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Pavillion computer failed, is my seagate hard drive ok?


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#1
penmark

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Greetings all:

I was using an HP m1170n (Media Center) desktop, with a 200Gb Seagate hard drive, running xp sp2 with no problems. A few weeks ago I turned on the computer, and got the infamous "black screen." As background, at times I got just the black screen or the blue HP screen, before it all froze. One time I was able to turn the caps lock light on and off, but eventually, I couldn't even do that. I troubleshot the graphics card and monitor, and verified they weren't the problem. I was unable to enter safe mode. I tried to do a complete recovery using my recovery discs, but the system simply froze each time it entered recovery mode. I then bought a new Seagate 320Gb hard drive, replaced the 200Gb Seagate that was supplied with the m1170n, and tried the recovery again without success. Based on these results, I made a leap of faith and assumed I had a fried motherboard, and decided to buy a new computer.

At this point I am hoping to salvage the files stored on the 200Gb hard drive that I removed from the computer.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I bought a new HP Pavillion computer with Vista Home Premium. I also bought an external hard drive enclosure, installed the old 200Gb hard drive, connected it via USB on the new computer, and powered it up. Upon opening the hard drive folder, I find two files listed, and the names of the files are the odd symbols that usually indicate trouble. The properties show 294mb used and 6.1Gb free. Not sure what that means, considering this is a 200 Gb drive. I also find that the properties show that the file system of the now external hard drive is FAT32, while the file system of the hard drive in the new Vista computer is NTFS. Truthfully, I don't know anything about file systems, so I don't know whether this is a problem or not.

Sorry for so much background. Here are my questions:

1. Is the 200Gb hard drive from the old computer (now the external drive) dead?

2. If not, can I access the data that was stored on the hard drive? How?

3. If the files are lost, is the hard drive salvageable? If it is, how do I go about reformatting it?

4. Do you think the motherboard of the old computer is fried? If it's not, what can I do to bring the computer back, given that I have a new, unformatted 320Gb Seagate hard drive installed as of this time?

Appreciate any suggestions.
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#2
Neil Jones

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If you power the computer up with a hand on the drive, you should be able to feel it vibrating as it spins up. That's usually a sign that its okay but there's no way of verifying that until you can hang it off a computer with a working installation to browse the drive.

1) Probably not.
2) If its not dead, yes you can. If it is dead, only by spending obscene amount of money with no guarantees.
3) If its a mechanical failure, either throw it away or use it as a doorstop because that'll be all it'll be good for.
4) If the board is dead, it would need replacing.
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#3
98springer

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"4. Do you think the motherboard of the old computer is fried? If it's not, what can I do to bring the computer back, given that I have a new, unformatted 320Gb Seagate hard drive installed as of this time?"

Did you try reseating the memory in the old computer? Remove it and replace it (don't buy more, just use the same memory) and make sure it's seated firmly in the slot(s). This works more times than it should. ;-)

Edited by 98springer, 10 December 2007 - 08:46 PM.

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#4
penmark

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thanks for the advice. i will try reseating the memory. but what do you make of the issues i was having re: booting given that the hard drive that was in there, when removed and put in an external enclosure, gave the results that it did?
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