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Help fix up "dead" hard drive

Posted on 2006-03-26
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Hey, I have a Western Digital WD1600 SATA150.  It was fine until this evening.  In fact, I reformatted it just this Friday, and today's Sunday, almost Monday.

When I shut down the PC this evening, I put in a 20GB Maxtor to copy some files.  I know not to touch the PCB on the hard drive, and I didn't bump it into anything.  When I took out the 20GB hard drive because nothing worked all of a sudden, the booting 160 showed a blue screen, but it restarted.  I didn't get to see what the screen showed.

I put in the XP Pro CD.  I skipped the first screen and went to the partition view.  This is where I'd usually get the option to "repair" by replacing all the system files.  However, the R option wasn't available.  I had one non-partition the size of my free space and one partition the size of all my files & Windows put together.

Please give me some suggestions on how to fix this issue.
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Question by:radomirthegreat
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16298246
There is a good possibility you have run into one of those Win XP copyright protection features.
Too many hardware changes and XP kills itself ON PURPOSE!!.
(I won't use XP and this is one reason why...)
From what I understand you have to call Microsoft to get it fixed.

PCBONEZ

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by:nobus
ID: 16298306
does it report the partition as RAW? then you can try to recover with any of the recovery soft, or format it.
BTW Do not use this disk to install anything on, use another disk or PC to do it !
here a list; download the free trial, check what it can recover, and if satisfied, pay for the full version :

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/collection/0,collid,1295,00.asp            Free Recovery
http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm                              Spinrite
http://www.runtime.org/                                    GetDataBack
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                                    Stellar
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/activeundelete.html                  Active undelete
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector
http://www.handyrecovery.com/download.shtml                        Handy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smartrecovery.html                  flash recovery
http://www.ontrack.com/                                    ontrack
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/                  Easy Recovery
http://www.cgsecurity.org                                    Test Disk + utils
http://www.z-a-recovery.com/setup.exe                        zero assumption
http://www.stompsoft.com/recoverlostdata.html                        Recover Lost Data
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-1051391.html#            Disk Commander
http://us.mcafee.com/root/package.asp?pkgid=105                  EasyRecovery
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10031                        VirtualLab Data Recover
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by:jhance
ID: 16298931
>>Too many hardware changes and XP kills itself ON PURPOSE!!.

That's baloney!  Too many hardware changes invokes the Windows Product Activation warning and forces you to re-activate.  There is no code in Windows XP that "kills" the installation.  If you had changed too many hardware devices for WPA's liking, you'd just get a warning and would have to call Microsoft and explain the situation.  No big deal!

While I suppose it could simply be a coincidence that this drive failed at the same time you removed the other drive, it's simply TOO BIG of a coincidence for me to believe.  I think of three more likely possibilities:

1) You messed up the cabling in the case to the 160GB drive.  Be sure that power is properly connected and the SATA cable is connected properly at both ends.  You might also try swapping out the SATA cable for another one.

2) You messed up your BIOS settings for the hard drives and the system is not properly detecting the 160GB drive.  Check your BIOS.

3) Something you do while the 20GB drive was in the system (like a format or something) trashed the filesystem on the 160GB drive by mistake.  In this case one of the filesystem recovery tools mentioned above might be useful.
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by:Peregian
ID: 16299033
Did it boot at all when you put the 20 gb in?
If it booted were there any wizards or dialog boxes that came up,  like raid array setup?
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by:burrcm
ID: 16299238
jhance makes a very good point. Sata cables can stop talking if you breathe too heavy in the same room. Double check seating and change cables if you have a spare. I wonder what was on the maxtor. If an OS and you installed it as master, chances are the system tried to boot from it, and in doing so may have altered the boot information on the sata drive. Is your sata recognized by bios or do you use a floppy driver at install time? If a floppy, you will need to use it to get to the repair point. (F6 when prompted).

Chris B
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16300457
Hey, thanks for the quick responses.  Basically, I put in the 20GB hard drive and a Knoppix 3.8 CD.  I wanted to mount the 160 and make it writeable so that I could transfer data that way.  Ever tried getting files from the Documents and Settings folder from another Windows OS?

However, when Knoppix booted up, it recognized only one HD, and that one wouldn't open because it wasn't mounted properly, as Knoppix reported.  That's when I took out the 20.  And the rest is history.

