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Serious HD booting problem

IBM Lenovo T400 laptop with Windows 7

I get a blue screen and "Unmountable_Boot_Volume" error message.   Also get ERROR 2100  Hard disk initialization error (3).

I don't mind getting a new HD and reloading Windows, etc.  My main issue is getting my data.  

I removed the HD and tried to read it via usb device.   Computer recognizes it when I plug it in, but nothing appears in "My Computer".    Went to Control Panel/System/Devices.... and under hard drives, it DOES have the drive there.    So my first question is how to "get inside" the drive so as to transfer data.
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RaiderNationDelegate
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RaiderNationDelegate
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18 Solutions
 
chubby_informerCommented:
u are pretty much screwed....seems the hdd is dead.

u can try a few techniques...

get software called spinwrite...run it and see what happens

there are companies out there that would recover data for you; but charge by the amount of data that is being recovered.


believe it or not...wrap the hdd paper towel...then place in a ziplock bag...and put in freezer for 48hrs....and try connecting it back via usb...this worked for a me
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
I went to Spinriite's site and it looks promising.  But it costs $89.  Perhaps there's a computer tech out there who has it?
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btetlow-expertCommented:
You mention that you connected it via USB to another system, and from what you're saying it didn't complain about adding it, but didn't show up in your "my computer" list.

It may be a case of it added it, but didn't assign a drive letter --- if you...

RIGHT CLICK ON COMPUTER, then look for DISK MANAGEMENT and select it ---

Do you see the drive listed there?   If so -- is there a drive letter next to it?

If not --- you may be able to assign the next letter available and be fine.  

If you RIGHT CLICK on the "DISK #" you will get options to assign/change/delete drive letters assigned to this physical disk.

If you see the drive in the list, and it's missing a letter, AND when you go to assign it one, and there's an error --- then there's nothing else you'll be able to do within Windows to get to the data.  

You could try the USB device on another system, as I have seen this occur -- one system won't work with it, but another does....    Generally speaking though, if you see it in the list and you can't get it to have an assigned drive letter, either automatically, or manually, then you're drive is unfortunately not recoverable using any usual methods.
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xmlmagicianCommented:
i think this is as good as the one suggested above but it is for free:-)

http://www.roadkil.net/program.php?ProgramID=29
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PaulNSWCommented:
You could give Recuva a go (free)

Or alternatively try
Zero Asumption Recovery
http://www.z-a-recovery.com/

It costs, but you can get your money back if it doesn't work
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m3mph1s1Commented:
I have had success Acronois before.  One way to know if this will work is to remove the drive from the workstation and slave it to another system and see if you are able to browse/access the file sysem
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
I've gotten this message.  

HD did not show up when I went to disk mgt. on one computer.  I have a server.  How do you get to disk mgt on it?

Will these programs work if I'm trying to slave the HD to a system?
screenshot1.bmp
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
What I mean is, will a program like roadkil improve my chances of recognizing teh hard drive.
How much do data recovery places charge?
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btetlow-expertCommented:
If it doesn't show up on disk manager of one system, I doubt going to server will gain anything, but getting to disk manager on server depends on what server is...

Actually, until Windows 2008, the steps are the same.... Then with Win 7 and newer, they use the same steps to get to the manager...

Pre 2008 = right click on computer, go to manager, go to disk manager....

Post 2003 = (well --- you know... dig deeper to get to the same things!)  You already did this via Win 7 I believe.




As to service costs --- you're forced to get them to quote you.

ONTRACK is a great one --- they apparently have been taken over by another company (KROLL)   You can still get there using ontrack.com    

There's a few others.... In ALL cases --- they recommend that you DO NOT do anything AT ALL to the drive.... If it's life n death to get this data, the more attempts you do, the more you can potentially stand to lose what's there....

My past experiences have been VERY positive with Ontrack -- they charge by the size of the data they're going to recover....as well as what you tell them you're mostly interested in...

If considering that route, I recommend visiting their site (as well as others) and get some quotes --- that part is always free... :)    

Good luck
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Ok.... now it's getting a bit complex.    I cooled the drive down a bit per chubby's advice.   It showed up under "My Computer" as  "System".   I tried to right click and got ah hour glass.... so computer doesn't like me trying to open it.

