Dell Inspiron 6000 HDD Hard Error

When I boot up this machine I get this HDD Hard Error, enter F1 or F2.  THere are no noises coming from the machine, so not sure what to do.  Do not have original software for this machine.
ssultAsked:
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ocanada_techguyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Couled be the disk is failing.  That being the case, you may want to try rescuing the contents of the drive if that's possible.

Of course you yourself point-out they do not have the original software CDs to reinstall the software, so perhaps they have their user data backed up but not the software.

Since it's a genuine Dell, you can probably find restore CDs on the internet, which are designed to reinstall only on a Dell but not on any other brand of system, or you can probably order the factory reinstall CD/DVD set from Dell.

If the drive is not even recognized, then you "could" try swapping the logic board on the drive with an identical one (involves finding one on eBay or such, and ensuring the disk model AND firmware version are the same) OR you can send the drive to a data recovery lab.  Those are the places they open up the drive in a clean room, the guys in the space bunny suits, transfer the platters to a special piece of equipment, program in the drive's geometry, and copy off the data to some other drive or discs.

Ontrack is a large company with several locations.  Gillware gets excellent reviews here are can be more affordable.  Beware the truly cheap places as they likely misrepresent their service and just crack open drives on a bench in a garage over at Joe's house.

If you have user data backups, you might just start over again fresh with a new HD, install using a copy of Dell OEM windows, the hologram certificate of authenticity should still be attached to the Dell box.

If the drive has excessive bad blocks, then I would use SpinRite 6 to do a repair scan of the drive.  Do NOT use chkdsk with the /R option, that does a lowsy job of recovering anything off bad blocks (for more information, search other similar posts on the subject http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Network_Management/Disaster_Recovery/Q_26207332.html )

When you try attaching the disk as an auxillary disk to a working system, two things: a) I'd try attaching it directly as a secondary slave or suchlike, rather than using a USB enlosure, because i) it'll be way faster transfers and when a disk is failing speed can be of paramount importance and ii) via USB all disk commands are mapped to the old SCSI command set, but attached directly via IDE or SATA (or event external eSATA for that matter) not only are you not pushing a bowling ball through a straw but it's also actually possible for low-level diagnostic repairs to be controlled, so then a program like SpinRite can do it's job.

After "fixing" the drive with SpinRite (or HDDRegenerator) several times, what I have found is that using clonezilla, (or using Norton GhOst with the ignore errors option set) you may be able to make a copy of the disk to another disk, with only a few errors or corruption left.

 http://clonezilla.org/

THEN, on the new disk, ALL the OS, programs and user-data are more-or-less intact, and since that new disk is not on the verge of failing, you can then do a repair-reinstall of windows on the existing windows if it's necessary to fix any corrupt parts of windows for it to work properly.

The copy-protection licencing is unlikely to consider this piracy, since it will see only the HD is changed and all the other system conponents are the same, BUT, if it does, you can usually contact Microsoft or the software company to get assistance with it due to swapping out a drive.
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wolfcamelCommented:
possibly not seeing the drive as it boots, so the disk may be dead.
try turning on and off a few times, failing that you may have to resort to more painful/expensive measures
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wolfcamelCommented:
sometimes the system starts up before the disk is ready, so doing a reboot/reset can help
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Good way to check and see if the hard drive is dead go into the BIOS and see if it is detected. If your hard drive is not detected check the cables and also switch out the cables for "known" good cables and look in the BIOS again.

Also, sometimes it will report in the BIOS but will not be visible When loading windows. This is also another good test to see if the hard drive has failed.

It could possibly be just a corrupt boot file or windows file why it is not loading into windows. In this case a reinstall is needed.

Hope this helps~!
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ssultAuthor Commented:
Ok, I have tried to restart this machine numerous times, same error.
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PriceDConnect With a Mentor Commented:
when you go to the BIOS does it show the Hard Drive?

Also, you say you hear a noise.  Is the noise like a clicking sound?  Another thing you can try is remove the harddrive and see if you still hear the noise.

If you don't have the orginal CD's, and you have the serial number that should be on the bottom of the laptop; you just need to get an OEM CD for that OS.  I don't think you can get replacement disk from MS for XP anymore, and it is most likely out of warrenty as that is an old model.  So, if you know of some who has an OEM Disk of the the product key that should be on the Dell laptop; you should be able to reinstall Windows.  Now with that said, if you are getting the HD error and the noise is the hard drive, the drive is  most likely dead.  You can get a hard drive for around the $100 mark.  Becareful, as if this is the model I think it is, the hard drive you will need is the older PATA or IDE drives.
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kenyclCommented:
follow Spec01 step and see what you see in the bois mode.

sometime you have to press esc or f1 to see the bios menu option. watch every steps of the boot up screen and look for the option.
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wolfcamelConnect With a Mentor Commented:
doesnt sound good, you may be able to take the drive out and put it in another computer as a second drive, or externally in a USB cradle to see if you can access it/recover data.
There are a number of repair and recovery tools, but you really need to bios to see the drive and for it to spin up before you can go down that path.

You basically have two possiblities..your HDD is dead, or the computer/motherboard has a fault.
if it is the second then you may be able to get your data in another computer. if it is the first then you may be out of luck or need to spend money for recovery.
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ssultAuthor Commented:
I will check with the owner again of this computer (friend) and see if they are able to locate the original disks.  I appreciate all of the help this evening.  I will be back in touch with you in the morning.
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nobusCommented:
you can test the disk with the dell diags - i believe with F11 ?
if it shows bad, it has to be replaced in most cases
if you need the data - there are possibilities
you can also test with the proper diag from ubcd : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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nobusCommented:
what was the outcome ?
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ssultAuthor Commented:
HDD dead
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nobusCommented:
tx for the feedback !
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