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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 9th October, 2006, 07:30 AM
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hello again! and HEEELLPP!!

hello there gentlemen (and ladies,

i havent been here in a looong time ive been super busy (the recording industry has taken me over. lol)

i have a major problem (or rather my dad does) and i cant figure it out for the life of me.

okay so..... computer is running fine, and has been for about 2 years. now the infamous "we're sorry an error has occurred" screen occurs and regardless what option i pick (safe mode, normal, etc..) it just hits the gray loading indicator then reboots, repeat, blah blah blah....

so.....recovery console......it doesnt tell me to login at all, just goes to c: propmt. wierd right? use the "dir" command, it cant access the drive...unreadable. ok really wierd. checkdisk.....gets to about 30% then tells me there is an unrecoverable error and stops. but i can reboot and it goes straight back to the error countdown page, loading, reboot, repeat, blah blah blah.... ok now im just pissed off.

so of course.....i pull the drive, slave it in my machine to my cd burner on the secondary ide bus (tried in single mode on secondary bus as well).
i crank the box up and its slower startup than usual. ok that bothers me but no biggie. go to my computer, try to look at the drive, no go. i try to look at the properties on the drive and it takes about 2 minutes to pull up the properties which are....ready?

0 bytes used, 0 bytes available, 0 bytes capacity, RAW format. looks like it isnt partitioned.....WTF!?

go to disk manager, takes like a minute to pull that up. says the drive is active, but no partition. ok....whatever....drive is gone, right? nope....i set the drive as primary master in my machine and reboot it. no other drive hooked up in the system. boot it up, goes to the error/mode select screen like usual, but THIS time i select normal and then it progresses to the regular loading screen (windows logo, etc.)

.......****.....

now obviously it just reboots after the loading screen because the hardware doesnt match at all (but why would it go to the loading screen?)

so basicly, im guessing theres a virus on the drive masking it so i cant get to the contents of it. the point of this whole spiel is so i CAN get to the contents. i MUST get to the contents. lol. bank transactions, personal records......you name it. he has to have this stuff. i mean obviously if a format is what it takes, thats what it takes, but if theres a fighting chance in hell i can at least access the drive (booting and functioning isnt an issue im talking just pure file access), someone PLEASE help.

i appreciate any and all help in advance guys. heres the system specs:

P4 2.8 Ghz
1Gb DDR
40 GB Western Digital Primary OS (drive in question)
20 GB Maxtor Storage
Asus MoBo
Gigabyte Radeon 7000 VGA
Creative Audigy 4
56k noname modem (backup)
DSL broadband


oh yeah and a couple other slightly notable things, however i dont think they caused the crash:
1) the audigy was installed about 2 weeks ago (crash happened yesterday)
2) for about the past week, pops has been turning the computer off before he goes to work everyday. its been on practicly nonstop since i built it for him.

okay.....have fun. lol
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Old 9th October, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Ouch. That sucks.

Personally I have to say I think the drive may be on the way out, I don't think a virus could give you all the symptons you describe. So, to rule out a virus, can you do a scan of the drive from your PC with some AV software or something?

The only other thing is - has your father been turning it off properly, or, as some people tend to do, by the power swith on the PSU/wall socket? That might corrupt the hard drive, explaining your issues.

Also, depending on how valueable the data is to you there are some data retrieval companies around that can get the data back from dead hard drives etc etc, it only costs a pretty penny. Might be worth considering.

Hope this all gets sorted for you!
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Old 9th October, 2006, 08:05 AM
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hey man thanks for the quick reply.

to answer your question, yes hes been shutting it down properly.

the drive doesnt sound funny at all, nothing else physically wrong with it that i can tell.

another funny thing.....if i go into the partition utility and look at the drive there, it shows one partition (active, RAW, unformatted) but its blank. 37560 out of 37560MB available (i dont know the actual numbers but you get the idea). thats just strange.

it doesnt seem that the drive is faulty at all and no other performance changes whatsoever prior to the crash.

if the drive is dying that sucks, but i guess thats just the way of the world. any other ideas at all?

thanks again for help bro.
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Old 9th October, 2006, 08:16 AM
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ok, new info....

on thursday, he turned the machine on and it was acting funny. the description:

first boot, desktop, icons, mouse, but no taskbar. he tried to look at the desktop properties and it froze. prior to that it was acting really sluggish.

reset, then he just gets a desktop background, no icons, no mouse cursor, and thats it.

and after those instances we are where we are now.


sincerely,
continually stumped

rofl...
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Old 9th October, 2006, 08:56 AM
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Acting really slugging together with the other symptoms you've put forward seriously suggest that the drive is enountering bad sectors and returning errors when the computer is requesting data. I'd say that the disk is on it's way out.

The "RAW" partition means that the OS recognises that there's a partition on the disk, but is unable to work out if there's a valid file system there. My recommendation would be to look at some data recovery software that can scan the disk to recover files that are still recoverable.
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Old 9th October, 2006, 09:07 AM
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sigh...........

oh well. i guess thats just the way these things go. would it be worth even trying to reinstall windows on the drive or just can it?

aeden, any recommendations of such recovery software?


thanks for the input fellas.
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Old 9th October, 2006, 09:14 AM
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I haven't tried it yet but I want too. It's $89 and I hear it works VERY well!!!

http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

GOOD LUCK!!!
Let me know how it works, I'll probably end up getting it.
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Old 9th October, 2006, 11:29 AM
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How much would you trust a drive that has suffered a failure to continue working correctly in the future?

I've never used GRC's "SpinRite", although I have a pretty poor opinion of the program's author. I'm not really in a position to recommend any particular tool, as I've not had the opportunity to test many of them out.
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Old 9th October, 2006, 12:20 PM
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I have used file scavenger with great sucess. Actually recovered data from a formatted drive. I am not sure of the link. I think it was about 50 bucks...

Good luck...
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Old 9th October, 2006, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie
I haven't tried it yet but I want too. It's $89 and I hear it works VERY well!!!

http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

GOOD LUCK!!!
Let me know how it works, I'll probably end up getting it.
Agreed
if the drive is ok your best hope is to recover whatever has corrupted it.
Spinrite is very good as is HDD Regenerator.

I used HDD regenerator a few months ago to recover a drive that was corrupted after putting the drive in a machine that couldnt support the size of the drive.
The hard disk couldnt be scandisked as it always failed with an error like that you had.
HDD regenerator found a ton of bad sectors at the start of the drive (corrupted sectors in this case) and recovered them all.
The drive is now working perfectly again
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Old 15th October, 2006, 06:03 PM
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This is all I ever use.

http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/
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Old 15th October, 2006, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radcon56
T'ain't cheap, but sometimes data is too precious to lose. AFAIK, you can send a bad HDD to be recovered to Florida for ~$700. Don't know how good the outfit in Florida is.
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