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PC wont see hard drive

Posted on 2011-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
My Dimension (with mirrored drives) will not see my HDD all of a sudden. Tried booting into Bart PE, but it does not see a HDD either.

The system has mirrored drives - so assuming one of the drives went bad (presumably the boot drive) - shouldn't I be able to replace the one bad drive, and rebuilt it with the RAID utility??? - this is obviously a bit of a catch 22, because i cant get the PC to boot, in order to GET to the RAID utility.

Is there any graceful way to recover from this?
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Question by:teks14
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Expert Comment

by:vks_vicky
ID: 35146737
Does your drive's motor spin? place your hand on the HDD and see if you can feel the spindle rotate.
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Author Comment

by:teks14
ID: 35146779
They appear to be spinning...the PC was working perfectly fine until yesterday when i got this Norton GOBACK error message (which unfortunately i did not write down, and it apparently was unable to recover from
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Expert Comment

by:vks_vicky
ID: 35146790
Try booting using an Ubuntu bootable CD / Norton Bootdisk and see if you can see them.

Also check your BIOS and see if it detects your HDD.
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Expert Comment

by:Greg Hejl
ID: 35146814
you are unable to get into the Bios of the PC?

if so, does the bios recognize the drives?

if not - you have a motherboard or power supply failure.

since you have mirrored drives remove one of them and install on another computer - you can access your files from there.
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Expert Comment

by:remixedcat
ID: 35147225
go to your BIOS and break the RAID I had to do this recently.
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Expert Comment

by:remixedcat
ID: 35147232
after doing this you'll need to reinstall your OS again.
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Author Comment

by:teks14
ID: 35147439
Yes, BIOS does see 2 drives and says that they are controlled by the RAID BIOS? - Not sure how to access the RAID BIOS though - but booting into a CD-Bootable environment like BART PE does not see the drives
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Expert Comment

by:vks_vicky
ID: 35147485
disconnect the one that is working and use Norton Boot disk and run the diagnostics and see if something comes up.
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Author Comment

by:teks14
ID: 35147556
Both drives appear to be spinning - it now paints the windows initialization screen, with the blue status bars painting, then a blue windows screen briefly appears with the following message:
Autochk program not found - skipping AUTOCHECK - then it blue screens with:
The Session manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc000003a (0x00000000 0x00000000) The system has been shut down
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by:vks_vicky
ID: 35147581
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Expert Comment

by:remixedcat
ID: 35147620
try installing windows on the GOOD drive that works. Then use scanning utitlities on the BAD drive and let us know how it goes.
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Author Comment

by:teks14
ID: 35147868
Tried removing both drives separately and connecting to another PC via a USB Adapter and the other PC DOES NOT see the drives - says Invalid USB device
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 35147882
Norton GoBack is your problem. It controls bootup process of the system and looks like screwed it up.
If you have important data you would like to recover from this configuration (or copy out before restore) use Boot CD from Gparted or Paragon Rescue Kit 10 Free.
Then reinstall Windows from scratch.
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Expert Comment

by:vks_vicky
ID: 35147896
The link I have posted describes the same problem and give you a possible solution, did u check it?
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Author Comment

by:teks14
ID: 35147993
Yes, I checked out the link, however it seems I'm screwed BEFORE i get the opportunity to press the SPACE BAR to try to disable GOBACK - Now i get sporadic undetectable boot device messages
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Accepted Solution

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vks_vicky earned 500 total points
ID: 35148068
Then if there is important data, connect to a system that boots and then copy the data and reinstall, that one of the best solutions.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 35148214
Do not use GoBack tool for serious system anymore. Better if you use Ghost, Paragon or Acronis for this purpose. It restores system to working state quicker than GoBack.
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Expert Comment

by:remixedcat
ID: 35148371
Goback was shaky the last time I used it. I recommend Ghost as well.
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Expert Comment

by:Greg Hejl
ID: 35152925
watch the bios on boot - the raid controller will tell you how to get in (usually crtl-I or some such)

you should be able to determine if the raid is still healthy. i hope you remembered which drive was in which slot.

sometimes the usb adapters don't work for reading internal drives - try connecting to the MB.

since you have already removed the drives i would try getting them to read in another computer to recover as much as you can.
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Author Closing Comment

by:teks14
ID: 35240402
Wasn't really anything i could do besides to a reload - everything else failed.
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