Called data recovery places.... It may be a mechanical failure in which case teh drive4 has to be opened,. etc.  But it could also be a logical issue.   I'll try rec. software,  but does anyone have any further wisdom at this point?
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xmlmagicianCommented:
Please try my suggestion if you can see it in your system
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
I downloaded Roadkill.   I can't get it to recognize the drive
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chubby_informerCommented:
you are screwed! pretty much!
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Ok... my desktop computer recognizes the hd (I think the freezer idea worked).   I followed btelow's rec, but I get that infinite loop with the hour glass.  Should I just let it go until something happens (or until the computer gives me an "I give up" message)?    Can I use Roadkil if the HD does not have an alphabetical name?

See screenshot.... It's teh bottom "system" drive.   I feel some hope....
Screen-shot-2.bmp
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
It keeps getting locked into the hourglass infinite loop.   What does this mean?  At least teh drive is being recognized, right?    But the disk manager won't let me change teh name of the HD (goes into the infinite loop hourglass....)
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xmlmagicianCommented:
The fact that you can see the hd in the system is good, can you hear any other funny noises coming from the hd?

Could I suggest a different approach? Can you try to use clonezila live and copy the whole broken HD? It does metal to metal copies of hd, and then try to recover the data from the copied locations, preferably a different drive to the one you have your OS
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nobusCommented:
if you want to copy the data of the drive, here some steps
1-for any software to work, the drive must be seen in the bios correct
2-never boot from it, attach it as a 2nd drive - PREFEREABLY NOT over USB, since that adds a possible errer layer (usb bridge)  - but directly to the sata, or ide cable of a desktop (or laptop)
3 - test different  softwares for recovery - they use different techniques, here some links :
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm      pc Inspector -FREE -
      http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/standard            FREE  -  Recuva
      http://www.stellarinfo.com/                              Stellar
http://www.runtime.org/                              GetDataBack
http://www.ontrack.com/                              Ontrack

4-if unsuccessful, here some links to recovery services - expect fees from 300$ and upward
http://freedatarecovery.us/                              Free Data Recovery
http://www.lowcostrecovery.com/index.html                        data recovery Company
http://www.gillware.com/                                 "           "                   "
http://www.drivesavers.com/services/estimates.html                     "           "                   "

note***i did not try them all, but Gillware seems to have a good price /  quality nameon EE

further info : here is how i handle bad drives :  
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
xmlmagician-
The drive has made some noise right after I pull it out of the freezer and plug it in, but after maybe 30 seconds, the noise disappears.

Like I said above, the computer at least shows the existence of the drive and even knows its size and how much space I'm using.  But HERE is the question: Can any recovery program work when I still can't get out of that infinite loop?  My concern is that Clonezila (or any program) requires the user to click on the drive to copy... but at this point, I can't do that... frustrating
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
I took the drive out of the freezer after another 8 hours.  For the first time, the drive showed up in "My Computer" and even got a letter: /F:.    However, when I tried to copy it via Roadkil, we went into the infinite loop yet again.

Nobus, thank you very much!  I'll look into all of those.
Screen-shot-3.bmp
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Nobus-
Thank you... My only problem is that I don't think I'm smart enough follow all of your instructions.   I have ult boot cd, but I have no idea how to use it.    I have one of those powered usb adapters for SATA, which is what my drive is....  Am I ok with this, or is there a "more direct" connection that will bypass USB?   As for the BIOS, how do I check this?  Do I hit f8 or f11 and go from there, or will various utilities such as UBCD allow me to do this?
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noxchoCommented:
The original message you got - Unmountable bla bla bla.. means that NTFS file system driver got screwed up on this system. When you get the drive detected can you simply right click on it - Properties - Tools - check and try to check the drive with CHKDSK? Will it loop up again?
If yes then the drive has either heads blocked or the plates corrupted.
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Noxcho-
Thank you.   WHen I right click, it loops.   I'll let it freeze more and try again.

Nobus-  UBCD runs on my laptop even with the hd removed.   Should a put the hd back in and check it off UBCD?   I guess at this point, I feel there are dozens of option, but I don't know where to go or what to choose.
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xmlmagicianCommented:
@OP and noxcho

to be honest if i get the drive to work for a bit i would prefer to make a metal to another drive with clonezila

please look here: http://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live.php
and follow the steps it is on firmware level so that might buy you some more time
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
what does your bios say about the smart status of the drive.. I do think that your drive is toast.. Unless you have backups the data is gone. If the data is worth >$500 to you then sending it off to a drive recovery place is your only option.. the more you play with the drive the less chance of them recovering anything.

