Hard Disk Issues

I am using an Acer aspire m5640. I have a secondary 1 TB Seagate SATA HDD which I am using to backup all my data (I have a primary 320 HDD with Windows VIsta Home Premium on it). About 2 weeks ago my Vista refused to start because my anti virus deleted something (at least I thought so) and then after doing alot of reformatting n sending it back to the service center, my Vista is up again, but once i plugged back my Seagate HDD into the secondary SATA slot, the same problem returns and Vista refuses to boot up. So turns out all along its my secnodary HDD that's giving me issues. When I did a surface scan on it, the scan said that the drive "Is not ready" and proceeded to scan a huge amount of errors on every sector of the HDD. Is there any program or way to fix this issue or even recover my data? I'd like very much not to format this drive because it contains alot of my movies, music, pictures etc. Thanks for any advice given!
spriliteAsked:
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dbruntonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>> The copying seems to be hanging halfway and I keep on having to restart my comp,

Take a note (pencil and paper) on which files or folders it is occurring.  Don't copy these on restart.  Copy around these.  These will be the areas of corruption on the hard disk.

Also if possible get a fan to blow on this hard disk.  Cooling may make it work better.
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GarthSnyderCommented:
Oh my, that doesn't sound good. :-(

First, no more writing to that drive, period. No more CHKDSK, etc. Nondestructive operations only.

SATA is hot-pluggable, so you can boot your main disk and then plug in the external drive to work on it. That should avoid the whole boot problem.

You will need some kind of recovery software. My personal favorite is R-Studio, but there are others and they're all somewhat effective. I think you can download a trial version of R-Studio that will tell you if it's going to be able to help you - you only pay if it's going to be useful.

Unfortunately, the symptoms the hard disk is producing are ominous. You may not be able to recover much data.

Good luck with your recovery.
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wpathanCommented:
Try downloading and scanning the disk using Seagate utlitlity from their website.
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dbruntonCommented:
How did your surface scan if Vista refuses to boot up?

Also note GarthSnyder's comments on "No more writing to that drive"  Your scandisk may have lost data.  Keep your fingers crossed.

And R-Studio is http://www.r-studio.com/

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Recovery software I recommend is GetDataBack at http://www.runtime.org/  Free to try.  If it sees the missing files you pay for full functionality.

Also look at PCInspector http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm and Recuva http://www.recuva.com/

Both are free.

I'd try GetDataBack.  If it sees your files then try the free ones.  If they work you save money.

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nobusCommented:
you can try to replace the logic board with one of the exact same model and firmware - or -
if the above does not help - and you need your data - try these guys :
http://www.gillware.com/                              data recovery Company
http://www.drivesavers.com/services/estimates.html                     "           "           "
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Well thanks for all the advice guys, I tried plugging in the drive while vista was running, and My Computer didn't detect anything, and also Vista proceeded to hang... I managed to do a surface scan because I had a CD which i'm booting from the start that manages to scan the disk. Man this sounds bad. Thanks for the advice anyway.
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dbruntonCommented:
Get a Linux Live CD.  I'd suggest Knoppix http://www.knoppix.org/

Boot from that with the Seagate connected.  See if Knoppix can see the drive.

If it won't boot like that then boot Knoppix without the Seagate connected and then connect it afterwards.

What you are looking for is to see if Knoppix can see the disk.  If it can then file recovery might be possible.
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mastooCommented:
Might be worth trying the drive on a different computer in case it isn't a problem with the drive.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
I tried burning Knoppix, but somehow it showed the title screen while booting up and then nothing happened, just a black screen (I did this w/o plugging in the Seagate first).

But anyway, after doing a windows update I somehow managed to read the drive. Seems like the drive has some issues with Windows Update (I think Vista crashed previously because of that). I managed to salvage some files, but then Windows decided to update itself and Windows Explorer hung and then the drive couldn't be read again. And now when i launch Vista w/o the drive, windows update keeps prompting me for updates for 2 files but I get 2 errors when I try to update (error 80073712 and 800B0100 )and the update never gets completed. I have a feeling once I get past this stage I may be able to access my Seagate drive again. Any other ideas? Thanks alot !
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dbruntonCommented:
At this stage I'd try mastoo's comment which I've put below.

Might be worth trying the drive on a different computer in case it isn't a problem with the drive.

The first error try - 80073712- this

http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-vista/fix-for-vista-sp1-install-error-80073712-through-windows-update/

and then see if it fixes the second error.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
I'm afraid I don;t have a 2nd desktop to try it with. Any other linux programs to recommend?

