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Hard Drive is Dead.....Don't know what to do next!


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#1
confusedoldlady

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Hello

My Maxtor 6E040L0 finally died this morning, it's been making noises for a few weeks now, so it's my own stupid fault for burying my head in the sand.

I can't start Windows (XP Home) at all. Not in safe mode or anything else. I downloaded the 6 floppy start up discs from Microsoft but they didn't work. I got an error message on disk 5 and it wouldn't go any further.

Then I remembered I had a Maxtor Utility CD that I downloaded about 2 years ago when I had a problem before. I ran that and it recommended a full scan. Did that and it gave the error code caa2a770. It also said back up your data now and replace this hard drive. I did go to Maxtors site to find what the code meant but couldn't get anywhere, I even tried the support forum on there but it wouldn't accept my password and I couldn't get in.

I've had a very frustrating morning and I'm not techy at all, so i find this stuff really hard to understand. So, my questions are:

How can I back up data from a broken hard drive? Or have I lost all my stuff (there is some very important data on there for my husband's business).

Is there any way this drive can be fixed, rather than replaced?

Any other suggestions/advice greatfully received - I don't have much money and can't afford to buy a new PC and even if I get one on my credit card (eek!), can I get hold of the data on my old hard drive or not?

Sorry if this sounds stupid - I really have no clue what I'm talking about and I'm typing this on my husband's PC and he is not very happy with me right now, so I'm panicking a bit.

thanks for reading.

PS hubby is even less techy than me and thinks if we open the PC and look at the hard drive there might be some fluff or something on it that will fix the problem. Is this true?
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#2
Ferrari

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Everything you have told me tells me the hard drive is dead. Especially that the Maxtor Test CD gave an error and suggested replacing the drive. Once a hard drive dies, data is lost for good. :)

There are recovering specialists, but they can be extremely expensive for data recovery. And from what you said, spending that kind of money isn't an option.

To fix your computer, you will need to buy and install a new hard drive. Once that is done, you must reinstall Windows onto it (XP disk required), install drivers, and update the operating system to the latest service pack. You will have to reinstall all programs from your original disks and enter in the product registration keys for such products. It will be like a new computer, just like when you bought it new.

Hope that helps, and sorry for the bad news. :)

EDIT:

PS hubby is even less techy than me and thinks if we open the PC and look at the hard drive there might be some fluff or something on it that will fix the problem. Is this true?

No, the functioning parts of a hard drive are completely sealed. Dust doesn't affect them this way. Though it can cause the hard drive to run hotter, wiping the dust off will not fix your drive.

Edited by Ferrari, 16 April 2010 - 07:36 AM.

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#3
Alzeimer

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I'm not an expert but I think your Hard drive is done for the count, would recommend buying a new one and installing XP home on it and once that is done plug your old Hard drive as a slave with your new as the master and copy your personal data from the old to your new if it will work long enough to let you do it.

Usually when the Utility program of you HD tells you it is better to back up your data and replace your drive that it is done and not fixable.

Since both of you are not techy i suggest asking someone who knows a little bit what they are doing to install the new HD in your PC
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#4
confusedoldlady

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Thank you both for your prompt replies, it is appreciated.

May I ask two more questions?

1. If I did get a new HD and managed to copy the old one, would it copy just the data or would it also copy the bad bits onto my new HD?

2. If I just purchase a new PC (I didn't get a Windows CD with computer when new, just some HP recovery disks that had Windows on them but I can't use them anymore because I had a new Motherboard fitted about 3 years ago - this is a fairly old HP PC btw), can I somehow remove the old HD and connect it to the new one and then carry on as above and try to copy it?

Hope you can understand what I'm asking :)
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#5
Alzeimer

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No the bad bits will not copy, if some of your personal date are on the bad sectors/bits of your HD then those files will not copy at all so will be lost to you (make sure you copy only your personal files not the whole HD as most are system files that are not transferable).

As for Windows Install, if it is not the same motherboard as for what the HP recovery CD was made for then it will not install on your new one, if it is the same model as your old one then you might ba able to.

Edited by Alzeimer, 16 April 2010 - 08:27 AM.

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#6
confusedoldlady

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Thanks again. Well, that some good news anyway.

