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Three hard drives ruined?

I have had three hard drives go u/s on me whist restoring from an image created by Windows 7.

The drives (Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - ST380215AS - 80Gb; Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B - HDT721016SLA380 - 160Gb; Western Digital Scorpio - WD1600BEVA - 160Gb. The last is a 2.5", the others 3.5". All three are SATA II.) worked fine. I have even restore from the image before with no trouble.

My problem is that now I can't even get passed the POST. It locks up as soon as it gets to the drive.

If I remove the drive the system starts normally (albeit without an OS). I have even reset and cleared the CMOS in a hop that that would do it.

I have installed my data drive on SATA port 1 and the problem drive on to one of the other SATA ports (my board has a total of 4) but the system locks up as soon as it gets to the problem drive.

I have tried different SATA cables and SATA ports, but still no joy.

My system is:

      Motherboard: ASRock ConRoe 133-DVI/H R2.0 with latest BIOS update
      Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core E2200 Socket 775 2.2GHz 800FSB
      RAM:OCZ 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 667MHz/PC2-5300
      Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 4550 512MB DDR3 VGA DVI HDMI HDCP PCI-E
      DVD Drive 1: LiteOn 20x DVD±RW Dual Layer & Ram + Lightscribe IDE
      DVD Drive 2: LiteOn 16x DVD Rom IDE

Anybody have any idea how I can sort this problem out or do I just buy new hard drives?

Thanks in advance.

M
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Martin Cotterill
Asked:
Martin Cotterill
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1 Solution
 
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Over what time period have the drives failed?
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DavidPresidentCommented:
So whatever "the drive" is, replace it.   Disks have 100% probability of eventual failure.  Looks like whatever disk (you never said which disk is the problem) has died.  maybe it took the physical SATA port on your controller out with it -- due to a short, for example.

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DavidPresidentCommented:
One thing you can do just to isolate errors, get an external USB enclosure (one that accepts SATA, not IDE drives), and see if the BIOS sees each disk.  If there is a short, then it will take out the USB enclosure, and limit risk .. unless you have more than one bad disk.

However, looking at what you have, and how old they are, then personally, I would just throw the lot away and buy a pair of 500GB disks and a new SATA controller with RAID1 capability.  
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
The easiest way to get your drives back working is to use KillDisk.  This will put the disks back to the position they were in when they were first removed from the box, providing there are no actual disk problems.

I've used this utility a number of times when I thought I'd killed a drive.
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
Oops, forgot the link :(.

http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm
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Martin CotterillDabblerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick replies all.

All three drives have gone in less than a month. I wanted to restore from my image. The first was the Hitachi as that was aleady installed. I replaced that with the 2.5" WD, tried to restore from the image and that crashed. At that point, I decided to cut my losses and install the older Seagate and install the OS afresh. That worked. It's gone belly-up since trying to restore from image.

I have put the drives into a USB enclosure but the OS doesn't see them. When I open the management console and look at the drive there, the broken drive appears and the OS says that the drive needs to be initialised, but doesn't when I choose to do so. I've even tried using a friends Paragon Hard Disk Manager, but that didn't help either.

The Hitachi and the Seagate are less than a year old, so replacing them shouldn't be an issue. My 2.5" may be about 18 months. I'm just mystified as the the reason as to why they've gone the way they have.

I've been racking my brains as to what they all have in common (other than me) and the only thing I can think is to do with the restore image.

I made a restore image and everything worked fine if, and, when I restored from that, but I then went and created another image on the same partition (on a seperate drive). When I restore from the one that Windows 7 recovery chooses (the latest) my "restored" drives no longer work.

M
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Killdisk will fix this?  No way. Killdisk runs variations of a secure erase.  for all intents and purposes it writes zeros to all writable blocks.  As a side-effect, any unreadable sector will be remapped from a spare, so as long as you have enough spare sectors to cover any unreadable sectors then you will end up with a disk that has no unwritable errors.  (At that instant).

Based on your symptoms that the disk is not usable due to the BIOS not seeing it, then this process would be a waste of time. If BIOS doesn't continue with disk plugged in, then how could killdisk possibly get around this?  It can't.   Save your time, killdisk won't do anything for you.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Dead SATA controller or dying chip?  Get yourself a PCI-e SATA controller.
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Martin CotterillDabblerAuthor Commented:
Could use KillDisk anyway, can't get past the BIOS.

SATA controller appears to be fine. Works perfectly when the "dead" drive is removed.

M
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Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
"All three drives have gone in less than a month."

I would bet money on you not have that many bad drives, and that you need to look at your motherboard as has been suggested.
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Martin CotterillDabblerAuthor Commented:
I was going to buy a new board later this year ready for a quad, so maybe I just have to bring that idea forward.

The use of the USB enclosure has given me an idea that I'm trying. Keep your fingers crossed.

M
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
Well dlethe, its worked for me before.  Only suggesting what's worked for me.
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Martin CotterillDabblerAuthor Commented:
Ah well. So much for that idea.
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Martin CotterillDabblerAuthor Commented:
OK! There's nothing wrong with the drives.

Using the USB enclosure idea and a Windows XP system I have managed to see, format, delete partitions, create partitions and format again.

I am performing a restore from image again on myy Windows 7 system and will keep you apparaised.

M
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Martin CotterillDabblerAuthor Commented:
Well experts all is sorted and working.

Thanks to all of you for your help.

I took dlethe's idea of using the USB enclosure. Luckily I have enclosures for both 3.5" and 2.5".

I put a drive into the enclosure and using Windows XP which is installed on another machine, I attached the USB drive to the system. I saw it immediately. From there, using the Disk Management in the Management Console, I was able to remove the partitions.

I then put the drive back into my Windows 7 machine and the BIOS saw it with no problem.

I then restored the image and everything is tickerty boo.

Once again, thanks to all of you for your help and guidance. Sometimes you just can't see the wood for the trees and all it takes is someone to point it out.

Regards to you all.
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Martin CotterillDabblerAuthor Commented:
The idea of using the USB enclosure pointed me in the right direction.

Although I initially tried it on the Win 7 system, when I tried the same idea on a Win XP box, the problem was solved.

Superb.
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