Drives have a finite lifetime.. it may still be under warranty.. this way you can get a replacement drive for the price of shipping one way.
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Noxcho-  You were saying that my heads might be blocked or the plates are corrupted.  Will Spinrite or any of the other utilities help, or is this a situation where I'll just havfe to bite the bullet and have recovery service take the drive apart in a clean room?
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Ve3ofa-   I don't know how to find the smart status of the drive via bios.  
Clonezila site warns me against downloading it because of a potential virus.
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noxchoCommented:
If the problem is mechanical (like blocked heads or corrupt then none of the software tools will fix it.
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noxchoCommented:
You can find HDD surface test tool made by this drive vendor on their website. It will test the SMART and health status itself. What is the model of the drive?
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
IT's a Seagate Momentus 5400.6   250gb drive.
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xmlmagicianCommented:
Clonezila site is not a Virus :-)
ignore the antivirus
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noxchoCommented:
Download and install this under Windows XP.
http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/support-content/downloads/seatools/_shared/downloads/SeaToolsforWindowsSetup-1206.exe
With drive connected try to run first short test and then long tests.
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
xmlmagician-
I followed your link.   When on the site, I am given many, many options/variations of Clonezila that I can download.  Exactly which one do I download?    I'm going to go off of a zip drive.
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nobusCommented:
>>    I have ult boot cd, but I have no idea how to use it.      <<  you made the cd?
then just boot from it and navigate to the SEAGATE diag you want to run - if you need more directions, ask here, or look on the UBCD site - there are lots of screenshots

if your drive is seen in the bios -  best try to make an image of it - then you can work on the image (you can always restore it to another drive
i use the free B&R Paragon software : http://www.paragon-software.com/home/db-express/
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xmlmagicianCommented:
@nobus i love paragon programs, does it do it to a firmware level so they wont have to boot up windows?
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nobusCommented:
i don't understand what you are asking
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noxchoCommented:
@nobus i love paragon programs, does it do it to a firmware level so they wont have to boot up windows?
I assume you are asking if Paragon can take backup while booting from CD - the answer is yes. This functionality is also supported as far as I know.

@nobus, you can get latest and full version as a EE member from them absolutely free.
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nobusCommented:
i have all their software, noxcho, and use it frequently - but thanks anyway
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CallandorCommented:
Do not pay attention to postings that recommend freezing a hard drive - it was proven to actually damage your hard drive by a data recovery company (there's no way to avoid condensation on the platters when you take it out, and when a head smacks into water at 5400 rpm, it doesn't respond well).

There's no scientific reason that freezing a drive will help, other than a stuck head or bearings might shrink enough to allow clearance, and that's a specific case that only worked on old low capacity drives.  All you have are anecdotal evidence, with no controls over what might actually be the cause.

http://voices.yahoo.com/why-freezing-hard-drive-bad-idea-569427.html?cat=15
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
To Nacxcho, Nobus, XMLmagicial-  Thank you very much for all of your input so far....    I have some low level questions....
1)   Nobus, you said  "never boot from it, attach it as a 2nd drive - PREFEREABLY NOT over USB, since that adds a possible errer layer (usb bridge)  - but directly to the sata, or ide cable of a desktop (or laptop)"      ****    My drive is a laptop SATA.    Do I have to open up my server and connect the drive to a sata slot?  For reasons I won't get into right now, this would be next to impossible on my system.

2) How can I determine whether my drive is seen in the bios?   And which computer do I use?  I can boot from my laptop using UBCD or I can go from my server.    Because the drive has been recognized in "my computer" and disk manager, can I assume it would be read in the bios?

3) XMLmagician, here are three screenshots for clonezilla.  I have absolutely no idea what to do... none.   There are many options and each option in turn requires a degree of knowledge.   I've never heard of formatting a part of my thumbdrive, for example, to FAT8 or FAT16.
clonezila-screenshots.docx
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Michael-BestCommented:
"The drive has made some noise right after I pull it out of the freezer and plug it in, but after maybe 30 seconds, the noise disappears"

Never freeze a drive.... this has ruined it.

