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Hard Drive Failure


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#1
Uisdean

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My friends desktop has suffered a hard drive failure, not sure what's done it, but he's tried his boot disks and rescue disks to no avail (though he's not particularly computer literate, so I'll have to check that). Aparrently it just comes up with something along the line of 'disk failure, cannot boot from drive c'

He doesn't want to lose the info on the hard drive, so I'm going to see what I can do.

I've got a USB hard drive enclosure, with which I should be able to back up whatever's on his HDD onto my laptop. I'm just not sure of the best way to then go about reinstalling windows onto it.

It's a fairly old PC, running win98 and I'll probably put that back on it (XP would cause it a brain haemmorage as it's only got 128, possible 256 RAM).

Is there any way I can do that from my laptop while his HD is in the enclosure? and if not, what's the best way to go about re-installing windows onto his HD? and incidentally, if I can get a boot disk to take me to the dos prompt, what should I be typing there to try and fix it (have to say, my dos was never good, and I'll be buggeredif I can remember it now).

If this was my own computer, I'd be happy to just have a bash and see what worked... but it's this friend you see.... and when I say friend I mean my girlfriend's dad, who at present doens't like me. So fixing his computer can only make things better. Unfotunatley, breaking it even more will... well... not be good.

Thanks!!
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#2
the_Jackal

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The best way to go about this would be to add the disk into a different PC as a secondary hard disk and start copying the chunks of data across to the PC, maybe even put all that data to CD/DVD for future.

As for installing Window this should be done from the machine you intend to use, Windows XP is pretty flexible, move the disk to a new PC Windows detect's / installs new drivers and you are good to go, Windows 98 however is evil when it is pushed from one machine to the other and more often than not the machine's software becomes very very flakey to use.

If the computers hard disk is of a fair size you could always partion the disk in to 2 partitions, partion A for the windows install and partion B for data he doesnt want to loose, so next time tragedy strikes Windows can be re-installed without having to worry about data loss.
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#3
audioboy

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agree with jackal, if you can see the drive when its connected to your PC, copy any data he needs off it, then try reformatting the drive. since it has failed once, it might be better to buy a new drive, and load fresh onto it.
you need to install the OS in the machine its gonna live in, especially with win98. that way it will load the correct drivers for the all the onboard controllers, etc.
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#4
Samm

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Copy the data across using the usb caddy etc.

When you reconnect the drive back in the original system, do the following :
1. make sure the drive is detected correctly as the primary master.
2. boot from the win98 boot disk
3. run fdisk from the floppy - by typing: fdisk
Select Yes to large drive support. Select option 4 from the main menu to view the drive. Make sure that the drive format is set to FAT32 & that the drive is active - there should be a capital A under the Status heading.
4. If thats all ok, exit fdisk & format the drive by typing : format c:/s

This will perform a full format & copies the system files to the drive to make it bootable.
When complete, remove the floppy & reboot. If the MBR/boot sector of the drive is OK, the system should boot to the C:> prompt. If this works, then reboot again from the floppy disk & install windows 98 from the CD.
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#5
nixx

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if you havent done this yet, download belarc advisor diagnostic and run it on the laptop with the old hd on it, then check and see if the old drive says FAILING next to it. if id does, dont use the drive for booting an os.

Nixx
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#6
Uisdean

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Thanx peeps, I'm off to see if I can earn some brownie points with my girlfs dad!
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