The Maxtor was recognized differently before.  Now it's recognized as a Laxtor with a bunch of numbers.  I know exactly what it had on it - all my files from another PC.  XP on it as well.  Anyway, the WD1600 is recognized properly.  It's completely fine in the BIOS, and everything would be fine on it if it would just be able to send files to my PC.  It would be beautiful if I could just change out the SATA cable with one of my many, many spares and have it all work correctly.  I'm going to try that and see what happens.

The reason I don't know what to do right now is becaue the hard drive stopped working all of a sudden.  It went from being completely fine to being ridiculously screwed up.  I hope it's just the cable or something simple like that.
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by:nobus
ID: 16300519
>>   it's recognized as a Laxtor   << this looks like a bit missing, could be ide cable or bad connection.
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by:jhance
ID: 16300611
>>I hope it's just the cable or something simple like that.

No, I seriously doubt that it's going to be that simply.  Your recent comments lead me to conclude that my earlier comment:

3) Something you do while the 20GB drive was in the system (like a format or something) trashed the filesystem on the 160GB drive by mistake.  In this case one of the filesystem recovery tools mentioned above might be useful.

Is what is wrong here.  It's incredibly easy to make such a mistake when you plug a new drive into a system for some purposes.  I'd be willing to bet that you inadvertently deleted the partition table or formatted the 160GB drive thinking it was the 20GB drive.

Once again, I refer you to one of the data recovery tools on the market to help you recover what can be recovered.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16301542
"I'd be willing to bet that you inadvertently deleted the partition table or formatted the 160GB drive thinking it was the 20GB drive."

I didn't do anything.  The PC didn't recognize either hard drive, so I shut it down and took out the 20.
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by:Jorge68
ID: 16305367
If they are both IDE did you check the master / slave jumper settings?  If one is SATA you have to configure your mobo to use both PATA and SATA, if it is an MSI i belive it is called legacy mode.

Also to agree with jhance, windows does not shut itself down for hardware changes.  The most that could happen is you would have to reactivate windows, within 30days of the hardware change.  That dees not seem like your case though.
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by:Jorge68
ID: 16305414
Also if your 20 gig has an operating system, you might need to check your boot order.  Make sure you have the 160 as master and the 20gig as slave then go to boot order and make the HDD first and then CD second and select SCSI as third.  Dont ask me why but sometimes with two different OS on different HDDs you have to configure the thrid boot device as SCSI
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16306337
When I took out the IDE 20GB hard drive because it didn't work, the SATA drive had a corrupted operating system.  I don't use an MSI motherboard, and yes, both drives were recognized.  But that's irrelevant because only one drive is in there, which is a recognized SATA drive.  It has a corrupted operating system.

The XP Pro installation shows an empty NTFS partition the size of the space my files had taken up.  There's also unpartitioned space the size of all the free space I had.
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by:Peregian
ID: 16306562
When you booted with knoppix you said it only recognised 1 drive. Do you know which drive it recognised?
Do you use goback or any other type of 3rd party system restore software?
The "laxtor" part mean that the bios is not 100% accurately detecting the drive and therefore may not be reading the partition table correctly either.
Try resetting the bios to defaults in case its a bios issue.
Have a look at the raid config in the bios in case it detected the second drive install and try to config it with the sata drive into an array.
Try the sata drive in another machine.
While you took all care to not damage anything, static electricity can damage circuits easily and so can leaving the power connected while changing hardware in an atx system.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16306665
Hello.

Knoppix recognized the 160.
I didn't use 3rd party system restore software.
The "Laxtor" part shouldn't matter anymore because the 20GB is completely inaccessible now.
I will reset the BIOS.
I disabled RAID.
I'm on my way now to try out the SATA drive in another PC.
I really can't imagine how I released a static discharge into the hard drive.  Grounding myself is the first priority.  I regulary stay grounded, and I dont' touch the circuit borads.  Thanks a lot for the recommendation, though.

Thanks again.  I'll keep trying.
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by:Peregian
ID: 16306715
Can you clarify the laxtor part. Did it only show as laxtor when the 20gb was plugged in?
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16306817
jhance
It's not baloney. .. Kill = cease to function = I can't use the computer when I need it.
Maybe you don't mind stopping what you are doing to waste your time on the phone talking to Microsoft, but I do, particularly if I'm on the road out of state or traveling abroad. ..
I don't have a use for something that requires reactivation simply because I moved my hard drive into a different system or I've connected too many different USB (or firewire or SATA) hard drives for it's liking.