@dbrunton: I tried to delete the file pending.xml as mentioned in the link but it doesn't exist! Also the windows update file isn't there anymore. Thank you anyway!
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dbruntonCommented:
Let's try this one.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931712

No joy in finding another Linux to work on this.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
I tried that link, followed instructions, did scan, but the results said they were unable to repair some corrupted files and told me to check the log.. I couldn't access the log file (access denied)
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dbruntonCommented:
Ugghh!

I'll presume you had Administrator access doing this.  The errors are bad updates or some such error.  Lots of Google links but no definite fixes.

Can you do a surface scan of your 320 Gb drive?  Just check for disk corruption there.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Well, I've since gone through the process of trying to restore my Acer back to factory settings, and being the wonderful OS Vista is, its hanging at the screen where it says "Please wait while windows continues setting up your computer" for the last 40 minutes or so. Any idea on this?

Anyway w regards to the surface scans and all, actually I just got my desktop back from the service centre, and they told me there were no probs whatsoever w the hard disk.

I've gone from having a dead secondary HDD to having a non-usable desktop. The problems just keep on coming..
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dbruntonCommented:
Any idea on this?

No.                 wonderful OS Vista

Retry the whole procedure if necessary.  :-((

If you want to do the hard disk scan yourself then

Get the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.  Browse the page and see what utils are there for you.  Check the memory and hard disk utils especially.

Make the CD and boot from it.  Run the memory tester first - memtest -  and let it do two to three passes through your memory.  Memory could be the problem so get that test done first.

Then test the hard disk with the correct manufacturer's util for your hard disk.  Do the long test.  That will most likely tell you that your disk is corrupt.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Yep I've already gotten the ultimate boot CD previously already... well i guess I'll just reformat using the Acer recovery CD and see what I can do again.. Thanks anyway
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Ok seems like Vista is up and running again and Im now back to the same problem of trying to get the Seagate working again. I believe I've managed to track the problem to such that the Seagate contains some weird problem with the Windows update, which led to my computer having those errors i mentioned earlier (Windows error 80073712 and 800B0100). I think this is what led my Vista to crash in the first place. Is it because i may have backed up some error-strewn files into the drive? I still dare not connect the drive because I figure it most likely will prevent Vista from starting up again. Sorry for the trouble.. any advice is appreciated greatly.
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dbruntonCommented:
>> Is it because i may have backed up some error-strewn files into the drive?

Don't think so.  Googling the errors indicate that it's some kind of update problem.  Corrupt update downloads or something really strange with the update.

>> I still dare not connect the drive because I figure it most likely will prevent Vista from starting up again. Sorry for the trouble.. any advice is appreciated greatly.

It's going to have to be attempted again.  Make sure you have an anti-virus installed when you try the copying again.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Well I connected the drive (I did all the Windows updates prior to connecting and the 2 updates that caused the problem had been updated already) but still... Vista won't start.. I'm beginning to think its some kinda trial and error thing .. or luck.. sigh
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Also I'm trying to start Vista in Safe Mode w the drive connected.. but the Windows files start loading and it just hangs at Loaded: \Windows\Systerm32\drivers\crcdisk.sys

I presume something in my Seagate is causing this problem??
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
I managed to start the computer in Safe mode, and I connected the drive while in Safe mode. But once I connected the drive, Vista started moving really slow, and then the "Shut Down and Install Updates Mode immediately came on". Any ideas?

Also, any data recovery program that can be used to start from boot ?
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
*Update

I'm now using HDD Regenerator V1.51 to scan my disk for bad sectors (i managed to boot the program from disc) and it seems that the whole drive is full of bad sectors. At this moment its still scanning.. i presume it'll take a 100000 hours or something... but is this a sign that this drive can't be fixed or something? Will scanning it actually help ?

Thanks
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dbruntonCommented:
Which disk are you scanning?
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Scanning the Seagate ... but I decided to give it up. And now after taking out the Seagate, Vista starts with another BSOD with the error 0008X000 or something i can't remember. I'm now trying to d/l this linux prog called Slax (any idea on this?) that I can boot on a USB flash drive to see if it can detect my other drive.
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dbruntonCommented:
>> Slax?

Never tried it.

>> Vista starts with another BSOD with the error 0008X000 or something i can't remember.

Vista just doesn't like this disk at all.  Something there (sorry for repeating obvious) is screwing Vista.  Which shouldn't really be possible.

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Check your BIOS and see if there are options to switch the hard disk interface from AHCI (which is what I think it will be) to either legacy or IDE.

Retry the Knoppix CD and see if it can behave better if the interface can be changed.

