What happened to my hard disk?

My server 2003 suddenly failed. I didn't install anything recently. When I reboot the server, I saw the blue screen, but it reboot itself right away, so I was not even able to note the code.
I reboot it again and went to safe mode, last good configuration. It still did the same thing.
I then run the scandsk /r from recover mode, but still no luck.
Can anyone tell me what's happening? and how can I resolve the problem?
okamonAsked:
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B HCommented:
do the f8 again and pick 'disable automatic restart' and post the error code here
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EmpoweredBizCommented:
I would reinstall server 2003 without doing a reformat it might just be a software fault or registry error
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okamonAuthor Commented:
I don't even have access to windows, how am I able to disable automatic restart'?
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B HCommented:
it's an option on the F8 menu, along with safe mode, last known good config....
it's one of the choices
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okamonAuthor Commented:
I don't see this option
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B HCommented:
well, without an error code it's kind of a shot in the dark - but you might be able to get things bootable by replacing the registry hives from the recovery console - that'll put it back to basically the first time you booted it up... or you can do a repair install, but the server isn't likely to be the same in either case.

at least you'll have access to the files though.

a last ditch efforts:  boot up without anything plugged in except power/keyboard/mouse/video
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okamonAuthor Commented:
By the way, i just run the seatool from seagate. It indicates that there were bad sectors in the disk. I assumed this should be the problem. But how come scandsk /r not able to recover things back?
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knightrdCommented:
It sounds like the more basic stuff has been tried. You can look at the section heading titled, "How to Repair Your Installation of Windows", of the following document:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325375

You may be able to repair it using the installation media. Did you have any kind of RAID setup for redundancy? If so now might be the time to take advantage of that. Do you have backups of any kind?

If you can't get anything else to work, you can create a bootable Linux DVD or thumbdrive, boot to that, mount the NTFS partition, and recover the data.
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EmpoweredBizCommented:
When you reinstall the operating system windows typically will find the bad sector mark it as bad and install some where else. either way it's time for a new hard drive but this will give you time to run a backup
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nobusCommented:
>>   But how come scandsk /r not able to recover things back  <<    the answer is : it depends.
chkdsk is NOT a disk DIAG, it checks thd isk's File Structure, and reports that.
when there are sectors  bad, in many cases they can be recovered - often not.
you need to run a diag, like the seagate tool to know it's status.

Note that up to 60% of the disks can be repaired with HDD reg (alredy 3 for me!) : http://www.dposoft.net/

depending on the actual cause, it will report the sectors as recovered or not.
if not - the disk surface is probably scratched, and UNrepairable - must be replaced !
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knightrdCommented:
My experience is that things like this are caused by Microsoft or other updates that don't go correctly. Mostly it's Microsoft. I've seen their patches crash systems second to nothing. Even malware and viruses are often easily solved compared to Microsoft patches.

I can usually fix the problem even it was a bad patch and some files were screwed up or if it was a bad sector like nobus suggested. The problem is that you have to determine what is going to be faster, fixing it or reloading it. Often the more sensible thing is just to reload and don't do a quick format of the NTFS.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
Thank you!

nobus:
chkdsk is NOT a disk DIAG, it checks thd isk's File Structure, and reports that.
when there are sectors  bad, in many cases they can be recovered - often not.
you need to run a diag, like the seagate tool to know it's status.

>>
1) I found there were bad sectors (55 bad sectors!!) with seatool and repaired them (relocating spare sectors). Then I run the chkdsk /r. I know it's no way for chkdsk /r to recover files from bad sectors, i just thought it would rebuild the windows file system files... So are you saying it's IMPOSSIBLE?? so what chkdsk /r can really do?

2) I know the HDD reg soft, but since this hard drive only contain windows and applications, no important data on the drive. I think the solution is not for my situation.

3) Lastly, now, it seems the bad sectors have been fixed. Can I continue to use this drive to run windows server? Or this drive has potential to go bad soon? how can I know?
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nobusCommented:
chkdsk indeed rebuilds the fat tables. - if it can.

i don't understand what you mean with 2)
3) i frecoverable - that is exactly what HDD reg will do.
read the site page !
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okamonAuthor Commented:
Thanx nobus! so you mean I didn't have the luck to have chkdsk to rebuild the winodws system for me!!

I know the HDD reg is to recover data from bad sectors. I was saying since the problematic drive doesn't contain any important data, only the server os and application, so I was saying HDD reg is not for me in this case. Do you get me now?

And for the last question, since seatool found 50 bad sectors in this hard disk. Although now it's repaired, do you think I should replace the hard disk? I am afraid the disk will go bad again soon.
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nobusCommented:
maybe i don't understand you.
hdd recovers sectors, not data.  it can be from OS, or data, or anything.
 Running it can restore the drive to operational status, ddepending on the cause.
if i'm in doubt on a disk, i run the disk diag on it; if it reports bad sectors, i run HDD or spinrite; and when that comes back with an ok status - if you like to check - i run the diag again !
the 3 disks HDD recovered are not coming back for about 2 years now, so i consider them healthy .
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okamonAuthor Commented:
Are you saying with HDD reg (when bad sector can be regenerated), I am able to recover my OS?so I won't see the blue screen again?
But are you sure this is a solid method instead of using seatool - marking the bad sectors as bad and taking from good spare sectors? I am just afraid it will go bad again soon.
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nobusCommented:
that is what i posted, no?
about BSOD - i did not post, but if the cause was the disk, yes it will be gone!
that you will be able to recover the OS depends on WHAT was bad, and what was repaired. I do not havve a crystal ball to predict  - i only know it repaired 3 disks for me !
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okamonAuthor Commented:
Hi guys, the problem came back on the same hard disk again. Last time, I got BSOD and was not able to read the error message. I just format the drive and re-installed windows. I also run the seatool to make sure there is no bad sectors. now, it happened again. I am able to read the message this time, it is unmountable_boot_volume. stop:0x000000ED. I tried to boot into safe mode, it also failed and reboot automatically.

I run the HDD reg as Nobus suggested, it found 46 bad sectors and fixed it. I was able to see windows startup this time, but a message pop up, the domain not exist something... then after click ok, it reboot automatically. I ran seatool and didn't find any bad sectors this time. i tried to use windows recovery console to perform chkdsk /r, but it seems it doesn't recognize my password... what should i do next? just throw the disk into garbage?
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nobusCommented:
i would run the hdd reg once again - to check if it still sees bad sectors or not.
i cannot say for sure that such a problem cannot come back, since i only used it on maybe 20 disks, but the repaired 3 never returned !
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okamonAuthor Commented:
Hi nobus, I run it again, no bad sector found, but i am still having the same problem.
"Isass.exe - system error"  the specified domain did not exist, after i hit ok, it reboot.
do you know how can I reset recovery console password? i tried to go F8, directory restore.... same error happened, cannot reset from there. Is there any other way I can try?
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okamonAuthor Commented:
I just found a tool "Offline NT Password & Registry Editor", it's able to reset password. BUT, I think my windows file system really corrupt, there was even no user in the list, even administrator. I think I need to reinstall. But I do think this hard disk is no good any more, the problem keep coming back
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nobusCommented:
well - it can be the disk is not good, but what is SURE is your OS is not ok.
you can either try to repair it, or do a fresh install.
if the disk diag throws no more errors, i would consider it ok
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