Further, who ya gonna call when Microsoft ends support for XP?
Microsoft was still licensing Win98 through March 31, 2004 to system builders and support officially ends July 11, 2006.
Mircosoft plans to stop licensing XP (to anyone) as soon as Vista is released.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/lifecycle/default.mspx
All Microsoft has to do to stamp out XP and force people to upgrade to Vista is kill that reactivation support for XP.
I'm sure they won't wait any longer then they HAVE to.

It's a real good time to switch any important function to Linux. (I am.)
.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16306880
Nobus,

Which software is the most likely to retrieve from a RAW data setup?

I'm using PC Inspector on a friend's PC.

I can't recover the files I want; it is only JPEG and media files.
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by:Jorge68
ID: 16306950
a great program to retrieve data is GetDataBack NTFS
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16307088
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/  
Recovers in RAW format.

Query the peanut gallery first. There may be a free program that does too.
.
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by:Peregian
ID: 16307539
Pcbonez
Ive change hundreds of hard drives upgraded motherboards and numerous other parts and never had microsoft kill the os. The most it ever does apart from possible needing a repair install to fix driver issues is require reactivation over the phone which is nothing like this problem.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16307562
I took a hard drive out of one PC and put it into another.  Windows said I'd need to reactivate it within 3 days.  I could continue using it within that amount of time.  If Windows was not activated within the 3 day period, it would shut down access to the files and need activation via the regular Windows mode before anything else could be done.  This happens all the time.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16307676
Exactly:
"Windows said I'd need to reactivate it within 3 days. ....  If Windows was not activated within the 3 day period, it would shut down access to the files."
In production mode I'd have to call 2 or 3 times a day...
And who do you call when Microsoft no longer supports it?
.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16307718
You'd call on your old hacker buddies, I guess.

Anyway, I took my hard drive over to a friend's house, as I stated earlier, and I was able to use on of nobus' listed programs to retrieve some JPEG files.  Very interesting.  I'll keep trying.  I plan to spend $50 on a "Magnetic Data Technologies" 120GB 7200rpm hard drive so that I can run my PC and back up my files to DVDs while I save up for a few 300+GB hard drives in RAID.  Also, according to my experience with MDT drives, I'll get about a year or so out of it, so it'll be good to get a 100-120GB hard drive to back up files, play some games, run some sites, and whatnot.  If I can use one of those programs to get my files from my RAW partiiton, would that be the way to go?

Of course, the issue at hand would be that I might have the new MDT drive fail during the backup, but that's why I have all this spare time.
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by:Peregian
ID: 16307722
In real production mode you would use corporate license and there is no activation required.
Most reactivations can be done over the net so your just blowin hot air pcbonez
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16307730
Good point.  I'd leave it at that.  Thanks for the backup.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16307732
radomirthegreat
Email me. It's at the bottom of my profile page.
(Not allowed to put emails in here.)
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by:Peregian
ID: 16307733
Were the partitions still scrambled when you plugged it in to the other pc?
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16307740
I wouldn't call them scrambled, per se.  The partition was pretty much gone.  It was just a 0 byte RAW disk drive with retrievable data.
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by:nobus
ID: 16308322
for your recovery, as i said the best is using the free trial to test what it claims to be able to recover, then pay for the full version.
Good known ones : Getdataback, Stellar, spinrite
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16310792
I have a whole lot of HTML and .PSD files I need to back up.  I have about 40GB of stuff on that drive, but I'm not sure what it all could be.  I'm guessing that's space that games took up.  That's fine, though.  I still have the CDs.
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by:nobus
ID: 16310981
did youtry the recovry soft yet?
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16310993
I tried the first one on the list.  My friend and I quickly saw that the hard drive had data to recover, but I had to leave shortly after that.  It seems I truly can recover the files, so it should only be a matter of time now before I get my data back.
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by:nobus
ID: 16311072
good to hear !
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16311432
Thanks.  I'll keep trying.  No point in stopping now that I again have access to my files.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16317223
It's best to do all the prep and take care of all this in one session.
(Part of the prep is making sure you have a drive with enough free space to put all the files on it.)