See my comments in your other question:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Q_27849781.html#a38355858
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nobusCommented:
>>   My drive is a laptop SATA.    Do I have to open up my server and connect the drive to a sata slot?  <<  ANY desktop with sata slots - or a laptop with 2 drive bays(like many HP) will do

>>  How can I determine whether my drive is seen in the bios?   <<  you open the bios and look; in most cases, it is in the first screen ;
To access the BIOS on the Lenovo Thinkpad T400 series of laptop you need to press the blue ThinkVantage key as you turn your computer on. This willshow  an option to access a setup utility which will provide you full access to the Lenovo T400 BIOS.

>>   Because the drive has been recognized in "my computer" and disk manager, can I assume it would be read in the bios?   <<  if the drive is seen correct there, YES, it looks like its seen corrrectly
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
I took the drive to a tech.  He ran Linux.  HD was recognized, but it was not possible to get inside it.

He thinks it may be a controller card.   I can get an identical used drive on Ebay for $45.   Do you think this is worth a try?

I'm going to open another question on how to slave the bad HD to a laptop so that more points are generated.
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noxchoCommented:
If that tech is capable of exchanging the boards and he has done that before then yes. Otherwise the recovery services will do the sama and you will pay for the drive and the work.
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nobusCommented:
i doubt that it will work; it worked on older models, but newer store their bad  sectors, and layouts on the control board - so you loose that if you swap it.
You are free to try of course, but be sure you have the same model, and FIRMWARE level
good luck

if you need recovery services, you can ask these guys for their fee :
 http://www.lowcostrecovery.com/index.html                        data recovery Company
http://www.gillware.com/                                 "           "                   "
http://www.drivesavers.com/services/estimates.html                     "           "                   "
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Michael-BestCommented:
You probably had a good chance of recovery before you took the bad advice to freeze the drive...
If the data is worth spending $$$ then go to a pro. data recovery service before you reduce your chances further.
Remember,  more attempts can only weaken the drive & reduce the chance of recovery.

Long ago I 100% recovered a drive that clunked & scraped thus the recovery pro. shop had given up on...it took me 5 days & I admit it was more pot luck with the right combination of software / room temperature / humidity,  than my knowledge at that time.
I still have the drive & it now refuses to be recovered a second time with the latest techniques.
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xmlmagicianCommented:
Is the data so important to you? If so find a reputable company and do it, if not cut your losses by a hard drive and mozy pro and move on
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
I found a place in CA that seems to have very reasonable prices....  I hope I haven't ruined the drive.  But like i say, the ONLY time it is recognized is when it is very cold.   At any rate, if I can still get the "My Computer"  and/or Disk Manager to recognize it (and even shows the partitions) then can I assume there's still hope?
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xmlmagicianCommented:
Depending on how much moisture it is in it. The sooner you go the better
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Michael-BestCommented:
"At any rate, if I can still get the "My Computer"  and/or Disk Manager to recognize it (and even shows the partitions) then can I assume there's still hope? "

Yes, but if the head(s) have been damaged then there is little hope in reading the platter(s) which hold the data.

Different techniques work for each case so if your not sure then I would go pro. as they can better judge what may or may not work....the more stress you put the drive under the less likely you will have good results.

Some platters can be read in an identical drive, so this may be a last resort if you find a service that offers this.

Too many variables to offer advice without pysical possession of the drive...rather than try / fail /destroy it... get a good hard drive recovery pro. A.S.A.P.
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xmlmagicianCommented:
Depending on how much you want to spend, they can even take the individual platters out etc, I have seen drivers been recovered 90% with axes been but through them but the cost was up to £20k.

Best of luck
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
I'll send the drive out on Monday.   If I've ruined it, at least I've learned a few things.  Data isn't life or death... but it's important.
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xmlmagicianCommented:
In that case the only thing you can do now is enjoy your weekend:-)
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CallandorCommented:
Changing the PCB board is another common mistake - it used to work for old drives, but today's high capacity drives have specific information about the drive stored on the PCB.  Changing the PCB means the information on the drive that describes the layout will be wrong.  You've already made a mistake freezing the drive - don't compound it with another.  If you got water spots on the platters, things have gotten worse.
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for the great advice.   I hope I've distributed the points equitably.
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