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hard drive in bios but not system recognized

Posted on 2007-07-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Customer brought a Maxtor IDE hard drive believed to be bad.  I have a test machine which has a working diskk0 with XP and I use this machine to extract data from bad drives.  Device manager and disk management do not see the disk.  The bois sees the drive and I have tried switching from IDE2 slave and IDE 2 master with and without other drives on the channel..  The bois always sees the drive but the system does not.   Booted under knoppix Linux system but when I try to mount the disk it fails.  Error message 'could not determine the file system type and none was selected.  Any ideas?
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Question by:buchanb
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16 Comments
 
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

by:
and235100 earned 250 total points
ID: 19543728
The bios accesses the drive at a very low level - it can read the disk parameters - but this is no guarantee that the disk is in good working order.

Try the Ultimate Boot CD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ and use a couple of the hdd testing tools to find out if the disk is faulty or not.
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:willcomp
willcomp earned 250 total points
ID: 19543866
Two main possibilities:

Drive is corrupt and file system cannot be read.

Drive overlay software (e.g. MaxBlast) used to setup drive and MBR is non-standard.

Your best bet is drive recovery software such as GetDataBack. Limit testing and therefore runtime on a possibly failing drive.

http://www.runtime.org/
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LVL 43

Assisted Solution

by:ravenpl
ravenpl earned 250 total points
ID: 19545576
Can You bring here (or search by Yourself) output from command
dmesg
after linux is booted?
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Author Comment

by:buchanb
ID: 19546428
I have tried booting from Spinrite and everything fails, I also tried emergency R-studio and it could not find anything and I also tried all my HD diagnostics and they also failed.  I will try dmseg this morning
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:and235100
ID: 19547245
Sounds like this is a defective hard disk. Replace, rather than further troubleshoot - they are not exactly expensive.
Before that - try changing the data cable (EIDE or SATA, depending on the drive type)
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Author Comment

by:buchanb
ID: 19547954
I need to retrieve the customers data.
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19548090
I've already given you good advice for data retrieval.
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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:ostwaldl
ostwaldl earned 250 total points
ID: 19549345
If your customer really needs the data on the disk, it should be sent to a disk recovery service (a software tool probably isn't going to help you if the disk is really damaged, and everytime you spin up the drive you may actually be making matters worse as far as possibility for and cost of recovery).  
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:and235100
ID: 19549673
Ontrack's in-lab services are supposed to be very good: http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.co.uk/data-recovery-options/
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Author Comment

by:buchanb
ID: 19551755
ok.  I figured from the start that the customer would need to send the drive to Ontract which I have used before for cutomers but I was trying to fix it myself.  I am not used to a combination of a drive showing in the bios and not having any signs of any file systems and was looking for one thing that I had not thought of.  ok, closed subject and I guess I will spread the points out.  thanks for trying.  My next step is to find someone who works for Ontrack
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19552281
Before sending drive out for recovery --> determine whether drive overlay software was used for installation and whether Go Back was installed. Both have their own boot record which will prohibit normal access to drive.
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:and235100
ID: 19553943
'C' grade seems a little harsh - seeing as the utilities on the ubcd will tell you one way or the other whether a hard disk is recoverable (at least with consumer-grade recovery/testing tools)
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Author Comment

by:buchanb
ID: 19555054
I quickly looked and did not see where I can change the grade.  I am not trying to upset anyone and will gladly give a higher grade once someone tells me how.  Everyones advice was acurate and helpful but my grade was based on me not learing anything new or helpful.
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:and235100
ID: 19555147
"my grade was based on me not learing anything new or helpful"
If that was the case - then you should not have accepted any answer - giving a grade c is often more insulting to an "expert", than posting in Community Support (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/General/) saying that the Asker wishes the question be closed, as no suitable answer was given.

You can ask in the same place to have the question re-graded.

This section of the help may be of use: http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi71
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Author Comment

by:buchanb
ID: 19602779
Based on the last comment please regrade the solutions to A.  I did not know I was supposed to leave the question open when the answers were not helpful.  The other option would be to reopen the question and remove awarded points.  
When I am not appecting the solutions can I just close the issue so I do not have to look at it?  Particularly the open question that has been around a while.
Thank you
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:and235100
ID: 19602908
Ask a new question here (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/General/) for the question to be reopened, or question re-graded. Include a link to this question, and what you would like to be done.

There is no real point in asking a moderator to change the grade to an A, or indeed, getting the question re-opened for regrading by yourself, as the problem wasn't resolved. Unfortunately - if the hard disk was bad, then there is no real answer in this case.

Sorry that little useful help was given in this case. Sometimes computer hardware gives mixed messages - but 9/10 times, actually check a hard drive out - don't assume that because the bios recognises it, that the data is recoverable.

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