No, it's not the same Motherboard and I never even knew the recovery disks wouldn't work with it until I tried to use them.

Would I be able to copy my old HD's data onto a new PC?
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#7
Alzeimer

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Only personal data (music, photos, words documents, excell etc.) Anything else like Installed programs or any Windows Instalation you cannot copy.
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#8
FNP

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If I may step in here...

If your hard drive is dead, you will not be able to copy the data at all. Alzeimer is on the right track by saying that you can only copy certain files off a hard drive (in normal operating conditions), but in this case, it looks like your data is lost for good.

Ferrari- Do you think it would be possible to boot from a Linux LiveCD like Puppy Linux and recover the data from the drive? I feel like if the drive is damaged to the point where it won't boot (and nothing screams "head crash" like noises and disk failure), there's no way a home recovery is possible, but it's a cheaper recovery than taking it to a pro shop.

confusedoldlady- Can I just say I love your nickname? It reminds me of my mother. :) Anyway, trying to copy data off your drive when the drive is inaccessible is going to be either very expensive, very frustrating, or some combination of the two. Unfortunately, if the drive is dead, simply connecting it to another system isn't going to help. :) Your best bet is likely going to be getting either a new hard drive or a new computer. Or, you can take my preferred method and go back to using a typewriter (seriously, I have one sitting in my room! :) ) Oh, and you can politely tell you husband to have patience and not to panic. These things happen. :)
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#9
confusedoldlady

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Thanks Guys :)

OK, I can take a hint eventually, looks like my poor credit card is going to take a bashing :)

FearNothing, If they invent a typewriter that can go online and buy things, I'll consider getting one. (btw, I'm probably a lot older than your Mother!)

Thanks to all who responded - it's very kind of you to take the time and trouble to help those of us who are clueless. Have a nice weekend :)
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#10
FNP

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If there was any way to avoid putting a dent in your wallet, trust me, I would be the first to let you know- I'm in college. I have no money.

Good luck with everything. If there's anything we can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask. It's what we do. :)
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#11
Alzeimer

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My unexpert advice is to keep your old bad hard drive and try to save your personal data, it might not work as said earlier but I have saved data on some hard drives that were really bad,it all depends on how much and where your bad sectors (bits) are on it.

If they affect your boot sectors only then by having it as a slave it might work long enough to save your data but if to much of it is damage then you will not be able to save anything but I suggest you try if your personal data is important to you and you have no other way to get it back.
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#12
FNP

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Alzeimer has a good point. But trying to set that up on your own is going to take a lot of time and effort, and having someone else do it is going to be costly.

confusedoldlady, if you would like to try and recover your data off your drive, I am more than willing to help (as are others here who are more knowledgeable than I). If not, please let me know if there's anything else I can do to assist you. :)
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#13
123Runner

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Everything that has been said is the absolute truth.

Do not throw the drive out. I am an advocate of "try everything that can be thought of".
It is worth the chance to attempt recovery.
Basicaly, I would slave it to the new computer and see if it is recognized (we can guide you on that).
If it is seen then you can most likely get the data off.

Another option is a USB enclosure for the drive. You would then plug it in to another computer. The drive still needs to be seen by a OS.

You can also boot to a puppy linux cd to attempt recovery. It runs from the CD.
If you do recover the data, then you would still need a hard drive and a OS because your recovery cd's do not work.

I know the expense, but computers have come down in cost quite a lot.
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#14
confusedoldlady

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How kind you all are, thank you.:) I thought this thread would be dead by now.

I will take your advice and when I get my new PC, I'll come back and ask you to help me get the data off it. I hope you don't live to regret your generous offer, I'm not kidding when I say I'm not techy :)

Have to go now as hubby wants his PC back. (If I don't reply for hours at a time, that's why, btw).

Thanks again.
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#15
FNP

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confusedoldlady-

We're here to help. :) Whenever you are ready to start working on pulling old data off of your drive, we are here and willing to lend a hand. :)

Don't worry about not being techy- we all have to start somewhere. Just prepare to follow directions, ask plenty of questions and learn a thing or two :)

Post back here to this thread when you're ready to go- we'll be waiting patiently. :)
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