The concern is:
If the drive is failing you have the best chance of getting your data back by minimizing the number of times you mount and access the drive.
It's better to get in and get everything you can out in one session because the next time you try to get in you may not be able to.
.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16317638
That's a great point.  I'll keep it in mind.  The weird thing is that I can most likely reformat it and install Windows or Linux for a spare PC.  I don't know how that'll work, but I'd like to wipe this hard drive clean and at least use it for something.  I can't imagine a practical use.  Can I put my page file on it?  If so, if it completely fails and I have no page file, won't Windows automatically return that to the original drive once the secondary one is removed?
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16317758
There are a number of free programs that write Zeros and Ones to the whole drive effectively wiping it 100% clean.
[ This used to be 'called' low level formatting. ]
The one I use is called KillDisk and it works great. ( Sounds scary though don't it! (-: .. )
http://www.killdisk.com/
There are a few free ones that do the DoD 5220.22-M class wipes in the free versions but takes forever and you don't really need that much security unless you were going to sell the drive or something.
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by:Peregian
ID: 16317862
I wouldn't use that drive again except as a paper weight. Once they fail they become not worth the trouble in a commercial environment. Western digital give a 3 year warranty on most of their drives and I doubt than ones 3 years old. If I were you I'd run something like killdisk as pcbonez said but I would run it a couple of times then repartition and format it. Then find a stress tester that will write, read and delete large amounts of data to the hard disk over and over.  Let it run for a few hours and if that drives going to fail it will during the test or when cools down. Once it bails out take it back for replacement.:)
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16317935
Peregian
If you read back this one seems to be a bad file system or MBR and not a bad drive situation.
Then again. It's hard to say just yet... Find out after the files are safe....
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by:Peregian
ID: 16318073
I have a policy of never useing drives once they fail even if its only the mbr corrupted. Its just not worth the effort of going back later to replace them. Especially if they are under warranty. Besides something corrupted it and plugging another drive in should do that.
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by:Peregian
ID: 16318081
i meant plugging another drive in should NOT do that
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16318465
That's a good policy in a commercial environment.
(Especially if it's someone -else's- money replacing things!!)
But they aren't gonna do a warranty replacement for a corrupted file system.

I'll agree I wouldn't use it for anything *important*, at least for a while.....
It should be fine for a spare or just games system or one for guests, the kids, spouce, or relatives to use.
(To keep'em off YOUR machine.)
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16322925
I'm going to check WD's site to make sure my drive is still under warranty.  I doubt it, though.  I'll wait and see anyway.  It would be great if it were still supproted.  I once had a hard drive die during the first month of use, and it was out of warranty by 7 months the day I purchased it.  The 3-year warranty for SATA drives is a good point, though.  I'll look and see if it applies to all of them, or, as is usually the case, all of them except for mine because mine was ordered on a spcefic date from someone who actually refurbished another brand and sold me that drive with a WD sticker.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16339885
NEW AND IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT:

I checked the warranty.
S/N: WMAL91377521
M/N: WD1600JD-22HBB0
The drive was manufactured August 8, 2004.
It's out of warranty.  WD will not replace it.  I don't know why they warranted it for 2005 or so, but it's really confusing.  I remember I got it some time around December 2004.

I put in a non-working 250GB Maxtor.  The PC didn't want to boot from a CD, so I reset the CMOS.  Lo and behold, it booted from the CD, but ever so slowly.  So something's going on with the BIOS.  Nevertheless, I reset it and only changed the boot order.  It worked.

Finally, I bought a new hard drive.  It's a new 250GB Seagate SATA with NCQ.  The 5-year warranty should last me a while.  Hooray for me.

WD is gone.  Maxtor drives die every now and then, though they're mostly dependable, but the company was bought out by Hitachi.  A friend of mine bought a 160GB Hitachi hard drive that died.  He sent it in for a replacement and got back a refurbished drive with a small warranty.  The replacement is not eligible for returns because it cannot be shipped to them in the original packaging they require or else they'll void the warranty.  The dead one was sent in the original packaging so as to maintain the warranty.  The replacement didn't come in any such packaging and is therefore nonexistant.

Now it seems all the companies I have left are Seagate, which holds me as a "Power Partner" and offers me itneresting promotions, Seagate, with which I'm registered for printers and such, Fujitsu, and Toshiba.  Seagate was my choice this time because it's convenient, inexpensive, comes with a great warranty, and offers good performance.  Long live Seagate.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16339997
OEM drives (those sold in bulk to builders) generally have a 1 year warranty even if the same model sold through retail channels has a 3 year warranty.
Factory refurbished drives usually have a 1 to 3 month warranty from the manufacturer.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16340027
I'm bothered a whole lot by dead hard drives.  They just accumulate so fast at my house.  But I built a PC for my dad a few years ago, and the thing has never needed to be modified.  It has a Seagate.  The thing just keeps on running.