Also try the UBCD disk again.  Under NTFS tools is the NTFS Reader.  It might be able to read the disk.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Ok it read the disk, and it managed to see the files. But what do I do with it?

Also.. how do I check my bios to switch the interface?

Thanks again.. you've been a massive help
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dbruntonCommented:
OK.  Which one read the disk?

If Slax and it can see both disks you should be able to copy data from one disk to the other.

You need to be able to get into your BIOS.  On startup there should be a key you can press to get there.  Check your manual.   Common keys are F1 and Del key after the computer has started.

Can't describe where you'd find where to change the interface as I can't find an Acer manual to download.
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nobusCommented:
after your backup is done, i would test the disk, to be sure about it's status ; download ubcd to test it :
 
   http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Just a crazy idea, anyone think I could format the disk, then use a data recovery prog to get back all the files?
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dbruntonCommented:
Consider it to be a crazy idea.

Formatting is going to write over some of the disk and you'll lose data.

The problem is that something on the disk is stuffing up Vista.  Is it the bad sectors?  Is it something auto starting and writing back to the Vista disk (I hope not and it shouldn't be occurring).  Is it Vista having problems with the disk and self-corrupting?

The original Knoppix CD wouldn't boot.  And that's used as a standard recovery system.  Slax seems to be seeing something but is it one or two disks and if one which disk?
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Openinng Slax, I manage to boot, but the Dos prompt just loads until this line ---[end trace 4eaa2a86a8e2da22]--- and then it hangs ...

Im just wondering if there's any error in the burning process for both Slax/Knoppix.

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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Ok I managed to get into Knoppix.. managed to change my boot OS from windows to "Others".

So what do I do now ? Any advice? My screen is now shouting "Input not supported" but the OS is loading fine. Should I Copy all my stuff over to my primary drive?
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Ok i put in the drive and i tried to read the drive.. but Knoppix gave me a "error org.freedesktop.Hal.device.volume.unknownfailure" message.

help..?
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nobusCommented:
your disk is bad - that's why i suggested testing it
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
yeah i tested it using ultimate boot CD already.. only a couple of programs worked.. and 1 said "Disk not ready" and the other one scanned like a bad sector for every sector it scanned.
On top of that I used this seagate hard disk recovery .. and testing also said failure...
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dbruntonCommented:
>> error org.freedesktop.Hal.device.volume.unknownfailure
>> seagate hard disk recovery .. and testing also said failure

That's pretty much confirming it.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
alright ... Im just wondering if it will revive for a while like the other time when i managed to copy half of my files over... any other suggestions on how to get back the data then?
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Ok i meddled around with knoppix again and now i've managed to copy my files over. But somehow the copying gets stuck on a particular file. Could that file be causing that problem?
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dbruntonCommented:
>> Could that file be causing that problem?

It's probably sitting in a damaged area of the disk.   Copy around that file (ignore it in other words).  Grab everything else that you can.  But take a note - pencil and paper of stuff that won't copy for later.

Stuff that won't copy leave alone.

Check the stuff that is copied and see if it's accurate.  Post back once that's done.  There's a couple of desperation one shot tricks left but grab all the data you can first before looking at those.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Ok i'm just worried that when I copy the files over, whatever file that may be causing the problem on my Seagate will cause the same problem to my WD Primary HDD.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
And just to add, when I've managed to copy most of the things over, how should I go about formatting the drive so that I can use it again ? Using Knoppix?
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dbruntonCommented:
You're using Knoppix.  It shouldn't.  It should be just copying and writing.

Vista on the other hand could be doing anything ...

You should also have another hard disk that you can copy or offload all these files to as well.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
The copying seems to be hanging halfway and I keep on having to restart my comp, unplug the device, then plug it back in and restart knoppix.
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dbruntonCommented:
>> And just to add, when I've managed to copy most of the things over, how should I go about formatting the drive so that I can use it again ? Using Knoppix?

Throw it.  It's got bad sectors.  Or use it as a paper weight.  Or if it's under warranty use the warranty.  The Seagate tester usually has a method of checking and informing you if it is under warranty and gives you a code you can use to claim on.
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
Ok I managed to copy my files over and stuff.. Restarting Vista gives me a BSOD (but that's ok).. I think I need another scan of the disk. However chkdisk doesn't seem to be working..
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spriliteAuthor Commented:
I can't thank you enough, the ratings are for all the advices that you've given me. Thanks so much again.
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dbruntonCommented:
You may need to do another reinstall of Vista.

Remind me NEVER to get Vista if I can help it.
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