void your warranty.)

Of course you can just send the system back to IBM, and they'll install a replacement drive, then you can restore your data from your backup after installing a base OS.  What, you don't have a backup you say?  Tsk tsk...

-dog*
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 7084849
Other things to try.

1) It could be a cable problem.

Reseat the IDE cable for the laptop drive.

2) Some drives respond well to the cold.

Place the drive in a ZIP lock bad and put it in the refridgerator ( Not freezer ) overnight, and see if works after that.

Make an immediate backup, since this is only a temporary measure !

This  has worked on a number of occassions with "dead" drives.

I hope this helps 1
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:leekf
ID: 7095427
now that I have asked IBM to give me the crashed 2.5" HDD

should I try to install this HDD in another notebook computer? is it safe for that computer?

Or, should I follow what sysexpert said, get a 2.5" Laptop IDE to 3.5" Desktop IDE adapater?

Or, should I buy an "external 2.5" Harddisk Box"? I think it is the safest way... but much expensive

Please recommend any site that teach me how to install HDD!! Step by step if possible. Thanks!!
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:leekf
ID: 7095538
now that I have asked IBM to give me the crashed 2.5" HDD

should I try to install this HDD in another notebook computer? is it safe for that computer?

Or, should I follow what sysexpert said, get a 2.5" Laptop IDE to 3.5" Desktop IDE adapater?

Or, should I buy an "external 2.5" Harddisk Box"? I think it is the safest way... but much expensive

Please recommend any site that teach me how to install HDD!! Step by step if possible. Thanks!!
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7096867
I'm not exactly sure on what you're saying...if I'm reading your post correctly, IBM is sending you a new drive.  As far as using the current bad drive in another PC...No it will not cause any harm on another PC, you'll just have the same problem you're having on the current one that it won't be readable.  If the drive is unreadable from BIOS, the 2.5-3.5 IDE adapter probably isn't going to work either, if BIOS can't even detect the drive is there, no adapter you can get will fix that.

The process for installing the harddrive will depend on the model you have; some ThinkPads have the drive buried underneath the keyboard where you have to remove the kbd assembly to get the drive out; others have in it a removable slot generally accessed by removing a few screws then pulling the drive (in its mounting kit) from the laptop.

What model is your laptop and I can provide more specific directions.  I would hope IBM would send you a manual for the system with the new drive with details on how to install the replacement.

Also note that installing the drive yourself will probably void your warranty since you're obviously not certified on IBM laptop hardware.

-dog*
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Accepted Solution

by:
yabelson earned 200 total points
ID: 7098370
your problem can resosrt of one of three things:
1:hdd faliure.
2:cable default.
3:bios misconfiguration.

first you should try the bios reconfiguration.
go into the bios and then click the autodetect for hdd's.
it should try and detect your hdd.
if this doesnt work,try switching the cable.
since this is a laptop(as i understood) this is complicated,so its best you dont try this without a technician.if i understood wrong and it is not a laptop,try using your cd-rom entrance,or a whole new cable.
as for connenting it:you should connect the cable to the board first.then attach the power cable-it only goes in one way(DO NOT USE FORCE!!!).after that,try inserting the data cable where the red line on the cable faces the power cable.
now try the bios again.if this works-your cable is bad,and costs peanuts.
if this does not help,try reversing the cable.
you only have four options of attaching,so try them all,and after each one-use the bios,or it wont help.
if all htis didnt help-your hdd is busted.
i know this seems a lot of work,but it takes only 5 minutes,and it a sure way of knowing whats going on.
b.t.w-if you have a spare hdd you can get,even just for the check-DO IT!!!its the best way.and if you know your hdd is bad,try doing what SysExpert suggested(with the fridge and stuff...)
good luck
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:leekf
ID: 7101468
Thanks everyone. I didn't get the bad HDD from IBM because they required an expensive fee.
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