I'm going to have a friend come over between Friday and Monday.  I'll recover the data with his hard drive and burn that all to DVDs.  The plan is to install a few recovery utilities and then plug in the hard drive just in case the PC may need to be restarted after the installation of one of the programs.  I'm guessing I'm good to go.  Any more suggestions?
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16340055
Assuming, say, a 3 year warranty on both, a Maxtor and a Seagate drive will be of closely equivelent reliability.
The thing is Maxtor sells LOADS of less expensive drives too and Seagate does not offer much in that market.
.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16340069
You seem to have a good plan.
I would save the data to another drive until you have it all recovered before trying to burn anything to the DVD's.
Then burn the DVD's and verify it worked.... before you do anything else with the problem drive..
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16340074
I'm in the process of returning a dead Maxtor that was bought brand new and barely had anything installed on it.  However, I believe they're pretty good anyway.  A friend of mine bought a 160GB SATA Seagate, and it caught on fire when he booted up his PC.  He got a replacement.  What strange wiring that must have been.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16340113
Thanks for the comment, Bonez.  I'll definitely verify the DVDs, but I'm mainly interested in saving a few website templates I've been working on.  I need templates...  Aside from that, some home videos and such would also be good to retrieve from the drive.
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by:Peregian
ID: 16340143
This is straight out of one of my suppliers price lists here in Aus. None of these are retail packed just oem in a static bag. Maybe WD just like us aussies more :)

Western Digital 40GB BB HDD, ATA/100, 2MB                        
Western Digital 40GB JB HDD, ATA/100, 8MB  cache, 3 yr warranty                        
Western Digital 80GB HDD, 2MB cache, ATA/100                        
Western Digital 80GB JB HDD, ATA/100, 8MB cache, 3 yr warranty                        
Western Digital 120GB HDD, 2MB cache, ATA/100                        
Western Digital 120GB JB HDD, ATA/100, 8MB cache, 3 yr warranty                        
Western Digital 160GB JB HDD, ATA/100, 8MB cache, 3 yr warranty                        
Western Digital 200GB JB HDD, ATA/100, 8MB cache, 3 yr warranty                        
Western Digital 250GB JB HDD, ATA/100, 8MB cache, 3 yr warranty                        
Western Digital 300GB JB HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 320GB JB HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 80GB JD SATA HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 120GB JS SATA II HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 160GB JS SATA II HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 200GB JS SATA II HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 250GB JS SATA II HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 250GB KS SATA II HDD, 3 year warranty, 16MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 250GB YD SATA HDD, 5 year warranty, 16MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 300GB JD SATA HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 320GB JD SATA HDD, 3 year warranty, 8MB CACHE                        
Western Digital 400GB KD SATA HDD, 3 year warranty, 16MB CACHE                        
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16340153
Thanks for the list.  I think that's accurate in the US as well because my 160 isn't listed.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16587869
I was going to back up files to my new 250, but then it was labeled as F: instead of C:.  Then, the file system didn't respond to the new C: label, and I had to reformat.  I need to get the hard drive into my PC at the perfect time at which I won't lose data.  This is hard with my motherboard.  The 20GB with which the 160 failed is read perfectly elsewhere.  A working 160 IDE isn't even recognized.  Sometimes, the IDE DVD burner just goes away until I restart the PC.

There is definitely something wrong with the IDE devices, but SATA looks good.  I think it would be safe now to put in the hard drive and back up the data.
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by:nobus
ID: 16587907
are all those disks recognised ok in the bios?
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16588071
No IDE devices are recognized in the BIOS except for the 20GB, which shows up as a Laxtor and, evidently, corrupts hard drives.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16590904
It sounds like you may have a controller problem or a drive power problem.
Beyond just checking wires please check the caps both on the mainboard and in the PSU.
http://www.badcaps.net/ident/
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16592934
I know the capacitors on the board are terrible.  THe K8NSC-939 is infamous for cap problems.  So, would that be all?  Bad controller because of capacitros?  Time to buy a new motherboard, then.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16593601
That would do it. Bad caps in the controller's circuit..
Erratic problems (ones that come and go or don't stay the same) are typical of bad cap problems.
It will usually be like that for a while before it completly fails..
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by:Peregian
ID: 16594136
Did we go through this process with you knowing that the capacitors on the motherboard were swollen and leaking?. Don't you think that bit of info should have been made available before you wasted everyones time?
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16596177
>>Did we go through this process with you knowing that the capacitors on the motherboard were swollen and leaking?

