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Smart Short Test Failure, how to get data from HD


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#1
Greg68

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Hello,

I have an issue with my HP Pavilion a1657c, it will no longer boot after a brief power failure. The computer was in use when the power went out. Upon start up I get the screen stating an error occured and it asked me which mode I woud like to start up in, i.e. safe mode, last known good setting, normal, etc. Safe mode just circles me back to the same screen, normal starts windows xp but it stops just after the windows xp logo comes up on the screen and goes backt to the same screen.

The diagnostic tests come back with Samsung SP2504C and Smart Short Test Failure HD521-2W which I understand is a hard drive failure and it likely needs to be replaced? Any other thoughts before I replace it?

Secondly, I really need to get the data off the old drive (pictures), I have not backed them up in a while. Any suggestions? Can I insert the bad drive into another computer and pull the data from it?

Thanks for your help.

Greg
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#2
PedroDaGR8

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I would say yes your HD is dead.

On the second thing, you can TRY that but DO NOT install or write anything to that drive. You may have to come to accept that your files are lost (unless you can afford the $$$$ that data recovery services charge, which can be as low as $500 and as high as $2000+).
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#3
Nicolet

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I wouldn’t say the information is lost, if you are able to half-boot windows on that Disk, you might still have some time to recover your data, it’s possible that some or all of the data you had is gone, but the disk is not fried yet, it will do so eventually.
I’d recommend you to get another hard disk and install windows on that and put your old disk there, I’ve had really good experiences with Acronis data recovery tools, they’re not free but they can tell you how much of your data can be recovered before you buy the license. Good luck
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#4
Caffeine_Powered

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The easiest way I found to collect data from scrapped drives, for free, would be to boot off of a Linux live CD.

A live CD is a CD which more or less contains an entire OS (normally something Open Source like a Distro of Linux or BSD, etc). You boot of the CD and you run the operating system off the CD. It's designed so you can try out linux without installing it, but it's also good for data recovery.

I'm pretty sure you can do it with almost any Linux live CD but what I prefer is a Linux Distro called Knoppix.

On another computer you download and burn the ISO (different from regular burning - you need an ISO burner) then when you start your computer boot off the CD. Once at the desktop you can access your internal HDD and drag and drop files onto a flashdrive, External HDD, or what have you.

I first used it to get like 12 gigs of pictures off of a laptop whose HDD had to many 'bad sectors' and wouldn't boot up. Had to do it 2 gigs at a time because I only had a flashdrive. :)

Just throwing this out there, I can explain better if you wish.

Edited by Caffeine_Powered, 24 February 2009 - 06:14 AM.

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#5
Greg68

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Thank you for the replies.

I have been considering both options (installing the new HD and trying to access the old one after windows is running again and the bootable disk). I consider myself reasonably computer literate, but could you futher explain how I would perform both options?

For the new HD, I think i just install and follow the procedure for using my recovery discs to get the computer running again. How to I install the old HD and access it form there?

Regarding the bootable disc, I have a laptop I can download the file to but how do I create the disc? You refer to an "ISO burner", is this software or a different type of hardware?

Thanks again, there seems to be some hope to get some or all of the data back.

Greg
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#6
PedroDaGR8

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Yes it is. For a good free isoburner, download ImgBurn (link in my sig, at the bottom of the post). Install ImgBurn

Once the program is loaded, Select Write Image File To Disc.
On the next screen, choose the folder option to load the iso file.
Once that is loaded, you should be ready to burn the file.
Just click the burn button (which looks like a file with a disc on it and a green arrow pointing to a disc).
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#7
Caffeine_Powered

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I'm about to make a post that'll explain everything you need to do with links.

Getting the liveCD right isn't hard it's just a multi step process if you want to do it absolutely correct. Even then there's a small amount of troubleshooting. Don't fret.

Post on the way.
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#8
Caffeine_Powered

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Alright well as for downloading the liveCD it's very simple.
It's also really good to have an ISO burner as you never know when you'll need it. ISO's are usually used for anything that needs to be used as a start up application, some scanners, or to install an OS that you download - I'm referring to Open Source Operating systems (linux, BSD, etc) and nothing illegal.

You also need to download an MD5 checker.

As for the software end of things you'll need your choice of a distro of linux and an ISO Burner - a program that burns ISO's to a CD/DVD.
I mentioned I used Knoppix because I thought it was the simplest, but they're all pretty simple. The other reason was because Knoppix was primarily designed for this reason, or so Wikipedia says :). It's also really light on the system resources.

