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Author Topic: Possible hard drive failure  (Read 1872 times)

Offline nickt

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Possible hard drive failure
« on: June 12, 2012, 06:20:26 PM »
My computer started to slow down to such an extent that it was taking an age for programs to open. After fiddling and farting around, the cuprit appeared to be the wireless adaptoer card I installed about two months ago. I took it out, booted the computer up and iit zoomed along. I then uninstalled the software, drivers etc for the card and did a fresh install of the card. Same problem but even worse. Shut the computer down and took the card out, re-booted but it would only go so far and then re-boot. I've tried in safe mode, safe mode with prompt etc but no joy.
I fitted another hard drive as a master and made the problem hard drive a slave. Once booted up I checked the faulty hard drive thinking I might be able to see what the problem is and may be correct it by uninstalling various things. However there doesn't seem to be anything on it!. The file format for the drive says RAW (ironically) as opposed to NTFS. It also wants me to format it. Sorry to go on.
Any solutions?
Nick



Offline spinner

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 06:39:51 PM »
Sounds like messing around with the wireless card and drivers has wiped your boot sector files, the ones that identify the structure of the drive.

To paraphrase the Hitchikers Guide "don't panic". ;)

You have several options, you can grab the utilities disc or floppy from the HD manufacturer  and test the drive in DOS. You will probably need to get something like UBCD (universal boot cd) with repair software to repair the MBR (master boot record). If you are comfortable with playing with different OS, you could get a copy of a Live CD with Ubuntu or a variation and boot it up. Look for a program called Disk Utility and use it to test the drive to make sure it isn't really fragged. Or if you can access a Mac and plug your drive into it via USB it too has a disk utility than can check your drive.

If you go the DOS route, there is a command to fix the MBR but not sure if it works on an NTFS sector drive.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 06:43:03 PM by spinner »
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Offline nickt

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 06:49:18 PM »
I tried booting off the Windows cd to see if it would carry out any repairs as I've done this before, but it just wanted to format the drive and install itself.
Nick

Offline spinner

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 06:56:08 PM »
Sorry UBCD stands for Ultimate Boot CD. It's downloadable from this site

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

If you go there it will tell you all the software it has on the disc, read up about the various MBR tools. Frankly in all the years I've been using or fixing computers I have NEVER seen Windows auto repair fix anything.
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Offline nickt

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 07:00:21 PM »
Thanks Spinner, I'll give that a go with the UBCD and see how I get on. I assume I can download it to the desktop and then burn it to cd?
Nick

Offline spinner

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 07:03:02 PM »
I was looking at the page again, there's a program on the disc called GParted, If (big if) I remember correctly I've used it to repair the MBR and it's brought the disk back.
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Offline spinner

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 07:04:27 PM »
Thanks Spinner, I'll give that a go with the UBCD and see how I get on. I assume I can download it to the desktop and then burn it to cd?
Nick

Yes, it'll give you an .iso file. I see too that they now have a way to do a bootable USB stick.  :)
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Offline donoreo

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 07:22:55 PM »
I tried booting off the Windows cd to see if it would carry out any repairs as I've done this before, but it just wanted to format the drive and install itself.
Nick
You want to run fixboot (in the old days it was fdisk /mbr).  This will repair the Master Boot Record (mbr) without touching the rest of the drive.  The UBCD also has utilities to do this. 

Offline Mick

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 07:53:07 PM »
There's also some free tools here you might find handy.  http://www.paragon-software.com/free/
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Offline Beryl

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 09:38:54 PM »
Also if you have loaded in Nero multimedia suet 10 or higher  it can bring your comput or to almost stand still. I had to remove it and put in an earlier version and take out Nero scout that slows the computer down considerably as well.
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Offline nickt

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Re: Possible hard drive failure
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2012, 04:13:22 PM »
Just to update on this matter. I installed windows 7 on one of the hard drives and everythings fine. However I would like to keep my main hard drive with Win XP on it (as it's got my photo software on it) and the other drive with Win 7 and boot seperatly from them as and when I want (I would do this via the BIOS). Would there be any problems? Basically I want to treat the drives as though they were two seperate computers. I'd use one drive for internet use and the other purely for photo editing. I have external hard drives where the phots are stored, so I'd obviously be able to access them from either drive.
I did this a few years ago with Win 98 and didn't have a problem. I wonder if there would be any conflicts.
Nick

 

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