Those would be the power capacitors that I knew would eventually swell/leak and cause motherboard failure.  Of all the K8NSC boards I've seen/used, this is the first that is having a cap problem with a specific drive.

The issue is that the capacitors for the board's main power are the bad ones.  The other ones are usually fine.  They're even a different brand.  I didn't expect both brands to act up, and especailly not the usually "dependable" one over the brand whose caps die within a month.  Even more strange is the fact that the board is still alive 1 month into operation.

>>Don't you think that bit of info should have been made available before you wasted everyones time?

It was available, to a point.  When did I waste time?  This was all useful for me, so if it's a waste of time to you, why do you participate?
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16703939
Sorry about the late updates.  Basically, I ordered a replacement motherboard to run my hard drives and back up data, but it came in DOA.  I need to set up an RMA, get another one, and try again.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16898529
I hooked up the hard drive to the new board.  It was recognized, and I was able to run this:
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/collection/0,collid,1295,00.asp          Free Recovery

It worked well, and I got most of my JPEG files (the default dropdown menu selection).  However, I was asked to do a thorough scan because the hard drive is, evidently, in a bad condiiton.  Then, it stopped being recognized and didn't run again.  It's too bad I retrieved just JPEGs.  Now I have some old wallpapers...

I'd like to see if I can get the hard drive to run again.  I'll try another motherboard.
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by:rindi
ID: 16899782
Don't do a thorough scan as this can kill your data. Connect the drive to a system which has windows installed on another HD and use getdataback from nobus' first post to recover the data from the bad disk. The free scan shows you what is recoverable, but will take a long time. Once you know what is recovreable register the software, which will allow you to actually recover the files. You will need free space on a good disk to recover the files to, as getdataback doesn't write to the bad disk. When done, use the HD manufacturer's diagnostic tool to diagnose/lowlevel format the disk. If the diagnostic fails, either return the disk under warranty or stop using it.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 16904350
Thanks.  Will do.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 18746122
It was an IDE controller problem due to bad capacitors on the motherboard.
~ Has value in the database. ~
As to points. The asker learned that those bad caps on the MoBo can screw up drive controllers. (Which should have been obvious but evidently wasn't.)
.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 18751685
Hello again.  I'm very sorry about the extremely late update, but I haven't recently had time to be around e-e.com much at all.

Basically, I tried a lot of the backup programs provided in the list, and few of them retrieved data.  I then went through my other drives and saw that I had a few of the things already backed up, and some of it was uploaded to the net.  I couldn't get a lot of the data back, but I got most of my family pictures, some eBay pictures, and a few aged text documents back from the drive.

I then gave the hard drive to a friend of mine, and he did a full format on it.  He put it in his PC and has been running it without any problems at all, so it's a good drive.  I put another CPU and hard drive into the K8NSC motherboard, and it ran.  It's still running today, and it has no corruptions.

The Maxtor is a useless drive, and I don't know where it is.  It's probably been thrown away, as most Maxtors are after a few years.  I heard from someone who heard from a Maxtor employee that Maxtors, unlike drives from Seagate and the like, are made from recycled materials and therefore warp over time.  This warping and shifting puts pressure on the spindle, and eventually the drive goes out.  Now I know why Maxtors always fail after about 2-3 years.

So, if the motherboard is running fine with another CPU and a new hard drive but no other system changes, the processor is in a DFI motherboard in Canada (sold on eBay), and the 160GB hard drive is running error-free with a 100% SMART pass, then what caused the partition to mutate into a RAW?  I seem to have proven that the capacitors have held up and ultimately do not corrupt controllers, and the 160GB has not at all since corrupted.
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by:rindi
ID: 18751765
There are many things that can cause a disk to show up as raw. One common cause is if the disk temporarily powered off while it was being accessed. This often happens with a low powered PSU or with a bad connector.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 18751948
The power supply even today has no corrosion on the pins, and it's a 550W Sunbeam with active PFC.  It's right now being used in a file server that runs 24/7 with the following:

A8R32MVP motherboard
Athlon64X2 3800
3GB PC-3200 2-2-2-5 memory
2 74GB 10K WDs in RAID 1
4 300GB SATA Seagates in RAID 1 pairs
3 SIIG SATA RAID controllers
Triple gigabit ethernet
A couple of CD drives