So here's what we're going to do:
1)Download the ISO
2)Download the md5 checker
3)Create a Sum from the md5
4)Get the number from the md5 checker and compare it with md5 on the site
5)Burn the ISO
6)etc.

I'll link you the link to the ISO and Wiki and md5 :

Knoppix (my recommendation):
Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knoppix
ISO Download for Knoppix 5.1: ftp://ftp.knoppix.nl/pub/os/Linux/distr/k...07-01-04-EN.iso
md5 number: ftp://ftp.knoppix.nl/pub/os/Linux/distr/k...1-04-EN.iso.md5 (this isn't a download, just a number, you'll come back to this)

The md5 checker I used:

md5summer: http://www.md5summer.org/download.html
-Pick whichever you like they all work basically the same I believe. For what it's worth I think I used the beta when I did it.


The ISO burner I currently have installed I downloaded when I dl'd the Windows 7 beta. Recommended by MS on their website. It's called Active @ ISO Burner:
http://www.ntfs.com/iso-burning.htm

You can also use the one suggested by PedroDaGr8, it all does the same stuff.

Alright now you have everything downloaded you need. Remember where you put the .iso file.

Open up md5summer. Once you get through all the stuff and get to the window that shows the folders and 'create sum' and 'verify sum' your ready to go.
Find the folder that the .iso file is in. For example if it's on the desktop then highlight Desktop at the top of the folder tree.

Once Highlighted click create sum. This will take you to another window that will let you pick the specific file. Find the .iso file you downloaded and click add. Then click ok. Finding the number may take a few minutes so let it work. When it's done if something pops up to save just click cancel. Now you'll have a window open with the iso and a number. Should look something like this:

Posted Image

That number under md5 hash is the number you want. Take that and compare it to the number in the link above . If it's the same, then the download was successful. If it's not the same then the download was corrupted.

Now that you've verified that it's not corrupted, burning is pretty straight forward. The only thing you NEED to do is make sure you burn it at the lowest speed possible. It may take an extra 5-10 minutes but it's important. I've had liveCDs completely not work because I burned them to fast. I usually burn at x4, and it seems to work consistently.

If when you boot in it's in a different language, it's simple to change to english. Reboot and when you get to the screen that show that says Knoppix in the background and there's a blinking cursor blinking (right before it gets to the desktop if I remember), you can either hit F3 to bring up the language menu or type

knoppix lang=us

I think the equals sign in the DE version (the one i dl'd accidentally) was shift 0. This shouldn't happen however since I linked the english iso.

Just a sidenote before I finish, the whole md5 checking isn't entirely necessary as you can just download and burn. But it's recommended since it'll ensure that the .iso is good.

Alright happy trails. Post back any problems.

Edited by Caffeine_Powered, 24 February 2009 - 05:08 PM.

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#9
Greg68

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Caffeine Powered,

Thank you for the step by step directions, it took a couple of downloads before the md5 worked but Knoppix is up and running on the computer with the HD problem. I can see the pictures and other information I need to get off the old HD.

Maybe you can help with a few questions regarding Knoppix, the mouse cursor is not showing up on the monitor so navigating is very difficult. It shows up when I happen to click on an application like the hour glass would in windows but disappears in the normal mode, I tried a few things but navigating takes forever when you can't see the cursor.

Secondly, I found my pictures and inserted a jump drive which is recognized. The copy and paste move says the jump drive is protected and it won't write anything to it. It works fine in Windows, any thoughts. Is there a better way to move large amounts of files in Knoppix? The lack of a curser definitely hampered my ability to figure this one out.

I have a large backup drive on my work computer, I am considering using it instead of the jump drives. Is there any down side to trying this?

Thanks again, I can see my files now, just can't get them off the drive yet.

Greg
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#10
PedroDaGR8

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Do you know if the jump drive is formatted as NTFS? Linux needs NTFS-3G to write to NTFS drives. Not saying this is the answer, just something to look into.

If it is, you may need to reformat it as FAT32 (both Win and Linux can read FAT32)
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#11
Caffeine_Powered

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Caffeine Powered,

Thank you for the step by step directions, it took a couple of downloads before the md5 worked but Knoppix is up and running on the computer with the HD problem. I can see the pictures and other information I need to get off the old HD.

Maybe you can help with a few questions regarding Knoppix, the mouse cursor is not showing up on the monitor so navigating is very difficult. It shows up when I happen to click on an application like the hour glass would in windows but disappears in the normal mode, I tried a few things but navigating takes forever when you can't see the cursor.