Is it possible for that PC to run well - without power issues at all - but to have corrupted a hard drive almost a year ago?
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by:rindi
ID: 18752134
Sure that's possible. I've seen cases where the molex power connector that goes to the disk wasn't fitted tightly enough, and that caused the connector to sometimes break the supply to the disk. Or at times the metal connectors were to wide apart, causing the same problem. Or very often when there aren't enough power outputs from the PSU you have to add "Y" cables to produce more outputs. These cables often cause connection problems too. Also, if the temp. gets too high this can shut the disk down temporarily.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 18754000
Well, it seems that I should have plugged the hard drive in more attentively.  It should have worked then, I believe.  I didn't use Y cables, though, because they were sincerely unnecessary.  Thanks for the heads up about power.

Are there any other suggestions since all the components except for the 20GB hard drive are still working?
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by:rindi
ID: 18754270
None I can think of at the moment.
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by:nobus
ID: 18754531
you can always check the power you need here :
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp      
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 18757531
Oh, I don't need a power calculator.  I'm all set.  I was running those two drives, an Opteron 148, 1GB of ram, and a Radeon 9250 video card aside from those two cards and 1 DVD drive at the time that hard drive thing happened.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 18782900
Gee, I'm still using Maxtor drives that are 12 years old. Dunno what your problem is?
1 - I doubt they use recycled material in hard drives and even if they did recycled material isn't any more likely to warp than 'fresh' material.
2 - Seagate bought out Maxtor a while back. A Maxtor -IS- a Seagate drive.
.
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by:rindi
ID: 18783032
I suppose 12 years ago maxtor made good drives, but also I've only had problems with new maxtor disks since about 5 years. Their quality was really bad. They have only been aquired by seagate about an year ago. For the new company to reflect it's quality it would at least take an year, so I don't think maxtor drives that were built last year would be any better yet. I do agree that the quality probably doesn't have a lot to do with recycled material though, but rather maxtors have been exceptionally cheap for some time, making such cheap drives is very likely to cause problems with the quality.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 18783138
Bad caps in the drive controller can and will cause this problem.
You may have satisified yourself that the caps are good (and they may be) but unless you've removed them from the circuit and tested them with a capacitance meter -and- checked them in circuit, under load, with an O'scope you haven't 'proved' anything.
A visual, DC volts, or operational check can only 'prove' them bad.
- It can NOT prove them good.
Capacitors in power circuits (including the controller sub-circuit) have the task of creating a steady DC voltage. If you check with a DC meter in might well say 5 volts but if you check the same point with an O'scope and you will see it's actually a ripple current (voltage) cycling around 5 volts DC. A capacitor with an out of range ESR will let through an excessive ripple voltage. Peak to peak 4.9v to 5.1v is one thing but if it's jumping from 4.0v to 6.0v (or worse) on the supply to your drive controller you WILL experience corrupted data from time to time because the signaling voltages in the controller are going to jump around with their supplied voltage input.
.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 18783176
I can't say on anything over 40 Gig because I've never needed anything bigger.
~ But I've always had good 'luck' with Maxtors.
The only drives I've consistently had problems with is IBM Desktop [Not Laptop] drives. (You need a hot pad to touch one if it's been running.)

The odds of ANY other brand failing seems to be related to how many I have.
If I have twice as many Maxtors the I'm twice as likely to see a maxtor fail.
[Duh - LOL]
.
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by:rindi
ID: 18783221
I've mainly had bad luck with 20 and 40 GB maxtors. I've used at least as many samsung drives and with those I've only once had a bad one! Most of the bad maxtors were still within warranty, but also those that were warranty exchanged usually didn't last longer than 3 months.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 18783285
That's kind of funny actually. As I remember in the 4 to 10 GB(ish) days Samsung was considered crap in comparison to the others. I haven't used many Samsungs. I have noticed that their new line of Laptop drives pulls more juice than a USB port has available (>500 milliamps) so be warry of using those in non-powered portable drive boxes.
.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 18784110
Ok, I've got to address some of the points that had been brought up.

Chip off a piece of a Maxtor, and then take a piece of a Seagate.  The Seagate has far better metal, and you can prove this by taking the pieces to some "metal-ologist."  You'll see the Maxtor's made from a few different metals.  Since Seagate bought out Maxtor, they've manufactured "Seagate" hard drives, but the drives were only built to spec and yet with Maxtor metals.