Secondly, I found my pictures and inserted a jump drive which is recognized. The copy and paste move says the jump drive is protected and it won't write anything to it. It works fine in Windows, any thoughts. Is there a better way to move large amounts of files in Knoppix? The lack of a curser definitely hampered my ability to figure this one out.

I have a large backup drive on my work computer, I am considering using it instead of the jump drives. Is there any down side to trying this?

Thanks again, I can see my files now, just can't get them off the drive yet.

Greg

The mouse problems something new, I'll look into that.
I don't think it should matter but is it PS/2 or USB?

As far as trying your External HDD, you can try it if you'd like but I couldn't get it to work for me. I read somewhere that it could try and format it or something, so if your going to try it just make sure you have a backup of everything on the External.

As for the flashdrive like PedroDaGR8 said, it could be a formatting problem. Just incase you don't know Windows (since Windows 00') uses NTFS and some devices come pre-formatted like that. Linux uses the FAT system. So sometimes there can be problems with compatibility and what not.

Before you format it, you can try right clicking on your flash drive and making sure that it's mounted (do this in Knoppix). When you put a new drive in sometimes you have to mount it,which basically means read it. I'm trying to remember more but it escapes me at the moment. I'll boot into Knoppix later today and see if I can figure out more.

As for the formatting, you can format the flashdrive to FAT. Just be aware when you format the flashdrive you lose whatever was stored on there. So back up any files you already have on there.

I don't specifically remember how to format it in Linux, but on a windows PC you just plug it in. Go to my Computer and find it. Right click and choose from the menu format.
The window should pop up and you should be able to go from there. I think it defaults to FAT16 when you format. There's not much difference between FAT16 and FAT32 for what you want to do I'm pretty sure. And don't worry about usability after this is all done. You can leave your FlashDrive formatted in FAT, it'll still work the same. You may even have more room since FAT formatting is smaller then NTFS.

When I got my 2gb flashdrive it was formatted in NTFS and had about 900mb's free (i suspect there was hidden files as NTFS isn't normally this big I don't believe), after I formatted there was 1.90 GB's free.

Just as a rule of thumb, I don't normally do quick formats. For a small flash drive it should only take a handful of minutes to format. It's not until you start formatting bigger USB external harddrives that it takes forever (my 640gb external took 6 hours to format :) )

Edited by Caffeine_Powered, 25 February 2009 - 10:57 AM.

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#12
PedroDaGR8

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Caffeine, there HAD to be hidden files, I usually see a difference of a few MB in size between the two. One drawback to FAT is that it can't handle files over I want to say 2 or 4GB in size. So if the user has some movies he wants to get off of the old computer, he may need to format it with another file system (one of the linux supported ones that you can use in windows with add-on packs i.e. XFS).


DOH!!! I forgot user has 1GB thumbdrive, so not an issue here. Will leave it here though in case anyone else comes across this thread as it is quite good.

Edited by PedroDaGR8, 25 February 2009 - 11:34 AM.

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#13
Caffeine_Powered

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Caffeine, there HAD to be hidden files, I usually see a difference of a few MB in size between the two. One drawback to FAT is that it can't handle files over I want to say 2 or 4GB in size. So if the user has some movies he wants to get off of the old computer, he may need to format it with another file system (one of the linux supported ones that you can use in windows with add-on packs i.e. XFS).


DOH!!! I forgot user has 1GB thumbdrive, so not an issue here. Will leave it here though in case anyone else comes across this thread as it is quite good.

Yes to everything lol.

Yes there probably was hidden files.
Yes FAT16 (I don't think FAT32) has that drawback.
And yeah he won't notice any difference since it's only 1gb.
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#14
Nicolet

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Hey, It seems you’re almost done with it, but remember that every time you read from your damaged disk you’re one step closer to it being fried, so I’d advise you to lay off the fancy stuff and do the backup already. I personally would advise you in favor of Ubuntu because it has support for a lot of computers and will enable you to backup things quickly, no need to format anything, it has the support you need built into it.
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#15
Caffeine_Powered

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Hey, It seems you’re almost done with it, but remember that every time you read from your damaged disk you’re one step closer to it being fried, so I’d advise you to lay off the fancy stuff and do the backup already. I personally would advise you in favor of Ubuntu because it has support for a lot of computers and will enable you to backup things quickly, no need to format anything, it has the support you need built into it.

Ubuntu's good, but i don't think he needs to format his FlashDrive, i think it needs to be mounted. I still haven't booted into Knoppix yet (crazy day :) ) but when I do I'll confirm more.
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