Secondly, I disagree that bad motherboard power caps can corrupt a drive controller.  At least on this board.  Basically, it still works; however, all the other models I've had went bad because of those select few capacitors.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 18787426
Your contention that the Seagate metal is better has no credibility unless you've actually done the testing.

I know a little more about "metal-ology" than you do. I was a QA Inspector in a program for a few years that over-saw the manufacture of parts for Trident Submarines. Some of my duties included QA-ing the machinists work and those "Metal-ologists" doing those materials tests. (I verified their results.)
Our program could in fact track the metal in a screw (and every process it went through and WHO did it) all the way back to the mine the ore came from.
(Our program was adopted by NASA after the shuttle accident.)

A metal doesn't 'know' where it came from. It only 'knows' it's % purity, what impurities are in it, and how it's been processed (heat treatment, cast, forged, welded, plated).
~ Recycled material has nothing to do with the quality of the end product. All it does is affect how much and what work must be done to get to the end product.

And, as I said. Unless you have done some testing on the end product your claims are meaningless. (Hot air.)
~ I haven't heard of drive warping being problem since the 1980's and even then it was rare.

Bad caps CAN screw up your controller and corrupt your data. I don't care if you agree or not. They CAN. It wasn't open to debate. The CAN and it happens.
- That may not be the problem on that particular board but don't try and tell my 26 years in electronics that it can't happen. It does happen. (And it usually gets blamed on something else.) ~ And again. If you haven't TESTED it then you are just quessing.

~~

Back to your problem.
You my be bouncing your system back and forth between 48bit addressing.
48bit addresssing is REQUIRED on drives over ~137GB.
In order to support 48bit addressing a drive must be an ATA-100 (or better) compliant drive.
If your 20Gig is an old ATA-66 drive you may have forced the BIOS into 24bit addressing (and it stayed) so now the 160GB isn't working.
.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 18955980
The main problem with this is that everything mentioned here worked before the hard drive crashed, and everything is still working.  However, the only thing that changed is that the 20GB Maxtor that I hooked up stopped working, and the 160GB went to a RAW partition.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 18993239
This has been "abandoned" a few times, and every now and then, the participation dies down.  I don't really know what happens in between the posts, but all the hardware except for 1 drive is still here.  The problem, however, is that everything was working well until I hooked up the 20GB Maxtor.  Then, things stopped working, and now they're working again.
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by:
PCBONEZ earned 300 total points
ID: 18994496
Responce to:::
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

>>Too many hardware changes and XP kills itself ON PURPOSE!!.

That's baloney!  Too many hardware changes invokes the Windows Product Activation warning and forces you to re-activate.  There is no code in Windows XP that "kills" the installation.

<<<<<<<<<<<

As far as I am concerned having a system that is DISABLED pending a FORCED TOLL call to Microsoft to reactivate it is IS DEAD.
- And XP does it INTENTIONALLY to itself if you change too much hardware.

http://aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.htm

Reactivation: Asking Microsoft -for permission- to use what YOU PAID THEM $$$$$ FOR.

~~~~~~~~~~~

radomirthegreat

I re-read through this and it looks to me like (by whatever means) your partition tables became corrupted in the Master Boot Record.

Here are some thoughts:

You are using an older version of Knoppix and I don't know which Kernal was used to build the CD.
- NTFS may be supported only as read-only with it.
- It may not support 48-bit addressing (required for drives over 127/137GB)
- May not support SATA controllers.

The 160 Gig is using 48-bit addressing. (Has to be.).
- If the 20 Gig was not 48-bit (using the old standard 28-bit) and the drives were on the same controller that could screw things up. (As in your BIOS or Knoppix or Both may have 'decided' to address the 160 Gig using 28-bit addressing. - This would no doubt corrupt your partition tables.)

Just some guesses.

.
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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 18995476
Bonez, thanks a lot for that addition.  However, I had used Knoppix before on that same setup to move data between drives.  I don't know whether the 20GB drive was written to in 48-bit or not, and I'm not sure about the controllers that usedv the hard drives.  I read on Gigabyte's site that there''s an nForce3 chipset with an ITE IT8712F chip as well.  I checked out the ITE chip, and it doesn't show anything about hard drives.  It's just I/O for the back panel, it seems.  So, Gigabyte's site is not that helpful.  I don't have the board at my house anymore, but I could eventually come around to having a look at the chips.  It would probably be easier to check out the drivers to find out about the hard drive controllers.
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